Constantino, Spack named Winter Sports MVPs

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The votes are in and counted, and it's official: Seth Spack and Jensen Constantino are The Spirit's 2011-12 Winter Sports Most Valuable Players.

Just over 760 ballots were cast in all, and The Spirit's readers selected Spack and Constantino for the awards.

Spack, a senior wrestler for the Chucks during the winter season, surpassed the 100-win mark, passed PAHS grad Matt Means for second all-time in Punxsy history for wins and won the District-IX championship at 152 pounds this year.

In the MVP voting, Spack more than doubled his closest opponent — the Fall Sports MVP in the boys' voting — Daniel Triponey.

Spack's winning total was 338 votes, which was nearly half the 758 votes with 44.6 percent.

Triponey, a senior member of the Chucks basketball team this season, brought home 141 votes for second-best in the boys' voting.

Spack's wrestling teammate, and fellow member of the 100-win club, Neko Cappella, finished third in the boys' voting with 127 votes.

Senior basketball player Ian Miller and sophomores — wrestler Joel Bowers and basketball player Brandon Mancuso — were also nominated in the boys' category.

"I want to thank everyone for their votes. They're much appreciated, and I'm honored to receive the reward," Spack said.

Saying that he wanted to thank and show respect to one of his fellow PAHS athletes, and his cousin "Big" Luke Janocha, Spack also added, "If you stick with me, I'll take you to the promised land."

The girls' Winter Sports MVP was a bit unique, with the only sport to nominate candidates from being girls' basketball, and Constantino edged out her teammates — senior Alex Magill and sophomore Taylor Newcome — in a close race to be crowned MVP.

Constantino's freshman campaign for the girls' basketball team saw her average more than four points per game — most of which came from in the paint.

Constantino's presence inside developed as the season progressed, giving the Lady Chucks a solid go-to option inside when she was on the floor.

When the voting closed with Constantino on top, she became the first freshman to be crowned The Spirit readers' MVP in five seasonal awards.

The race for girls' MVP was a close one, with Constantino edging sharp-shooting sophomore forward Newcome by just 20 votes, 289-269.

Senior Magill came in a close third, receiving 188 votes.

Constantino said she was "very thankful for all of the people who voted for her."

At the conclusion of the spring sports seasons, The Spirit will name its final MVP in the second-annual campaign to honor Punxsy's athletes and the fans who follow them so closely in the paper.