Abington Heights junior girls basketball player Maura Nealon was awarded the 1st annual Karen Hoyt Spirit Award at the Lady Comets team banquet March 24.
The award is in memory of Karen Hoyt, a 1979 graduate of Abington Heights High School. She went on to graduate from Keystone Junior College and also attended The University of Scranton. Her husband, Jay, and two daughters, Jordan and Lauren, also graduated from Abington Heights. Her son, Matt, is currently a senior.
Hoyt died this past May in a car-related accident. She was a member of the Lady Comets Booster Club for four years and served as president for two years while daughter Lauren played for the team. She was also very active in the parents’ clubs for Jordan’s track team and Matt’s soccer team.
“She loved attending her children’s sporting events and was without a doubt one of Abington Heights’ biggest supporters and cheerleaders for all of the players,” friend Kathy Colombo said.
This award serves in memory of Hoyt and is meant to remember her spirit and kindness. It’s given to the player with the following attributes: love for the game of basketball, sportsmanship, resilience in the face of adversity, a positive attitude (even when sitting on the bench), leading cheers, kindness to all including the opposing team, supporting her teammates and contributing to the team concept in every way.
The Lady Comets dedicated their season to Karen Hoyt by writing her initials were on their team socks to honor her throughout the season.
“Karen was an incredible mother, wife and friend,” Colombo said. “Karen’s smile, kindness, and spirit will always be remembered. The entire Abington community was blessed to have known Karen and she is missed every day. The world truly is a brighter place because Karen was in it.”