Gianna Antinone and Hunter Payne, two members of the Senior Class of 2017, will each receive the St. Sebastian Medal at the 23rd annual Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools April 2, at the Morgantown Event Center in Morgantown, W.Va. Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, will present the St. Sebastian Medal to 16 high-achieving student athletes.
The St. Sebastian Medal is named for St. Sebastian, patron saint of Athletes because he was always depicted in fine physical shape. In order to play sports well, one requires health and the working of mind, body and spirit together. St. Sebastian was dedicated to God, even in the face of certain death. Legend has it that St. Sebastian was tied to a tree and shot by archers. Though pierced, he survived with the help of St. Irene, who nursed him back to health. Following his recovery he denounced the emperor for his cruelty to Christians. For speaking out, he was martyred. His feast day is January 20.
Gianna and Hunter are being recognized for being high-achieving student athletes and exhibiting the qualities of sportsmanship, teamwork, academics, and a high respect for school, classmates, teammates, opponents, parish and the community.
Gianna Marie Antinone is the daughter of Anthony and Suzie Antinone and the sister to Anthony and Mia Antinone. She is a member of St. Joseph the Worker Church where she serves as a children’s liturgy leader and Bible school counselor. Gianna is a four year letterman of the soccer team, and was a 2016 soccer co-captain. She is a 2016 Girls Soccer OVAC Champion, and was awarded OVAC Honorable Mention her senior year. She is also a two year letterman of the track team, placing at states both years. She has been a member of the NYPSA Force travel soccer team for the past 5 years. Gianna has maintained above a 4.0 GPA her four years at Madonna. She has also served as class secretary for four years. Gianna has been a member of the OVAC All-Academic Team for the past three years. Gianna was awarded the 2016 Wendy’s High School Heisman for Madonna High School. Gianna is currently president of National Honors Society. She is also a member of SADD and Prolife Clubs. She participated in the Weirton Rotary Youth Leadership program her sophomore year. Gianna is a 2015 Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Alumni and is still very active in the organization. After high school, Gianna plans to attend West Virginia University to pursue a career in exercise physiology.
Hunter Michael Payne is a senior at Madonna High School he is the son of Michael and Sara Payne and brother of Halle Payne. Hunter is a member of St. Joseph the Worker Church. He is a 4 year letterman and was captain of the golf team which finished second in the state this past year. He is also a returning letterman on the basketball team. Hunter is a member of several clubs and has been the class treasurer for the past 4 years. Hunter will be attending West Virginia University in the fall and will major in Nursing; he plans to continue on to become a Nurse Anesthetist