Hines Ward presents 31 High School Student athletes with Positive Athlete Scholarships
The Senator John Heinz History Center and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum hosted the eighth annual Positive High School Athlete Awards on Monday, June 17. Student athletes representing 31 different boys’ and girls’ high school sports along with two coaches and North Allegheny High School were honored by the former Steelers great Hines Ward. Over $16,000 in scholarships were awarded to the winners.
Close to 1,000 nominations from coaches, principals, athletic directors, teachers, and parents were submitted by a total of 150 Western Pennsylvania high schools. Positive Athlete was created as a movement for more positivity in youth sports. In addition to excellence on the field, each nominated Positive Athlete was required to show characteristics such 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.
“I circle this date on my calendar every year because I get a chance to meet kids who inspire me to be a better person,” said Ward. “These kids are approaching life the right way with a positive attitude. They are 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.”
Below is a list of the 2018-2019 award winners:
- Football Levi Jordan Bentworth
- Football Andrew Engel Canon-McMillan
- Girls Volleyball Julia Fiedor Thomas Jefferson
- Boys Volleyball Nick Bridges North Allegheny
- Softball Elizabeth Ohorodnyk Beaver Falls
- Boys Cross Country Darion Gregory Smethport Area
- Girls Cross Country Elizabeth Simms Butler
- Cheerleading Isabella Stoll Plum
- Boys Basketball Leonard Robinson III Clairton
- Girls Basketball Kaitlyn Lyons Central Valley
- Wrestling Matthew Ferraro North Catholic
- Boys Swimming Brent Brewster Fox Chapel
- Girls Swimming Aria Eppinger Winchester Thurston
- Gymnastics Hannah Schepner Hampton
- Boys Soccer Connor Anderson Pine-Richland
- Girls Soccer Julia Chakos Trinity
- Boys Lacrosse Daniel Kovalan Mount Lebanon
- Girls Lacrosse Samantha Louis South Fayette
- Boys Tennis Khalil Frazier Blackhawk
- Girls Tennis Ashley Pesarsick Norwin
- Boys Track Hunter Boyd Mars
- Girls Track Mia Anthony Rochester
- Boys Golf Gregory Hensh Laurel Highlands
- Girls Golf Lexi Tofanelli Seneca Valley
- Baseball Dominic Giallonardo Mount Pleasant
- Field Hockey Alena Lateef The Ellis School
- Ice Hockey Bailey Julian Hempfield Area
- Boys Multi-Sport Gregory Guzzo Valley
- Girls Multi-Sport Kierra Shreffler Kiski Area
- Rowing Kyle Pollock Upper St. Clair
- Dance Madalyn Gorgacz Union
- Boys Coach Darryl Wiley Nazareth Prep
- Girls Coach Jane Bock Brownsville
In addition to the individual awards, North Allegheny High School was honored as the Most Positive High School, in recognition of how the school has supported the Positive Athlete Pittsburgh program over the years, and for the high number of quality nominations they provided this year.
In addition to the awards event at the Heinz History Center, this year’s winners were recognized on the field at the Pittsburgh Pirates–Detroit Tigers game on Tuesday, June 18, at PNC Park. UPMC also arranged for behind-the-scenes tours of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex and UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
The Wilson Group “Positive Solutions Award” – Given to a student-athlete who has helped others on their team, school and/or community create a positive solution to a difficult situation. The winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship.
Positive Athlete Pittsburgh is a movement featuring high character current and former professional athletes, led by former Steelers star and Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward, who are established and credible role models to young athletes. Positive Athlete is an umbrella brand for all athletes who are marking a positive contribution to their communities, overcoming difficult circumstances with a positive attitude, and believe a positive attitude is essential to their success. Over $150,000 in college scholarships have been given away through Positive Athlete Pittsburgh over the past 7 years. Positive Athlete Pittsburgh’s website (http://positiveathlete.org) tells positive stories about the kind of role models our young athletes should aspire to be.
The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region’s remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city’s Strip District, and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The History Center’s museum system includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Pa., in Washington County. More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.