Muniz reaches a longtime goal: winning a Wingate

By Laura Amato

Joanna Muniz had waited her whole life for this moment.

Or at least the last four years.

The John Adams senior had a goal. She wanted to win a Wingate Award. Of course, she also wanted to lead her team to victories, to compete for titles and score as many goals as possible, but in the end, it was about getting a Wingate.

Last Friday at the Brooklyn Marriott, surrounded by some of the best and brightest high school athletes in the city, Muniz saw her dream realized when she was honored by the PSAL with a Wingate Award for girls’ lacrosse.

It had been worth the wait.

“I mean it’s meant the most,” Muniz said. “This is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life. Wingate was the award that I wanted to strive for. So getting this award, it means so much because it means that all my hard work paid off.”

Muniz has made her athletic presence known at John Adams throughout her high school career, competing at everything from soccer to volleyball. But it was on the lacrosse field that Muniz really belonged—becoming an offensive force this spring.

She scored 91 goals on 125 shots during the regular season, as well as 27 assists. In the playoffs, Muniz added another 17 goals and five assists.

After leading John Adams to a semifinal appearance, she was named to the PSAL 2016 All-League Team. Still, she had to admit that being honored as a Wingate winner was the highlight of her senior year.

“I had been waiting for this the whole season,” Muniz said. “I always said, ‘That’s going to be me one day. I’m going to get that.’”

Of course, Muniz wasn’t the only Queens athlete honored by the league.

Eight senior standouts took away awards, including Francis Lewis hoops star Taliyah Brisco.

One of the most versatile scorers in the city, Brisco led the Patriots to an “AA” championship berth this season. Although the squad ultimately fell to South Shore 55-39 in the final, Brisco’s talent could not be denied.

The guard packed her stat sheet throughout the year, averaging 11.53 points, 3.13 rebounds and 4.53 assists during the regular season.

The annual awards were one last honor for some of the biggest names in New York City high school sports and, for many of the athletes, one last chance to be among their peers before heading off to college.

Though their four years in high school may be over, as far as any of these athletes are concerned, the best is yet to come.

“I’ve just been striving to become the best of the best and I’m going to continue to do that even in college,” Muniz said. “I’m hoping that I progress and do the best that I can. That’s all I can ask for.”

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