Three local athletes honored at victory awards dinner | News, Sports, Jobs
CHARLESTON – All the hard work of athletes across the state paid off on Sunday as they were recognized for their efforts at the 74th Victory Awards Dinner at the Embassy Suites in Charleston. Three local athletes made the trip to the state capital to receive awards as Graceylyn Hanna of Wheeling Park won the West Virginia Girls’ Player of the Year award while her classmate Coleman Meredith won won West Virginia Boys’ Player of the Year. Zara Zervos has been selected as the recipient of the Doug Huff Award.
All awards were voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Hanna has put on a fantastic senior season for the Patriots. Although she has scored 15 goals and 27 assists this year, it was her confidence in her teammates that helped drive the Wheeling Park State Championship run.
She scored the only goal in the Class AAA State Title game against Parkesburg South and she was able to end her prep career with a storybook ending.
“It’s really unbelievable. I expected to receive this award, just as I expected this state championship this year ”. Hanna said. “It’s really amazing to have it and to be able to thank everyone for the award and everyone who supported me because I couldn’t have done it without someone else.
Although Meredith had an exceptional season as a junior for the Patriots, her senior season was arguably her best. After losing nine seasons of the 2019 OVAC Championship team, Meredith took on the challenge of making sure the Patriots were a force to be reckoned with. Mission accomplished since they were able to go 15-4-1 in 2020.
As a midfielder, he scored 28 goals and had eight assists.
“Really, I am honored,” Said Meredith. “After all these years of playing football, being W.Va.’s State Player of the Year has always been a dream of mine and to finally be able to stand up and receive this award feels good. I feel like after all of this hard work and everything we’ve been through with COVID and the injuries I’ve come across, I’m just honored to be here.
“I couldn’t do it without my parents. They push me the best every day to be the best that I can be. I have been fortunate to have some amazing coaches and teammates along the way.
Meredith and Hanna have always known football is their passion. And in college, they were always talking about playing in high school and they were there to support each other every step of the way. Their dreams came true.
“Cole and I always talked in middle school about being able to play together in high school,” Hanna said. “We were always excited about it. But to be able to play for Wheeling Park and support each other over the years, and then for us to receive this award, he really deserves it. He led his team so much, was a great leader and left a legacy behind him too, just like I hope for my team. It’s a great honor, he deserves it and I’m proud of him for it.
Meredith had similar thoughts about their work ethic.
“It’s amazing. Graceylyn and I are going back to college,” Said Meredith. “We played soccer together pretty much every recess day. To be able to be here and sit at the same table as her and both of them being rewarded, it’s amazing. It’s so cool that our hard work paid off at the same time. “
For Zervos, it was her heart, her dynamism and her determination that stood out as an athlete in four sports. She received all-state honors in cross-country and soccer and qualified for national swimming and track competition throughout her preparation career. Most impressive, however, was that she accomplished all of these honors while also treating vocal cord dysfunction.
“It really is a great honor, especially since I came here and read in the program just the incarnation behind the award,” Zervos said. “How it’s the Heart and Hustle Award only focused on determination. It means a lot to me.
Not only was she a star in the field, but she was a star in the classroom as she has a 4.57 GPA, earned a 1490 on her SAT, and was named a 2021 U.S. Presidential Fellow.
She will continue her career at the University of West Virginia and study aerospace engineering as well as cross country and track,
After school, she said she hoped to work for NASA, SpaceX, or a private company.
“Aerospace engineering was born because I love space”, Zervos said. “At John Marshall, I take engineering classes and I just learned how much I love it. And by combining the two, it seemed like the logical option to go. “