By Barry Sankey
ROYERSFORD - She graduated from high school with a grade point average of 102.107 as valedictorian of the Spring-Ford Class of 2014, which included 549 students.
She played center midfield and served as team co-captain of a girls soccer squad that advanced to the PIAA Class AAA championship game for the first time after winning the Pioneer Athletic Conference for the first time.
She was also involved with multiple school clubs. And on top of all that, she found time to do a lot of community service, including the Main Line Animal Rescue, since she is an animal lover.
Yes, Oaks resident Sarah Hancock is quite a well-rounded student-athlete. For all of those qualities, she recently received the prestigious Dannehower Award from the Triangle Club of Norristown. The award is presented to a student-athlete from the entire suburban area who demonstrates excellence in academics, athletics and community service.
"I am very humbled about it,' said Hancock, who is headed to Swarthmore College to study biology and play Division III soccer for the Garnet. "I wasn't expecting it. I heard some of the bios of some of the other people and they were outstanding. It was unbelievable. When the woman called my name, I was in shock.'
Modesty, obviously, is also one of Hancock's attributes. She scored 2,150 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a perfect 12/12 in the essay portion. In her particular subject tests, Hancock totaled 800 on the Math Level II and 750 in molecular biology.
She excelled in Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses like biology, calculus, English language and composition, psychology, chemistry, French and statistics.
In sports, Hancock was recruited by Swarthmore coach Todd Anckaitis after playing four years of varsity soccer for the Rams. She was voted team Most Valuable Player (MVP) as a junior and then earned second-team All-PAC-10 honors as a senior. She also landed a position on the PAC-10 All-Academic Team in 12th grade while playing for veteran college and high school head coach Sheldon Chamberlain.
Hancock has been involved with Main Line Animal Rescue since 2012 and continues with it, which includes at least five hours per month. She works with dogs, including walking, playing, feeding and socializing the animals to prepare them for adoption. She is also involved with the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy and West-Mont United FC. She cleaned the water ways and supported activities to ensure a safe and fun atmosphere for children.
She also was part of Wonderland of Wishes in 2012. That program involves volunteering to helping set up and prepare for charitable events for a local family to raise money for their child's medical expenses.
In 2010, Hancock took part in Spark the Wave, an overnight, week-long program at Villanova University that provided leadership seminars on development and organization.
At home, the Hancock family has two cats and one dog, which also require attention and love.
She chose Swarthmore after also considering the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, Cornell and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).
"I have a passion for soccer,' said Hancock. "Swarthmore is a small community with great academics. It all fit perfectly.'
Currently, Hancock's plans are to pursue a doctorate in biology during the next eight years. Then she would like to be employed in the research side of the medical field. Right now, her sights are set on focusing on the study of molecular genetics.