PUNXSUTAWNEY â€” It is a common practice for sports teams, from the high school level to the professional level, to select a Most Valuable Player.
The title of team MVP is the ulitmate honor, as it carries with it the assumed characteristics of leadership, talent and heart all embodied in one award.
Last year, The Punxsutawney Spirit launched its inaugural Fall Sports Male and Female Most Valuable Player awards, and after an overwhelming response, Punxsutawney Area High School athletes were selected as winter and spring sports MVPs, as well.
It's that time of year again, and with the fall seasons in the books â€” a season that saw District IX championships from the boys' soccer team, the boys' and girls' golf teams and the girls' tennis double's pair â€” it is once again time for the readers' voices to be heard.
Voting for The Punxsutawney Spirit's 2011 Fall Sports Male and Female Most Valuable Players is officially under way.
Upon consideration from The Spirit's sports staff, two athletes have been chosen from each of the school's nine fall varsity sports, providing voters with the opportunity to select from 10 girls from five sports and eight boys from four sports.
Each voter may select one male and one female from the options available as often as he or she would like, as long as the voter uses the ballot (see bottom of Page 7) provided in The Spirit and delivers the ballot to P.O. Box 444, 510 Pine Street, Punxsutawney, Pa. 15767.
The top vote-getters from each gender will win a plaque and forever be recognized as The Spirit's Fall Sports MVPs.
In addition, the Winter Sports and Spring Sports Male and Female Most Valuable Player selections will take place when those respective seasons conclude, as well.
Spirit readers are encouraged to vote as often as they would like, but all ballots received must be official Spirit ballots. Ballots will run in The Spirit until the deadline, and no photocopies will be accepted.
The deadline for entries is Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.
GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY
Kirsten Dean, Senior
One of two seniors on the girls' squad, Dean brought a sense of leadership and consistent finishes to a team that finished second at districts.
Alexis Young, Junior
Young, a second-time nominee, found herself atop the time sheet all season.
Lauren Giavedoni, Senior
On a team known for its consistent scores, Giavedoni was consistently atop the score sheet for the District IX champion Lady Chucks.
Marisa Stockdale, Senior
Stockdale was the only senior on the D-IX champion squad and was named captain at year's start.
Sierra Milton, Senior
On a team that lost many veteran players this year, Milton provided a senior presence and an offensive spark with her handling skills.
Aly Dickey, Junior
Dickey stepped into the role of goal keeper, a new positon to her, and shone for her squad.
Anna Monyak, Senior
Monyak played No. 1 singles for a much-improved Lady Chucks squad and made up half of the District IX doubles champion pair.
Shaina Reddinger, Senior
Reddinger spent the season at No. 2 singles and joined Monyak as D-IX doubles champs.
Cassie Cook, Senior
Cook was her team's leader in assists, setting the Lady Chucks up for a second-place finish at districts. Cook was named a District IX All-Star.
Sydney Weaver, Junior
Weaver was the Lady Chucks leading attacker and blocker and was also named an All-Star.
BOYS' CROSS COUNTRY
Dane Baker, Senior
Baker led the boys' XC team in first-place finishes and capped his senior year with a
third-place finish at districts and a trip to states.
Bo Dinger, Freshman Dinger, the only freshman on the ballot, finished a strong rookie season with a fifth-place at districts.
Garrett Zimmerman, Junior
Zimmerman was a triple-threat for a young Chucks team passing for 1,351 yards, grabbing three interceptions and serving as the punter.
Luke Janocha, Senior
Janocha was a team captain, the team's leading receiver with 524 yards and added 41 tackles and two picks on defense.
Ian Miller, Senior
Consistently the team's top-scorer, Miller started the season with a third-place at the Bolton tourney and qualified for individual district finals.
Micky DeChurch, Senior
DeChurch, a senior, was routinely on the scorecard for a team that earned both D-IX and AML championships.
Dan Triponey, Senior
Triponey led the Chucks' defensive effort en route to a D-IX title this season. Triponey had six shutouts, including a five-game shutout streak.
Tyler Presloid, Senior
Presloid led the Chucks in scoring this season and scored both goals in the Chucks' 2-1 D-IX title win over Bradford.