Friends and family of 39 area high school student-athletes converged Sunday to celebrate their successes on and off the field, as part of the Centre Daily Times’ 3rd Annual Inspiring Athletes Awards.
Bellefonte’s Brock Port was named the Male Inspiring Athlete of the Year, while Sera Mazza of St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy earned honors as the Female Inspiring Athlete of the Year. The awards were given to the two local athletes who excelled in their respective sports while still maintaining high achievements in the classroom and the community.
All of the Inspiring Athletes — 19 boys and 20 girls — received certificates, gift bags and cookies (and milk, courtesy of the Centre County dairy princess) at Mount Nittany Medical Center’s Dreibelbis Auditorium. Each of the 20 finalists for the Inspiring Athletes of the Year also received a commemorative blanket, while Mazza and Port collected two trophies.
Penn State women’s soccer coach Erica Dambach, the event’s keynote speaker, addressed a roomful of more than 150 attendees, telling the student-athletes to surround themselves with good people while taking extra care to set short- and long-term goals.
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“There is no finish line once you’ve found that success,” she said. “Set your next set of goals, set your sights a little bit higher. Don’t settle.”
Here’s a list of all of the 39 Inspiring Athletes honored, by school, on Sunday. The 20 finalists are also bolded:
Bald Eagle Area: Rilee Bechdel, Seth Koleno, Madison Ripka
Bellefonte: Tyler Kreger, Logan Mathieu, Brock Port, Mallorie Smith, Tara Baney
Penns Valley: Chris Colwell, Luke Snyder, Rebecca Bierly, Isabella Culver
Philipsburg-Osceola: Sadie Granville, Halle Herrington, Maggie Peck
St. Joseph’s: Jack Mangene, Sera Mazza, Kate Ott
State College: Nick Feffer, Ryan Franks, Drew Friberg, Ben Gingher, Pete Haffner, Mason Mellott, Tommy Sekunda, Will Swope, Cole Urbas, Tobias Van Dyke, Nick Vanden, Jordan Bair, Sophie Bollinger, Catherine Curtin, Ruth Dangelo, Taylor Givens, Alli Henderson, Taylor Kuruzovich, Taylor Love, Shelby Querry, Lyndsey Reed
‘Inspiring Athletes’ Special Section
The Centre Daily Times will print a special tab honoring the 39 student-athletes in the Sunday, May 28th edition of the newspaper. In addition to feature stories on the overall winners in Bellefonte’s Brock Port and St. Joseph’s Sera Mazza, each of the finalists will also have their answers published from a special questionnaire.