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The Brothers Mankoff

Posted 05/15/2008 by Philip Karlberg

Stars on and off the field get ready for next level.
by Philip Karlberg
photo by Manuel Perez

Mankoffs.jpg     The Mankoff brothers are two of TJ’s finest, succeeding both on the field and in the classroom, but the time has come for them to step up to the next level, and with Mesa State on the remarkably bright horizon for both of them, we are expecting to hear much more about these dynamic twins in the future.
    Senior Spartan Michael Mankoff was the quarterback for the TJ varsity football team this year and lead his team to the 5A state quarterfinals.  His performance in football gained him the John Lynch Star of the Month Award for his senior year.  He also is a starting pitcher on the baseball team. 
    In class he has been just as successful, with a 4.4 GPA, and ranked fifth in his class.  Michael is also active in his DECA business and marketing class. “It has been an awesome learning experience.  It has taught me business skills that I plan to use in my future,” Michael, who is also a news reporter for the school newspaper, commented.  
    “Michael attacks the subject, writes effective questions, conducts interesting interviews, and is very precise and disciplined,” said Journalism Teacher Matt Spampinato when questioned about his experience with Michael. “He has got classic reporter skills.”

    Michael has confirmed that he will be going to Mesa State College, not only to get a degree in business but also to play football and possibly baseball.  Between academic and athletic financial assistance, he has completely covered the costs of his college education.  Hoping to have a career in business administration, Michael will try to specialize in marketing. “Business is where my passion is, I enjoy socializing and networking with people.”
    Michael will be moving to the next level of athletics as well.  Mesa has recruited him to play for the college’s successful football team.  “I am anxious about playing with all new teammates,” Michael explained. “I am excited to see how well I will be able to perform at the college level.”  Mesa has asked him aboard to be the team’s quarterback, an important position that shows they are genuinely impressed with his performance.  He also may be a walk-on for the college’s baseball program as well, and is optimistic about the chance of playing multiple sports.
    Mike’s brother Matthew Mankoff also has been highly successful both in the classroom and on the field.  As the starting varsity center on the football team, leading the Spartans through an 11-1 season, and first baseman for baseball, he has made himself known in the high school athletic world.  Matthew also won the John Lynch Star of the month award during his senior year. 
    Also a perennial star in the classroom, Matthew has a weighted GPA of 4.6, putting him fourth in his class.  “Working hard and getting stuff done has been key to my success,” Matthew said. “If you are determined to work hard you will succeed academically and athletically.”  Matthew also is active in DECA as the Chapter Representative and is a sports writer for the school newspaper.
    “Matthew is a thoughtful and deliberate writer,” said Spampinato, “He gathers his information and is very careful about how he puts it all together.  His first drafts are usually good to go."
    Just as with Michael, Matthew is going to Mesa State for his college career.  He has been awarded a full ride scholarship for both his athletic and academic success.  He will be majoring in business, possibly specializing in marketing.  “My dad has been part of a family business that has been around for several generations,” Matthew explained.  “In business you get to make your own decisions; the independence is attractive.”
    Last year Mesa’s football team went 10-2, making the D2 playoffs.  Next year Matthew will be joining the team’s ranks.  Matthew is most anxious about getting in the weight room next year, as he will be expected to get up to around 270 pounds for football, up from his current weight of 250.  “I am looking forward to seeing a whole new level of play in college,” he explained.
    The future looks bright for both the Mankoff brothers as they will be moving on to a whole new level both academically and athletically at Mesa State, but the brothers will be missed here at TJ.  “It’s been great working with the Mankoff brothers this year.  They are both gifted writers. They are both great in their own right; I’m going to miss having them on staff,” said Spampinato.
    Varsity Assistant Football Coach Matt Nicolo revealed the two brothers will be receiving the Ann Hall Bailey “Student of the Year” award for business.  “Over the past four years they demonstrated a level of achievement rarely seen at any level, academically and athletically,” said Nicolo. “They will be sorely missed by the entire business department, especially me.”
    TJ will not be the same without the Mankoff brothers and they clearly have the full support of all who will miss them.  We can certainly be sure that Michael and Matthew will represent TJ well to the world.