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 Alyssa Hulme, Karita Lewis, Raul Melgar, and Raymond Mukhailov on their selection as "SportsMX/NDIAA Athletes of the Month" for September 2016.
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
Position: Outside Hitter
Coaches are always thrilled when they have a player who willingly steps up to lead by example and teaches other players on team. Alyssa is this kind of individual for the Western Pennsylvania volleyball team. She has made every effort to polish her volleyball skills and continually improve her game. Alyssa’s strength is her serving where she has tallied 59 aces so far this season easily surpassing her total from last year. She also leads the team with 53 kills. What sets Alyssa apart from the other players is that she establishes personal goals for the season and works towards it.
“Alyssa is a committed player and she does her best to help her team. She never gives up and is always showing her potential in both school and volleyball.” - Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Head Coach Christie Homell
Maryland School for the Deaf
Position: Outside Hitter
With an outstanding all-around game, Karita was pivotal in leading Maryland to two tournament championships and a semifinal appearance in a third tournament during the month of September. She was named the Oriole Classic MVP award and was the only player from Maryland to be named to the all-tournament team at the Oakdale tournament. Karita has amassed impressive stats for September racking up 292 kills, 139 digs, and 48 aces. Karita was on the USA Deaf Volleyball U18 elite team for two summers in a row and experience playing against tougher competition has enabled Karita to ratchet up her skills to another level.
“It has been magnificent to watch Karita's skills and leadership ability on the court blossom this year. She is a joy to coach as she possesses skills to compete at a higher level of competition.” - Maryland Volleyball Head Coach Vicki Kitsembel
Kansas School for the Deaf
The offense of Kansas led by Raul at the quarterback position has been piling up eye-popping stats thus far this season. In five games, Raul has thrown for 949 yards with 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions with a 59% completion rate. Playing against Missouri School for the Deaf, Raul set five school records for most passing attempts (38), passing completions (20), passing yards (369), touchdown passes (7), and passing PATs (6). Raul has elevated his game by committing to weight training, continually working on his passing game on his own, and attending the Manning Passing Academy during the summer.
“Raul is a young man that sets goals and strives to achieve them. I have faith that he will be able to accomplish his dreams.” – Kansas Football Head Coach William Richard Ward
Lexington School for the Deaf
Dominant players do not come along very often and Raymond has built a reputation as one for the Lexington soccer team. For the month of September, Raymond has scored 13 goals, assisted on six, and averages three goals a game. Raymond also recently broke the school record of career goals when he made his 91st goal and is on pace to reach 100+ career goals. Despite being blessed as a natural athlete, Raymond continues to work hard to be an even better player. He is a standout student in the classroom taking on leadership roles and possesses an impressive GPA of 3.7.
“I am grateful to have Raymond as my player. He works so hard and he strives to be a professional player, I definitely believe in him. He has been the heart and soul of this soccer team.” - Lexington Soccer Head Coach Frank Wells