Originally published May 14, 2018 in the Leader-Herald.
Mayfield seniors Sydney Sheldon and Thomas Gates received the Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Leadership Award on April 29 at a banquet the recognized students from many of the school districts in the capital area.
Sheldon and Gates were selected by the physical education staff at Mayfield High School because they possessed the qualities of high scholastic achievement, high level of physical performance, outstanding service to the school or community, and display exceptional leadership qualities.
Sheldon has earned the President’s Council highest fitness award annually since she was in elementary school. She is a three-sport scholar-athlete participating in soccer, basketball, and softball.
She is a captain, an all-Star and a leader on all her athletic teams, but especially excelled in basketball where she is a multi-season team MVP, Western Athletic Conference all-star, conference MVP, Section II all-star, and Section II record holder by scoring 409 points in one season.
Sheldon reached the 1,000-point mark for her career this season and was ranked second and eighth, respectively for Player of the Week in the Recorder and Times Union polls.
In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Sheldon is a scholar-athlete. She is on the academic excellence list, is a National Honor Society member and treasurer, participates in AAU, key club, and takes a rigorous course load including a participant in the New Visions Program. She accomplishes all this and still finds time to volunteer at a local nursing home, work election day call-ins, help coach at the youth levels, and can be found volunteering at many other local events.
Sheldon has been accepted into the honors program at Utica College of Nursing and also hopes to play basketball at the collegiate level.
Gates is a two-sport all-star level athlete, who leads his teams both on and off the playing field.
Gates is a multi-season captain of his soccer and basketball teams. He has earned numerous scholar-athlete awards, including the NYSPHSAA Team Award and the News Channel 13 Scholar Athlete Award.
Gates is a Western Athletic Conference Leadership Delegate, the senior class treasurer, and in 2017 he earned the University of Rochester Young Leaders Award.
Gates takes rigorous academic courses, is a member of the National Honor Society, and earned the Clarkson Math and Science Scholarship.
Along with all the National Honor Society services, Gates also finds time to volunteers as a peer tutor for Spanish students and involves himself with community events such as the Historical Society Homestead clean-up, the Rise against Hunger fundraiser, the Mayfield playground construction project, and is a youth basketball coaching volunteer. But more important, Thomas is a solid school citizen. He holds himself to high standards as a President’s Challenge fitness Award winner.
Gates hopes to study finance at Providence or possibly Syracuse University, where he has been accepted.