Senior scholar-athletes honored
Norwin's Kasey Kemp and Derry's Jim Gulibon have more in common than being the winners of the 2012 Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Awards.
Both are state champions and will be attending Penn State in the fall, and both are humble winners.
The duo were honored along with 34 other students, two each for the 18 high schools in the county, at the 56th annual Judge John J. Driscoll banquet Tuesday at Ferrante's Lakeview near Greensburg. The banquet is sponsored by the presiding juvenile court judge in the county. Kemp and Gulibon both said they were surprised and honored.
Kemp, the 2011 PIAA pole vault champion, will be trying to defend her title next month. She said it takes a lot of hard work at practice and in the classroom.
“This means a lot. Hearing everyone's biographies and accomplishments, it's a great honor to be selected,” Kemp said. “This was very unexpected.”
Gulibon, only the 10th four-time PIAA wrestling champion, said he too was surprised with the selection.
“This is awesome,” Gulibon said. “I can't believe I got this award. It's such a great achievement. I worked hard for it, and I guess I deserved it.”
Gulibon was the second consecutive wrestler from Derry to win the award — Travis Shaffer won last year.
“Every one of these student-athletes are winners,” Driscoll said. “It's inspiring. These kids are modest, humble, but they are so dedicated and driven. These kids have fantastic resumes and the committee feels honored to be part of this.”
The other finalists were Franklin Regional's Mackenzie Meixner, Latrobe's Caela Long and Daniel Ferguson, Greensburg Salem's Will Maschmeyer, Kiski's Richard Lednak, Mt. Pleasant's Julia Novotny, Penn-Trafford's Marisa Siergiej and Zach Emerick and Valley's Courtney Brennan.
Also recognized were seven PIAA champions: Kemp, Gulibon, Belle Vernon's Matt Green (long jump), Hempfield's Rachel Serafin (discus), Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon (wrestling), Latrobe's Lucas Bureau (swimming) and Penn-Trafford's Christian McCurdy (swimming).
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.