Holtz HOF unveils ‘20 Under 20’ honorees

EAST LIVERPOOL — The Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame has chosen “20 Under 20” — 20 young people under the age of 20 — to recognize in conjunction with its 20th anniversary this year.

The 20 selected represent a cross-section of outstanding young people up and down the Upper Ohio Valley who exemplify the qualities of future hall of famers — excelling in their pursuits and giving back to their communities, officials said.

The honorees’ credentials listed are according to what was submitted by their nominators and are by no means inclusive of their total accomplishments.

“The Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame is proud to recognize these young people and others like them in our Tri-State Area,” said Director Robin Webster. “We applaud their contributions, eagerly look forward to their future achievements, and thank them for being important.”

Selected were:

• Lauren Balmenti, 19, of Negley: Nationally Recognized Certified Dental Assistant (Ohio Valley College of Technology), Ohio radiology license, volunteer with the “Jeans 2 Scrubs” program, resource/health fair volunteer, OVCT Career Fair and volunteers at the local animal shelter.

• Emily Beck, 18, East Liverpool: Participated in volleyball and lettered in cross country, soccer, basketball and track at Beaver Local High School, among other school activities; mechanical engineering student at the University of Akron and hopes to become an astronaut.

• Grace Beck, 18, East Liverpool: Participated in volleyball and lettered in cross country, tennis, basketball and track at Beaver Local High School, among other school activities; and worked as a Fit model for Dicks Sporting Good in Pittsburgh. She is majoring in visual communications design at Kent State University.

• Riley Britt, 16, East Liverpool: Student at Beaver Local High School, where she led the first back-to-school bash for which she raised funds to provide all 1,878 students with a backpack filled with school supplies; active in a variety of clubs as well as playing three sports and she volunteers in the community.

• Antonella Brkich, 10, Beaver: She and her friend, fellow nominee Gianna Zarillo, formed a nonprofit organization called the Giving Girls. Some of their projects have included sending nearly 100 care packages to soldiers overseas in 2016; recognizing local police on Police Appreciation Day 2017 with pizza, cake and cards; and establishing a free food pantry outside the Beaver County YMCA for area needy. She is a student at Sts. Peter and Paul School in Beaver.

• Luke Call, 18, Wellsville: Student who received a 30 on his ACT and participates in baseball and football at Beaver Local High School, among other school activities such as National Honor Society, Buckeye Boys State and Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership. Has assisted with landscape installation at the school’s entrance and aids in elementary classes at Beaver Local.

• Carsyn L. Hoppel, 19, East Liverpool: Beaver Local varsity golf, soccer and track team member and is a member of the school’s National Honor Society and student council, among various others. She took part in the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Camp, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Conference, Columbiana Youth Coalition and has served more than 500 hours of community service. She plans to major in nursing at Youngstown State University.

• Jaliyah Hubbard, 17, Steubenville: A student at Steubenville High School, she plays softball, volleyball and basketball as well as cheers and is on the swim team and is involved in various clubs and performs community service.

• Nathan Keenan, 18, Toronto: Toronto High School student involved in musicals, band, barbershop quartet, track, football and various other clubs. He is a two-time Scripps National Spelling Bee participant, Lions Club Good Award recipient and volunteers with the American Red Cross and Special Olympics.

• Mitchell Kelly, 18, Lisbon: United Local High School varsity soccer player and participant in choir and musical productions. He has completed more than 40 community service hours per year and has applied for the U.S. Naval Academy.

• Kennedy McGeehan, 13, Newell: Oak Glen Middle School honor student who volunteers at Good Shepherd’s Lunch at St. Stephen’s Church and with the Chester Lions Club. She is a competitive gymnast, accumulating 28 first-place medals and competing at the international level in Orlando, Fla.

• Marques McHaffie, 19, Chester: Was involved in basketball and baseball and various clubs while at Oak Glen High School and was founder of Project R.O.S.E.S. at Oak Glen, raising $800 to distribute 500 roses to females at the school and throughout the community at nursing homes and restaurants. He places flags on graves of servicemen and women at Shadow Lawn and Locust Hill cemeteries annually. He is majoring in exercise physiology at West Liberty University and plans to become a physician assistant.

• Ryan Miller, 18, East Liverpool: A student at Wellsville High School, he is a member of the National Honor Society, A Honor Roll and American Legion Boys National Finalist and received the Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award, among others. He is a member of Village of Wellsville Business Grant Committee, student representative for Wellsville Board of Education Advisory Committee, member of Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce and a Wendy’s High School Heisman State Finalist.

• Anna Paterson, 17, Salem: A senior at Salem High School, she is a volleyball and softball player, receiving second-team All-ITCL pitcher 2015 award, first team All-ITCL pitcher first team All-ITCL pitcher 2017 award, OHSAA Award for Excellence and Exemplary Display of Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity award and holds school records for single season and career in most statistical categories.

• Jacob Pittman, 18, Salem: A valedictorian of Salem High School, 16 advanced placement courses, AP Scholar with Honors, Key Club class representative and lieutenant governor of District 21, founded an environmental club at the school.

• Samantha Riggs, 17, Salineville: Graduated from high school one year early and is working on an associate degree in applied business at Ohio Valley Technical College; communications manager for marketing class, which is raising money for the Humane Society of Columbiana County; serves as business ambassador for the school’s business program; and mentors new students.

• Cassandra Robbins, 15, East Liverpool: Received “best in show” award at the Calcutta Art Contest, and has taken part in the Columbiana Career Center Art Show, honors band and is a volunteer at S.O.I. fish fry events.

• Parker Sherry, 16, East Palestine: Three years as class president at East Palestine High School and in top five of his class, he is a clothing and food bank volunteer. He plays football, basketball and track, earning several awards including Columbiana County All-Stars — first team, All-ITCL League – first team, Quad County All-Stars — first team and has taken part in the Under Armour All-American Camp, Under Armour Rivals Quarterback Challenge.

• Jared Wilson, 17, Columbiana: Division III Golf State Champ and set Leetonia High School record and course record at Valley Gold Club; AJGA Trans-American All-American, First Team All-Conference and All-NE Ohio; All-Conference Team in basketball; carries a 4.465 grade point average and scored a 35 on his ACT. He has received a golf scholarship to attend Wake Forest University.

• Gianna Zarillo, 10, Beaver: She and her friend, fellow nominee Antonella Brkich, formed a nonprofit organization called the Giving Girls. Some of their projects have included sending nearly 100 care packages to soldiers overseas in 2016; recognizing local police on Police Appreciation Day 2017 with pizza, cake and cards; and establishing a free food pantry outside the Beaver County YMCA for area needy. Gianna is an A student at Dutch Ridge Elementary. She also has collected donations and made care packages for the homeless.

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