Lakewood Ranch’s Gia Cohen tops the area

Gia Cohen, all-area player of the year, girls tennis, 2016
Gia Cohen, all-area player of the year, girls tennis, 2016

Gia Cohen

Freshman, Lakewood Ranch


To her credit: Cohen entered the high school season already with an impressive winter under her belt. She reached the semifinals of the girls 14-and-younger age division at the Eddie Herr International Junior Championships. In her first high school tennis season, Cohen went 10-1, losing for the only time in the Class 4A state semifinals. During the year, she racked up some impressive victories, including a straight-sets (7-5, 7-5) triumph over Out-of-Door Academy senior M’Balia Bangoura, who is going to the University of Nebraska next season.

Fast fact: Cohen is a home-schooled student, who enjoys going to the beach and hanging with friends.

Up next: Plans to train and travel during the offseason, before returning for her sophomore season at Lakewood Ranch.

Honorable Mention

Bayshore: Theo Schultz, sophomore; Ava Schultz, senior

Lakewood Ranch: Natalia Vuckovic, sophomore; Grace Hagopian, freshman; Sara Benson, junior; Jessie Kroupa, senior

Out-of-Door Academy: M’Balia Bangoura, senior; Sydney Sforzo, eighth-grade

Saint Stephen’s: Annie Brey, senior; Sabina Budova, frreshman; Mpho Cho, junior.


Jason Dill

sports reporter

All-area schedule

June 16: Boys tennis

June 17: Girls tennis

June 18: Softball

June 19: Baseball

June 21: Boys track

June 22: Girls track

June 23: boys weightlifting