LUMBERTON — With Dominic Dent’s busy schedule, the Lumberton High School senior stays calm, cool and collected through it all.
Whether it’s the three high school sports he takes part in, or the rigorous course load or the volunteer work, Dent doesn’t let the stress get to him.
“I don’t get overworked about anything,” Dent said. “I keep a cool head and everything else will fall through like it’s supposed to.”
As the No. 1 singles player for the Lumberton tennis team, coach Jeff Kinlaw has seen the calm demeanor from Dent on the court and knows that’s one way he’s a leader among his teammates.
“He’s very calm and cool under most situations and he takes that and uses it to his advantage,” Kinlaw said. “He’s not a loud leader, but he leads by example.”
Behind his excellence in classroom and in athletics, Dent was named the Mountaire Farms/Civitas Media Scholar Athlete of the Month for the month of September.
The program’s mission is to highlight male and female senior student-athletes within Robeson, Scotland and Bladen counties who carry a 3.0 GPA or higher. Nominees need to also be recognized by their coaches for outstanding sportsmanship and perform with superior ability in athletic competition.
Each monthly winner receives a $1,000 college scholarship and becomes eligible for an additional $1,500 in college funds that is awarded in June to the male and female scholar athletes of the year.
Along with playing tennis at Lumberton, he also is on the swimming and cross country teams. Outside of school, Dent plays competitive racquetball and won the 18 and under consolation bracket in the National Junior Olympic racquetball championships this summer. In the classroom, Dent boasts a 4.6 weighted GPA ranked and is 23rd in his class.
“Dominic really works hard both in class and on the court,” Kinlaw said. “He’s a great student and I’ve never heard a bad thing about him from any teacher.
“He plays three sports and works his hind parts off for that because he knows he’s not always going to be the best, but in order to compete he has to give it his best every time.”
Winning the Mountaire Farms/Civitas Media Scholar Athlete of the Month is a family tradition for the Dents with Dominic’s older brother Alec and sister Julia being selected for the award previously. Alec was named the male scholar athlete of the year award in 2015.
“My family really pushes it, especially the academics,” Dent said. “They make sure that we put school first before athletics.”
Dent works hard to balance his schedule that sometimes requires him to leave school early for matches and meets by using his time wisely.
“I try to pay attention in school and try to do whatever you can in class or on a bus,” Dent said. “If you have a meet or something, try to do it on the bus when you still have light. … Or you’ll have to stay up until two in the morning once you get home trying to finish it, and that’s brutal.”
Outside of school, Dent is active volunteering his time, mostly with the Boy Scout troop in Lumberton.
“I do a lot with the Boy Scouts and I went through there and I was an Eagle Scout,” Dent said. “Whenever people tell me about an Eagle (Scout) project, I try to help out.”
He plans on attending Florida Gulf Coast University in the fall to pursue a degree in business.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.