WPIAL athletes Kreis, Smith earn HS Heisman scholarships

Friday, November 4, 2022 | 4:46 PM

A pair of of WPIAL student-athletes are striking the Heisman pose today.

Belle Vernon’s Viva Kreis and Grady Smith of Ellwood City are Pennsylvania’s winners of the annual High School Heisman Scholarship, given to a senior male and female from each state “who understand that the most important victories happen not only on the field, but also in their schools and communities.”

Each will receive a $1,000 scholarship. They are now eligible for national awards.

Twelve national finalists from six regions will receive an additional $2,000 in scholarship money, and one male and one female will win the national award and $10,000.

Regional finalists will be announced Monday.

A full list of state-by-state winners can he viewed here.

Kreis plays basketball, and runs track and cross country at Belle Vernon.

Smith plays basketball, golf and tennis. He played on Ellwood City’s 2021 WPIAL championship team.

Kreis plays handball for the U.S. national team. After a 10-day global training tour over the summer, Kreis has been promoted to the U.S. Women’s Senior National Team.

She is currently in Lansing, Mich., playing in a Pan-Am Games qualifier against Canada.

Smith was honored in the spring for his Eagle Scout project, which was a renovation of the high school board-game room.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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