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SportsMX/NDIAA October 2016 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. This award recognizes High School athletes across the country that has made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate John Fetcher IV, Kathleen Lopez, Tabitha Spurling, and Mia Upchurch on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for October 2016.

John FetcherJohn Fetcher IV
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

Grade: Senior
Sport: Football
Position: Quarterback

The football team of Minnesota had a rocky start and the team regrouped under John’s leadership and poise to reel off five wins in the last six games. During the October stretch, John passed for 680 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also rushed for 176 yards and eight touchdowns. Despite not matching up size-wise against one of their toughest opponents in McGregor, John put in his best performance of the season making snap decisions to keep the offense moving and the game very close. Off the football field, John is actively involved with Academic Bowl, Jr. NAD, and Student Body Government.

"MSAD has been known as a rushing team for years, but John has changed that. I really enjoyed watching him play quarterback and I think he took the reins on offense because his teammates trusted him to lead them." - Minnesota Athletic Director Lee Jones

Kathleen LopezKathleen Lopez
California School for the Deaf, Riverside
Grade: Senior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Middle Hitter

As a four-year varsity player, Kathleen has blossomed into an all-around student-athlete through patience and hard work. She also pushes her teammates to challenge themselves as well. Kathleen made her final season a memorable one with season totals of 209 kills, 64 aces, and 17 blocks. She also was recognized as the Player of the Game three times. Kathleen stepped up her game at the SpikeOut tournament earning All-Tournament honors. When not honing her skills on the court, Kathleen is involved with various campus organizations and is the school news anchor on “ASL Today”.

“I've always believed that if Kathleen put in the work, the results will come. She doesn’t do things half-heartedly because she has 100% heart no matter what happens at the game.” - Riverside Volleyball Head Coach Michelle Skowzgird

Tabitha SpurlingTabitha Spurling
Alabama School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Setter

Recognizing that her setting game needed some work, Tabitha eagerly put in extra time in the gym and eventually emerged into one of the key players for Alabama. With the team playing 13 games in October that included the Mason Dixon tournament and area playoffs, Tabitha put an impressive 89% serving average going for 141 out of 158 serves. She served up 15 aces and averaged 3.0 assists per set. Even though Tabitha’s team lost to Mississippi in the thrilling Mason Dixon championship match, she was named the tournament MVP and also was named to Talladega All-County Volleyball first-team.

"Tabitha was such a constant leader. She was the first one in the gym and the last one to leave. She made sure they were all in the gym. She took care of her teammates." – Alabama Volleyball Head Coach Becky Ripley

Mia UpchurchMia Upchurch
Texas School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Libero

Mia has made her mark as an invaluable asset for the Texas volleyball program as a libero along with exceptional defense passing skills, which allowed the team to run a more complex offense. Mia set a school single game record of 45 digs against Hill Country Christian of San Marcos and had two other games with 37 and 38 digs. For the month of October, Mia had 171 digs and finished the season with 395 digs in 32 games. She also holds the school’s career record for digs with 1,252. Mia was pivotal in bringing home the SpikeOut championship. She was named to SpikeOut All-Tournament team and first-team All-District.

"Mia is a type of player that every coach will love to have on the team, very coachable, plays hard every time whether it's practice or game, follows her instincts very well.” - Texas Volleyball Head Coach RJ Kaufman

SportsMX/NDIAA September 2016 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. This award recognizes High School athletes across the country that has made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Alyssa Hulme, Karita Lewis, Raul Melgar, and Raymond Mukhailov on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for September 2016.

Alyssa HulmeAlyssa Hulme
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

Grade: Senior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Outside Hitter

Coaches are always thrilled when they have a player who willingly steps up to lead by example and teaches other players on team. Alyssa is this kind of individual for the Western Pennsylvania volleyball team. She has made every effort to polish her volleyball skills and continually improve her game. Alyssa’s strength is her serving where she has tallied 59 aces so far this season easily surpassing her total from last year. She also leads the team with 53 kills. What sets Alyssa apart from the other players is that she establishes personal goals for the season and works towards it.

“Alyssa is a committed player and she does her best to help her team. She never gives up and is always showing her potential in both school and volleyball.” - Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Head Coach Christie Homell

Karita LewisKarita Lewis
Maryland School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Outside Hitter

With an outstanding all-around game, Karita was pivotal in leading Maryland to two tournament championships and a semifinal appearance in a third tournament during the month of September. She was named the Oriole Classic MVP award and was the only player from Maryland to be named to the all-tournament team at the Oakdale tournament. Karita has amassed impressive stats for September racking up 292 kills, 139 digs, and 48 aces. Karita was on the USA Deaf Volleyball U18 elite team for two summers in a row and experience playing against tougher competition has enabled Karita to ratchet up her skills to another level.

“It has been magnificent to watch Karita's skills and leadership ability on the court blossom this year. She is a joy to coach as she possesses skills to compete at a higher level of competition.” - Maryland Volleyball Head Coach Vicki Kitsembel

Raul MelgarRaul Melgar
Kansas School for the Deaf
Grade: Junior
Sport: Football
Position: Quarterback

The offense of Kansas led by Raul at the quarterback position has been piling up eye-popping stats thus far this season. In five games, Raul has thrown for 949 yards with 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions with a 59% completion rate. Playing against Missouri School for the Deaf, Raul set five school records for most passing attempts (38), passing completions (20), passing yards (369), touchdown passes (7), and passing PATs (6). Raul has elevated his game by committing to weight training, continually working on his passing game on his own, and attending the Manning Passing Academy during the summer.

“Raul is a young man that sets goals and strives to achieve them. I have faith that he will be able to accomplish his dreams.” – Kansas Football Head Coach William Richard Ward

Raymond MukhailovRaymond Mukhailov
Lexington School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Soccer
Position: Forward

Dominant players do not come along very often and Raymond has built a reputation as one for the Lexington soccer team. For the month of September, Raymond has scored 13 goals, assisted on six, and averages three goals a game. Raymond also recently broke the school record of career goals when he made his 91st goal and is on pace to reach 100+ career goals. Despite being blessed as a natural athlete, Raymond continues to work hard to be an even better player. He is a standout student in the classroom taking on leadership roles and possesses an impressive GPA of 3.7.

“I am grateful to have Raymond as my player. He works so hard and he strives to be a professional player, I definitely believe in him. He has been the heart and soul of this soccer team.” - Lexington Soccer Head Coach Frank Wells

SportsMX/NDIAA April 2016 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. This award recognizes High School athletes across the country that has made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Demi Bingham, Jasmine Culpepper, Junior Peters, and Zachary Richardson on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for April 2016.

Demi BinghamDemi Bingham
Indiana School for the Deaf

Grade: Junior
Sport: Softball
Position: Catcher

Demi’s rise to become one of the key players of the Indiana’s softball is largely attributed to her commitment to the team. Demi has played through injuries, willingly respond to feedback on her game from the coaches, and lead her team by example to become a feared leadoff hitter and a respected catcher. She boasts a .535 batting average with eight doubles, two triples, and two homeruns. Demi has picked off six base stealers in 49 innings as a catcher. At the recent Hoy Softball Tournament, Demi led her team to a second place finish and was named to the All-Tournament team.

“Demi is definitely the backbone of our team who also shows passion to win every game. All of the characters that the coaches seek for in a player are within Demi. I am very blessed to have her in our program.” - Indiana Softball Head Coach Jill Bianco

Jasmine CulpepperJasmine Culpepper
Alabama School for the Deaf
Grade: Freshman
Sport: Track & Field
Events: Long Distance

Jasmine is already making her presence felt on the Alabama Track & Field program, as she was the only freshman on the team to earn event points in all meets. Jasmine has used this season to cut down her time in the 800m from 3:05 to 2:49. She also has improved in the 1600m going from 6:50 to 6:42. Jasmine was also just one of two female tracksters from Alabama to qualify for state championships when she placed 4th in 1600m and 5th in 800m in the sectionals. Her other notable performance was at the ASD Invitational with five Deaf schools competing, Jasmine won first place in the 1600m.

“When you have a young individual really succeeding like Jasmine, it makes everyone want to strive to perform their best. She is one of the great leaders among the young girls on the track team.” - Alabama Track & Field Head Coach Marvice Robinson

Junior PetersJunior Peters
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Track & Field
Events: Sprints

After sitting out the track season last year due to a knee injury, Junior has made an impressive return this spring. Running for the strong Minnesota track program, Junior earned first place finishes in the 200m and 400m events at the Berg and Seeger Classic with personal best times of 23.12 and 51.64. He also was the first athlete from Minnesota to be selected to run in the 100m at the prestigious Hamline Elite competing against top athletes in the state. Junior’s track career will continue after high school as he was selected to represent the USA Deaf Track & Field team.

“Junior is one of few natural born athletes who works hard and dedicates himself into training for the Track & Field program in which he excels.” - Minnesota Track & Field Head Coach Steven Fuerst

Zachary RichardsonZachary Richardson
Texas School for the Deaf
Grade: Junior
Sport: Track & Field
Events: Sprints & Field

Zachary has turned in so many first-place finishes in multiple events even in ones he has never run in before. Zachary was penciled in to run 300m hurdles at the Berg-Seeger Classic despite never running this event and he took first place clocking in at 41.86 missing out on the tournament record by .05 seconds. Zachary also anchors Texas’ impressive 4x100m relay that has set a new Berg-Seeger Classic record at 43.89 and they improved on that in the state championship at 43.32, which is a Deaf World Junior Record. Zachary also led his team to a 5th place finish in the states scoring 17 of the team’s 54 points.

“Zachary’s reputation supersedes him as an athlete who leads the TSD Boys Track & Field by performing in five different events. It’s without doubt that he is a great asset to the TSD athletic program.” - Texas Track & Field Head Coach Larry Smith

SportsMX/NDIAA March 2016 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. This award recognizes High School athletes across the country that has made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Stefan Anderson, Sukie Miller, Austin Sliva-Wynne, and Hannah Wetzel on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for March 2016.

Stefan AndersonStefan Anderson
Maryland School for the Deaf

Grade: Sophomore
Sport: Baseball
Position: Third Base and Pitcher

As a newcomer, Stefan wasted no time establishing himself as one of the best players on the team. He announced his arrival in the season opener against Quantico where he hit 3 of 4 with two runs, two RBIs, and a double. Stefan’s batting average in March was .500 and has continued to improve in April. He is also one of the team’s pitchers and has struck out seven with no earned runs in five innings. The team is benefiting from his versatility, as Stefan is more than capable of moving around the field where the team needs him most. Stefan keeps himself doubly busy as he is also on the Track & Field team.

“Stefan is every baseball coach's dream player. He always puts in extra effort at practice and games. We know that Stefan is very competitive and he pushes other players to get better as well.” - Maryland Baseball Head Coach Chester Kuschmider

Sukie MillerSukie Miller
California School for the Deaf, Riverside
Grade: Senior
Sport: Softball
Position: Pitcher

Sukie is known to be passionate about softball. As she wraps up her final season, Sukie has no qualms on being the workhorse keeping the team in games with her pitching and making key hits. The team recently won second place at the Koala Classic and Susie’s performance was recognized with a selection to the All-Tournament team. Sukie has established herself as a consistent and reliable pitcher striking out 53 in 13 games. On the offensive side, Sukie is batting .515 with 14 stolen bases and 12 RBIs. Sukie is also counted on to get on base and bring runs in which she regularly delivers on.

“Her best trait is her attitude and it is not just this year, but for the past four years she has been involved with softball. Her experience and attitude has really kept our young team together.” - Riverside Softball Head Coach Traci Price

Austin Sliva-WynneAustin Sliva-Wynne
Texas School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Baseball
Position: Pitcher and Infielder

Texas is off to a good start with a 7-3 record in March and much of the team’s success can be attributed to Austin. His statement game came against Central Texas Christian when he pitched a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts. During this stretch, Austin averaged .455 with a double, triple, and homerun. He also has 11 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, and nine walks. On the pitching mound, Austin has been overpowering going 3-0 in three games with 36 strikeouts, allowing three walks and six hits for an ERA of 0.82. Austin is planning to play college baseball but is currently undecided on which school he will attend.

“On and off the baseball field, Austin is always very determined to improve himself to be a better athlete than the day before. He often gives feedback to his teammates to help them to be better athletes as well. That's a true leader and teammate that every coach would love to have!" - Texas Baseball Head Coach Nick Vita

Hannah WetzelHannah Wetzel
California School for the Deaf, Fremont
Grade: Sophomore
Sport: Soccer
Position: Forward

Hannah will go down in the history books as the first player to score a goal for Fremont’s soccer program. The soccer team’s inaugural season is not without growing pains but Hannah has emerged as the key player on the team. She has been on every goal the team has scored making five and assisting on the other two. Her breakout game came against California Crosspoint where she netted a goal and had an assist to lead the team to a 2-2 tie. Hannah is also dividing her time with the Track & Field team and took second place in the long jump with a leap of 14’9” at the Sunset Classic.

“Hannah is an excellent model of a true student-athlete managing her time in the classroom and outside with both the soccer and track teams. I am very proud of her contributions and I cannot imagine what the soccer team would look like without her. Additionally, she is threatening to break a couple of track records.” - Fremont Athletic Director Warren Keller

SportsMX/NDIAA February 2016 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. This award recognizes High School athletes across the country that has made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Adele Daniels, Agron Deski, Gashaw Duhamel, and Camry McCaleb on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for February 2016.

Adele DanielsAdele Daniels
Maryland School for the Deaf

Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Forward

Adele’s achievements are too long to list but one thing that stands out is her drive as an intense competitor. With talent to play any position, Adele left a lasting legacy leading her team to an impressive 52-6 record in two seasons along with multiple tournament championships and back-to-back league titles. For the season, Adele averaged 18.8 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, and 4.3 steals per game. Her 18.8 points per game was ranked #3 in Frederick. Adele’s focus will soon shift to volleyball as she was selected to represent USA Deaf Volleyball in national and world championships this summer.

“Adele is a versatile athlete with a strong all-around game that gives our team great flexibility in how we play. As the lone senior and team captain, Adele has done a wonderful job leading the team on and off the court and with mentoring our younger players.” - Maryland Basketball Head Coach Amy Mowl

Agron DeskiAgron Deski
New York School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard

1964. That’s the last time New York won the basketball championship at the Eastern States Athletic Association for the Deaf (ESDAA) tournament. That streak was almost extended for another year when Agron sprained his ankle in the first game of the tournament. Despite the injury, Agron battled through averaging 17.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in three games to lead New York to the championship and earning the MVP award as well. During the month of February, Agron averaged 19.5 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game. Agron’s success isn’t limited to basketball as he is also a standout student with a 3.6 GPA.

"Agron is an excellent all-around athlete. He always had the determination and dedication. He reached many milestones this year as he led the Tornadoes to the 84th ESDAA championship and joined the 1,000-Point Club. A true leader who leads by example on and off court.” - New York Basketball Head Coach Nicolas Tegni

Gashaw DuhamelGashaw Duhamel
Tennessee School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Indoor Track & Field
Event: Long Distance

With a cooperative program, Gashaw was able to take part in the Indoor Track & Field season with Oak Ridge High School. Gashaw ran in the 2-mile event and always put in times between 9:35 and 9:45. On February 27th at the Tennessee High School state championships, Gashaw came into the tournament as a #2 seed. He won the 2-mile state championship with a time of 9:38.97 defeating the #1 seed by more than three seconds. Expectations are high for Gashaw this spring as he aims to establish new Deaf Prep records in the 1600m and 3200m events.

"I don't know that I've ever been around a kid with more guts, more determination, more perseverance. He's as driven a character as anyone I've ever coached, that's for sure." - Oak Ridge Indoor Track & Field Head Coach Allen Etheridge

Camry McCalebCamry McCaleb
Atlanta Area School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard

In Atlanta Area’s league championship game against The Howard School, Camry was double-teamed the entire game yet she managed to lead the team to the school’s first ever championship with team high 14 points. The win was sealed when Camry converted two free throws late in the game. She was also named the tournament MVP and selected to the league’s first team. Camry led her team to a 10-3 record and averaged 19 points per game during the season. Her leadership is evident as she is the president of several student organizations and has been very active in planning school events.

“Camry’s natural athletic ability combined with her hard work and dedication make her every coach’s dream. She gives 100% on every play and makes her teammates better players. Her leadership extends far off the court, as she is a role model and leader in the school as well.” - Atlanta Area Basketball Head Coach Sarah Sims

SportsMX/NDIAA January 2016 Athletes of the Month

SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. This award recognizes High School athletes across the country that has made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.

SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Rebecca Adeyinka, Tredynn Selvog, and Brittany Skjeveland on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for January 2016.

Rebecca AdeyinkaRebecca Adeyinka
New Jersey School for the Deaf

Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Forward/Center

Rebecca willingly took the reins of the Lady Colts basketball program as the lone senior on the team. The young team steadily improved during the season with Rebecca’s guidance and leadership. Despite having a height disadvantage at 5’3” as a Forward/Center, Rebecca averaged an impressive 11.6 rebounds per game. She chalked up two double-doubles in January with her first one against Community Academy of Philadelphia where she had 13 points and 13 rebounds. The second double-double came against New York School for the Deaf in which Rebecca scored 10 points and snagged 13 rebounds.

“It has been awesome to see Rebecca’s skills and leadership ability blossom in the last four years. As a captain this year, she was a very important part of our team’s success and had a lot to do with the improvement of our younger players." - New Jersey Basketball Head Coach Maria Morrongiello

Tredynn SelvogTredynn Selvog
Washington School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Guard/Forward

Tredynn was the driving force in ending Washington’s 36-year championship drought at the Western States Basketball Classic. As a do-it-all player, he led his team to a 6-0 record at the round-robin tournament. While leading his team, Tredynn put up impressive stats along the way with 97 points, 24 rebounds, 14 steals, 10 assists, and earning All-Tournament honors. During the month of January, Tredynn averaged 18.2 points per game with his best game against Three Rivers Christian; a 59-45 win in which he had 33 points and four steals.

"Tredynn had some monster games for us. He was a tremendous athlete all season; we couldn't take him off the court. His composure and athleticism is remarkable." - Washington Basketball Head Coach James Forncrook

Brittany SkjevelandBrittany Skjeveland
Indiana School for the Deaf
Grade: Senior
Sport: Basketball
Position: Forward

Brittany wrapped up her high school basketball career on a high note notching two career bests in January. In a game against Indianapolis Metropolitan, Brittany scored career high 22 points with a 85% field goal average and dished out eight assists. Then two days later at the Allie Jean Hale Classic against Bloomington Lighthouse, Brittany grabbed career high 16 rebounds. The linchpin for Brittany was earning the Indiana High School Athletic Association All-Sectional honors. More significantly, she was the glue that kept the team together through an injury-riddled season with her leadership and dedication.

“Brittany is a remarkable and loyal teammate. She is a good person who we know will go on to become a great woman. Her legacy will stay with our program and thanks for the incredible ride!” - Indiana Basketball Head Coach Amanda Huser

 

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