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SportsMX/NDIAA January 2015 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) are proud to present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. The purpose of this the award is to recognize High School athletes across the country who have made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

Our young Deaf athletes deserve recognition for their dedication and hard work. SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Emelia Beldon, Dillon Maynard, Seth Hazelett, and Andrew Todd on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for January 2015!

Emelia BeldonEmelia Beldon
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf
Grade: Sophomore
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard

Emelia has become the unquestioned leader of Minnesota’s basketball squad. Her athleticism and leadership is the driving force for Minnesota’s success this year. Emelia is averaging 25 points per game and scored her 1000th point against Community of Peace Academy on January 29th. She is a threat to score from anywhere on the court when she has the ball and opposing teams have found it difficult to contain her. During the month of January, Emelia scored in double digits in all games with 32 points being her highest and 18 points being her lowest.

“Emelia is probably one of the best players for MSAD in the past 10 years. Not only her abilities on the basketball court, her leadership skills is a plus for our school. I have enjoyed watching her play. She is a joy to watch!” - Minnesota Athletic Director Davey Olson

Dillon MaynardDillon Maynard
Kentucky School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Shooting Guard

When Kentucky needs points, they turn to Dillon. He has become a clutch player with an excellent shooting touch. Dillon’s success on the court is a result of his passion to become a complete player. He is averaging 14.8 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game leading Kentucky to 14 wins. Dillon also has been selected to the All-Tournament team in all three tournaments the team played in. In a game against South Carolina School for the Deaf & Blind, Dillon scored 34 points to lead the team to a 58-40 victory. He also scored his 1000th point in December.

“Dillon has an amazing work ethic and an excellent shooting touch. He wants to win by becoming a better player. He has grown to become an all around player since his freshman year. He is a very important part of our team.” - Kentucky Head Coach Mike Yance

Seth HazelettSeth Hazelett
California School for the Deaf, Fremont
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Shooting Guard

During the month of January, Seth has led his team in scoring in all but one game. In that span, Seth averaged 13.8 points and Fremont has won games because of Seth’s presence on the offense and defense. In a memorable game against their crosstown rival Fremont Christian without their starting center. Fremont was down by five points with two minutes left in the game. Seth rallied his team for a come from behind win by converting two easy baskets through turnovers created by press defense and dishing out a key assist.

“Seth has gotten stronger as the season progressed and his desire to will his team to victory though his perseverance, shooting, defense, and driving to the basket has really made a difference in our team's success. His work ethic is starting to pay off and we would not be where we are now without his contributions.”  - Fremont Head Coach Kevin Kovacs

Andrew ToddAndrew Todd
Indiana School for the Deaf
Grade: Junior
Sport: Wrestling
Weight Class: 132

Andrew’s success on the mat comes from his dedication to the sport. His 32-2 record with 17 pins stems from his commitment to practice, desire in learning new techniques and perfecting them. Andrew was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Willigan Tournament. He finished the tournament undefeated in the duals and individuals. Andrew is already looking ahead to next year with a goal of winning the state championship. He also is a model teammate as he is motivated to work with other wrestlers to improve their skills as well.

"Andrew Todd in action on the mat is a pleasure to watch as he executes his moves, moving from one technique to another." - Indiana Head Coach Bill Warnock

SportsMX/NDIAA December 2014 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) are proud to present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. The purpose of this the award is to recognize High School athletes across the country who have made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

Our young Deaf athletes deserve recognition for their dedication and hard work. SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Brianna DiGiovanni, Michaela Evans, Asheli Kleckley, and Tessa Lewis on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for December 2014!

Brianna DiGiovanniBrianna DiGiovanni
Rochester School for the Deaf
Grade: Junior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard/Forward

Brianna DiGiovanni has had a phenomenal start to the season for the Rochester Wildcats. In her first game of the season, she scored 34 points in a 50-46 loss to Webster Christian. Opposing teams have focused solely on Brianna trying to shut down her offensive game with a box-and-one defense. Despite playing against defenses designed to slow down Brianna, she has averaged 23 points a game and has reached the 1000-point mark as a junior. Brianna also averages 10 rebounds and three steals per game.

"Brianna is a hard worker and is always determined to find a way to win. Her leadership on the floor and commitment to the game is unmatched." - Rochester Head Coach Charles Palmer

Michaela EvansMichaela Evans
Tennessee School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Forward

As a senior forward, Michaela Evans is the undisputed leader of the Lady Vikings basketball team averaging more than 20 points and eight rebounds per game. On December 16th against Northview Academy, Michaela scored 20 points to become the newest member of the 1000-point club. She also led the Lady Vikings to a first place finish at the annual Viking Classic held at Georgia School for the Deaf.

"Michaela is a motivated athlete. She works hard on and off the court and is able to take on any challenge. She is a positive and encouraging leader!" - Tennessee Head Coach Brooke Ulrey

Tessa LewisTessa Lewis
Maryland School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Shooting Guard

Tessa Lewis is a force to be reckoned with on a team filled with skilled athletes. Maryland has outscored opposing teams by an average of 34.6 points per game largely because of Tessa’s scoring and ball-hawking skills. She is the top scorer in the Frederick area with 25.2 points per game average and shooting a solid 53 percent from the perimeter. Tessa is also a disruptive force on the defense as well averaging 7.5 steals per game. Tessa scored 36 points in two consecutive games against Mount Airy Christian Academy and Model Secondary School for the Deaf.

“Tessa's athleticism, floor IQ, and work ethic make her a phenomenal player on both ends of the floor.” - Maryland Head Coach Amy Mowl

Asheli KleckleyAsheli Kleckley
Florida School for the Deaf & Blind
Grade: Sophomore
Sport: Basketball
Position: Forward

Asheli Kleckley is the leading rebounder for the Florida Dragons despite her lack of height as a 5’6” forward. Teams have not been able to find an answer to minimize her presence on the court. In two games against higher classification schools Halifax Academy and Harvest Community School, Asheli pulled down 20 rebounds in each game. She is currently averaging nine points and eight rebounds per game. Asheli also has already notched five double-doubles this season leading Florida to an 8-4 record at the end of December.

"She gives 100% in every game and in every class she takes in high school.” - Florida Head Coach Jessica Smirl

SportsMX/NDIAA November 2014 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) are proud to present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. The purpose of this the award is to recognize High School athletes across the country who have made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

Our young Deaf athletes deserve recognition for their dedication and hard work. SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Shua Clay and Aaron Quillen on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for November 2014!

Shua ClayShua Clay
Florida School for the Deaf & Blind
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Shooting Guard

In November, Shua was the lead scorer for Florida in every game averaging 16.8 points per game. She also averaged 2.0 assists, 2.3 blocks and 5.8 rebounds per game. Shua had back-to-back games where she scored 24 points. Shua’s double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds was the key factor in Florida's 49-46 overtime win against St. Johns Country Day which is one of the tougher schools on the schedule.

"Shua is an all around player and a threat to the opposing team in any position she is put in. She is a definite leader on and off the floor." - Florida Head Coach Jessica Smirl

Aaron QuillenAaron Quillen
Virginia School for the Deaf & Blind
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard

As a 5-7 guard, Aaron has averaged 24.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 steals, and 1.5 assists per game in the first six games of the 2014-2015-basketball season. Aaron opened the basketball season with a bang scoring 30 points in the first game of the year against Afton Christian. On November 18th against Shenandoah Homeschool, Aaron hit his 1,001-point with a 3-point shot and joined 15 other athletes from Virginia who have scored more than 1,000 points. Aaron also shares the schools' single game scoring record of 53 points, which he set on January 15, 2014 against the West Virginia School for the Deaf.

"Aaron has matured his senior year and become a complete ball player.” - Virginia Head Coach Cliff Watson

SportsMX/NDIAA October 2014 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) are proud to present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. The purpose of this the award is to recognize High School athletes across the country who have made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

Our young Deaf athletes deserve recognition for their dedication and hard work. SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Farrah Harmount, Eliza Linstaedt, Daniel Romero, and Yave Sanchez on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for October 2014!

Daniel RomeroDaniel Romero
Wisconsin School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Football
Position: Fullback and Defensive End

Daniel Romero is a tackling machine for the Wisconsin Firebirds. In a four game span, Daniel registered 31 solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles, four quarterback sacks, five forced fumbles, one forced recovery and broke up two passes. Daniel also contributes offensively averaging 7.2 yards per rush on 35 carries. He has rushed for 253 yards and scored four touchdowns. Daniel was everywhere in the game against Arkansas School for the Deaf. He recorded 11 solo tackles, quarterback sack, two tackles for a loss, forced fumble, and rushed for 86 yards with two touchdowns.

"Daniel is a tireless worker. He has enthusiastic attitude to play outstanding defense." - Wisconsin Head Coach Michael Eldred

Eliza LinstaedtEliza Linstaedt
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf
Grade: Junior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Outside Hitter

Eliza Linstaedt has proven to be Minnesota's most versatile player. She leads the team in almost every statistical category. Eliza also led the Trojans to a 25-9 record which includes a championship at Great Plains Schools for the Deaf, second place finish at Eastern Minnesota Athletic Conference playoffs, and fourth place finish at SpikeOut. She was selected to the All-Tournament team at all three tournaments. In sixteen matches during the month of October, Eliza compiled impressive statistics racking up 100 kills, 30 aces, 57 digs, and four blocks.

"Eliza is a great all around full rotation player. She is a fun and energetic girl to coach and watch.” - Minnesota Head Coach Steven Humber

Yave SanchezYave Sanchez
Maryland School for the Deaf
Grade: Junior
Sport: Football
Position: Offensive Line and Defensive Line

For 48 minutes in every game, Yave Sanchez is battling in the trenches as an offensive and defensive lineman. Opponents often see their linemen get pushed around or flattened by Yave's brute strength and size. In eight games, Yave leads the team with 60.5 tackles and has 22 pancake blocks. In two games against Florida School for the Deaf & Blind and Indiana School for the Deaf, Yave made his presence known with 14 tackles, two fumble recoveries, one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown and 12 pancakes.

"Yave Sanchez is a dominant defense lineman. Actually, the most dominant we've faced thus far this season. He is a player you game plan around. The most unusual thing about him is his motor. He is highly energetic for a player of his size in the High School level." - Florida Head Coach Eric LeFors

Farrah HarmountFarrah Harmount
California School for the Deaf, Fremont
Grade: Junior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Outside Hitter

The turning point for Farrah Harmount came in October as her offensive contribution finally clicked with her already outstanding defensive skills. Farrah reeled off five consecutive double-doubles amassing 115 digs and 52 kills, which translates to an impressive average of 23.0 digs and 10.4 kills per match. Farrah's most impressive match was a league game against Contra Costa Christian where she was all over the court with 33 digs and 10 kills. Few days later, Farrah delivered again with 28 digs and 11 kills against Riverside. Farrah's dedication to excellence also extends outside of the gym as she maintains a 4.0 GPA.

"Farrah displays how hard work will bring results. She worked through summer on her fitness and game, and it provided results and endurance of her presence and contribution to the team." - Fremont Head Coach Karina Pedersen

SportsMX/NDIAA September 2014 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) are proud to present the first ever "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. The purpose of this the award is to recognize High School athletes across the country who have made significant impact on their teams not just on the field/court but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

Our young Deaf athletes deserve recognition for their dedication and hard work. SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Tessa Lewis, Tiffany McCallum, Dante Paulone, and Rashard Witherspoon on their selection to the inaugural "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for September 2014!

09-14 Tiffany McCallum-KansasTiffany McCallum
Kansas School for the Deaf
Grade: Junior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Outside Hitter

Opposing teams have nightmares when Tiffany McCallum takes her turn to serve. Tiffany has served team high 73 aces in 12 games, an average of 6.1 aces per match. Her most impressive performance came against Missouri School for the Deaf when she served 25 aces in three sets. Tiffany also leads the team with 24 kills and 78% serve reception.

"Tiffany has a huge impact on our team in most areas which includes aces, serve receptions and kills. Her aces and 10 foot line hitting (kills) are awesome!" - Head Coach Mike Wiesner

09-14 Rashard Witherspoon-Tennessee Rashard Witherspoon
Tennessee School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Football
Position: Quarterback and Defensive Back

Rashard Witherspoon is Tennessee's "Mr. Touchdown". In five games, Rashard has scored 20 touchdowns for the Vikings. Rashard makes his presence felt on the field as he has scored touchdowns on the offense, defense and special teams. As a quarterback, Rashard has rushed for 477 yards on 47 carries, good for a mind-boggling 10.1 yards per carry along with 12 touchdowns. He has also passed for 291 yards on 27 attempts for 14 completions and four touchdowns. On the defensive side, Rashard has three fumble recoveries which all were returned for a touchdown.

"Rashard is an amazing football player who has scored in different capacity in every game we have played so far in this season! He rushed, passed, received, and returned for touchdowns and 2-points!" - Head Coach Barry Swafford

09-14 Tessa Lewis-MarylandTessa Lewis
Maryland School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Outside Hitter

Behind team captain Tessa Lewis' leadership and on-court savvy, she has led Maryland to an impressive 21-3-1 record for the month of September. In 25 games, Tessa has recorded 205 kills and 191 digs for an average of 8.2 kills and 7.6 digs per match. One of Tessa's more impressive games came against powerful Bishop Ireton. In that game, Tessa had 13 kills and 25 digs leading Maryland to a 3-0 win. It is not uncommon for Tessa to record kills and digs in the double digits. Tessa also earned All-Tournament Team honors at the New Life Fall Classic where the team finished in second place and third place in the Oriole Classic.

"She has an explosive power, vertical jump height, stamina, speed and agility around the court." - Head Coach Vicki Kitsembel

09-14 Dante Paulone-IndianaDante Paulone
Indiana School for the Deaf
Grade: Junior
Sport: Football
Position: Wide Receiver/Slot Back and Strong Safety

On MaxPreps, Dante Paulone is ranked first in Indiana with most receiving yards. He is also currently ranked number one in the nation in the same category. In six games, Dante has 45 catches for 973 yards, a 21.6 yards per catch average with 12 touchdowns. He is also a threat carrying the ball with 170 rushing yards on 23 carries, an average of 7.4 yards per carry with three touchdowns. One of the more memorable plays by Dante was when Indiana trailed Alabama School for the Deaf with 2:09 remaining in the game. Dante took a short pass and rambled for 49 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Dante is also a force to be reckoned as a safety with 25 solo tackles, quarterback sack, and an interception.

"He caught everything that was thrown his way. His yards after catch are what's most impressive. His speed and elusiveness make him very difficult to handle." - Head Coach Garrett Wooten

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