Sometimes the term scholar-athlete is a stretch.
But in the case of Northwood's Shawn Yoder, there's a very real reason you say scholar before athlete.
Yoder stands just 5'7" and weights only 148 pounds. That hasn't stopped him from being a starter in two sports--football and baseball.
But despite being a solid cornerback and 2nd baseman, the field is not where Yoder excels the most.
Yoder is ranked number one in Northwood's senior class of 185 students. He has a perfect 4.0 GPA and has never seen anything close to a B. He says that his studies just come naturally to him and sometimes that frustrates his classmates.
"I get good grades and I don't really have to study hard and they study hard and sometimes don't get the grades I do," Yoder joked.
Overall, however, Yoder is well liked. In fact, with the cameras rolling during a review session in his government class, his classmates jokingly tried to set Yoder up for failure. It didn't work. Yoder nailed the question.
His teachers--some of whom dual as his coaches--feel Yoder's qualities allow him to succeed both on and off the field.
"His personality shines through in the classroom and on the athletic field," says Shawn's government teacher and assistant football coach Adam Yoder (no relation). "He's kind of a quiet leader, but at the same time, everyone respects him and respects his abilities."
"He's certainly quiet, but you'll never find anybody on the field that works harder than Shawn," says baseball coach Nick Davis who is also Shawn's economics teacher. "He's been a real asset to us with his work ethic and with what he brings to the field every day in terms of trying to get better."
"I used to be a lot more quiet in class than I am now," Yoder explained. "I think I've opened up a little more in the last few years. On the field, though, I try to let my actions speak for myself."
"He has the desire to be the best that he can be," Davis explains. "So he's always looking for a way to better himself."