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Baldwin junior runner to be presented Positive Athlete award

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Baldwin junior George Kelly has long been known as a positive influence.

“George leads by inspiring other teammates. He fully believes in a team (being)united,” said Rich Wright, co-head coach of the Baldwin varsity cross country program. “Since I first met him, his positive attitude has been one of his assets.”

Kelly has been voted Western Pennsylvania's “Most Positive High School Athlete” in boys' cross country by Positive Athlete, an organization created by former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.

Kelly will be presented with the award by Ward, along with 27 other winners representing a variety of boys' and girls' sports, on April 20 in a ceremony at the Sen. John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

WPXI sports anchor Rich Walsh and MSA Sports' Don Rebel will serve as masters of ceremony.

“This is the second year for the Positive High School Athlete Awards, and the stories of our nominees continue to amaze me,” Ward said.

“I was always credited with having a positive influence on my team during my days with the Steelers, but the stories I hear about kids like George really inspire me.”

Kelly will receive an award certificate, take photos with Ward, and receive an autographed Positive Athlete Dedication T-shirt.

“George is a very hard worker, and great teammate,” Vince Sortino, Baldwin's athletic director, said. “George has been a positive role model for all of the other athletes at Baldwin High School.”

In addition to athletic excellence, each participating Positive Athlete shares similar characteristics including an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team as more important than the individual.

“Regardless if George wins or losses, he is there for everyone,” Wright said. “He is always trying to improve himself, and the team. He never feels the work put in will not be rewarding.”

More than 170 nominations from 75 high schools were made in the first of what will become an annual event.

“We did not put out a search for the best athletes in Western Pennsylvania,” Ward said. “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, and have already learned the meaning of giving back at an early age.”

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-488-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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