By Marty Farmer
Oak Park and River Forest High School senior Tess Trinka was recently named to the IHSA's All-State Academic Team. Trinka was one of 26 student-athletes (13 males, 13 females) selected from over 500 nominees around the state. Trinka and her fellow All-State Academic Team members will be honored at a banquet at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington on April 21.
"I feel extremely honored to win such an award," Trinka said. "Just being nominated was an honor in itself because there are so many talented student-athletes at OPRF."
David Durkin, a diver at Fenwick, earned Honorable Mention Academic Team honors.
"This is a tremendous honor and I hope every student who was nominated takes a great deal of pride in all they have accomplished," said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. "These students are the embodiment of what it means to take advantage of the entire high school experience."
Every IHSA member school was invited to nominate one female and one male student by the February deadline. Nominees needed to possess a minimum 3.50 grade point average on a 4.0 scale after their seventh semester, have participated in at least two IHSA-sponsored sports or activities during each of the last two years and demonstrated outstanding citizenship.
Trinka is deserving of the honor based on her academic, athletic and club accomplishments at OPRF.
"In terms of balancing academics, sports and other aspects of high school life, I've worked really hard," Trinka said. "I've learned how important it is to be organized and have a positive attitude. I'm also thankful to have a very supportive family and group of friends."
During the fall, she teamed up with OPRF junior and close friend Taylor Arends to advance all the way to the IHSA No. 1 doubles final in tennis, losing to Stevenson's Kendall Kirsch and Alexxis Kiven, 6-4, 6-2.
Over the past two seasons, Arends and Trinka went 55-9 and garnered sixth-place and state runner-up finishes as one of the premier doubles teams in the state. This year, the talented tandem won six straight matches in dominant fashion before falling to their nemeses in the finals. Ability, chemistry and communication all clicked to power the best friends' two-year run on the tennis court.
This spring, Trinka will play center-midfielder on the OPRF soccer team.
"It's a little weird to me that I'm a senior already, but it's been an awesome four years," she said. "Whether it's sports, academics, the arts or clubs, the opportunities at OPRF are incredible. It's an awesome place to attend high school."
Trinka's parents, Mark and Bernadette, played college tennis at James Madison and Boston College, respectively. Trinka has three siblings, Luke, currently a Division III All-American tennis player at Bowdoin College, her sister Maya (who played on the OPRF JV tennis team this season) and another brother, Mark.