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Sophia Auer of Lewiston-Porter High School and Alec Kirk of Starpoint High School. (Submitted images)
Sophia Auer of Lewiston-Porter High School and Alec Kirk of Starpoint High School. (Submitted images)

Auer, Kirk winners of 56th Hewitt Scholar/Athlete Awards


Mon, May 8th 2023 10:10 am

Board of associates of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital held Event at Niagara Frontier Golf Club

√ Program presented by Mount St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation

Sophia Auer of Lewiston-Porter and Alec Kirk of Starpoint were named winners of the 56th Thomas E. Hewitt Scholar/Athlete Awards. Each received a $2,500 scholarship. The awards were presented by the board of associates of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in a ceremony held at the Niagara Frontier Golf Club. The program was sponsored by the Mount St Mary’s Hospital Foundation.

Sixteen scholar athletes from eight area high schools were nominated for the honor.

The award is based on scholarship, athletic achievement and community service. Jack Armstrong, broadcaster for the Toronto Raptors and former head basketball coach at Niagara University, was the guest speaker.

Auer earned a 102.74 weighted grade average. She is a member of the National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society, has earned high honor roll recognition throughout high school and received scholar athlete recognition for fall and winter sports. She is a member of the superintendent’s advisory council, Key Club, art club and LYNC (Leadership Youth in Niagara County). Auer was co-captain of the soccer and basketball teams and participated on the track and field team. She was the Niagara Gazette “Player of the Year” and Class B All-State in basketball. Auer plans to attend Daemen University and major in secondary education mathematics while continuing her basketball career. In addition to teaching, her ultimate career goal is to become a collegiate basketball coach.

Sophia is the daughter of Lisa and Andrew Auer.

Kirk has earned a 99.83 weighted grade average. He is a member of the National Honor Society, earned high honor roll recognition throughout high school and was named a Starpoint Scholar Athlete. Kirk is a member of the LINK crew mentoring program, the youth activation committee, and a volunteer with the turkey trot and PB&J drive. He is also a member of the concert and jazz bands (percussion section). Kirk was captain of the hockey team and named to the Section VI All-Federation Team, as well as the New York All-State 1st Team (only player in Section VI). He was also selected for the Scotty Bowman Hockey Showcase for the past two years, sponsored by the Buffalo Sabres. He has been captain of the lacrosse team for the past two seasons and was named team MVP as a junior. Kirk will attend Binghamton University, and was invited into its honors college and first-year research immersion program. He will study environmental science.

Alec is the son of Kara and Matthew Kirk.

Other female nominees included Megan Pinzel, Grand Island High School; Natalie Killion, Lockport High School; Haleena Reygers, Niagara Falls High School; Katelyn Dena, Niagara Wheatfield High School; Emily Zander, North Tonawanda High School; Anna Solar, Starpoint High School; and Cassidy Wagner, Wilson High School.

Other male nominees included Matthew Rizzo, Grand Island High School; Michael Mundy, Lewiston-Porter High School; Kaidan Krchniak, Lockport High School; Louis Lodovico, Niagara Falls High School; Evan Osetkowski, Niagara Wheatfield High School; Patrick McNeill, North Tonawanda High; and Benjamin P. Wortkoetter, Wilson High School.

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