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Gymnast of the Year Award

In August of 2015, it was decided by the NYSPHSAA to cancel Men’s Gymnastics. Mark loved participating in Section VI and it allowed him to proudly represent his high school. In 1998 when the coaches renamed the “Outstanding Gymnast” award to the “Mark Monaco Gymnast of the Year” award, it meant more to our family than they could have realized. Through the years our family has attended the Men’s Gymnastics Sectionals and presented the senior gymnast selected by the coaches with a plaque and scholarship.

To continue Mark’s love of gymnastics, we decided to continue presenting the “Mark Monaco Gymnast of the Year” award and scholarship to a female senior gymnast selected by the coaches. The award is presented at the Section VI Championships held in November each year. The Section VI Women’s Gymnastics consists of 12 teams.

Year Recipients School Photos
2015 Rachel Kieffer Williamsville East 2015 Recipient
2014 Stephen Frost Williamsville East 2014 Recipient
2013 Noah Roberson Williamsville South 2013 Recipient
2012 John Bard Williamsville East 2012 Recipient
2011 Jonathan Zigna
Nathaniel Roberson
Williamsville East 2011 Recipient
2010 Spencer Kieffer Williamsville East 2010 Recipient
2009 Brandon OBrien Williamsville North 2009 Recipient
2008 Eric Neidermayer Clarence 2008 Recipient
2007 Michael Morse Clarence 2007 Recipient
2006 Michael Maizel
Jarred Forman
Williamsville North 2006 Recipients
2005 Krishna Upadhyaya
Keith Stumpf
Williamsville East
Williamsville South
2005 Recipients
2004 Harrison Reisweber
Evan Bylewski
Jon Shelton
2004 Recipients
2003 Dan Joyce Williamsville East 2003 Recipients
2002 Brandon Costello Hamburg 2002 Recipient
2001 Jason Scott Kaczmarski Hamburg 2001 Recipient
2000 Chris Centrich
Marc Sardo
Williamsville East
2000 Recipients
1999 Steve Joyce Williamsville East 1999 Recipient
1998 Peter VomScheidt Jr. Sweet Home 1998 Recipient

History of The Mark Monaco Memorial Gymnast of the Year Award

Letter of recommendation for Mark to receive the award

At the age of 5, Mark began learning gymnastics under the guidance of Coach Torey Hirsch at Stumpf's Gymnasium in Williamsville, NY. Torey, who is the current President of the Niagara Frontier Gymnastics Officials Association, was often credited by Mark and his family as one of the most influential people in Mark's life. Throughout his gymnastics career, Mark focused on helping other people achieve their goals by way of coaching and mentoring. Although many personal honors were bestowed upon him, Mark was most proud of his roles that fostered the development of other people and programs. In addition to his 11 year membership in the USGF, (United States Gymnastics Federation), and participation in all New York State USGF Championships during that time, Mark impacted his peers and the sport itself, in many ways:

Maryvale HS Gymnastics Team Empire State Games Opening Ceremonies
  • 1989: Worked with Colleen Tonsoline to form a Boys' Gymnastics Team at Maryvale High School. The team had been defunct since 1984.
  • 1989-1990: Voted 'Most Valuable Team Member' for the Maryvale Boys Gymnastics Team
  • 1989-1991: Captain of the Maryvale Boys Gymnastics Team and varsity letter recipient
  • 1989-1991: Served as a gymnastics instructor for The Cheektowaga Recreation Center
  • 1990-1991: Assistant Coach, Maryvale Boys Gymnastics Team
  • 1990-1991: Ranked 7th and 5th, respectively, in the 'All Around' category during New York State Sectional competition
  • 1990-1991: Participated as a member of the Western Region Men's Gymnastics Team during the Empire State Games
  • 1991: Served as a gymnastics instructor for the Maryvale Continuing Education Program
  • 1991: Served as a gymnastics instructor for Gleason's School of Gymnastics
  • 1991: Recipient of the Western New York Coaches "Gymnast of the Year Award"
  • Member of New York State Class 2, 3, and 4 Championship Teams
Mark and Torey Hirsch

In memory of Mark and his contributions to Gymnastics, Torey Hirsch, (pictured at left with Mark) established The Mark Monaco Memorial Gymnast of the Year Award in 1998. This accolade was formerly presented as the 'Western New York Coaches Gymnast of the Year Award' which Mark received in 1991.