Elder’s Harmeyer, St. Xavier’s Hiryur Share Honor


Posted on 5/27/2020 at 10:00 a.m.

GCL South Announces Joe Quinn Scholar-Athlete Finalists

Seniors Sam Harmeyer of Elder and Ronit Hiryur of St. Xavier have been named co-winners of the prestigious Joe Quinn Scholar-Athlete Award that is presented each spring by the Greater Catholic League South Division to a deserving student-athlete from one of its four member schools – Elder, La Salle, Moeller and St. Xavier.  Finalists for the award are Harmeyer, Hiryur, Michael Wergers of La Salle and Michael Currin of Moeller.

The Joe Quinn Scholar-Athlete Award is the most coveted honor presented each year by the GCL South to a student-athlete.  Each of the GCL South member schools nominates one student-athlete to represent their athletic department.  The winner is determined by a point system that considers a student-athlete’s
academic excellence, participation in extracurricular activities and accomplishments in varsity athletics.

Named after Quinn, the former high school sports editor of The Cincinnati Post from 1937 to 1976 and a journalist who truly cared about the people participating in the sports he covered, the honor was first presented in 1977.  The award, presented annually each spring as part of the GCL South Track and Field Championships that was scheduled to be held at the University of Cincinnati’s Gettler Stadium earlier this month, was canceled because of COVID-19.

Here is a look at the four finalists, listed in alphabetical order by school:

Sam Harmeyer, Elder – A key member of the Panthers’ football team that advanced to the Division I state final this past year, Harmeyer was nearly automatic when called upon to cap off a touchdown drive or nail a field goal for the Elder’s potent offense.  Voted by league coaches as a GCL South Kicker of the Year, Harmeyer converted 47-of-49 extra points and 5-of-6 field goals to tie for second in scoring on his team, with 62 points.  As a junior, he nailed 22-of-23 extra points and 4-of-5 field goals – giving him 69-of-72 conversions and 9-of-11 field goals made his final two seasons.  He played four years of varsity football, spending time at linebacker, and was a two-year member of the Panthers’ track and field team.

Harmeyer earned a perfect score of 50 in the academics category of the award, which combines a student’s standardized test score, class rank, grade-point average, and being a National Merit Scholar finalist.  He participated in Stage Band and Mock Trial, served as a Student Ambassador, was a Peer Tutor and Boys and Girls Club Tutor, was a Eucharistic Minister, was involved with Elder News Broadcasting, and was Elder's Class of 2020 Valedictorian.  Harmeyer  plans to attend The Ohio State University this fall and major in biomedical engineering.

Michael Wergers, La Salle – A two-year starter for the Lancers’ successful basketball team, Wergers gave his team a consistent rebounder and defender on the court as La Salle posted an impressive 23-4 record this past season, finished second in the league and was 19-1 against non-conference opponents.  As a junior Wergers put together a three-game stretch where he grabbed 45 rebounds, including a school-record 22 against Roger Bacon.  He also had 17 rebounds in a game against Thurgood Marshall and led the league in rebounding, at 8.8 per game.  He averaged 3.1 points and 3.0 rebounds as a senior.  Wergers  played varsity baseball for one year, was a basketball team captain and received the Brian Wagner Above and Beyond Award.

Wergers excelled in the classroom, finishing in the upper five percent of his class while maintaining an A GPA.  He was part of the LaSallian Honor Guard/Flag Detail, the LaSallian Scholars Institute, served as a Student Ambassador, Director of Special Programs, and a Mass Minister.  Wergers plans to attend the University of Tampa and major in political science.  He will be in the school’s ROTC program.

Michael Currin, Moeller – A member of the Crusaders’ varsity basketball team the last two seasons, Currin came off the bench as a junior when Moeller finished 29-0 and won the Ohio DI state championship and then was a starter this past season helping lead his team to a 26-1 record and a trip to the regional final.  That game and the remainder of the winter sports tournament was canceled by the Ohio High School Athletic Association because of COVID-19.  Currin ranked third in the GCL south in assists averaging 3.0 per game, and was named recipient of the Man of Moeller Award for basketball.

Currin is in the upper 10 percent of his class academically while carrying an A GPA.  He also is a member of the National Honor Society.  He was a member of the Admissions and Development Teams, a Kairos leader, and part of the Little Buddies and Moeller Cavalry. Currin plans to attend the University of Dayton and major in business.  He is considering joining the Flyers’ basketball team as a walk-on.

Ronit Hiryur, St. Xavier – A member of the Bombers’ talented varsity tennis team from 2017 to 2019, Hiryur was named GCL South Player of the Year all three of those seasons, in which he also was named first team All-GCL South.  A state quarterfinalist as a freshman and state runner-up in singles as a junior, Hiryur was the St. Xavier MVP each of those two seasons as well.  He also was named first team singles by the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Coaches Association in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and won the GCTCA Newcomer Award his freshman season.

Hiryur, like Harmeyer, also earned a perfect score for his academic prowess based on his standardized test score, finishing in the top five percent of his class with an A average and being a National Merit Scholar finalist.  He was a Homeroom Leader, member of the Fair Trade, Math and Entrepreneur clubs, and active in community service.  Hiryur plans to continue his tennis career at the University of Dayton, where he plans to study chemical engineering.

Each of the finalists receives a personalized plaque from the GCL South commemorating their outstanding achievement and for representing the league in such a meaningful way.