Chicken Express and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football are partnering to honor the heroes in your community. Male and female student-athletes that lead by example on the field of play and in the classroom can be honored as Chicken Express Community Heroes and receive scholarship money to continue their education beyond high school.
Meg Sheppard, Nederland
When Meg Sheppard was 12 years old, before she even got to play soccer at the high school level, one of her select trainers told her that she wanted to be able to watch her play college soccer.
Her potential was apparent even at that age, and Sheppard went on to be a star for four years at Nederland High School. Sheppard will now continue her career at Lamar University, where she plans to study nursing.
“My trainer really pushed me to make me the athlete I am today, and I’m so glad I get to continue my soccer career,” Sheppard said. “She could see the potential that I had already at the time, and hopefully now she’ll be able to come watch me play.”
Sheppard made an impact on the Nederland roster as soon as she stepped foot on campus, earning district Newcomer of the Year honors as a freshman before taking home Offensive MVP honors as a sophomore, and district MVP and second-team all-region honors as a junior.
As a senior this year, Sheppard was again the district MVP and was a second-team all-state selection. She closed out her high school career playing in the TASCO Senior All-Star game. While Sheppard was a star on the soccer field, she was also a first-team all-district selection in volleyball and was a member of the varsity track team.
Sheppard’s journey to stardom at Nederland didn’t come without its challenges, though, as the senior had to learn to not be so hard on herself while pursuing excellence on the field.
“I would get so frustrated during games because I felt like I was performing poorly, or the referees’ calls weren’t going the way I thought they should,” Sheppard said. “Whenever that happened, it would interfere with my performance. I was always told my teammates’ attitude reflected mine, so I had to learn to stay positive not only for myself but also for my team.”
The dedication paid off in, as Nederland progressively improved in each of her four years with the program. The Lady Bulldogs won 20 games in both Sheppard’s junior and senior year and fell to Pflugerville in the regional semifinals this year.
But Sheppard was also a key figure off the field and in the community during her time in high school. She was a member of the Health Occupations Students of America organization and spent time volunteering at The Shorkey Center, her church and the Oak Grove Nursing Home.
“Giving back to the community is rewarding because I knew I was helping or benefitting others and hopefully making a difference in someone’s life,” Sheppard said. “I also feel like it creates a connection between the community and those living in it.”
Sheppard hopes to one day work in the pediatric unit of a hospital while possibly still playing some soccer on the side.
Luke Sciba, Aubrey
Luke Sciba did a little bit of everything on the football field for Aubrey over the last few years. While the Chaparrals lost a lot of talent from the team that won eight games in 2017, Sciba emerged as a leader for an inexperienced group and guided Aubrey back to the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
Sciba had 127 tackles and 14 TFL as a linebacker, and he also rushed for 486 yards and five touchdowns as the Chaparrals’ top weapon in the backfield during his senior season. Sciba also competed in golf, track and powerlifting at Aubrey.
“My experiences on and off the field have created memories I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Sciba said. “Sports have brought so many people into my life that have made an immense impact on me and my family. High school athletics also taught me a number of life skills and morals that I am certain I will take further into life to be the best person I can be.”
Off the field, Sciba made an impact by assisting with food drives, trash pick-ups and nursey home visits in the city of Denton. Sciba has been on a handful of mission trips, most notably serving orphanages and small churches in Haiti and Chicago.
Sciba graduated as Aubrey’s salutatorian last month, was named Mr. AHS, and was a member of Senior Beta and Student Council. Additionally, Sciba earned the Brandon Burlsworth Award for Outstanding Character and Sportsmanship.
“Being able to see the joy in the faces of those who you are helping, and seeing the difference you are making, means so much,” Sciba said. “You can see that you are literally changing lives for the better, and that’s extremely special.”
Sciba will now attend Texas A&M University, where he plans to study aerospace engineering.