GCC's Crouse, Kiski Area's Kennedy honored at scholar-athlete banquet
There are a lot of similarities between the 2014 winners of the Excellence Award at the 58th annual Westmoreland County Scholar Athlete banquet.
Not only are both outstanding students, but they also are each considered among the area's best in their sports.
Greensburg Central Catholic senior Frannie Crouse and Kiski Area senior Brent Kennedy walked away from Ferrante's Lakeview in Hempfield with the top honors Tuesday night. The banquet is sponsored by Westmoreland County Judge John J. Driscoll.
Crouse, the four-time Tribune-Review Soccer Player of the Year, broke the state scoring record (208 goals) and helped GCC win two consecutive PIAA Class A titles. She'll play soccer at Penn State.
Kennedy was a two-time WPIAL Class AAA cross country winner and won eight medals in county cross country and track meets. After missing the 2013 cross country season with a tibia injury, he has returned to compete for the track team. He'll run track at Notre Dame.
“We're the best from Westmoreland County,” Kennedy said. “It's our job to continue it. Winning this award ranks a little higher than winning the eight gold medals at the county meets.
“There are some incredible people here, a lot of impressive academic and athletic people. It was just an honor to be considered for this.”
Crouse said she was surprised with the award.
“There are so many great people who were up for the award,” she said. “Anybody should have won.
“I couldn't have asked for a better high school career. I enjoyed every moment of it. This award makes me feel great, hopefully I'll have the same type of success at Penn State.”
The banquet honored the top student-athletes from the 18 high schools in the county. The committee of athletic directors voted on 12 finalists and then the winners.
The finalists were Belle Vernon's Jake Sweitzer, Franklin Regional's Charan Singh and Alyssa Ruffing, Crouse, Hempfield's Bridget Guy and Amanda Kedzierski, Greensburg Salem's Kenneth Clark, Kennedy, Mt. Pleasant's Luke Liprando and Jordan Toohey, Southmoreland's Paige Weaver and Valley's Cody Schrecongost. Also honored were the state champions from the past year: Franklin Regional wrestlers Devin Brown and Spencer Lee, Latrobe wrestlers Luke Pletcher and Zack Zavatsky, Burrell wrestler Steven Edwards, Penn-Trafford wrestler Cameron Coy and the Hempfield 400-meter relay team of Guy, Maddy Holmberg, Lauren George and Jasmine Jones.
The John and Michael Ferrante Award winner, given annually to a person for their contributions to high school athletics, was former Jeannette and IUP basketball coach Carl Davis.
Ken Macha, a former Pirates player and manager of the Athletics and Brewers, served as guest speaker.