ALL-PURPOSE LADY T-BIRD

Former Mohave High School Lady T-birds multi-sports stalwart Gabriella Laurenza (middle) displays her plaque for garnering the most varsity letters in the school’s 49-year history. She earned 14 letters. Laurenza is flanked to her right by the 2018-19 Mohave Athletic Director/Assistant Principal James Armijo and to her left Mohave Principal Steve Lawrence during the school’s seniors’ awards ceremony May 20. 

BULLHEAD CITY — Swimming, soccer, dance, track and field, 3.8-plus GPA, national honors society and student council treasurer are some of the hats that former Lady T-birds student-athlete Gabriella Laurenza has worn during her four-year tenure at Mohave High School.

For all of that, Mohave High School awarded Laurenza a plaque May 20 at the senior awards ceremony for earning a school record-setting 14 letters in four years. 

“I’ve been swimming, playing soccer, dancing and running since I was little,” said Laurenza by email. “I was always super involved, as well as my family and older siblings.”

In addition to competing in the swimming pool, on the pitch, dance floor and on the track, Laurenza found time to study enough to excel in the classroom.

“Sports definitely taught me how to manage my time,” Laurenza said. 

To participate in one or two sports per year while maintaing a high GPA is no easy task, but to do so while competing in four per year is quite an accomplishment. 

“I was doing my homework on the bus and finding time to do it during advisory or class,” said Laurenza about her study routine. “I would get home late after practice and games and have to stay up to finish all my work.

“But I loved playing sports and had to make it all work.”

Laurenza said she will be studying — she will leave Bullhead City next week — at Grand Canyon University where she will major in athletic training.

Lady T-birds soccer coach Kelly Burgess described what it is like to coach Laurenza.

“Talk about impressive, whenever one mentions Gabriella Laurenza, they are always reminded of her tremendous work ethic,” Burgess said. “She is one of those players that makes herself into a valuable piece in the mix by sheer determination.  

“That she was awarded 14 letters in her four years at Mohave is a testament to that mindset. 

“She is a tremendous young lady. Her dedication to being the best she can be will be a major asset to her as she moves into the next phase of her life.”

When Mohave Principal Steve Lawrence and 2018-19 Mohave Athletic Director/Assistant Principal James Armijo called Laurenza’s name, that caught her off guard.

“They had a little speech that they said and told everyone how this is a record for the school,” said Laurenza about the setting in which she was called to the stage and handed the award. “It was the opening of the awards, so I was extremely excited to be recognized in front of my fellow classmates.

“I didn’t know about the award until they announced it.

“It was a huge surprise.”

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