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OUTSTANDING: Evan Mullen and Meredith Symanski were honored as the LCS outstanding male and female athletes at Tuesday’s banquet.

Top Liberty Athletes Honored

By Ted Waddell
LIBERTY — June 16, 2000 -- The local community, including administrators, staff and coaches of Liberty Central School turned out in droves Tuesday night to honor their student athletes during the school’s Annual Block “L” Athletic Banquet.
Following a well-received dinner in the cafeteria, the awards were presented in the auditorium.
Prior the the awards ceremony, first year football cheerleading coach Sheila Abrahamson worked through a case of public speaking butterflies by practicing her address in front of an ocean of empty seats. As the deadline neared, she was encouraged in her “performance” by Patricia Macumber who, when the awards were handed out later in the evening, walked off with “most improved” plaques for her prowess on the football and basketball cheerleading squads. When Abrahamson made her speech, she came through like a trooper.
In his opening remarks, district superintendent Dr. Brian Howard said that his bag of “treats” this year was filled to overflowing with Section IX, Class C championship football and boys’ basketball banners, as well as watching “a young girls’ basketball team that will be champions in their own right in the future.”
Referring to his office as a “box seat,” Howard said that when the mantle of being a district superintendent starts to weigh heavily on his spirit, and the frustration level rises, he shuts the door, pulls a comfortable chair up to the window, and on any given day, can watch up to three games being contested on the playing fields below.
“We have a wonderful athletic program at Liberty Cental School,” said Howard.
According to Liberty athletic director Tim Bult, the kids, especially seniors, look at the awards dinner as a chance to wrap up something they worked hard at during their high school careers.
“It’s important because they’ve put so much time and effort into athletics,” he said. “For some kids, it’s the reason they come to school, and if that’s what it takes to get ’em here and get ’em through school, hopefully our athletic program can help.”
According to the fourth-year AD, he considers athletics “an extension of the classroom.”
“[In athletics], they learn a lot of things they can’t in the classroom,” said Bult. “Things like teamwork, sportsmanship and the integrity of winning and losing.”
During her remarks to the assemblage prior to presenting the prestigious Tom Kelly Awards to the outstanding male and female senior athlete, Deborah Tanous addressed the audience as a representive of the Kelly family.
Thomas Joseph Kelly was an outstanding football and basketball player at Liberty High School during the 1930s. After graduating from college in 1941, he enlisted in the nation’s call to arms during WWII, and later lost his life in service to his country as a naval aviator in the Pacific Theater.
“Of all the dedications done in his memory, we find that the Tom Kelly Best Senior Athlete Award is the most fitting tribute to carry on the spirit of Tom’s athleticism and his love of sports,” said Tanous. “Ironically, while I only know of my uncle through wonderful and loving memories...I have been privileged to personally know most all the recipients of this presigious award.”
Evan Mullen, 18-year old recipient of the award presented to the outstanding senior male athlete for 2000, said, “I just feel privileged that I was part of the winning football and basketball teams.” Mullen also participated in track and field.
“I’m proud to be part of Liberty sports and to have accomplished all I have in the years that I’ve played,” said Meredith Symanski, recipient of the trophy as Liberty’s best senior female athlete for 2000. The 18-year old competed in softball and girls’ soccer.
Marlene Gracia, high school co-principal, summed up the annual event with her remarks earlier in the evening prior to the awards presentation.
“It’s been a great year for athletics at Liberty Central School,” she said.



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