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Positive Athlete Georgia and Hines Ward Honor Cobb’s Most Positive

April 16, 2015

positve athlete gaNorthStar Church in Kennesaw will host the Second Annual Cobb County Positive High School Athlete Awards on Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.  Student Athletes representing 26 different boys’ and girls’ high school sports, 2 coaches, and Wheeler High School will be honored by community leaders and former professional athletes.   Seven of the student-athletes will receive college scholarships from local Cobb County businesses.

Over 600 nominations from coaches, principals, athletic directors, teachers, and parents were submitted representing all Cobb public and private schools. Former University of Georgia and Pittsburgh Steelers star, Hines Ward, and local businessman Scott Pederson created Positive Athlete as a movement for more positivity in youth sports.  In addition to excellence on the field, each nominated Positive Athlete was required to show characteristics such as an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team as more important than the individual.

“We did not put out a search for the best athletes in Georgia,” said Ward, “We put out a search for kids with positive attitudes whose efforts don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheets.  These kids are also positive role models in their schools who get involved in charitable causes, have already learned the meaning of giving back at an early age, and many have overcome difficult circumstances and remained positive”.

Congratulations to the 2014-2015 Award Winners:

Football – Chandler Watson, senior, Allatoona

Volleyball – Alexandria Hopkins, junior, Wheeler

Softball – Hope Etheridge, senior, Harrison

Cross Country (B) – Conner Head, senior, Hillgrove

Cross County (G) – Ariel Adler, junior, Sprayberry

Cheerleading – Essynce Jenkins, senior, South Cobb

Basketball (B) – Todd Bryant Jr., senior, Dominion

Basketball (G) – Kandi Hudson, sophomore, Pebblebrook

Wrestling – Alex Lebarre, senior, Sprayberry

Swimming (B) – Chase Carson, senior, Kennesaw Mountain

Swimming (G) – Ella Hasty, junior, North Cobb

Gymnastics – Caroline Hohl, junior, Lassiter

Soccer (B) – David Wright, junior, Kennesaw Mountain

Soccer (G) – Jocelyne Martinez, senior, Campbell

Lacrosse (B) – Parker Lavelle, senior, Pope

Lacrosse (G) – Isabella Palermo, junior, Kell 

Tennis (B) – John Johnson, junior, Pebblebrook

Tennis (G) – Suzanne Zenoni, senior, Walton

Track (B) – Clark Price, junior, Walton

Track (B) – Monica Kantor, sophomore, Pope

Golf (B) – Kyle Ponder, senior, Marietta

Golf (G) – Lexie Newhouse, junior, Wheeler

Baseball – Justin Evans, senior, Allatoona

Alternative (G) – Lily Morin (Diving), junior, Kennesaw Mountain

Alternative (B) – Steven Kent (Water  Polo), sophomore, Wheeler

Adaptive – Josh Joines, sophomore, North Cobb

Boys Coach – Jerad Johnson, Pope    

Girls Coach – Jamaine Pearson, South Cobb

In addition to recognizing the athletes and coaches, Wheeler High School will be honored as the Most Positive High School. Wheeler submitted over 60 nominations, many of which were finalists in their respective categories..

Seven corporately sponsored college scholarships that will be up for grabs are:

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – “Hope & Will Award” ($500) – “Given to the Positive High School Athletes who represented a Hopeful attitude and strong Will for their team, school and community.

College Planning Institute – “Bright Future Award” ($500) – Given to a Cobb County underclassman who is developing a bright future based on their volunteerism, academics and college planning.

Chattahoochee Technical College – “Academic Excellence Award” ($500) – Given to a Cobb County student-athlete who has also achieved academic excellence in the classroom.

Northside Hospital – “Leadership Award” ($500) – Given to a Cobb County student-athlete who has shown exceptional leadership skills at their school and in their community.

Cobb EMC – “Positive Energy Award” ($500) – Given to a Cobb County student-athlete who brought positive energy to every practice and competition.

LGE Community Credit Union – “Extra Credit Award” ($500) – Given to the Cobb County high school student-athlete who goes above and beyond for their team, school and community to make the world a better place.

LOUD Security Systems – “LOUD Statement Award” ($500) – Given to the student-athlete whose positive attitude made a LOUD statement about the importance of a positive attitude to their school and community.

“These young men and women deserve our highest praise for their accomplishments on as well as off the playing field,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. “Through these awards, I know that we can hold up these young adults as an example to others of the importance of hard work and civic engagement.  These athletes have worked hard on the playing field and in their communities, and I could not be more proud of them.”

“The most successful business men and women are positive individuals, so we’re using sports to help instill those characteristics at a young age”, said Scott Pederson, President of Positive Athlete Georgia. ”Positivity is a life skill that will help any young person deal with relationships, obstacles and opportunities”.

Positive Athlete Georgia, a subsidiary of parent company Celebrate Positive, LLC, is a group of high-character professional athletes who have teamed up to promote the benefits of positivity to young athletes around the world. Winners of regional events will be eligible to win the title of “most positive” in the State of Georgia at the annual Georgia Positive High School Athlete Awards held at the new College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday, June 2, 2015.  Positive Athlete Georgia mirrors the successful program put together in Pittsburgh by Pederson and Ward Positive Athlete Georgia’s website ( is designed to be the centerpiece of positive sports news in sports for the state of Georgia.

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