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The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

Academy Achievers Start 2024 Strong

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  • Luke Laskey in trial.

  • Brody Whitaker and family posing at ENMU.

  • Joseph Jack makes lay up at Prep tournament.

Academy Achievers

The Advocate would like to periodically recognize students in the 10-12 division for their extraordinary achievements on campus or outside the Academy community.

Luke Laskey ‘24: Laskey was one of a handful of students hailing from Germany, Poland and the U.S. selected to participate in the Model International Criminal Court (MICC) conference held in Krzyżowa, Poland. This prestigious program replicates trials akin to those at the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is globally recognized for its protection of human rights and prosecution of war criminals. Laskey’s role in the MICC was to act as a defense attorney in the Dražen Erdemović case, a trial that’s associated with the Yugoslavian genocide, an ethnic cleansing campaign against Muslims in Bosnia in 1992. Laskey and his team’s successful defense tactics eventually led to Erdemović’s sentence being commuted.

Laskey enjoys law because he sees it as an intellectual challenge.

“I enjoy putting the pieces of a trial together,” said Laskey. “It is almost like a puzzle. You slowly build it [the facts] into an arguable case, and then strategize how you can convince the judge [and] jury of it.”

Laskey says that the lessons he has learned from his father, a lawyer, sparked his passion in law and has shaped him into the person he is. In addition, Laskey has also been inspired by his mother who travels and does environmental work around the world. This propelled his interest in traveling and working on international cases.

Laskey says that he not only aspires to major in law in college but also hopes to study abroad.

“I am now greatly considering Europe as a college option, which would allow me to make easy connections with the United Nations and other organizations I could help practice international law for.”

Ironically, Laskey has suggested he will pursue a career as a prosecutor, not a defense attorney, so he can put international criminals behind bars.

Brody Whitaker ‘24: Whitaker, a talented linebacker for the varsity football team, earned the highest honor for a player at the end of the season as he was the only Charger to achieve First Team Football All-State.

“This achievement means a lot to me,” said Whitaker. “It’s an honor to represent this school, and I’m happy that I’m able to make a name for myself but more so [for] the school and to leave a legacy behind.”

This wasn’t the only football honor Whitaker received. He also represented Academy in First Team Football All-District, First Team Football All-Metro, and a special all-star game event. Whitaker began playing football at the age of eight and started his Academy football career in 7th grade, before moving up to varsity his freshman year.

Whitaker says that his dad was the main reason he became involved and interested in football.

“I’ve watched my dad’s football games when he was in high school at Eldorado, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I wanted to make a family legacy and represent my family by wearing the name on the back of my jersey.”

Whitaker believes the key to success begins with the hard work and dedication off the field.

“To stay focused and motivated in these long seasons all starts in preseason. Those offseason workouts and lifts are crucial, and it’s important to build your body up. It’s easy to run out of stamina if you’re getting beaten up and injured halfway through the season, so it’s important to work out early on.”

Whitaker asserts that his hard work with his coaches is a testament to his accomplishments. He tries to lift and get on the field every day to be the best player he can be.

Even his second sport, wrestling, has helped him improve as a football player tremendously – allowing him to learn how to fall, roll, and be more agile.

Whitaker received a total of 10 college offers: three Division II offers, three Division III offers, one junior college (JUCO) offer, and one offer from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

He decided that he will continue his football career at Eastern New Mexico University, a NCAA Division II program.

Joe Jack ‘24: In early December, Jack became the 11th basketball player in Academy history to slam dunk his way to 1,000 points. The milestone occurred during the team’s tournament against Sandia Prep in which he led the Chargers to a first place trophy. Jack first started playing basketball at the age of five and has played all seven years during his time at Academy, the last three on varsity.

Whenever I’m having a bad day or am in a bad mood, I just pick up a basketball and it all disappears.

— Joseph Jack

Basketball is his passion. Jack considers it to be his stress reliever.

“Whenever I’m having a bad day or am in a bad mood, I just pick up a basketball and it all disappears,” said Jack.

Jack has been recognized by the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) for his role on the Academy’s varsity basketball team, earning several accolades in a two-year span, including Second Team All-District and Third Team All-Metro in his sophomore year and First Team All-District, First Team All-Metro, Second Team All-State and being a state champion in his junior year.

According to Jack, his maturity played a significant role in his development as a player, contributing to improvements from his sophomore year to the present.

“As you play longer, you learn parts of the game that you didn’t see before. You’re in different game-time situations, learn to read defenses and offenses and adapt to physicality.”

Jack is looking forward to leading his team back to the Pit (at UNM) for their second consecutive state championship. Jack plans to pursue basketball in college but is unsure where he’ll attend.

* * *

If you know of a student who deserves to be recognized as an Academy Achiever, please contact Austin Curtis ‘25.

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About the Contributor
Lily Ma’ayan ’24, 7th Grade Editor
Lily, or Lilith, '24 is the Advocate’s 7th-grade editor, working with our youngest writers and artists. She is a class officer who, along with writing, enjoys making art, some of which is to be used as cover art for friends. Lily joined the Advocate in 2021 with an interest in writing and a love of reading. She often listens to music with her two cats, Cocoa and Nilla.

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