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      Heritage's Thompson excels on-and-off the court

      Heritage's Taylor Thompson (middle) talks with teammates during volleyball practice.

      Being a teenager can be difficult enough.

      But tack on school work, and sports, and being a student athlete is even more difficult.

      That's why starting now we are going to take a look at the best student-athletes of Mid-Michigan.

      It's our Academic All-Star, and our very first star is a Hawk from Heritage.

      "I've only got one A-minus. It was biology, Mrs. Talbot, because of a group project. I'll never forget it." If there's one thing you can say about Heritage Senior Taylor Thompson, it's she definitely doesn??t lack drive.

      "They're like, I don't care if you get an A-minus or a B, but I'm always the one that's like - I want to get that," Thompson said.

      It's this kind of self-motivation that has led Thompson to not only a 3.99 grade-point-average, but a stellar athletic career at Heritage as well.

      "Sports have always played a big part, and they help me get through the year," Thompson said.

      This fall, marks Taylor's third on the varsity volleyball team - where not only has her role as player increased, but her role as a leader as well.

      "She's still one of the core-group that's been around with me now for three years,?? says Heritage Volleyball Coach Brad Rhroa. ??She understands what I??m looking for, and what we want for our program. She helps a lot of the younger kids with that."

      With a full slate of after school activities, one might think, Taylor would have an easier course load her senior year, but that's just not her style.

      "I just didn't want to take electives; I wanted to be prepared for college."

      Her coach agrees.

      "She understands the process to get to the goal, says Rhroa. ??She's obviously doing that with her academics."

      Her goal this year, find a way to makeup for that A-minus.

      "I want to earn back my GPA from the A-minus. I'm taking an IB math class, so I get a grade boost. I want to try and get my 4.0 back."

      It's that attitude that makes Taylor Thompson the first ever NBC 25 Academic All-Star.

      If you would like to nominate a student-athlete as an Academic All-Star send us an email...