5 STUDENT ATHLETES OF INTEREST
BY GREG GARDNER
Ever since he was a child, Brandon
in Martin County will soon decide whether he
will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy or the
Naval Academy. He was accepted by both.
“My father graduated from the Air Force
Academy, and he was a search and rescue
pilot,” says Cespedes. “Ever since I was a kid
I knew I wanted to go to an academy. My parents
it takes to get into the academy. I’m not sure
where I want to go, but I am leaning toward
the U.S. Naval Academy. I’m hoping for a spot
as a Navy SEAL or marine aviator. I’d love to
fly the (F-18A) Super Hornet.”
It is very rare when a student is accepted to
two military academies. Cespedes may have
greatly increased his chances of acceptance
when he spent a week at special summer
programs in Annapolis, Md., and Colorado
Springs, Colo., where the Navy and Air Force
colleges are located.
“All of the academies have summer programs,
Cespedes knew he wanted to go to
a U.S. military academy. Now he
has two to choose from.
The senior from South Fork High
have always pushed me. They knew what
and a lot of the time it’s harder to get
into them than the academy itself,” says Cespedes.
“There are seminars. You take the physical
fitness test. You live in the dorms, eat at the
cafeteria. Some kids went and realized it wasn’t
for them. It’s a great way to tell whether you’re
up for the difficulty of life at the academy.”
If his father’s career is any indication, Brandon
will be up to the challenges. George Cespedes
flew helicopters and C130 cargo planes.
He still flies in the Air Force Reserve when he
is not flying for American Airlines.
“As a military officer, he will be outstanding,”
says Chad Headman, who coaches track and
field and teaches International Baccalaureate
history at South Fork. “He’s not afraid to ask
questions and that’s important in history. He
always seems to want to know more and more.
He’s impressive, his natural (track) ability. I will
miss him terribly, not having him on my team
or in my classroom. He is a well-rounded young
man. He’s ready for the next step.”
Cespedes hopes this year to fly over the
hurdles in the 300-meter races to break the
Treasure Coast Education