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On Friday, June 16, 2023, the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame honored area senior scholar athletes during its 28th annual induction banquet at St Spyridon Hellenic Center in Monessen PA at 5:30 p.m. Honoring the Mon Valley’s best and brightest in sports and in the classroom has been an integral part of the Sports Hall of Fame since 1995.

Tanner Pierce
California High School’s Tanner Pierce won the WPIAL Shotput title.
Jolena Quarzo
Brownsville High School’s Jolena Quarzo won the WPIAL1600 and 3200 meters.

Area students are selected by Mon Valley athletic directors and high school principals and are recognized at the banquet for their academic and athletic achievements.  The Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors awards a certificate of merit reflecting personal dedication to achieving the highest standards of excellence as a scholar and in sportsmanship. 

This prestigious event bonds generations of area athletes by bringing together the past generation of Hall of Fame recipients with the present generation of athletes.  This is ceremoniously represented in the seating arrangement in which the scholar athletes sit on a tier below the Hall of Fame inductees, challenging the students to achieve a goal that Hall of Fame personalities have accomplished.  The first student scholar athlete to reach Hall of Fame status was Gina Naccarato. She was recognized as a student scholar athlete in 1996 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. Naccarato has been followed into Hall of Fame status with Jamont Kinds, Vinnie Graham, Dan LaCarte and Charel Allen.  

The 2023 student scholar athlete recipients are:

  • Belle Vernon Area High School: Chase Ruokonen and Gianna Anderson
  • Bentworth High School: Landon Urcho and Grace Skerbetz
  • Brownsville High School: Jolena “JoJo” Quarzo
  • California High School: Tanner Pierce and Anastasia Georgagis 
  • Charleroi High School: Colton Palonder and Rece Eddy
  • Elizabeth Forward High School: Logan Monzak and Joselyn Dawson 
  • Monessen High School: Dante DeFelices and Aaliyah Rice 
  • Ringgold High School: David Molisee and Abbigale Whaley
  • Yough High School: Bobby Etze and Emily Stephan 

Two of these students won WPIAL gold in Track and Field: Tanner Pierce on May 17, 2023 won the 2-A WPIAL shot put title with a toss of 50 ft. 7 inches, and Jolena Quarzo won the 1600 in 5:05.28 and the 3200 in 10:55.07. 

-        TJ Arts Board Scholarship – Morgan Allan, Theo Doerfler, Lillian Olson

-        Matteo Music Scholarship - Theo Doerfler, Violet Spang

-        Margie Liberati Memorial Music Scholarship – Rachael Parsons

-        Kathy Cecotti Memorial Scholarship - Violet Spang

-        TJ Arts Class of 1982 Scholarship – Rachael Parsons

-        Rotary Club of Pleasant Hills Service Above Self Scholarship - Cody Karcher, Isabella Guzman, Olivia Supp

-        West Jefferson Hills Chamber of Commerce Scholarship – Andy Graham

-        Society of Women Engineers of Pittsburgh Award - Kendall Pielin

-        Air Force ROTC Scholarship – Nathan Barr

-        G. Kenneth and Margaret B. Crawford Memorial Scholarship – Theo Doerfler, Cody Karcher, Kendall Pielin

-        Synthomer Foundation Scholarship – Donald Aber

-        Jefferson Hills Intermediate PTA Scholarship – Riley Dorsey, Blayne Downer, Isabella Guzman

-        Beth Israel Center Charitable Fund of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Scholarship – Shanice McNeil

-        TJ Faculty Scholarship – Ava Colosimo, Jadyn Goff, Cody Karcher, Emma Martinis, Tayler Patterson, Sydney Schreiber

-        Coffee Tree Roasters Scholarship – Jadyn Davis, Rachael Parsons, Annali Thomas

A trio of Jaguars who are National Merit Scholarship commended students were honored - Jacob Christian, Blayne Downer and Gavin Sweeney. 

Numerous additional awards were presented and Jaguars who are National Honor Society members, AP Scholars or own a cumulative 3.2 grade point average also were among the students recognized. A school record-tying 24 TJ students earned AP Scholars distinction this year.


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