Vidalia Junior High student excels on and off the field

Published 12:16 am Thursday, January 19, 2012

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Vidalia Junior High School student Drake Bergeron recently produced a play for the school. He also plays football, baseball and he was elected Vidalia Junior High’s student of the year.

Vidalia — Vidalia Junior High star student of the year Drake Bergeron has been filling the shoes of a high schooler for three years.

Bergeron has worked out with high school students since sixth grade, takes algebra courses for high school credit and will take the pre-ACT this summer, but hasn’t broken a sweat yet.

Pile all that on top of playing football, baseball and producing a play, and the transition from middle school to high school is just one more thing to cross off his list.

“It’s just going to be another change,” Bergeron said. “I’ll be getting new teachers and all that stuff, but once you’re there you just do it.”

Bergeron was selected the star student in November, but hasn’t taken any breaks in preparing for the next challenge ahead — Concordia Parish Student of the Year.

“Why stop at the school level? Why not go further?” Bergeron said. “I’m definitely going for that.”

Bergeron submitted an essay earlier this week and will have an interview in the following weeks to compete with other students across the parish.

His essay featured career aspirations and three issues that have influenced his life, one of which is the positive influence the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees has had on him on and off the field.

“He did well in school and performed exceptionally in football,” Bergeron said. “It shows that you can be athletic, a scholar and it shows that football can help kids stay in school to have something to work toward.”

Bergeron is a dual-sport athlete, playing both football and baseball for the junior high.

In football, he plays wingback on offense, outside linebacker on defense and lines up on special teams.

In baseball, he plays center field and has played catcher occasionally.

This year, Bergeron was part of the football team that went undefeated for the first time in 11 years.

“It felt awesome,” Bergeron said. “We had started looking at the whole thing from the beginning and put goals to say that we were going to be undefeated.”

Last year, Bergeron was on the baseball team that came in second place in state.

He said recognition both on and off the field motivate him equally.

“When you do good on the field it gives you something to look forward to in class,” Bergeron said. “When you’re in class you want to do it the right way, when you’re doing it the right way on the field, you’re going to do it right in the classroom.”

Apart from athletics and academics, Bergeron also dabbles in liberal arts.

Last year, he produced a play called “A Baker’s Dozen,” based on a monologue he read in the sixth grade.

“I held auditions, got the people and turned the monologue into a play,” Bergeron said. “I just wanted to take it a step further than I had the year before.”

This year, he read “The Cajun Night before Christmas,” accent and all, and was the emcee of the Concordia Parish Christmas Concert in Ferriday.

Even with a wide array of abilities, Bergeron said he didn’t have much trouble deciding to pursue a career in the medical field.

“Those positions are going to be in higher demand and those will be more likely to get a job,” Bergeron said. “Not necessarily a doctor because they work too much, but still something in the medical field.”

Before he begins applying to his dream college, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Bergeron said he will focus on grades, athletics and one particular recognition in high school.

“I’d like to go for valedictorian,” Bergeron said. “My Dad got that, so I’d like to get at least that, if not more.”

Bergeron is also a member of the student council, BETA club, talented theater club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.