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MMI Preparatory School recently held a virtual 2020 Athletic Awards ceremony to honor student athletes and their achievements during the 2019-2020 school year.

MMI Head of School Justin Kleinheider opened the program with welcoming remarks and announced the award winners. During the ceremony, athletes received awards in the MVP, Most Improved, and Coach's Award categories and varsity letter recipients were recognized. Although the boys' varsity tennis, varsity baseball and varsity softball seasons were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kleinheider recognized all those athletes and their coaches for their outstanding work in the preseason and congratulated senior Alexander Jordan, who will continue his baseball career in college.

Additionally, the girls' basketball team was recognized for qualifying for the District 2 Championship for the first time in program history, the boys' basketball team was honored for once again reaching the district playoffs, Alexander Jordan received recognition for qualifying for the PIAA District 2 individual championship in golf, the varsity soccer team was honored for qualifying for the district playoffs, the girls' tennis team made an appearance in the district tournament and several members of the team advanced to the second round of the tournament, and the volleyball team once again made a run at the district playoffs before losing to rival Blue Ridge High School in a hard-fought final.

Kleinheider said, “The athletic awards program is designed to help build our pillar of excellence that is Athletics by highlighting our sports programs. While we would have preferred to recognize our student athletes for their achievements on the athletic fields and courts in person, we were excited to share their accomplishments virtually.”

Alexander Jordan and Andrellie Puntiel received the 2020 District 2 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Scholar-Athlete awards, which are presented to male and female athletes who participated in MMI’s athletic program for multiple

years, maintained high academic grades, and were involved in community and school service.

The team Most Valuable Players, Most Improved Players, and Coach's Award recipients, as well as team members who received varsity letters, are as follows:

Basketball: MVP – Marcus Kassick, Most Improved – Alexander Jordan, and Coach's Award – Harrison Kress. Letter winners – Lieth Abdulrahman, Chance Eyerly, Alexander Jordan, Marcus Kassick, Harrison Kress, Thomas Mayernik, Ryan McNelis, Robert Rinaldi, Josue Rodriguez, Andre Sechleer, Connor Spencer, and Peter Walko.

Girls Basketball: MVP – Kimberly Amentler, Most Improved – Alexis Dalesandro, and Coach’s Award – Julie Amentler. Letter winners - Irene Altmiller, Julie Amentler, Kimberly Amentler, Lindsay Braunstein, Sadie Cloud, Alexis Dalesandro, Dominique Kline, and Violet O’Connell.

Cheerleading: Most Improved – Khristian Banks, and Coach's Awards – Morgan Allen and Morgan Hosier. Letter winners - Morgan Allen, Khristian Banks, Ashley Bonifacio, Annabel Dobash, Gina Galada, Natalie Graham, Lindsay Horvat, Morgan Hosier, Erica Kline, Evelyn Lacombe, Katherine Lewandowski, Emely Lopez-Rodriguez, Kate Malay, Julianna Salio, Millie Symbula, and Alexandra Tierney.

Boys Cross Country: Most Valuable Runner – Aaron Haber; Most Improved Runner – Connor Spencer; and Coach's Award – Hunter Blasko. Girls Cross Country: Most Valuable Runner – Annabel Dobash; Most Improved Runner – Morgan Hosier; and Coach's Award – Alexis Dalesandro. Letter winners – Hunter Blasko, Aaron Haber, Connor Spencer, Khristian Banks, Annabel Dobash, Alexis Dalesandro, Natalie Graham, and Morgan Hosier.

Golf: MVP – Christian Homnack, Most Improved – Alexander Jordan, and Coach's Award – Christian Yamulla. Letter winners – Christian Badamo, Christian Homnack, Alexander Jordan, Noah Long, Thomas Mayernik, Peter Walko, and Christian Yamulla.

Soccer: MVP – James Kelly, Most Improved – David Castro, and Coaches’ Award – Benjamin Putnam. Letter winners – David Castro, Carter Frask, Marcus Kassick, James Kelly, Gregory Leonard, Kai Mele, Keiran Mele, Josiah Pacchioli, Caden Pease, Benjamin Putnam, Josue Rodriguez, and Grant Warren.

Girls Tennis: MVP – Katharine Pinto, Most Improved – Emily Ankiewicz, and Coach's Award – Lindsay Braunstein. Letter winners – Emily Ankiewicz, Lindsay Braunstein, Katharine Pinto, and Emily Ryan.

Volleyball: MVP – Jessica Flynn, Most Improved – Andrellie Puntiel, and Coach’s Award – Kaylee Witner. Letter winners – Julie Amentler, Kimberly Amentler, Hannah Falatko, Jessica Flynn, Hiba Muhammad, Andrellie Puntiel, and Jacqueline Snyder.

Although MMI does not have a swim team, Emily Ryan swims for MMI through the Hazleton Area School District. She improved her meet times across the board in all events for the second consecutive year and was recognized with a varsity letter.

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