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Shelby County High School's tennis team had a good year on the courts, and two of its members have had a great year – or four great years, rather – in the classroom.
David Baxter Matthews and Kayla Pilcher, both varsity tennis players, were named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the class of 2009.
Matthews finished the year with a 5.375 weighted grade-point average, and Pilcher earned a 5.313.
Matthews is the son of Melissa and Charlie Matthews of Shelbyville. Besides playing on the boys' tennis team for three years, Matthews has been active in school clubs and programs. He has been a member of Adopt-A-Child for three years, and is a member of the National Honors Society and BETA clubs.
Matthews is also a member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). This year he finished second in economics in statewide competition.
Matthews also is a Governor's Scholar; he attended the program at Morehead State University. He will attend Vanderbilt University, where he plans to study economics.
He said his advice to incoming high school freshmen would be “to do all your work. Don't get behind in school work.”
Pilcher is the daughter of Paula and Larry Pilcher. She is a 5-year member of the Rockets' varsity tennis team and was team captain this year.
She was also active in school clubs. She was vice president of the National Honors Society and a member of BETA and Interact clubs.
She said she plans to attend the University of Louisville's Speed School of Engineering, where she said she hopes to study biomedical engineering. She may attend medical school someday and is interested in pediatric oncology.
Pilcher is also a finalist for the $20,000 Pflughaupt scholarship.
She said she would advise incoming freshmen to “work hard.”
“When times are hard, they need to stick with it,” she said. “It will eventually pay off.”
As valedictorian and salutatorian, Matthews and Pilcher will address this year's graduating class at commencement on Friday.
Pilcher said she has thought about her speech but “have no idea what I'm going to talk about.”
Matthews said he has “bounced around a few ideas” and knows he wants to “keep it funny.”