YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There are four criteria that make a successful candidate for Student Athlete of the Week. They must excel in the classroom, succeed in sports, be leaders in their class and give back to the community.

This year, we had hundreds of nominations and 40 kids who earned the title of Student Athlete of the Week. There can be, however, only one female Student Athlete of the Year! Watch the video above to see our surprise reveal to Mathews senior Emma Gates.

Gates was a 4.0 student and class valedictorian this spring. She was a four-year letter winner and captain of both the softball and volleyball team. Gates is the president of the National Honor Society and has served as class president for four years. She spends her free time volunteering with the Radio Reading Service of Youngstown, reading and recording local news every week for their visually impaired audience.

On Tuesday, we announced Emma Gates as our 2022 Student Athlete of the Year.

“It really is a great blessing,” Gates said. “I’m still trying to process it all, but I know that it will be awesome just to know that people who know me, they know who I am and know that I’m just a regular person like them. So to be able to have an impact on people and for them to see that, it’s just really the biggest blessing.”

With the help of our season-long sponsors at The DeBartolo Corporation, Thiel College, Kufleitner Auto and Belleria Pizza and Italian Restaurant, Gates will also receive a $1,000 college scholarship.