• Sal Maxwell Stewart, 9, is a dedicated student athlete who leads others by setting a strong example with his effort and intensity in the classroom and on the playing field. His drive is evident in his school work and extra-curricular activities. Sal has demonstrated a unique ability to transcend what is merely required of him in order to make himself and those around him exceed expectations. He not only rises to the challenges confronting him, but he does so with enthusiasm, a sense of duty and an unwillingness to be satisfied with anything less than the best from himself .
His began playing sports at age 3, playing baseball and basketball the past six years. He currently competes for the MVP Legends baseball team, rated the top 9U team in the country. Earlier in the year, he earned MVP honors. He played for the Miami City Ballers basketball team and was a Copa Dorada Sports Award recipient.
A third grader at Pinecrest Cove Preparatory Academy, he maintains a 4.0 grade point average and has made the Principal’s Honor Roll since Kindergarten.
• In just her first year playing organized softball, Sarisha Wiggins helped the Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep High School girls’ varsity team win the District 15-3A championship, qualifying for regionals. An eighth grader, Sarisha started at shortstop 15 of 18 games. She batted .289 with a .490 on-base percentage and .342 slugging percentage. She also had 11 RBI and 11 runs and walked 13 times. Archbishop Curley coach Beth Love said she was an integral part of the team’s success.
Sarisha, 14, began her youth sports career at age 4 in T-ball. By age 7, she started playing basketball. Her teammates and opponents have always been boys at the local parks, and she received numerous awards for her hard work and skills. Sarisha also began cheering at age 7. An all-around talent, when one sport ends, she transitions to another.
A North Miami resident and solid student athlete, she is enrolled at Archbishop Curley’s Brother Rice Academy for Middle School. In the winter, she tried out for the high school’s junior varsity girls’ basketball team and made varsity and followed up by making the varsity softball team.
• YouTube videos of the honorees including presentations by Marlins catcher Rob Brantly and Billy the Marlin and interviews conducted by Miami Herald Neighbors Youth Sports Reporter Jacqueline Alman.
YouTube on the Jim Varsallone (the jimmyv3 channel)
Introduction inside Marlins Park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8ZOQXg47LE
Honorees on the field with Marlins staff readying for the ceremony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfCxeuUMHHk
Photo opt before the ceremony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qVsvvXs3G4
Ceremony for honorees with Marlins catcher Rob Brantly and Billy the Marlin:
Photo opt with honorees and Marlins catcher Rob Brantly
Interviews with honorees and parents: