SportsMX and National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) present the monthly "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" awards. This award recognizes High School athletes across the country that has made significant impact on their teams not just on the field but in academics, leadership, and character as well.
SportsMX and NDIAA congratulate Demi Bingham, Jasmine Culpepper, Junior Peters, and Zachary Richardson on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for April 2016.
Indiana School for the Deaf
Demi’s rise to become one of the key players of the Indiana’s softball is largely attributed to her commitment to the team. Demi has played through injuries, willingly respond to feedback on her game from the coaches, and lead her team by example to become a feared leadoff hitter and a respected catcher. She boasts a .535 batting average with eight doubles, two triples, and two homeruns. Demi has picked off six base stealers in 49 innings as a catcher. At the recent Hoy Softball Tournament, Demi led her team to a second place finish and was named to the All-Tournament team.
“Demi is definitely the backbone of our team who also shows passion to win every game. All of the characters that the coaches seek for in a player are within Demi. I am very blessed to have her in our program.” - Indiana Softball Head Coach Jill Bianco
Alabama School for the Deaf
Sport: Track & Field
Events: Long Distance
Jasmine is already making her presence felt on the Alabama Track & Field program, as she was the only freshman on the team to earn event points in all meets. Jasmine has used this season to cut down her time in the 800m from 3:05 to 2:49. She also has improved in the 1600m going from 6:50 to 6:42. Jasmine was also just one of two female tracksters from Alabama to qualify for state championships when she placed 4th in 1600m and 5th in 800m in the sectionals. Her other notable performance was at the ASD Invitational with five Deaf schools competing, Jasmine won first place in the 1600m.
“When you have a young individual really succeeding like Jasmine, it makes everyone want to strive to perform their best. She is one of the great leaders among the young girls on the track team.” - Alabama Track & Field Head Coach Marvice Robinson
Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf
Sport: Track & Field
After sitting out the track season last year due to a knee injury, Junior has made an impressive return this spring. Running for the strong Minnesota track program, Junior earned first place finishes in the 200m and 400m events at the Berg and Seeger Classic with personal best times of 23.12 and 51.64. He also was the first athlete from Minnesota to be selected to run in the 100m at the prestigious Hamline Elite competing against top athletes in the state. Junior’s track career will continue after high school as he was selected to represent the USA Deaf Track & Field team.
“Junior is one of few natural born athletes who works hard and dedicates himself into training for the Track & Field program in which he excels.” - Minnesota Track & Field Head Coach Steven Fuerst
Texas School for the Deaf
Sport: Track & Field
Events: Sprints & Field
Zachary has turned in so many first-place finishes in multiple events even in ones he has never run in before. Zachary was penciled in to run 300m hurdles at the Berg-Seeger Classic despite never running this event and he took first place clocking in at 41.86 missing out on the tournament record by .05 seconds. Zachary also anchors Texas’ impressive 4x100m relay that has set a new Berg-Seeger Classic record at 43.89 and they improved on that in the state championship at 43.32, which is a Deaf World Junior Record. Zachary also led his team to a 5th place finish in the states scoring 17 of the team’s 54 points.
“Zachary’s reputation supersedes him as an athlete who leads the TSD Boys Track & Field by performing in five different events. It’s without doubt that he is a great asset to the TSD athletic program.” - Texas Track & Field Head Coach Larry Smith