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Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

AMONG THE SENIOR Trophy winners at last Tuesday’s Liberty Block “L” Athletic Awards Banquet were, from the left: Nick Yaun (sportsmanship), Melissa Arevalo (basketball scholar-athlete), Latisha Fields (sportsmanship), Tiffany Teichs (perseverance), and Nick Kelly (perseverance).

A Tradition of Excellence

By Frank Rizzo
LIBERTY — June 12, 2001 – The annual Block “L” Athletic Banquet at Liberty CS last Tuesday evening served to show off the rich athletic tradition at the school as well as honor the best athletic achievements of the past school year.
When Roger Rattner (Class of ’61) presented the Rattner Award to the boys’ and girls’ basketball scholar athletes, he traced his basketball lineage at the school back to his father Morris (Class of ’16) and uncle Harry (Class of ’21).
Rattner revealed that 40 years before — almost to the day — he himself had received the now-defunct Grossinger Trophy (for perseverance).
Rattner makes the trip from New Hyde Park, Long Island, every year to present the award.
Another presenter was Charles Buchal, who awarded the baseball/
softball MVP trophy named in honor of his father, Jack.
“My father loved baseball and softball,” Buchal said, adding that “in the 50s and 60s anybody who played baseball in northeastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York knew Jack Buchal.”
Charles also dedicated the award to the late Charlie Barbuti Sr. of Liberty, who passed on several weeks before.
Nick Yaun was presented the Liberty Indians Booster Club Award for sportsmanship. Subsequently, he was told that his uncle, Keith Torrens, had received the same award nearly 20 years before, and his grandfather, Robert Torrens, had been honored with the Grossinger Award two decades before that.
Golf coach Ted Crowley, who accompanied Yaun to the New York State Golf Championship at Cornell University, told the assembly that Yaun had been voted the sportsmanship award for Section IX by the other coaches.
The Tom Kelly Award for outstanding senior athletes went to Michael Poje and Jacquelynn LaBagh.
Both were three-sport competitors— Poje in football, basketball, and baseball teams; LaBagh in soccer, alpine skiing, and softball squads. Both were voted most valuable in one of those sports — Poje for baseball and LaBagh for skiing. In addition, Poje was voted best defensive player for football.
“They are both well-rounded, well-liked kids,” summed up Liberty athletic director Tim Bult.
Plaque Awards
Football — Best Offense: Jason Grossman. Best defense: Michael Poje.
Girls’ Soccer — Best Offense: Michelle Olson. Best Defense: Jamie Hopkins.
Boys’ Soccer — Best Offense: Ricardo Cruz. Best Defense: Paulo Fonseca.
Golf — Most Improved: Ian Orr. Most Valuable: Nick Yaun.
Boys’ Track — Best Track: Matthew Manzi. Best Field: Renauld Buck.
Girls’ Track — Most Valuable: Michelle Manzi. Most Improved: Stephanie Biddiscombe. Coach’s Award: Lauren Michaud and Christy Immel for perfect attendance.
Girls’ Tennis — Most Improved: Christine Waryha. Most Valuable: Andrea TerBush.
Boys’ Tennis — Most Improved: Jay Samant. Most Valuable: Jaycob Burns.
Football Cheerleading: — Most Improved: Lorelei Reynolds. Most Valuable: Cathleen Myrick.
Basketball Cheerleading — Most Improved: Ashley Argent. Most Valuable: Vicki Myrick.
Boys’ Basketball — Best Offensive: Travis Emery. Best Defensive: Chris Winters.
Girls’ Basketball — Best Offensive: Andrea TerBush. Best Defensive: Latisha Fields.
Boys’ Alpine Skiing — Co-Most Valuable: Nick Kelly and Mike Swope.
Girls’ Alpine Skiing — Most Improved: Michelle Olson. Most Valuable: Jacquelynn LaBagh.
Boys’ Indoor Track — Most Valuable: Thomas Dittmar. Most Improved: Jon Peters.
Girls’ Indoor Track — Most Valuable: Sophia White. Most Improved: Megan Baxter. Coach’s Award: Erin Simpson for perfect attendance.
Wrestling — Most Improved: Anthony Couitt. Most Valuable: Daniel Ratner.
Baseball — Most Improved: Nick Rusin. Best Offense: Joseph Colacurcio. Coach’s Award: Adam Lake. Fred Planica Memorial Baseball Award: Brian Gatta.
Softball — Most Improved: Tiffany Teichs. Best Offense: Andrea TerBush.
Trophy Awards
O’Hearn Award (Football Most Improved) — Nick Rusin.
Goodstein Award (Wrestling Perseverance) — Lauren Michaud.
Buchal Award (Baseball/Softball MVP) — Michael Poje and Kate Yaun.
Ivan Richards Award (Basketball MVP) — Boys: Travis Emery. Girls: Christine Waryha.
Ross Award (Football/Soccer Scholar Athlete) — Football: Vince Evans. Soccer: Jill Barbuti.
Kavleski Award (Track Scholar Athlete) — Girls: Christy Immel. Boys: Vincent Vasquez.
Senior Trophy Awards
Rattner Award ( Basketball Scholar Athlete) — Boys: Todd Davis. Girls: Melissa Arevalo.
Bo Gill Award (Perseverance) — Boys: Nick Kelly. Girls: Tiffany Teichs.
Liberty Indian Booster Club Award (Sportsmanship) — Boys: Nick Yaun. Girls: Latisha Fields.
Tom Kelly Award (Outstanding Senior Athlete) — Girls: Jacquelynn LaBagh. Boys: Michael Poje.

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