ShareThis Page

Committee selects Westmoreland scholar-athlete nominees

| Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Westmoreland County Juvenile Court Judge John Driscoll is amazed by the achievements of the student-athletes nominated for the annual Excellence Award given to the top female and male from 18 county high schools.

Driscoll's committee, made up of the 18 athletic directors from the county, reviewed the 36 students — two from each school — nominated for this year's awards Tuesday and selected 11 finalists and the two winners, who will be announced at a banquet April 26 at Ferrante's Lakeview Lounge near Greensburg.

Last year's winners were Luke Graham (Penn-Trafford) and Samantha Pickens (Franklin Regional).

"I can't believe how these students find time to study and participate in athletics," Driscoll said. "Again, we had an outstanding group to pick from."

State championship wrestlers Travis McKillop of Burrell and Travis Shaffer of Derry are among the nominees, along with many athletes who will continue their athletic and academic careers at some of the top universities in the country.

Also honored at the banquet will be state champion wrestlers Nico Megaludis (Franklin Regional); Jim Gulibon (Derry Area); and track and field athletes Amber Valimont and Rachel Serafin of Hempfield Area.

This year's Michael and John Ferrante Memorial Award recipient for his contributions to promoting high school athletics is former Latrobe boys basketball coach Ray Zsolcsak. The guest speaker will be Brother Norman W. Hipps, who serves as St. Vincent College president.

Scholar athletes

Belle Vernon: Mary Elisabeth Spang and Nicholas Gruber

Burrell: David Yakopec and Travis McKillop

Derry: Caroline Niezelski and Travis Shaffer

Franklin Regional: Leah Schott and Dominic Venditti

Latrobe: Emily Friedline and Zach LaDuke

Greensburg C.C.: Faith Finoli and Anthony D'Onofrio

Greensburg Salem: Hannah Cawoski and Raevaan Mottley

Hempfield: Brooke Waugaman and Steven Schmitt

Jeannette: Chelsea Sommer and Matt Shrum

Kiski Area: Felicia Reid and Ryan Kennedy

Ligonier Valley: Christine Henderson and Clayton Nanassy

Monessen: Joseph Gigliotti and Jesse Tatsch

Mt. Pleasant: Nicole Malara and Luke Czerniak

Norwin: Jenna Gigliotti and Zachary Ligus

Penn-Trafford: Cassandra Barker and Michael Theys

Southmoreland: Erika Wisniewski and Ryan Byers

Valley: Allison Rayburn and Christopher Capo

Yough: Nicolle Sleith and Jeffrey Mitchell

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.