July 9, 2020
Girls’ volleyball player selected for Positive Athlete award
Kelsey O’Leary, a rising Upper St. Clair High School senior, was recently selected as the Positive Athlete Award winner for girls’ volleyball. The 2020 Western Pennsylvania Positive Athlete award winners were announced on July 6, 2020.
The program, in its ninth year, honors one student-athlete from each sport, as well as two multi-sport athletes, two coaches, and one school. The organization accepts nominations for the awards, which are given to athletes “who have overcome difficult circumstances, given back to their schools and communities or just have an infectious positive attitude.”
Typically, Kelsey would receive her award in a special ceremony at the Heinz History Center. However, due to COVID-19, she and the other honorees will be recognized virtually.
Video: 2020 Western Pennsylvania Positive Athlete Award Winners
A standout volleyball player, Kelsey earned Third Team All-Section honors. For the last two years, she has coordinated the team’s Volley for a Cause efforts – raising more than $4,000 to benefit Children’s Cancer Research Fund and the Miracle League of the South Hills.
“Kelsey O’Leary truly exemplifies a positive athlete both on and off the court,” Victor Morais, former volleyball coach, said. “Her leadership, scholastic accomplishments, and service separate her from other high school athletes.”
In addition to volleyball, Kelsey is a member of the National Honor Society and has participated in Ski Club. She has served as a volunteer for the Upper St. Clair STEAM Camp, Community Day and within the district’s elementary and middle schools. In honor of her late grandfathers, Kelsey participates in the annual Wreaths Across America event at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.
Four other Upper St. Clair High School student-athletes also received 2019-20 Positive Athlete nominations:
- Ryan Junko – Volleyball/Football – Class of 2020 – Upper St. Clair
- Sara Steve – Golf/Basketball – Class of 2020 – Upper St. Clair
- Paige Stevenson – Softball – Class of 2020 – Upper St. Clair
- Grace Swigart – Softball – Class of 2020 – Upper St. Clair
Positive Athlete Pittsburgh was created as a movement to promote the benefits of positivity to student-athletes. According to the organization’s website, “Positive Athlete is a celebration of young athletes who have overcome difficult circumstances, given back to their schools and communities in a significant way, or just have an infectious positive attitude that makes everyone around them a better person.” It lists the following essential characteristics of a positive athlete: optimistic attitude, servant leader, admits imperfections, puts team first, encouraging teammate, heart for others and always gives 100%.