Spain Park HS senior is a star on and off the field

Spain Park HS senior is a star on and off the field

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Simone Charley (left, in blue) has earned a scholarship to Vanderbilt to continue playing soccer and running track. Simone Charley (left, in blue) has earned a scholarship to Vanderbilt to continue playing soccer and running track.
HOOVER, AL (WBRC) -

Spain Park High School senior Simone Charley isn't your typical student athlete.

At the top of her class academically, Simone's schedule includes Advanced Placement classes ranging from biology to calculus. And if her schoolwork didn't keep her busy enough already, she's also a two-sport athlete. Simone competes in soccer games during the week and track meets on the weekends.

"She's obviously talented," said Spain Park Varsity Track and Field coach Michael Zelwak. "She can do a lot with very little. She set the state record on her sixth jump her sophomore year. Simone had practiced maybe twice that year in jumping. Thats when we knew this girl has something special."

Simone's hard work has paid off. She's won nine state championships between her two sports: six in track and three in soccer. But what the record books won't reveal are the stories behind those awards. Simone has had weekends when she had to travel from a playoff soccer game one night to competing in the 6-A Track and Field State Championship the very next day.

"It's just kind of like the best of both worlds," said Charley. "I enjoy every minute that I'm out there on the track or out there on the soccer field. You never really get tired of the feeling of winning. But each experience brings different benefits."

It's that work ethic that's earned Charley a scholarship to Vanderbilt to play soccer and run track. With one semester of high school left, Charley said she's not finished yet. Her goal this season is to break her own state records.

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