Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photos by Rob Potter

TOP BOY ATHLETE Bruce Nober (standing second from left) and top girl athlete Beth Meyer (seated at far right) are joined by some of their fellow SW/Narrowsburg sports MVPs. Sitting from left to right are Andrew Morse, Chris Ziolkowski and Kim Jay. Standing in the same order are Evan Kraack, Chad Powell and Mike Cookingham.

Community Honors
Best of the Best

By Rob Potter
NARROWSBURG — June 19, 2001 – Nothing – not even an hour-long power outage – prevented coaches, parents and community members from recognizing the Sullivan West/Narrowsburg student-athletes Friday night at the school’s annual athletic banquet.
Whether the podium and tables were illuminated by the familiar overhead lights or candles and a flood light, SW/N Athletic Director Scott Haberli and the coaches praised the athletes who proudly competed as Narrowsburg Indians during the 2000-2001 school year.
Since the event was the last Narrowsburg sports banquet due to the Sullivan West merger, they also praised all of the athletes who had played in the school’s cozy gym and/or on its familiar fields.
Many coaches, including varsity boys basketball coach Cliff Kelly and junior varsity coach Gary Maas, shared some of their own athletic stories from their days as Narrowsburg students.
“I have a lot of great memories of this place,” said Maas, after pointing to the 1972 sectional championship baseball banner hanging in one corner of the gym. (Maas, NCS Class of ’72, was the left fielder on that team.) “A lot has happened right here in this gym.”
Those sentiments were echoed by the evening’s guest speaker, Kevin Edwards, the sports editor at The Wayne Independent newspaper of Honesdale, Pa. While not an Narrowsburg alumnus, Edwards noted that he enjoyed driving across the Delaware River to cover sporting events at Narrowsburg over the past couple of years.
“There is something special about what you have here,” Edwards said. “There is a magic connected with it that bigger schools don’t have.”
The evening also featured an often humorous yet very sincere address by gym teacher Karen Bliss, who wished each graduating senior well and shared with the audience some of her first memories of those students.
And former New York Cosmos soccer player Jim LaPenna, who is a good friend of SW/N boys’ junior varsity soccer coach Zbigniew Ziolkowski, shared with the student-athletes an athlete’s creed given to him by soccer great Pele. The creed encouraged qualities such as good sportsmanship, respect and dedication — which LaPenna noted are traits the student-athletes as well as their parents, grandparents and coaches should strive for in their everyday lives.
A few awards were presented in addition to the awards noted in the banquet program. Haberli presented a plaque to Kelly in honor of his 105 varsity wins. Haberli, who also coaches the varsity baseball team, presented three game balls to three of his players: Mike Cookingham, J.C. Henry and Matt Pomes.
Baseball players Brian Popolillo and Rob Taylor presented Haberli with a game ball and a team photo taken at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown earlier this spring.
Softball coach Lionel Billard gave a game ball to Tina Swendsen.
The other student-athletes who were honored included:
Army Reserve Scholarship: Beth Meyer and Chad Powell.
Boys’ JV Soccer: Most Improved Player – Ryan Streever; Most Valuable Player – Chris Ziolkowski.
Boys’ Varsity Soccer: MVP – Evan Kraack.
Girls’ Varsity Soccer: Senior Award – Melanie Hector; Offensive MVP: Kim Jay; Defensive MVP: Beth Meyer.
Girls’ Varsity Basketball: Coaches’ Award – Heather Nober; Most Improved Player – Mel Buddenhagen; MVP – Kim Jay.
Boys’ Varsity Basketball: Most Improved Player – Ken Emeigh; Co-MVPs – Bruce Nober and Chad Powell.
Cheerleading: Captains’ Awards – Danielle Hoye, Michelle Krause and Ashley Roth.
Golf: Coach’s Award – Kevin Taylor; Most Improved – Jon Heinle; MVP – Andrew Morse.
Baseball: Coach’s Award – Logan Cole; Most Improved – Rob Taylor; MVP – Mike Cookingham.
Softball: Most Improved – Jackie Ropke; MVP – Beth Meyer.
Boy Athlete of the Year: Bruce Nober.
Girl Athlete of the Year: Beth Meyer.

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