Best Of 2020

Throughout the past year, scores of current and former local athletes and coaches have taken active roles in the fight against COVID-19 and for social justice. These are just a few of their stories. 

All comments were made to PressBox unless otherwise noted.

William Vanzela

Longtime Baltimore Blast goalkeeper William Vanzela kept busy after the Major Arena Soccer League season was shut down in March.

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanzela and the Blast delivered pizza to first responders working long hours. The goalkeeper also delivered dog and cat food to pet owners in need in conjunction with Baltimore-based organization Show Your Soft Side. And through his company, Born to Fly, Vanzela has worked with young goalkeepers individually and in small groups since the summer.

“I try to help the kids to get some activity, to get out of the house, to continue to train. Mentally and physically, it’s a huge help,” Vanzela said in November. “We can understand what they’re going through. I know parents are having a hard time, but I get you. It’s very difficult for the kids as well to be doing virtual learning plus everything else on the computer and not have much going on outdoors. It’s probably very hard on them as well. I try my best here to help as much as I can.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Baltimore Blast

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Plus: Check out PressBox’s 2020 Mo Gaba Sportsperson of the Year, Trey Mancini.

Trey Mancini


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