The first time Alec Bacon told his parents he wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, his parents said, OK, but we’ll see.
He was in eighth grade at the time.
“We thought it might be a whim,” Erica Bacon said. “You know how kids are -- one week they want to be an astronaut, the next week a marine biologist.
“Alec never wavered.”
Now a Lakewood Ranch High School honors senior, Bacon is four months away from realizing that dream. Having received his appointment to the Naval Academy last December, the 17-year-old will report to Annapolis on June 30.
“My summer vacation will be brief,” Bacon said Wednesday. “I’ll be ready.”
There’s no doubt.
The Navy’s in his bloodlines.
His grandfather, Dick Aman, is a Navy veteran.
So is his father, Scott.
A relative is an Annapolis alum.
“It’s a challenge which excited me,” Bacon said. “I went there a couple of summers ago, and it sunk in how much commitment they have. The focus on leadership, training. Everyone is extremely motivated, and I’m looking for an atmosphere where all my classmates are working toward the same thing.”
That reflects the way the two-time “Mr. Mustang” has conducted himself on and off campus.
n Bacon is No. 1 in his senior class.
n A varsity swimmer all four years, Male Scholar Athlete of the Year as a junior and swim team captain as a senior.
n He’s an officer in the National Honor Society, Lakewood Leaders, Key Club among other school activities.
“Alec has excellent leadership qualities, it’s inherent in him,” said Michelle Todoroff, his LRHS career counselor. “He not only knew what he wanted, he had a plan of attack to accomplish that.”
“What he wants to do he just goes at it,” freshman Kevin Berkenbusch said.
“He stuck to it and accomplished it,” junior Tommy Bevelock said. “I look up to him.”
So does classmate Michelle Rushing.
“He’s dreamed it ever since I knew him,” she said. “It’s amazing to keep the same goal because mine changed every year. I’m jealous he already knows.”
Such steadfastness was integral to winning a prized appointment.
Bacon started taking classes as a freshman -- i.e., math, science -- Annapolis looks for in candidates.
He gradually worked up a preliminary application, submitted transcripts, solicited letters of recommendation, wrote to members of Congress, sat for interviews and took physicals.
“Then there’s months of being on pins and needles waiting,” he said.
On Dec. 3, Bacon was sitting in his car at the YMCA when he got calls from the offices of both U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan and Sen. George Lemieux.
He had received his appointment to Annapolis.
“I called mom and dad,” Bacon said. “Then I went to swimming practice.”
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 745-7055.