Jun. 6—As usual, the field for the annual Reading Eagle Athlete of the Year awards is loaded with dominant performers, multiple-sport standouts and players who led their teams to Berks, District 3 and PIAA championships.
More than 50 athletes have been nominated by their schools for the male and female awards, which are based on athletic performance, character and leadership displayed throughout the 2020-21 scholastic season. Each Berks school was invited to nominate up to four athletes.
The nominees for the 16th annual awards include athletes who led their schools to PIAA championships, such as Reading High’s Moro Osumanu in basketball and Schuylkill Valley’s Ashlyn Giles in track and field.
There are All-State standouts such as Wilson’s Stevie Mitchell in basketball; Fleetwood’s Casey Lynn Dewald in field hockey; Daniel Boone’s Chris Guiliano in swimming; and Gov. Mifflin’s Stella Mollica and Nick Singleton in basketball and football, respectively.
The field includes at least a dozen Berks Players of the Year, including Wilson wrestler Josh Harkless, Conrad Weiser tennis player Emma Perkins, Wilson swimmer Shelby Kahn, Twin Valley cross country champ Noah Taylor, Wyomissing girls basketball player Lily Seyfert, and Brandywine Heights golfer Elijah Ruppert.
Wyomissing’s Abby Doyle was Berks Player of the Year in girls soccer and received the Catherine Rhodes Award as the county’s top senior girls basketball player.
There are numerous three-sport standouts, such as Wyomissing’s Darren Brunner in football, basketball and baseball; Tulpehocken’s Clara Hardick in golf, swimming and track and field; Kutztown’s Abby Reasoner in soccer, basketball and track and field; Exeter’s Megan Unruh in water polo, swimming and lacrosse; Hamburg’s Haley Gravish in tennis, basketball and softball; and Schuylkill Valley’s Luke Seymour in cross country, basketball and track and field.
Gov. Mifflin’s Connor Maryniak quarterbacked his football team to a district championship and pitched the Mustangs to a Berks baseball title.
Twin Valley’s Natali Foster played a key role in Berks championships in field hockey and softball.
The semifinalists, finalists and award recipients are determined by a 10-member selection committee that includes Berks athletic directors and the Reading Eagle sport staff. The committee met last week to review applicants.
Each of the two award recipients will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Reading Eagle and Colonial Fitness, the award co-sponsor. The 10 finalists will receive a plaque of recognition.
Profiles of the finalists will appear in the Reading Eagle starting June 18.
The two award recipients will be announced on readingeagle.com June 28.
Last year, Cameron Gring of Muhlenberg and Max Hurleman of Wyomissing were the award recipients.
Recent award recipients include Berks Catholic’s Brandon George and Exeter’s Peyton Halsey in 2019; Gov. Mifflin’s Isaac Ruoss and Wyomissing’s Leah McAvoy in 2018; and Reading High’s Lonnie Walker IV and Gov. Mifflin’s Jennifer Martin in 2017.
Nate Romig of Daniel Boone and Colleen Toomey of Muhlenberg were the inaugural award recipients in 2006.
Gov. Mifflin has claimed eight award recipients — four male and four female; Wilson is next with seven recipients.
Wilson has had the most finalists with 25, followed by Gov. Mifflin (18), Berks Catholic (16) and Wyomissing (16).
Berks Catholic, Daniel Boone, Muhlenberg, Reading High and Wyomissing are the only other schools with multiple award recipients.