Following the completion of every scholastic sports year, the Observer-Reporter honors a boys and girls athlete of the year. It is voted on by members of the sports staff.
Generally, the distinction is given to a multi-sport athlete, though a single-sport athlete can be selected, as evidenced by the past two Girls Athlete of the Year honorees.
Previous O-R Girls Athlete of the Year were Shelli Spamer, Peters Township (2011), Taylor Schram, Canon-McMillan (2010), Amanda Kennedy, Bentworth (2009), Jenna Phillips, Washington (2008), Paige McMenamin, Peters Township (2007), Brianna Liebold, Chartiers-Houston (2006), Ashley Young, Canon-McMillan (2005), Samantha Slagle, Beth-Center (2004), Stephanie Kuhn, Ringgold (2003), Jessica Perry, Peters Township (2002), Shellie Cotton, Charleroi (2001) and Kristen Lancas, Ringgold (2000).
The following five players were considered for this year's distinction:
Beka Bellhy, Fort Cherry
Bellhy was the O-R Girls Basketball Player of the Year and an All-State selection. She also played volleyball and participated in track.
Jessica Dorazio, Bentworth
Dorazio was a three-sport standout. She earned All-State honors in volleyball, was the area's leading scorer in girls basketball and one of the premier defensive players in softball.
Shannon Flament, Charleroi
Flament earned All-WPIAL honors in soccer, was a four-year starter and the leading scorer for the basketball team and a PIAA qualifier in track.
Veronica Latsko, Peters Township
Already one of the more highly decorated girls soccer players in Washington County history, Latsko - a sophomore - scored 45 goals for PT, including the lone goal in the PIAA Class AAA championship match.
Jessie Merckle, Fort Cherry
For all Fort Cherry's basketball talent, the Rangers played their best when Merckle was on, which was most of the time. A two-time All-District selection in basketball, the Wake Forest track recruit was a PIAA and WPIAL gold medalist in the javelin.