Tyler Gray played cornerback for the A.C. Flora football team and point guard for the basketball team.
Sports were his foot in the door to an Ivy League higher education. Before even receiving an offer from Harvard University, where he will start school and play football in the fall, Gray had been offered to play and attend school at Cornell University, Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, he said.
“Sometimes you kind of get stereotyped into only being good at one (thing), like being nerdy or a jock,” said Gray, who graduated Thursday with an International Baccalaureate degree. “And the school is filled with people that can combine both really well.”
Flora’s rise in the classroom has been paralleled – perhaps even overshadowed – by its success in athletics.
“That’s what gets the school known in the community,” said Anil Kircaliali, who graduated Thursday.
The Falcons captured state championships in boys soccer, boys tennis and boys golf during the 2014-15 school year. The school also fielded strong teams in girls soccer, football, boys basketball and baseball – accomplishments that earned Flora distinction as The State newspaper’s High School Athletics Program of the Year.
More than a source of pride for the school community, Flora’s athletics are a point of unity, students say.
“It gets everyone involved,” said Annie Williams, a graduate who captained both the volleyball and girls lacrosse teams this year. “It gets the IB and non-IB students involved and creates a good atmosphere for us. It makes any student able to achieve and make it to that high level.”
Read more about why A.C. Flora was selected High School Athletics Program of the Year by visiting thestate.com/sports Sunday.