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State's Outstanding Student Athletes Honored at Banquet
State's Outstanding Student Athletes Honored at Banquet

PORTSMOUTH, VA – The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum held their 9th Annual Student Athlete Achievement Awards Banquet on Sunday, December 1. The event honored some of the state’s great student athletes nominated by their coaches and administrators both at the middle and high school levels. The four awards categories were: girls 6th through 8th grade, girls 9th through 12th grade, boys 6th through 8th grade and boys 9th through 12th grade. Of the 18 finalists, four students were awarded Student Athlete of the Year awards: Emily Crocco, an eighth grader at Robious Middle School in Chesterfield, Malique Hawkins, a seventh grader at Atlantic Shores Christian School in Chesapeake, Macy Mears, a senior at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, and Ryan Thomas, a senior at Albemarle High School in Charlottesville.

Students from across Virginia in grades 6th through 12th were eligible. Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2007 inductee Bryant Stith was the motivational speaker and helped present the finalists with their awards. The winners will be honored with an exhibit in the museum’s rotating exhibit “Virginians in the Spotlight” during the months of January and February 2014. This event was made possible through funding of our generous sponsors: Cox Communications, Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., Reisbeck Contracting, Roger Brown’s Restaurant and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum’s Education Foundation.

About the Winners:

Emily Crocco

8th grader at Robious Middle School in Chesterfield, VA

Sports Played: Basketball, Soccer and Swimming


  • Member of the Richmond Kickers Elite travel soccer team and part of the Olympic Development Program
  • Plays AAU Basketball
  • School basketball and soccer captain
  • Received the Robious Represents Leadership Award
  • Member of the National Junior Honor Society
  • Has helped at the Sunny Side Retirement Home, Special Olympics, Relay for Life and helped with mission week at her church

Malique Hawkins

7th grader at Atlantic Shores Christian in Chesapeake, VA

Sport Played: Basketball


•          Plays basketball for both Atlantic Shores and the Great Neck Select

•          Selected as a 7th grader to be on the 8th grade team

•          Straight-A Student

•          Presidential Academic Award

•          Was selected as a young field reporter for EA Sports where he had the opportunity to interview Baltimore Raven’s Running back Ray Rice and play him in a game of Madden at his house

•          Professional actor, mime, model and orator

•          Volunteers at Children’s Church by running the media for youth services

•          Spends time with the elderly at Franklin Arms and helps kids that are less fortunate through the Christmas Giving Extravaganza.

Macy Mears

Senior at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, VA

Overall Grade Average of 94.31

Sports Played: Softball, Basketball and Cross Country


•          Plays both varsity basketball & softball

•          Chosen as 2nd team All-Conference for basketball

•          First Team All-Conference since 8th Grade for softball

•          First Team All-State her sophomore and junior years and the team’s co-captain

•          Member of the National Honor Society

•          Susan B. Anthony Award from the University of Rochester

•          Nominated and selected to Virginia Girls State Delegate program

•          Awarded Founder’s Scholarship each year of High School

•          Has helped with sheltering and serving the homeless

•          President of the Haitian Awareness Club and went on a missions trip to Haiti

Ryan Thomas

Senior at Albemarle High School in Charlottesville, VA

GPA: 4.57

Sports Played: Cross Country, Indoor & Outdoor Track and Football


•          State Championship in Indoor Track in 2013 in the 1000 meters

•          New Balance National Indoor Freshman Mile Champion in New York City

•          On three championship district/conference teams as well as two regional and two state

•          Has won 9 individual District and regional championships

•          Accepted to Columbia University in New York City as a member of their Track and Field and Cross Country Team

•          Has earned Straight A’s throughout high school

•          Leader in the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes

•          Teacher’s Assistant at a middle school where he tutors young kids every other day during his release period just before practice starts

•          Has volunteered at the Albemarle County Senior Center helping older people enjoy their lives

The 18 Finalists:

Middle School Girls Finalists:

Kaitlyn Antonick, 8th Grade, Norfolk Academy, Norfolk

Molly Beegle, 7th Grade, Azalea Gardens Middle School, Norfolk

Emily Crocco,* 8th Grade, Robious Middle School, Chesterfield

Georgia White, 8th Grade, Norfolk Collegiate, Norfolk

Middle School Boys Finalists:

Carroll Boykins III, 8th Grade, W.E. Waters Middle School, Portsmouth

Malique Hawkins,* 7th Grade, Atlantic Shores Christian School, Chesapeake

Jarius Howard, 7th Grade, Churchland Middle School, Portsmouth

Taylor Sergent, 7th Grade, Atlantic Shores Christian School, Chesapeake

High School Girls Finalists:

Nealy Henderson, 11th Grade, Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School, Chesapeake

Kelly McNult, 12thGrade, Massaponax High School, Fredericksburg

Macy Mears,* 12th Grade, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Suffolk

Molly Novak, 12th Grade, Cosby High School, Midlothian

Abby Portyrata, 12th Grade, Clover Hill High School, Midlothian

High School Boys Finalists:

Quin Blanding, 12th Grade, Bayside High School, Virginia Beach

Joseph Maddox, 12th Grade, Frank W. Cox High School, Virginia Beach

Joshua Malm, 12th Grade, Monticello High School, Charlottesville

Ryan Thomas,* 12th Grade, Albemarle High School, Charlottesville

Matthew Zajac, 12th Grade, E.C. Glass High School, Lynchburg

*Denotes Winner* 

About the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum:

Since 1972, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum has been proud to honor Virginia’s contributions to the world of sports.  We are the Commonwealth’s official hall of fame, and one of only 16 throughout the nation.  Our mission is to honor athletic excellence and serve as a nonprofit educational resource centered on health, math, science and character development programs, while inspiring visitors through sports history and interactive entertainment.  For more information, go to


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