Former Rochelle Township High School student-athletes Ben Hickey and Gabrielle Harding were recognized as the 2019-20 Rochelle News-Leader Scholar-Athlete Award winners during halftime of the Rochelle Hub varsity football game against Sandwich on Friday night.
Harding currently attends Concordia University Chicago, where she competes for the women’s track and field team. A three-sport student-athlete at RTHS, Harding competed for the Lady Hub varsity volleyball, basketball and track and field programs. An Academic All-Conference honoree in each of her three high-school sports, Harding is currently studying physical therapy.
“I always went hard in everything I did throughout my high school career,” Harding said. “Being recognized for all of my hard work is something I really took to the heart and it feels amazing. The college experience has been amazing and our track and field team is doing really well… The teachers and the coaches at RTHS give their all in everything they do and it really helps the student-athletes in the long run. I appreciate everything they did for me and my teammates.”
Hickey currently attends Northern Illinois University, where he’s majoring in industrial and systems engineering. A three-sport student-athlete at RTHS, Hickey ran for the Hub cross country team and competed for the basketball and track and field programs. An Academic All-Conference honoree as well, Hickey maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his four years at RTHS.
“This award shows that my hard work over the years really paid off,” Hickey said. “The college experience has been great, even though it’s been a lot different because of the COVID-19 restrictions. I’m really enjoying NIU and I’ve met a lot of new friends. The relationships I formed with my friends and coaches are what I enjoyed most about my time at RTHS.”