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TEEN FACE: Eyes on the ball, and on career in medicine

Hector Iturbe has two A's and two B's in his classes at Sonoma State University, including environmental science, philosophy and biological anthropology.

He wants to become a neurosurgeon and to keep playing soccer while he studies human biology at Stanford University, where he has applied for early admission.

"I've heard it's tough," Iturbe said, to balance varsity sports with a rigorous major at the Palo Alto campus.

But the 17-year-old Iturbe seems unfazed by the challenge.

He's a senior at Elsie Allen High School, ranked first in a class of 247 students with an academic average of 4.45, with only two B's in high school.

With six advanced placement classes already on his transcript, Iturbe is taking AP calculus, English literature and statistics this semester, along with French 4, leadership and advanced biology.

He's president of the Elsie Allen Interact Club; founder/president the Scholar Athlete Club, which helps athletes keep their grades up; and president of Scientists of the Future, a program he started last month at Cook Middle School, his alma mater.

On Fridays, Iturbe presents math and science lessons to about 15 to 20 Cook students interested in those subjects.

"I picture myself there," Iturbe said. "I think that was me four years ago."

He played center defender on the Lobos soccer team, which went 11-5-4 this fall, and is now with the Santa Rosa United U-18 Lyon team, practicing three days a week.

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