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Norwin's Leader, Kemp pull down Positive Athlete Awards

| Wednesday, May 9, 2012, 4:05 p.m.
Dom Leader receives his award from Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens, left, and former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, right.
Submitted photo
Dom Leader receives his award from Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens, left, and former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, right. Submitted photo

Attitude can make a big difference in sports, and two Norwin athletes were recognized for having positive ones.

Norwin High School seniors Dom Leader and Kasey Kemp were named two of western Pennsylvania's Most Positive High School Athletes by Positive Athlete, an organization created by former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.

The two local winners were among 26 who received the award in a ceremony at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh on April 21. Ward was on hand to deliver the awards, while the event was hosted by KDKA-TV sports anchor Bob Pompeani and MSA Sports broadcasters Lanny Frattare and Don Rebel.

Leader was nominated by his karate instructor, Bill Viola, for his work in the martial arts, while Kemp was nominated by Norwin athletic director Randy Rovesti for her work on the Knights' track team.

"I was very excited. (Viola) didn't even tell me that he nominated me, so I didn't know anything about it until I found out I won," Leader said.

"Mr. Rovesti nominated me, and when he found out I won, he called my house and told my mom," Kemp said. "I was pretty excited, too."

In addition to an award certificate signed by Ward, both Norwin winners were to be guests of the Pittsburgh Pirates at their home game yesterday, when they were to get the chance to meet the players and be on the field during batting practice.

The winners also received two T-shirts for their achievement - one autographed by Ward for themselves and one to be given to a person who helps keep them positive.

"Dom picked his brother, and Ipicked my pole vault coach," Kemp said."It was really nice to get those to give out."

With the award open to schools throughout western Pennsylvania, Norwin having two winners was a boost for both the school and the individual award-winners.

When asked what makes them stay positive, both Norwin winners shared the desire to set a positive example for the younger athletes in their sports.

"I've had my struggles through the years in pole vaulting, but as a senior this year, I'm doing my best to stay positive and encourage the other girls, especially the underclassmen," Kemp said.

"A positive attitude definitely helps me because Ican try to inspire the little kids," said Leader, who has practiced karate since he was four. "Our school has kids of all ages, so Iwant them to be able to look up to me. Keeping a positive attitude really helps to do that."

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