2021 - Grant Moss (GP)
Grant has been a member of the Gulf Park Blue Sharks for 10 years and has participated in GKAISA swimming for 12 years. Grant also swam for Hardin Valley Academy for 7 years and lettered each year during high school. Grant is often found volunteering at Fellowship Church and visiting and feeding the homeless. In a year when his team grew by 50% with many new swimmers, Grant’s contributions at practice, meets, behind the scenes and with the feeder program have been essential. Says Grant, “Getting to help and encourage people younger than me grow into better swimmers and better people was eye opening…. Coaching is an outlet for me to be a positive person for others to see, as well as encourage them to be the best that they can become.”
2021 Honorable Mention: Will Locke (Gulfwood Gators)
2020 - Will Pensky
Will has been a member of the Peninsula Club Pirates for 8 years. Though soccer is Will's primary sport, his dedication and commitment to PClub has been unwavering where he served as assistant coach for 3 years. He was captain of Webb's varsity soccer team and was a starter for Elite Cubs National League, which is one of the top soccer leagues in the country.
2020 Honorable Mention: Joseph Knight (CHW) & Caleb Fikes (NFC)
2019 - Robbie Chadwell
Robbie has been a member of Benington-Farrington Swim Team for 12 years where he became a leader of his team. He has undertaken management of the Kiddie Cudas program for several years where children ages 4-8 were all taught to swim unassisted each summer. He has also been an active supporter of each child on the team - cheering during meets and practices, encouraging and reassuring before, during, and after races, and guiding each child to do their best. Robbie is a graduate of Bearden High School and will be attending UTK. He can be seen marching with the Pride of the Southland Marching Band on Saturdays this fall.
2019 Honorable Mention: Gavin and Grayson Clower (VG)
2021 - Morgan Blazer (NCC)
Morgan has been a member of the Newport-Cocke County Rapids team for 10 years. Morgan is an All-State athlete in three sports and was salutatorian of her graduating class this past year. This year, in addition to swimming on her team, Morgan is often on deck, serving as an assistant coach. Says Morgan, “Summer swim taught me how to make goals and what it takes to achieve them, for I remember arriving early and leaving late from practice to do a few more sprints or to better my start. I cannot imagine my mindset without summer swim, for I carry these lessons and principles past the pool into every facet of my life.”
2021 Honorable Mention: Kate Salsbury (GW)
2020 - Gracie Bellah
Gracie has been a member of the Green Meadow Swim Team for 13 years. Her coach describes her as "an exemplary teammate and friend (who) brings everyone together and makes them feel welcome and encouraged." She is a graduate of Maryville High School where she was named Maryville Scholar and captain of the swim team. She will be attending Rhodes College where she will also continue her swimming career.
2020 Honorable Mention: Mary Beth Zetterberg (VG) & Rebekah Pass (GW)
2019 - Eva Karnowski
Eva has been an integral part of the Benington-Farrington Swim Team for the last 10 years. She has been a senior helper for the 8 and under age group since 2016 where she shared her love of swimming while teaching young athletes how to be successful in the sport. She avidly pushes her teammates of all ages to be the best versions of themselves while holding herself to those same standards. Eva is a graduate of Bearden High School and will be attending UTK in the fall while majoring in Nursing.
2019 Honorable Mention: Melanie Moczadlo (CHP)
2021 Sierra Shuck-Sparer (USC) & Alyssa Benedict (MAFD)
Sierra Shuck-Sparer (USC):
In October 2018, Sierra was diagnosed with a life-threatening form of brain cancer. She endured surgeries and nearly a year of radiation and chemotherapy at St. Jude. Throughout her incredible and inspiring fight against cancer, Sierra managed to not only stay positive, but to also excel academically (taking a number of AP classes) and to remain an active member of her swim team. Upon approval from her doctors after completing her treatment, Sierra immediately returned to the pool. Earlier this Spring, Sierra’s cancer returned, and she has again been undergoing treatment. Despite this, Sierra has been assisting the team on the pool deck when possible. She continues to inspire her team and will be attending Georgia Tech in the Fall.
Alyssa Benedict (MAFD)
During high school, Alyssa had to have reconstructive surgery on both feet. She continued to swim up until the dates of her surgeries and was back in the pool as soon as her doctors would allow despite the fact that her feet were still hurting and healing. The recovery process on each foot took many months and, even now, her left foot is not fully healed. In spite of this, Alyssa persevered, maintaining a 4.00 GPA and holding down several part-time jobs. She is currently a manager with Chick-fil-a and will attend college in California in the Fall.
2020 - Sierra Shuck-Sparer
In October 2018, Sierra was diagnosed with a life-threatening form of brain cancer. She endured surgeries and nearly a year of radiation and chemotherapy at St. Jude. Throughout her incredible and inspiring fight against cancer, Sierra managed to not only stay positive, but to also excel academically (taking a number of AP classes) and to remain an active member of her swim team. Upon approval from her doctors after completing her treatment, Sierra immediately returned to the pool. She is a valued member of University Swim Club and the West High School swim team.
2019 - Nathan Holliman
Nathan had reconstructive shoulder surgery and persevered during a very painful year-long rehabilitation through his entire junior year. During his rehabilitation, he was unable to swim, but instead became a coach for his high school team and a junior coach for his summer team, Tellico Village Tarpons. Nathan is a graduate of Lenoir City High School where he served as swim team captain, state team member his senior year, and received the Panther Award for Excellence in Spirit and Example.