Plum senior duo selected for Positive Athlete accolades
By Michael Love
Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Two students from Plum High School have been voted Western Pennsylvania's “Most Positive High School Athletes” in their individual sports by Positive Athlete, an organization created by former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.
Ward will present awards to seniors Stephanie Bono (cheerleading) and Matt Shepherd (boys volleyball), along with 26 other winners representing a variety of boys and girls sports, on April 20 during a ceremony at the Sen. John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum in Pittsburgh.
Bono also is a member of the Plum varsity girls track and field team.
“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 Stephanie and Matt really inspire me to be a better person.”
Last year, Plum's Mia Pietropola, a senior this year, won both the Positive Girls Swimmer Award, as well as the 2012 Most Positive Female High School Athlete.
Pietropola, who helped the Mustangs girls 200 free relay team set a new school record at this year's WPIAL championships, was born deaf but can hear with the help of a cochlear implant.
Through hard work and determination, she has overcome her disability and excels in the pool, as well as the classroom.
Positive Athlete Pittsburgh and the Positive High School Athlete Awards are in their second years and were created as a movement for more positivity in youth sports.
In addition to excellence on the field, 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.
More than 170 nominations from 75 different western Pennsylvania high schools were submitted last year, and more than 200 nominations were received this year.
“We didn't 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.
In all, 21 Plum student-athletes were selected by the coaches of each of the Mustangs teams for the Positive Athlete Pittsburgh based on the above criteria.
In addition to Bono and Shepherd, the other nominees were Will Kirkpatrick (baseball), Andrew Dawson (boys basketball), Aly Weifenbaugh (girls basketball), Bryanne Woods (bowling), Luke Jennings (cross country), Nate Turchick (football), Andrew Reynolds (golf), Andrew Pagano (ice hockey), Jake Danik (rifle), Daniel Reid (boys soccer), Addie Jacobs (girls soccer), Jordan Seneca (softball), Jessica Allman (slow-pitch softball), Katie Byers (swimming), Thomas Rudzinski (boys tennis), Julie Lester (girls tennis), Jeff Ruffing (track and field), Bryan Parker (boys volleyball), Rachel Satira (girls volleyball) and Hunter Fenk (wrestling).
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Orpik taken off ice on stretcher in loss to Bruins
- Rossi: Penguins’ Orpik among select NHLers going without gluten
- First Night Pittsburgh brings more chills, thrills with ice labyrinth
- Steelers still have something worth playing for
- How can I delete my search history on Facebook?
- Hunter dies in apparent Cambria hunting accident
- Kovacevic: On Melancon, Mandela, molding
- Alle-Kiski roundup: Knoch boys basketball wins twice to claim Keystone Tournament
- Petrov’s long ballet career comes full circle with ‘Romeo and Juliet’
- Artists’ creative ‘Collective’ on display in Shadyside
- Investors put squeeze on prospective homeowners’ American dreams