Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn junior sportswriters recognized in New York Sports Connection essay contest

June 3, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Heights resident Brazen Van Horn won the sixth- and seventh-grade division. Photo courtesy of New York Sports Connection
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The winners have been announced for the 2016 Sportsmanship essay contest.  Among them were three award-winning Brooklyn students who wrote essays on the topic “What role does sportsmanship play in youth sports?” The contest was presented by New York Sports Connection (NYSC), the online hub for youth sports programs and information in NYC, with the support of Modell’s, the contest sponsor.

A home-schooled resident of Brooklyn Heights, Brazen Van Horn, 12, was the winner of the sixth- and seventh-grade division. Mill Basin resident Anna Lanzman, 14, a ninth-grader at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, was a finalist in the eighth- and ninth-grade division, while Jeremy Weine, 13, a Park Slope resident who attends eighth grade at MS 447: The Math & Science Exploratory School, received an honorable mention in the same category.

The “future of sports is in good hands,” based on the winning essays, says Olympic silver medal fencer Tim Morehouse, a judge of the contest. Morehouse and fellow judges Craig Carton, the WFAN Radio sports-talk host; and Kym Hampton, a former WNBA NY Liberty basketball player, chose four winners and eight finalists in four grade categories in the second-annual contest. The sportsmanship essays were judged anonymously for their originality, emotional appeal, use of the theme and writing skills appropriate for the author’s grade.

Winners and finalists hail from 16 different schools (plus one home school) in the city. Winning authors earn prizes valued at $500 in cash and Modell’s Sporting Goods gift certificates, while finalists receive cash and gift certificates totaling $100.

The essay contest, for NYC residents age 12 through 18, called for young authors to create a 400- to 500-word essay around the theme. It attracted teen writers from across the city, with winners and finalists at schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. “New York Sports Connection is thrilled that the essay contest has become an integral part of the youth sports calendar in NYC,” said NYSC founder Aaron Finkel, himself the father of two teenaged athletes.

“To read so many columns of first-person experiences from young people recognizing the importance and benefits of being a good sport was inspiring,” said Carton, co-host of the “Boomer & Carton” morning-drive radio show with Boomer Esiason on WFAN Radio. “The lessons these kids have learned on the court, the field, the track and, in some cases, the woods, has taught all of them the value of sportsmanship and great leadership. In addition, great leadership from coaches and parents alike will serve them for a very long time. If this is a small piece of what today’s kids are growing up to become, then the world will be in a very good place with these future leaders setting the pace for the next generation.”

Hampton was equally impressed with the quality of the submissions. “As a former professional basketball player, it was an honor to have the opportunity to read what these student athletes had to say about sportsmanship. Not only were the stories great, clearly each student understands the importance of sportsmanship on and off the playing field/court.”

“I was extremely impressed with the maturity expressed by the athletes in their essays,” Morehouse added. “Their dedication to the very essence and purity of Sportsmanship will not only make them better people, but also undoubtedly makes youth sports better. I very much enjoyed being a part of this contest and feel confident that the future of sports is in good hands.”

The winning essays, finalists and honorable mentions are published on the New York Sports Connection website at: https://www.newyorksportsconnection.com/ny_commentary/2016-essay-contest-winners/.


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