• Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Johnson City's Tiffany Hamdan may not hit the hardest of any girl's tennis player in Section 4, but she is one of the best. "I think I'm more creative, because I don't hit very hard," said Hamdan. "It's a lot of strategy and a lot of thinking." Those skills have helped Tiffany be successful both on the court and in the classroom. For the second straight year she's headed to the state tournament. It's quite an accomplishment, but one that her coach saw coming from the beginning. Hamdan has been playing for coach Jim DiMaria since eighth grade, when she took over as the number one singles player for the Wildcats. "Her ability to hit with the older girls. She did take some lumps her eighth grade year but it was great because she never gave up and she learned from her experiences," said DiMaria. "Obviously it has gotten her to where she is today. " Part of that success comes from using the creativity that comes from one of her favorite hobbies...art. "It's a good hobby," said Hamdan. "It's something, it calms me down after if there's a tough match or just anything stressful. It's really relaxing." But she's not only creative and smart on the tennis court and in the art room, she currently holds about a 95 average in school and ranks 14th in her class. She got there by relying on her own knowledge and abilities, one of the same reasons she was drawn to tennis. "It's one of those sports where you only rely on yourself, so you don't have to worry about messing up and messing someone else up and feeling bad about that," said Hamdan. "It's really self-reliant and it's just nice." But there haven't been too many mess ups along the way, and that's why she's this week's Academic All-Star.

  • Academic All-Star: Nate Wrighter

    Windsor, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Standing at 6'7", Windsor's Nate Wrighter is taller than most high school golfers. It shouldn't come as a shock: he can really hit the ball.

  • Academic All-Star: Sam Crowley

    Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Trying to attend an Ivy League school and play a sport there is a high standard for any high school athlete. But that's what Seton football player Sam Crowley wants to accomplish.

  • Academic All-Star: Delaney Dower

    Oneonta, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Oneonta volleyball player Delaney Dower isn't shy about her height. As she'll tell you, she's "4' feet 11.6 inches" tall.

  • Academic All-Star: Madeline Flamik

    Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) She's ranked 21st in her class, but she's got her eye on 20th. She's set a school record for assists in a game, but she's shooting for more. Binghamton's Madeline Flamik has a goal to "be the best."

  • Academic All-Star: Kellsey Wiser

    Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) If Chenango Forks senior Kellsey Wiser started as a blank sheet of paper, by this point in her life, she's filled it up pretty well.

  • Academic All-Star: Natasha D'Oliviera

    Conklin, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The steps Natasha D'Oliviera takes on a track have a purpose.

  • Academic All-Star: Matt Personius

    Town of Fenton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Baseball is full of numbers, and a lot of times they can define a player. The good news for Chenango Valley senior Matt Personius is he's a 'numbers' guy.

  • Academic All-Star: Matt Marsili

    Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Of all the things that make Owego's Matt Marsili stand out on a baseball diamond, the biggest one isn't his bat or his arm. It's his head.

  • Academic All-Star: Danielle Pasquale

    Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Union-Endicott softball coach Jim Testa says his senior leadoff hitter has some ninja-like qualities.

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