Scholar athlete: Chase Cleveland, Fort Walton Beach High School

Scholar athlete: Chase Cleveland, Fort Walton Beach High School

This week we surprised Fort Walton Beach's Chase Cleveland with the announcement he was this week's Scholar Athlete of the Week.

"It was pretty crazy," Cleveland said.

The outside linebacker, wrestler and cheerleader carries a 4.67 GPA and ranks second in his class, after getting bumped down by a fellow classmate.

"I wasn't going to give up football and I wasn't going to give up the sports that I was playing in order to get back ahead to catch back up to where I was passed," Cleveland said.

Cleveland is looking to study chemical engineering next year at one of three schools and wants to work in nuclear power plants.

"Eventually we're going to get to the point where we can't use radiation, nuclear radiation anyway. So we're going to have to find a new energy source, and I know chemical engineers are going to be a big part of that. So I really want to be involved in that," Cleveland said.

FWB Head Coach Phil Dorn said Cleveland's focus allows him to excel in the classroom and in all sports.

"I think he attacks everything, when he's in the classroom he absorbs everything, He is a sponge," Dorn said.

At the end of football season, Cleveland will join his fellow cheerleaders to prepare for competition season. He'll also be gearing up for his third team -- wrestling.

"My step-dad is the wrestling coach. I've been going to individual camps since I was about 7 or 8. I've just always been around it," Cleveland said.

Cleveland is competitive which is a good quality for a captain of the Vikings.

"You know he wants everyone around him to know that successful feeling, and to feel like an accomplished person at what you're doing everyday. We're not quite all there yet, but with people like Chase leading the way that will happen," Dorn said.

Cleveland has precious spare time, but he did coach six-year-olds in soccer and that experience gave him a lesson in sports.

"To see the pure joy that they have playing sports, it's not necessarily for the win, they're doing it for themselves. They're doing it to have fun, they're not doing it for their parents, so it definitely brings you back, and keeps your focus on the right things," said Cleveland.

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