NORTHVILLE - A Northville High School senior has been honored for his exemplary sportsmanship while he battles cancer, a news release said.
On Thursday, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced Tim Monette - a senior soccer and basketball student-athlete at Northville High School - is the 2014 Spirit of Sport winner for New York state.
"It is an honor to have Tim as our state winner for this prestigious award," Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA's executive director, said in the release. "Throughout his fight with cancer and continuing treatment, Tim continues to give 110 percent to the game of basketball, his team, and his community. He has shown us all how to overcome adversity, and has demonstrated admirable sportsmanship, while exceeding normal expectations."
Northville’s Tim Monette waits to check into a Western Athletic Conference basketball game against Fort Plain on Jan. 6.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
Monette was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma in 2013 after doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in his abdomen following stomach pain during the soccer season. The tumor was the size of a baseball on the right side of his abdomen, the release said.
Monette began chemotherapy immediately and was cleared to play basketball on Dec. 27 when he took the court for his first game of the year against Duanesburg.
Steve Clapper, Northville Central School's boy's soccer coach, said he is extremely proud of what Monette has done as a member of the team.
"He was a kid that was battling internal issues but was still able to overcome that," Clapper said. "He basically is such a healthy kid with a positive attitude."
Monette has continued chemotherapy treatments throughout the basketball season, but continues to play in games when he is cleared by doctors.
John Karbowski, Northville basketball coach, said he was amazed to see Monette play in the games.
"He really wanted to be with the team and remain on the team," Karbowski said. "He always came back."
Karbowski said Monette played with the team for two years, calling him an inspiration.
Shawna Monette, Tim's mother, said she was ecstatic when she heard about his award.
"I was very proud of him," she said.
Tim was at Albany Medical Center on Friday to be treated for a fever and was unable to speak to a reporter.
However, Shawna Monette said Tim told her it was "a great honor for him to receive [the award], for all of New York state."
Tim was the Section II Class D Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012 and 2013 as well as 2013 Western Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player in soccer.
In basketball, Tim was the Northville Team MVP following the 2012-13 season.
The Spirit of Sport award is given annually to a student-athlete, coach, administrator or trainer in a high school who has "exemplified the ideals of the positive spirit of sport representing the core mission of education-based athletics," according to the release. Additionally, the individual must have demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship, exceeded normal expectations in assisting others in the school or community and has overcome adversity or a challenging circumstance.
Monette will now qualify to be nominated for the National Federation of State High School Associations national award.
This spring the NFHS will announce the national winner.