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Sickles Gryphon Seeks a Championship

By December 13, 2019December 20th, 2021Athlete of the Week

Tampa, Fl. – December 13, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) is proud to announce Ava Weston from Sickles High School as the ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the week ending December 13, 2019.

Coach Gary Jones nominated Weston for her inspiring leadership abilities to her team and her steadfast determination through daunting setbacks.

“Ava was a four-year member of the Sickles varsity volleyball team, serving as the captain the last three,” said Jones. “She is a leader on and off the court carrying a 5.7 GPA while leading her team as the captain and setter. She amassed over 600 assists over the past three years, second on the team in total aces and third in kills during that span. She fought through a quad injury her senior year, but never missed a practice, showing up and encouraging her team even when she could not fully participate. She is truly an amazing example of a student-athlete and a leader.”

Weston is a member of Steel Volleyball, a U18 club team. Seeking to qualify for the AAU National Championships in Reno, Nevada, Weston has been relentless in her work ethic in order to get to the next level.

“I’ve been motivated to qualify for the AAU National Volleyball Championship since I’ve started playing competitive travel volleyball nine years ago,” Weston said. “This would give me exposure as an athlete and ultimately push me harder since there are so many competitive teams at the next level. I have always believed that being competitive takes you further in life not only on the court but in the classroom as well.”

Being a student-athlete is challenging, constantly balancing athletics and academics. Weston has met that challenge head-on and plans to continue throughout college as she pursues a biomedical engineering degree at the University of South Florida.

“Managing practice and five AP classes as a senior has been a challenge that I take seriously,” said Weston. “Understanding that time management is a very important aspect of staying on track to meet my goals is imperative. So far, the juggling of school and athletics has worked out in my favor and I plan to keep it that way.”

It’s all about the mindset, according to Weston. An athlete may have the physical skill and talent, but it takes a certain mindset to follow through, overcome obstacles and reach goals.

“One of the best pieces of advice I live by and have passed on to those I have mentored would be the basic idea of determination,” she said. “Not giving up mentally takes a lot of patience and perseverance. As an athlete, you approach many obstacles including injuries that will try to hold you back from achieving your goal. Pushing past these physical challenges will make anyone a better athlete in the long run and it shows.”

Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s Athlete of the Week campaign is designed to focus on student-athletes, recognizing them for their hard work and dedication both on and off the field. The Athlete of the Week award can be earned by displaying one of the following characteristics:

Team Player: Athletes who are nominated for excellence in team play are chosen by a coach who feels the athlete does his or her best to put direction into action, makes a significant contribution to the team and continuously works to improve his or her skills, attitude and training.

Leadership: Athletes who earn the award in recognition of excellent leadership must exemplify strong relationship building skills, show excellent initiative and serve as role models for his or her peers.

To view previous award winners, please follow this link.

Florida Orthopaedic Institute

Founded in 1989, Florida Orthopaedic Institute is Florida’s largest orthopedic group and provides expertise and treatment of orthopedic-related injuries and conditions, including adult reconstruction and arthritis, chiropractic services, foot and ankle, general orthopedics, hand and wrist, interventional spine, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopedic trauma, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, shoulder and elbow, and spine services among others. The organization treats patients throughout its surgery centers in North Tampa and Citrus Park, two orthopedic urgent care centers in South Tampa and Brandon, and 9 office locations in Bloomingdale, Brandon, Citrus Park, North Tampa, Northdale, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, Sun City Center and Wesley Chapel. For more information, please visit: and ‘like’ us on Facebook: