WPIAL Announces 2022 James Collins Scholar/Athlete Award Recipients

Wednesday, April 13, 2022


Pittsburgh, Pa. – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) announced its recipients of the 31st annual WPIAL/James Collins Scholar/Athlete Award on Wednesday, with 20 candidates (10 male, 10 female) selected from a pool of 142 nominees.

The 142 nominees are the most for the program since the 2016-2017 academic year. The candidate pool was represented by 75 female student-athletes and 67 male student-athletes from a total of 80 schools, with 120 of the candidates participating in more than one sport over their varsity career.

The 20 winners are listed below, as well as a brief overview of each recipient’s varsity career.

LINK: 2022 WPIAL/James Collins Scholar/Athlete Award Nominees

2022 WPIAL/James Collins Scholar/Athlete Award Winners

Anthony DiFalco Franklin Regional Leia Day Hopewell
Jacob DiMichele Our Lady of Sacred Heart Anna Durbin West Greene
Russell Fenton Fox Chapel Madison Griffin Ligonier Valley
Carter Green Penn-Trafford Kai Herchenroether Hampton
Austin Marmol Peters Township Lauren Iagnemma South Fayette
Matthew McDonough North Allegheny Aislin Malcolm Chartiers Valley
William Retsch Hampton Kelsey Salopek Steel Valley
Daniel Simoes Seneca Valley Grace Spadaro Southmoreland
CJ Singleton Butler Katalina Wang Peters Township
Colton Stoneking Waynesburg Central Meghan Zambruno Greensburg Central Catholic


Anthony DiFalco (Franklin Regional) –
3.70 GPA … Four-year letterwinner in soccer … All-time scoring leader in Franklin Regional boys’ soccer history … Three-time PIAA All-State selection … Twice nominated for PA Gatorade Player of the Year … Helped lead Franklin Regional to WPIAL titles in 2018 and 2019 … Four-year Highest Honors honor roll … Volunteered with Play It Forward, Little Bridgers, and Helping Homebound Heroes … Plans to pursue a business degree and play soccer at Duquesne University

Leia Day (Hopewell) – 4.54 GPA … Three letters in track & field and one in softball … Placed third in pole vault, fourth in the 4×100-meter relay, and eighth in long jump at 2021 WPIAL Track & Field Individual Championships … Collected Scholar-Athlete recognition from Hopewell … Member of National Honors Society, Italian Club, and Forensics Club … Four-year Highest Honors honor roll … Given her time to The Prevention Network, Project Holiday Dreams, Salvation Army, Our Lady of Fatima, St. Vincent DePaul, and Reward Recovery House … Plans to attend Carlow University

Jacob DiMichele (Our Lady of Sacred Heart) – 4.33 GPA … Four-year letterwinner in basketball … Top-five scorer in WPIAL history with over 2,000 points … Two-time PIAA All-State selection … Helped guide Our Lady of Sacred Heart to four WPIAL championships and two PIAA titles … Collected the Trib Scholar-Athlete Award in 2019-2020 … Member of National Honors Society and Chess Club … Served with OWL Tutoring, Holy Family Bible School, Mother of Sorrows Pizza Kitchen, and Baldwin Middle School Basketball … Plans to pursue a degree in either marketing or sports management

Anna Durbin (West Greene) – 4.17 GPA … 13 total letters in volleyball, basketball, softball, and football … Helped lead West Greene to five WPIAL Championship Games in basketball and softball, winning twice in softball (2019, 2021) … First female athlete to score offensive points in football for West Greene … Named a school award recipient of the 2022 National Heisman Athlete … Member of the National Honors Society, AP Calculus Club, and Peer Mentoring Program … Volunteered her time to the Humane Society of Greene County, Greene County Food Drive, West Greene Light-Up Night, and Youth Church Sunday School … Plans to pursue a degree in mathematics and play basketball at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

Russell Fenton (Fox Chapel) – 4.40 GPA … Three-year letterwinner in basketball … Helped lead Fox Chapel to a WPIAL boys’ basketball title in 2022 … Collected the Scholar-Athlete Award in each of his four varsity seasons … Named a National Merit Scholar, Presidential Scholar Candidate, and AP Scholar with Distinction … Member of National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honors Society, Future Business Leaders of America, and the FCASD Wellness Committee … Volunteered as an altar server, youth basketball camp instructor, and student ambassador … Plans to pursue a degree in civil engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Madison Griffin (Ligonier Valley) – 4.03 GPA … Four letters in softball and three in basketball … All-time strikeout leader in Ligonier Valley softball history … Helped lead Ligonier Valley to an undefeated section championship and PIAA runner-up finish in 2021 … Four-year Honor Roll selection … Member of National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, National Art Honors Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Students Against Destructive Decisions, and Student Council … Volunteered with the Fireman’s Fair, Open Hands, You Got a Friend Day, Valley Youth Network Parking, and the food pantry … Plans to pursue a degree in accounting and play softball at Youngstown State University

Carter Green (Penn-Trafford) – 4.51 GPA … Four letters in lacrosse and three in football … Helped lead Penn-Trafford to its first WPIAL and PIAA football titles in school history in 2021 … Named All-State in football … Four-year High Honor Roll … Member of National Honors Society, Science National Honors Society, Westinghouse Honors Society, Student Union, and Community Action Program … Volunteered time to youth football and lacrosse camps, volleyball tournaments, and washing community fire trucks … Plans to pursue a biology degree and play lacrosse at Seton Hill University

Kai Herchenroether (Hampton) – 4.61 GPA … Three-year letterwinner in volleyball … Helped lead Hampton to two section volleyball titles and WPIAL and PIAA runner-up finishes in 2021 … Named All-State and AAU Volleyball Academic All-American … Four-year honor roll and senior scholar … Member of National Honors Society, MSA, Mandarin Club, WEA, and Student Council … Served as a math tutor, H2GO SERVES lead coordinator and founder, Best Buddies prom organizer, youth volleyball program coach, head lifeguard, and Children of Steel Hampton Chapter … Plans to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering and play volleyball at Carnegie Mellon University

Austin Marmol (Peters Township) – 5.06 GPA … Six letters between soccer and track & field … Helped lead Peters Township to two section championship, a pair of WPIAL runner-up finishes, and a PIAA semifinalist bid in soccer … Four-year honor roll, twice on Highest Honors … Member of National Honors Society … Served as a student ambassador, soccer camp counselor, and player mentor … Volunteered his time to Salvation Army, Red Door Homeless Shelter Program, Glimmer of Hope Foundation, Community Rec Center, Relay for Life, and recreational spikeball and dodgeball tournaments … Plans to pursue a degree in finance

Lauren Iagnemma (South Fayette) – 4.39 GPA … Four letters in cross country and two in track & field … Owns school records in the 1600-meter run (indoor), 3200-meter run (indoor), and 4×800-meter relay (outdoor) … Helped lead South Fayette to two WPIAL cross country titles in 2018 and 2019, and the 2019 PIAA title … Four-year Highest Honors honor roll … Member of the Strategic Planning Committee, Marching Band, Concert Wind Ensemble, School Musical Pit Band, Recreational Dance, and WACA Band … Volunteered to the Washington Area Humane Society and as a high school student ambassador … Successfully petitioned school admissions and school board to move prom date in 2021 due to conflict with PIAA track & field … Plans to pursue an education in psychology degree

Matthew McDonough (North Allegheny) – 4.48 GPA … Four-year letterwinner in basketball … Won WPIAL basketball title with Vincentian Academy in 2020 and made 2019 PIAA Championship Game … Scored over 1,000 career points and was selected to the Roundball Classic All-Star Game … Received AP Scholar Award and PA Certificate of Merit … Served as a student ambassador, math and science tutor, Night at the Races fundraising volunteer, summer basketball camp leader, and Summer Kidsfest leader at Orchard Hill Church … Held an internship with the LaRoche College athletics department … Plans to pursue a degree in statistics or mathematics

Aislin Malcolm (Chartiers Valley) – 4.00 GPA … Four-year letterwinner in basketball … All-time scoring and three-point leader in Chartiers Valley girls’ basketball history … Helped guide Chartiers Valley to three WPIAL titles and the 2019 PIAA championship … Earned a Top 100 ranking from ESPN HoopGurlz and McDonald’s All-American Game nomination … Four-year High Honor Roll … Member of National Honors Society, Math Honors Society, Calcu Solve Club, Chartiers Valley Student-Athlete Advisory Board, and Best Buddies Club … Volunteered with Boys & Girls Club, See Her Be Her, and Maximum Hoops … Received the Tribune Review Citizenship Award … Plans to pursue an engineering degree and play basketball at the University of Pittsburgh

William Retsch (Hampton) – 4.78 GPA … Four-year letterwinner in swimming & diving … Owns school records in 200 Medley Relay, 200 Individual Medley, 100 Breaststroke, and 100 Butterfly … Won five WPIAL individual titles between 2021 and 2022, and the 2022 PIAA championship in the 200 IM … Helped lead Hampton to two WPIAL championships … Member of National Honors Society, Chinese Language/Culture Club, and Band … Received AMS Scholastic All-America and AP Scholar with Honors … Volunteered time to Talbot Thon, USCGA Academy Introduction Mission, and Wildlife and Fisheries Management Summer Academy at Clarion University … Plans to pursue an engineering degree

Kelsey Salopek (Steel Valley) – 4.30 GPA … Received 13 varsity letters in soccer, basketball, softball, and cross country … Helped lead Steel Valley to a WPIAL girls’ soccer title in 2021 … Scored over 100 career goals … Two-time All-State and All-Region II selection … Member of TIFM, SADD, Student Council, French Club, Art Club, Student Government … Given her time to Century Stars Program, blood drives, food drives, youth camps, community parades, Breakfast with Santa, and various sports camps … Plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy or nursing and play soccer at Kent State University

Daniel Simoes (Seneca Valley) – 5.18 GPA … Four-year letterwinner in swimming & diving … Helped lead Seneca Valley to the WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2022 … Captured five WPIAL individual titles in the 100 Freestyle, 200 Individual Medley, 200 Freestyle Relay, and 400 Freestyle Relay … Won the 200 IM and 400 Free Relay at the 2022 PIAA Championships … Four-year Highest Honors honor roll … Member of National Honors Society, Science National Honors Society, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble I, District Band, Region Band, and Seneca Valley Swim Club … Volunteered time to Shoes for Uganda, World Vision, Raider Relays, and as a swim lessons instructor, bible school teacher, and lifeguard … Plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering and compete in swimming & diving at Cornell University

Grace Spadaro (Southmoreland) – 3.82 GPA … Earned 11 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball, and track & field … Helped guide Southmoreland to three section championships in basketball … Scored over 1,000 career points and was twice nominated for Miss Pennsylvania Basketball … Member of National Honors Society, Student Council, 4-H, The Future is Mine, and Youth Educators Association … Served as class historian … Volunteered her time to Buddy Day, food banks, basketball camps, kindergarten orientation, Maple Bottom 4-H Camp, Fayette County Wide Dairy Club … Plans to pursue a nursing degree and play basketball at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

CJ Singleton (Butler) – 4.24 GPA … Received 10 varsity letters in cross country, track & field, basketball, and baseball … Won four WPIAL individual titles between cross country and track & field, and the PIAA individual cross country crown in 2021 … Helped lead Butler to WPIAL titles in boys’ basketball and track & field … Five-time All-State and two-time All-America selection … Nominated for Gatorade Player of the Year in cross country … Member of the National Honors Society and Athletes for Christ … Served as a school ambassador and altar server … Plans to attend and compete in cross country at the University of Notre Dame

Katalina Wang (Peters Township) – 5.50 GPA … Earned four letters in tennis and three in swimming & diving … Collected two WPIAL and PIAA doubles titles in girls’ tennis in 2019 and 2020 … Helped lead Peters Township to a WPIAL girls’ tennis championship in 2019 … Four-year Highest Honors honor roll … Received AP Scholar with Honor and Distinction … Member of National Honors Society, Math Club, Interact Club, German Club, and Cyber-Security Club … Served as a camp counselor at Camp Invention, ball kid with the USTA Pro Circuit, Upper St. Clair tennis instructor, and a lifeguard … Volunteered with Washington Hospital CCU and Visitors Information, and Meatballs and Music … Plays piano and violin at CMU School of Music … Plans to pursue a medical degree

Colton Stoneking (Waynesburg Central) – 4.00 GPA … Received six letters in wrestling, soccer, and track & field … Helped lead Waynesburg Central to three WPIAL wrestling titles and the 2021 PIAA wrestling crown … Finished fifth twice at the PIAA Wrestling Individual Championships … Won over 100 career matches and earned two Top 25 national rankings … Member of National Honors Society, Spanish Club, Future Business Leaders of America … Named Lions Club Student of the Month … Volunteered as a wrestling coach … Plans to pursue a business marketing degree and compete in wrestling at George Mason University

Meghan Zambruno (Greensburg Central Catholic) – 4.24 GPA … Earned nine letters in golf, basketball, and lacrosse … Helped lead Greensburg Central Catholic to four WPIAL girls’ golf titles and two PIAA girls’ golf championships … Earned two WPIAL and one PIAA runner-up individual finishes in girls’ golf … Four-year Highest Honors honor roll … Member of National Honors Society, Science National Honors Society, French Honors Society, Interact Cub, Board Game Club, and Walking Club … Volunteered with Stocking for Kids, Cookie Drive, Christmas for Youth, and Church Acolyte Junior Golf Classic … Plans to pursue a degree in medicine and play golf at Saint Francis University

The WPIAL Scholarship Fund was created to award scholarships annually to student-athletes from schools and school districts comprising Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) District VII. Since 1992, the league has given $678,000 in scholarships to the James Collins Scholar/Athlete Award recipients.

About the WPIAL
Founded in 1906, the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) represents Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) District VII, which is one of the 12 districts governed by the Constitution and By-Laws of the PIAA. The WPIAL represents its member schools by promoting academics, the safety of participants, sportsmanship, citizenship, and lifelong values as the foundation of interscholastic athletics. The league holds championships for 26 different sports, and its member schools are made up of 10 state counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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