Players of the Year

Two pirate athletes are recognized for their hard work


by Marissa Horn, Copy Editor

With fall sports coming to an end and winter sports coming to a dashing start, the players of the year and recognitions for athletes who have got selected for All-State teams have been announced. This year, St. Charles High School had two student athletes that were voted as player of the year in the GAC Conference. These two students are senior volleyball player Addi Kersting and junior soccer player Ethan Mercurio.

In order to determine which student athletes will be granted the title of Player of the Year, every coach of that conference gathers together and takes a vote on whom the title should belong to. There is a lot of thought and observing that goes on throughout the season in order to decide who comes out on top at the end of the season. Athletic Director Ben Owens used to be the St. Charles girls basketball coach and has experience in the voting process.

“Stats are very important. I always looked at it as if I was selecting a team, what player would I first pick to be on the team,” Owens said.

Athletes that stand out or have made significant improvements throughout the season have a higher chance of getting chosen than other players in the district. Players that earn this award have radiating passion for their sport and put full effort into every game no matter the outcome.

“Usually the best players get voted for, but character goes into the decision as well,” Owens said.

For Addi Kersting, she has played volleyball for her whole high school career and was involved with select volleyball as well. Having this extra practice and support from those around her lead her to becoming a strong and successful volleyball setter.

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“My high school coach, Coach John, my parents, and my club coaches really helped me to get up to this point,” Kersting said. 

Not only did Kersting win GAC Player of the Year, she also got selected for the Class 3 All-State Team making her one of the best setters in the state. With these accomplishments and love for the game of volleyball, Kersting was signed by Troy University in Alabama to continue playing volleyball in college on a division one team. 

“It feels great being named Player of the Year, I worked really hard this season,” Kersting said. 

For the soccer team, midfielder Ethan Mercurio was given the recognition of co-player of the year for the conference. Co-player of the year means that Mercurio shares the honor with another GAC player as the coaches had a tie while voting. What is most interesting about this title being given to Ethan, is the fact that he is only a junior. 

“It is not uncommon (for a junior), to get chosen, but it is not super common either,” Owens said. “Usually it is a Senior, but grade level doesn’t really matter.” 

Even with one year less of experience compared to the seniors in the district, Mercurio was still able to showcase his natural skills over his upperclassmen. He also got selected to be a part of the GAC North All-Conference First Team which proves his value as a soccer player.

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“It’s a big honor to be named Player of the Year and I wasn’t really expecting it,” Mercurio said.

Containing the talent and passion he has for soccer, Mercurio aims to make his next and last high school soccer season memorable. He plans to work even harder next season in hopes of having the opportunity to play soccer in college. 

“I want to provide more opportunities for my team,” Mercurio said. 

Receiving the title of Player of the Year is an honor for high school athletes. These players worked non-stop to receive this title while balancing school work on top of their sports.