Manago a Scholar All-American
Lansing High senior Bianca Manago was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and adidas Girls High School Scholar All-America Team.
The All-America squad, which was announced Dec. 18, consists of 35 players from across the nation. Manago is the lone Kansas representative on the squad.
"I try to work hard at soccer and at school, and to receive that honor felt really good," Manago said. "And to know you're one out of 35 people was pretty cool too."
To be considered for All-America status, players must have exhibited excellence in high school soccer, be nominated by their high school coach, play for a NSCAA member school, be a graduating senior during the 2006-2007 school year and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75.
A three-year starter in the midfield at LHS, Manago met all of those requirements while carrying a 3.89 cumulative GPA.
Manago said she was happy to receive the personal honor, but she also was proud of her teammates when she found out the Lions earned the NSCAA and adidas Team Academic Award for the second consecutive year. She said academic success came naturally for her teammates.
"The girls have to deal with a lot of structure throughout the season because coach (Rob Elkins) leads a very structured program," she said. 'The girls on the team excel in a structured environment in soccer and in the classroom, and a lot of the girls on this team know the value of working hard. They don't shy away from a challenge, and that's what makes us great on and off the field."
Manago's scholarship already is opening doors at the college level. She has received an academic scholarship to Texas A&M University, and she is considering walking on to the Aggies' national powerhouse soccer team. She hasn't closed the door on her college search, however, and she said she would continue to examine other opportunities.
"I'm still keeping my options open," she said. "But I'm planning on going there."