• Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) With a strong desire to overcome obstacles, it should be no surprise Seton Catholic Central's Maya Haykal found her sport how she did. "I used to dance, but then I hurt my back really bad," she explains. "So I started to play tennis and I just fell in love with it. It's really an individual sport but it's not just physical. It's also mental and emotional because you have to keep yourself going." "You have to find your own strength to use and really building up your own confidence and realizing who you are -- not just in the game, but in life, too." Maya has realized who she is whether she's holding a racquet or a pen. She's the top singles player for the Saints on the court, and in the classroom, she has a weighted GPA of over 100. "Tennis is a big thinking game and Maya is very strategic in tennis," said Seton tennis coach Katie Loughlin. "She likes to move her opponents around the court and takes advantage of getting them out of position. She really thinks, not only for the shot she's making, but for the upcoming shot. She tries to set the points up, which she does very, very well." When she's not hitting a tennis ball or the books, Maya is helping one of her seven siblings. "One of them has a feeding tube so I take care and just hang out with him and play basketball with him because all my brothers play basketball," said Haykal. So it's no wonder Maya sees a future in medicine. "That's why I want to be in the health field, to try to help people who also experience pain and struggles and teach them ways in which they can overcome it." She's found who she is: somebody who just wants to help. That's why she's an Academic All-Star.

  • Academic All-Star: Maggie Rose Pelella

    Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) No other sport stands up to running in Maggie Rose Pelella's estimation.

  • Academic All-Star: Kelly Saroka

    Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It isn't often a student's face lights up like Kelly Saroka's when they talk about their favorite subject.

  • Academic All-Star: Julie Nemcek

    Windsor, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Windsor sophomore Julie Nemcek is a no nonsense, get down-to-work type of girl.

  • Academic All-Star: Olivia Trumino

    Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Olivia Trumino is sure getting a lot out of one season on the lacrosse field. The Chenango Valley senior is a captain for the first-ever girls lacrosse team at CV.

  • Academic All-Star: Nick Meno

    Sidney, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Sidney's Nick Meno is he's described by his tennis coach as a "fun guy" that likes to do impressions.

  • Academic All-Star: Grant Eggleston

    Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Long before Grant Eggleston was part of the Seton starting line up on the soccer field, baseball diamond or basketball court, he was part of a different starting five. That would be the Eggleston starting five.

  • Academic All-Star: Jimmy Zervos

    Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) On the lacrosse field, Binghamton's Jimmy Zervos doesn't always say a whole lot, but there's plenty to say about him.

  • Academic All-Star: Carolian Doane

    Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A name can tell us a lot about a person, like what country their family is from. In the case of Union-Endicott softball player Carolian Doane, it tells us something else.

  • Academic All-Star: Caleb Gould

    Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) There's a lot of history in the Chenango Forks football and wrestling programs, which means they're the perfect fit for senior Caleb Gould.

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