On Monday, June 15, Wilton virtually recognized graduating seniors for their academic and community accomplishments in the Wilton High School Virtual Athletic Award Assembly.
The ceremony is a Wilton High School tradition, presenting scholarship awards to standout athletes in the graduating senior and junior classes to honor their athletic achievement and leadership in the 2019-2020 school year. As with other, typically in-person school events, this year’s ceremony went virtual with a pre-recorded compilation of awards bestowed via a YouTube video.
Each year two seniors–one female, one male–are recognized for their excellence in academics, athletics, and character with awards that are considered the school’s most prestigious senior sports awards given to WHS student-athletes.
For the 2018-2019 academic year, senior Paula Perez (cross country) received the Melissa Nickel Award, presented to the senior female who excels in academics, athletics and community service, in memory of the attitude and spirit of Melissa Nickel, the WHS freshman who was struck and killed by a vehicle while waiting for her school bus in 1985.
This year’s Lt. John G. Corr Memorial Scholarship was awarded to senior Andrew Smith (basketball and golf), who was chosen by the Corr scholarship directors as the WHS student who “best personifies the devotion to his studies, the participation in sports, the qualities of true leadership and the exemplary personal character and patriotism of the man whose name it bears.” The award was established 53 years ago, after Wilton’s Lt. John G. Corr was killed while serving in Vietnam.
There were several other awards and recognitions handed out yesterday evening as well:
The Arthur J. Wall, Jr., Scholarship is awarded to a male and female athlete who best exemplify the characteristics of its namesake and who have selflessly given back to the community. This year’s recipients were Olivia Gladstein and Benjamin Leung.
The Alex Balitsos Memorial Sportsmanship Scholarship was established two years ago in memory of 26-year-old former WHS athlete Alex Balitsos, who passed away in October 2017. The seniors whose sportsmanship was recognized were Peyton Matik and
Two seniors received the PFC. Nicholas A. Madaras Memorial Scholarship, established by the Wilton Soccer Association to honor U.S. Army Private First Class Nick Madaras, a soccer player, coach and referee who was killed in action while serving in Iraq on Sept. 3, 2006. The scholarship recognizes soccer players who best embody the leadership, commitment, sportsmanship, and teamwork that Nick Madaras demonstrated throughout his life. The two recipients from the Class of 2020 were Olivia Vitarelli and Michael Zizzadoro.
The T.J. Pramer Memorial Scholarship Award pays tribute to former student T.J. Pramer, a former member of the ski and lacrosse teams, who passed away in 2008. This award was presented to Damian Schmidt.
The CT Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) presents two awards annually. From the CIAC website, the first award, the CIAC Scholar-Athlete Award, “…recognizes two high school seniors–one boy and one girl–from each member high school whose academic and athletic careers have been exemplary, whose personal standards and achievements are a model to others, and who possess high levels of integrity, self-discipline, and courage.” The 2019-20 honorees were Paula Perez and Andrew Smith (awarded prior to the ceremony).
The other awards presented Monday evening were:
Four-Year Scholar-Athletes–awarded to four-year athletes who maintain a 3.75 GPA or higher for seven semesters:
Paula Perez Pelaez
Anna May Sherman
Wilton United Senior Athletes of The Year: Peyton Matik and Ian Monro
Field Hockey Achievement Award: Olivia Hahn
Warrior Spirit Award: Rachel Nadel
Gymnastics Boosters Athletic Excellence Awards: Lauren Cooper, Kate Ginsberg, Megan McNamara, and Carter Siegel
Gymnastics Academic Excellence Award: Lauren Cooper
Volleyball Boosters Awards: Anna Clark and Johanna Knox
Swimming and Diving Outstanding Senior Athlete: Ellen Holmquist, Emma Babashak, and Matthew Lamanna
Basketball Boosters’ Club Award–Bowman Cup: Kyle Hyzy and Andrew Smith
Ski Team Scholarship Award: Meghan Kaeyer and Dominick Polito
Marce Lavin Scholarship–Boys Ice Hockey: Thomas McHugh
Bill Terry Memorial Softball Award: Maya Farrell
Softball Scholar-Athlete Award: Claire Wilson
WBSA Booster Award–Bill Terry Scholarship: Parker Ward
WBSA Booster Award–Andrew Dunn Scholarship: Nicholas Sheehan
Girls’ Tennis Association Award: Isabel Koziol
Boys’ Tennis Association Award: Rushil Jha and Harrison Tucker
Wilton Soccer Achievement Award: Sara Schneidman and Michael Zizzadoro
Lacrosse Association Outstanding Athletes: Meghan Lane and Reilly Sullivan
Track Association Scholar Athletes: Paula Perez, Bianca Reuter, Claudia Nanez, and Jack Nanez