June 24, 2017 – Portsmouth, NH — We’re here today to thank the stars of the inaugural Seacoast All–Star Sports Awards — our local student-athletes — for making Thursday’s event a big success before a packed house at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

We were proud to invite hundreds of high school athletes and their families to celebrate a full school year of amazing accomplishments on the fields, tracks, ice rinks and courts of the Seacoast. We also owe big thanks to the parents and families of the athletes, the coaches, special guest Danny Amendola of the New England Patriots, lead sponsors Piscataqua Savings Bank, the Center for Orthopedics & Movement of Exeter Hospital and Core Physicians and the Little Harbour Charitable Foundation and numerous other sponsors, The Music Hall staff, the volunteers from our own staff and many more people. Amendola was gracious to everyone he met, signing autographs and posing for photos. He also shared insights into the Super Bowl and his life and career in a memorable on-stage interview with our own Ryan O’Leary and John Doyle, the hosts of the show.

The teenage athletes, of course, were the reason for the event. You have amazed us all year, winning many state titles, setting records and competing at an extremely high level. We know the hours and hours of training it takes to succeed, and you have exemplified it.

There were so many great moments in the night. Let’s name a few

• Trevor Salema, a Traip athlete who battles cystic fibrosis, was the winner of the Courage Award and the recipient of one of the loudest standing ovations of the night after a video documenting his work ethic and perseverance played. We definitely noticed a few tears shed as the video featured Trevor’s parents talking about what he has to go through each day to be able to go to school and play sports.

• Comedian Juston McKinney, host of the “Small Town Famous” edgeradio.com show and podcast, warmed up the audience, poking fun at the few people he noticed in the crowd wearing the jersey of Julian Edelman, Amendola’s teammate with the Patriots. “That’s like wearing a Katy Perry T-shirt to a Taylor Swift concert,” he said. “You wouldn’t do that.”

• Kyle Ball, the winner as the Seacoast’s top football players, wasn’t in attendance. His little brother Aiden Bly, 8, accepted the award on his behalf and nearly stole the show. He got to meet Amendola and got the audience laughing. “He’s so cute,” was heard many times.

• Boys lacrosse award winner Dom Silverio of Dover High School gave Amendola a huge bear hug. “I love Danny Amendola. I love the Patriots,” he said. “That is one of the best moments of my life.”

We hope the night was as memorable and enjoyable for the audience as it was for us. We are proud of all the nominees for representing their schools and the community with class and setting a good example on how hard work pays off. High school sports are a joy to watch and the athletes come away with memories that are among the most important of their lives.

Thank you for letting us be a part of it.

Read the original article from the Seacoast Online on June 24, 2017.

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