Hines Ward to present annual Positive HS Athlete Awards

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Thursday, June 7, 2018 | 12:33 PM


A total of $30,000 in scholarships will be awarded to dozens of WPIAL student-athletes as part of the seventh annual Positive High School Athlete Awards.

The ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Sen. John Heinz History Center, and Steelers great Hines Ward will once again present the awards.

Recipients from 150 area high schools were nominated by coaches, principals, athletic directors, teachers and parents.

Nominees must display “excellence on the field,” as well as “an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing that the team is more important than the individual.”

“We did not put out a search for the best athletes in Western Pennsylvania,” Ward said in a news release. “We put out a search for kids with positive attitudes whose efforts don't necessarily show up on the stat sheets. These kids are also positive role models in their schools who get involved in charitable causes, have already learned the meaning of giving back at an early age, and many have overcome difficult circumstances and remained positive.”

Each athlete will get a $500 C. Harper Scholarship.

Additional awards include the Mylan male and female athletes of the year, which gives $5,000 scholarships to each; the Jeff Boynton Memorial scholarship ($2,200); two UPMC Sports Medicine Comeback Player awards ($1,000); the Knichel Logistics Title IX Award ($1,000); and the Wilson Group Positive Solutions Award ($1,000).

Seneca Valley will be recognized as the “Most Positive High School,” while a pair of coaches, Doe Krug of Mt. Lebanon swimming and Rich Abbott of South Allegheny track and field, will be honored as coaches of the year.

Award winners:

Moriah Becker, Springdale (track)

Elena Burek, North Hills (gymnastics)

Gavin Campbell, Bethel Park (lacrosse)

Sydney Cook, New Brighton (multi-sport)

Isaac Crowell, Fort Leboeuf (wrestling)

Logan D'Angelo, Moon (tennis)

Brendan Donnelly, Brentwood (swimming)

Carlan Gray, Central Catholic (basketball)

Ellie Grefenstette, Seton-LaSalle (lacrosse)

Brady Hunker, Mt. Pleasant (alternative category)

Levi Jordan, Bentworth (football)

Bailey Julian, Hempfield (hockey)

Kenzi Kessler, Indiana (swimming)

Jessica King, Seneca Valley (cheerleading)

Stephen Lacek, Fort Cherry (golf)

Brianna McDonagh, Oakland Catholic (alternative category)

Samuel O'Bryan, Canon-McMillan (volleyball)

Sophie McDermott, Kiski Area (volleyball)

Sarah Mooney, Pine-Richland (field hockey)

Alayna Perbonish, Southmoreland (softball)

Ezekyel Roberts, Shady Side Academy (track)

Alexis Schultzman, Fox Chapel (soccer)

Carson Shipley, Norwin (cross country)

Jaclyn Smith, Central Valley (golf)

Greg Susi, Hampton (baseball)

Hannah Thurston, South Park (cross country)

Luke Turkovich, North Allegheny (multi-sport)

Salanieta Waqanivalu, Brownsville (basketball)

Mackenzie Walters, West Allegheny (tennis)

Cris White, Highlands (soccer)

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

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