Each year WAPT TV 16 and Bank Plus team up to recognize high school athletes who are excellent scholars. Jackson Academy’s recipient for 2020-21 is senior Drew Antici of Madison. WAPT produces a video about each student and holds a banquet honoring the recipients in the spring.
Drew places value on being well-rounded and diverse in his abilities. He’s a fan of science, finding the subject a natural fit for him. He has played soccer since age 3, including years in club soccer, and now concentrates his energies as an athlete on soccer and football at JA. Drew has been at JA since age 5, and he finds the JA community an environment where he can pursue academic excellence, play multiple sports, experience school with his best friends, and learn about life.
The life lessons have come, in part, through a summer job. For the past two summers Drew has worked on the Field Maintenance Staff, taking care of athletic fields and the surrounding grounds. “This isn’t really an orthodox answer, but my favorite ‘teacher’ at JA isn’t really a classroom teacher–it’s Coach Harris. He’s taught me a lot of life lessons and skills over the years, and he invested a lot of his time into me, which means a lot. He had a part in teaching me to drive, weed-eat, use a zero-turn mower, lots of football fundamentals, etc. I think I’ve gained a new scope of life and I was able to come out of my shell a little bit and have a little bit more fun through everyday things because of him. And he’s an interesting guy, so he’s pretty exciting to learn from as you could imagine.”
Coach Harris said that while the responsibilities of field maintenance were new to Drew, he quickly picked up on everything and built a lot of confidence in his role. “I think during the summer, we get to see a different side of each student. We spend a great amount of time together so we get to know the total person, not just the student. Also, we don’t have a textbook to go by, so a lot of what we do is trial and error. There are so many life skills that you can’t receive in a classroom.”
Both Drew and Coach Harris see value in the academic, athletic, and life lessons Drew has developed as part of the JA community. “I hope he will always remember that sometimes you must bulldog your way out there,” said Harris. “Never sit back and wait because things will pass you by if you don’t jump at it. I know that Drew will do well in whatever his future holds.”