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Hornets’ makes scholar-athlete list

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

It’s not everyday that high school students get rewarded for their work in the classroom by getting off from school, but that’s pretty much how it worked out for nine East Penn Conference scholar-athletes during last week’s luncheon at Stroudsmoor Country Inn.

After all those hours put in the classroom over the years, what better way to start off the final week before the Christmas break than to enjoy a luncheon in Stroudsburg and get a free pass from school?

“It is a perk to get off from school to be here,” said Whitehall’s Alix Buskirk, who won the award for girls’ volleyball. “I was pretty surprised to win this. I know a lot of the girls throughout the league that were nominated for this and it’s just a great honor. I know the academic part of this is really important and I’m just glad that my hard work paid off.”

Each of the 18 schools from the EPC nominated a senior athlete for each of the nine fall sports under a three-tier criteria, weighing their top academic and athletic achievements, as well as extra curricular activities.

Buskirk, who carries a 4.296 GPA, was the only Whitehall athlete to come away with an award, but wasn’t the only one that came away surprised or thankful for the honor.

Pleasant Valley girls’ soccer player Sara Coyle, who is ranked first in her class of 433 and was a first-team EPC selection, was more than happy about being chosen.

“I’m really grateful to win this because I’ve worked hard academically all my life,” Coyle said. “Being recognized for my academic and athletic achievements is probably the best award I’ve been given in my life.”

Bethlehem Catholic’s Molly Ehrig was a first team all-state and District 11 tennis player, and was also the best in the classroom after winning for her sport.

“I feel so honored because I take my academics and tennis very seriously and this is really nice validation for that,” she said. “I didn’t really know what to expect from this, but it was a nice surprise to win. This award is one of the best I’ve received because balancing your school work and the time you put in sports is really tough. It’s a great feeling.”

The full list of recipients from Monday’s event were: Boys’ Cross Country: Matt Bodon (Stroudsburg); Girls’ Cross Country: Emily Deschler (Central Catholic); Field Hockey: Morgan Mullen (Northampton); Football: Gregory Bensley (Pocono Mountain West); Golf: Thomas Munshower (Central Catholic); Boys’ Soccer: James Haag (Emmaus); Girls’ Soccer: Sara Coyle (Pleasant Valley); Girls’ Tennis: Molly Ehrig (Bethlehem Catholic) and Girls’ Volleyball: Alix Buskirk (Whitehall).