High School Graduate
COAL TOWNSHIP - Michael Paul Gilger, son of Mark and Paula Gilger, Shamokin, graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School Thursday, May 22.
While at Lourdes, Michael was senior class president and prom king.
He attained the highest average in advanced studio art II and physical education his senior year, and also had the highest four-year cumulative average in overall art.
Michael was a member of the Boys Service Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Respect Life Club.
He was named to the honor roll many times during his four-year career and was awarded the First Catholic Slovak Union Scholarship, Nicholas Girolami Scholarship, Mother Cabrini Parish Franciscan Friars Student Award, Mother Cabrini Parish Award, Principal's Leadership Award, St. Francis Society and Home Association Stanley A. Yodzio Memorial Award, American Legion Post 73 and American Legion Auxiliary 73 Award.
Michael served as captain of the varsity basketball team at Lourdes and was co-captain of the Mount Carmel Area Red Tornadoes football team his senior year.
He earned four letters each in basketball and football and two in baseball. As a freshman, he played varsity football for Lourdes before competing with the Red Tornadoes his final three seasons through the school's co-op program. He earned a starting spot in the defensive backfield for the Red Tornadoes during his sophomore season and twice tied a school record with three interceptions in one game. He is among the top 10 in Mount Carmel Area's rich history with 14 career interceptions. Michael also played running back for the Red Raiders and Red Tornadoes.
Michael had the distinction of playing in Mount Carmel Area's 800th school victory in 2011 and being the only senior member of the Lourdes basketball team when it earned the school's historic 1,000th victory in basketball this past season.
In addition to attaining first or second team league honors and being named to All-Area newspaper teams in football and basketball, Michael was named to the All-Tournament Team in the 2013 Shamokin Knights of Columbus Basketball Tournament.
In football, he earned the Joseph Buchinski Memorial Award his senior season. He also earned the Shamokin Knights of Columbus Award and Chester Sowal Memorial Award presented by the St. Francis Home Association, and was named District IV Outstanding Male Athlete and Male Athlete Contributing the Most to the Athletic Program at Lourdes during the school's annual sports banquet.
Michael has been selected to play in the 24th annual District IV All-Star Football Game at 7 p.m. Friday, June 27, at Rodney K. Morgans Stadium in South Williamsport.
Michael, who is an altar server at Mother Cabrini Church, Shamokin, and works at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, is a grandson of Betty Gilger, Shamokin, and Rose Polifka, Wilburton No. 1, and the late William J. Gilger Sr. and Paul Polifka.
He will further his studies at Lebanon Valley College in Annville and play football for the Flying Dutchmen.