One year ago, at a packed house at the Hazleton Elks Lodge No. 200, the Standard-Speaker honored standout local athletes at its inaugural Athlete of the Week Awards Ceremony.

As we saluted the seniors one final time at the end of the banquet, we promised the underclassmen in the room that next year’s event would be even bigger and better.

When we were blind sided by the coronavirus pandemic in March, it forced schools to shutter, put an end to the PIAA Basketball Tournament midway through, and ultimately left athletes and fans without a spring sports season at all.

It also canceled plans for the paper’s second annual awards event.

While social distancing guidelines prevent us from gathering in one spot for the banquet this year, it can’t keep us from celebrating what was an amazing and most memorable 2019-20 sports season.

Therefore, the Standard-Speaker will honor its Athletes of the Week and its major award winners this afternoon in a special online video. The Standard-Speaker Athlete of the Week Virtual Ceremony, sponsored by Coordinated Health and Lehigh Valley Health Network, will held at 4 p.m. The event can be viewed by the public starting Thursday afternoon at 4 at www.standardspeaker.com.

The 27 student-athletes who were honored through our Athlete of the Week program from Aug. 27, 2019, through March 17, 2020, will be featured, as will the major award winners in football, boys’ basketball and girls’ basketball. The Male and Female Athletes of the Year will also be saluted, along with the winners of the Bill Crooks Memorial Award and the Standard-Speaker Spirit Award.

“This will be a celebration of the 2019-20 scholastic sports season,” said Standard-Speaker Sports Editor Dave Seamon. “We look forward to delighting in our local student-athletes’ accomplishments, while sharing in their disappointments. We also plan to sneak in a few surprises.”

Earlier this month, the Standard-Speaker revealed its Male Athlete of the Year, Tamaqua’s Brayden Knoblauch, and announced that the Female Athlete of the Year Award would be shared by Tamaqua’s Emma Kuczynski and Panther Valley’s Erika Dubosky.

Marian’s Emily Shaud has been named the Spirit Award winner, and Tamaqua Athletic Director Mike Hromyak is the Bill Crooks Memorial Award winner, saluting his contributions to local sports. Hazleton Area’s Marissa Trivelpiece, who was named the Pennsylvania Player of the Year in softball as one of the state’s top returning players, will also be feted.

Tamaqua’s Nate Boyle (Offense) and Matt Kistler (Most Versatile), and North Schuylkill’s Tyler Elsdon (Defense), who took home the major awards from football season, will also be honored, as will Standard-Speaker Basketball Players of the Year Tyler Fritz of Marian and Tamaqua’s Kuczynski.

A salute to the many spring sports athletes who were unable to compete this year due to the pandemic is also planned.

Contact the writer: sstallone@standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3596

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Tamaqua’s Emma Kuczynski brings the ball up the court during a Schuylkill League girls’ basketball game against North Schuylkill.

 

2019-20 Standard-Speaker Athletes of the Week

  • Aug. 27: Marin Dremock, Hazleton Area girls’ golf
  • Sept. 3: Jaden Leiby, North Schuylkill football
  • Sept. 10: Gabriel Fabian, Hazleton Area soccer
  • Sept. 17: Danny Lawrence, Mahanoy Area football
  • Sept. 24: Brooke Boretski, Hazleton Area volleyball
  • Oct. 1: Zack Chowansky, North Schuylkill football
  • Oct. 8: Grace Babinchak, Hazleton Area girls’ golf
  • Oct. 15: Brayden Knoblauch, Tamaqua football
  • Oct. 22: Jillian Buchman, Hazleton Area field hockey
  • Oct. 29: Scotty Zoscin, Weatherly cross country
  • Nov. 5: Nate Boyle, Tamaqua football
  • Nov. 12: Jenna Dubosky, Panther Valley volleyball
  • Nov. 19: Matt Kistler, Tamaqua football
  • Dec. 17: Jake Marnell, Hazleton Area wrestling
  • Dec. 24: Emma Kuczynski, Tamaqua basketball
  • Dec. 31: Marissa Trivelpiece, Hazleton Area basketball
  • Jan. 7: Bryce Molinaro, Hazleton Area wrestling
  • Jan. 14: Tyler Fritz, Marian basketball
  • Jan. 21: Bronson Strouse, Tamaqua wrestling
  • Jan. 28: Lucas Gregoire, Tamaqua basketball
  • Feb. 4: Abigail Goulstone, Hazleton Area swimming
  • Feb. 11: Ryan Petrosky, Crestwood basketball
  • Feb. 18: Mya Wetzel, North Schuylkill basketball
  • Feb. 25: Oscar Zamudio, Hazleton Area wrestling
  • March 3: Ryan Kovalick, Hazleton Area swimming
  • March 10: Brandon Stilitino, Panther Valley basketball
  • March 17: Jordan Karmonick, Mahanoy Area basketball

 

Standard-Speaker Athlete of the Week Virtual Ceremony

  • When: Today, 4 p.m.
  • Access: The public can view the online video of the program beginning Thursday at 4 p.m. at www.standardspeaker.com
  • Sponsors: Coordinated Health and Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • AOW awards: All Athlete of the Week Award winners from the 2019-20 sports season will be honored
  • Special awards: The Standard-Speaker male and female Athletes of the Year, Standard-Speaker Spirit Award, Bill Crooks Memorial Award, and major awards from football and basketball will also be presented.