Greensburg Salem tandem’s work on, off field pays off with award nomination

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Saturday, May 9, 2020 | 6:12 PM


Editor’s note: This is the seventh in an 18-part series profiling nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.

High school seniors across Westmoreland County and the state were deprived of the finish to their high school careers.

But the Judge John J. Driscoll Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete banquet could give two Greensburg Salem seniors — Shaleena Garner and Jalen Page — hope for some closure.

The annual banquet, which was supposed to be April 27, was postponed, and committee officials are holding out hope it can be held sometime this summer.

When Garner and Page learned they were nominated by their school officials, they said it brought them joy.

“It made me happy to know that my peers at the school recognized my abilities,” said Garner, who played volleyball and basketball and ran track. “It showed me what people think of me and showed me they noticed my accomplishments.”

Page agreed being chosen is special.

“It showed me my hard work paid off,” said Page, who will play football at Cal (Pa.). “I hope I set a good standard for all the student-athletes at the school.”

Both nominees were three-sport athletes, had a 4.0 GPA and were involved in numerous clubs.

Page also ran track and played basketball.

His most memorable moment in high school, however, didn’t involve athletics.

It was revealing the totals from the mini-thon for pediatric cancer.

“It was memorable because it was a long, hard project, and we were able to raise money for a great cause,” Page said. “It was a cause that’s bigger than people think.”

Page has been enjoying his down time recently hanging out with his twin sisters (Saphia and Savannah), playing War Zone online and working out when he can.

Garner is undecided about her future, with Carlow and Duquesne as her top options. She also doesn’t know if she’ll pursue athletics.

“I definitely enjoyed playing sports,” Garner said. “I enjoyed the environment and playing all three. It was some of the best times of my life and something I’ll never forget.”

She also will never forget how her senior year was cut short.

“Your senior year is special,” Garner said. “It’s sad to see the end of my senior year go like this. This pandemic showed me to take advantage of the time you have.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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