Rummel Wrestler Collects Athlete of the Month Honor park
Mark Pinero, a two-time state champion from Rummel High School, has become the first wrestler to earn Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month honors in many years. Pinero was selected for the honor for the month of February in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Pinero won this year's state championship at 140 pounds in Bossier City on Feb. 12, beating Ryan Toups of Catholic 12-4 for the title to help lead Rummel to its first-ever state wrestling title. He also won the 135-pound championship in 2009. The team captain, Pinero was 52-1 in-state and he went 56-5 overall. He wrestled in two elite national tournaments, finishing third (Southeastern Prep Slam in Duluth, Ga.) and eighth (Beast of the East tournament in Newark, Del.). He completed his four-year wrestling career with 188 victories.
Pinero, who owns a 4.2 grade-point average, has earned a full scholarship to wrestle at Pennsylvania in the Ivy League.
"He's a super student, a superb leader, a great wrestler," said Rummel coach Rod Cusachs. "He has done everything the right way. It was an honor to coach him. He's just a great kid. I cannot speak any higher of any other wrestler I have ever coached or been around."
Also nominated for the February honor were Dominican High School midfielder Katherine Cuntz, who scored both goals in Dominican's girls' soccer state championship victory over St. Scholastica, and Loyola University guard Keiva Council, who averaged 20.4 points per game in February, including a 43-point performance in a win over Dillard.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1958. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. Each of the monthly award winners will be honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.