By Rob Potter
ELDRED November 16, 2001 The Eldred Football Booster Club held its third annual banquet Wednesday evening at the Eldred Preserve.
The contributions made by the players from the Yellowjacket varsity, junior varisty and modified teams as well as coaches, cheerleaders, parents, Eldred Central School Superintendent Candace Mazur and other school staff members during the 2001 season were noted and applauded by the roomful of attendees.
After Sandi Walter welcomed everyone, fellow Eldred Football Booster Club member Cathy Daboul presented gifts to the coaches on behalf of the club.
In his remarks, head coach Frank Kean thanked everyone who contributed to the 2001 season. He noted that thanks to the booster club members, parents, players and fellow coaches, the program has come a long way from the days 25 years ago when Kean himself had to borrow a county painting machine to line the field in Yulan, where the team played its games at the time.
He also thanked his assistant coaches Kevin Derr, John LiGreci, Peter Mangiameli and Lance Schneider for all of their hard work this season.
After a two-year hiatus, the school fielded a varsity team during the 2001 gridiron season. The 24-player roster featured 16 sophomores, giving the team an average age of 15.
The team finished the year with a 1-7 record, the lone win a 15-12 overtime thriller at Liberty.
But Kean instructed the players not to dwell on that won-loss mark.
A 1-7 record doesnt mean anything as long as you played with this, he said as he pointed to his heart. And you did.
He further praised the team members for their dedication, from pre-season practices to the last game of the season.
You dont have to win every game to be a winner, Kean said. All you have to do is play the game and try your hardest. And you guys did that.
Kean noted if the players stick together and keep playing hard, future Yellowjacket squads have a chance to travel to Dietz Stadium in Kingston for championship games.
Peter Mangiameli echoed Keans sentiments. He noted that the skills learned while playing football, such as giving 110 percent and not letting anyone question your ability will benefit the players later in life.
Its harder to play football during a 1-7 season than it is during an 8-0 season, he said. But you guys never quit and that says a lot about you.
In addition to presenting each varsity player with a small plaque and certificate, Peter Mangiamelli handed out a few special awards. They included: Top Receiver Vincent Reilly; Top Rusher Warren Ritter; The Never Quit Award John Harris; Most Improved Todd Walter; Hitman Award Mike Darch; Mr. Heart Award Tim Hallock; Biggest Little Player Award John Tice; The Rudy Award for Perserverance Patrick Sullivan; Tough Guy Award John Martin and Future MVP Kyle Schneider.
He also presented an MVP Award to his son, senior quarterback Anthony Mangiameli.
This should not be just for me, Anthony Mangiameli said after his father handed him the MVP plaque. This goes to the whole team for our season.
In addition to the aforementioned players, the 2001 Eldred varsity and JV players included: David Albanese, Alexander Camacho, Charles Chandler, Brian Daboul, Richard Daboul, Peter Dyer, John Paul Gunther, Antonio Martucci, Peter Meyer, Tom Phillips, Kiernan Pierce, Lawrence Proscia and Devin Weyant.
The JV Yellowjackets had an unblemished 8-0 mark on the 2001 season.
The members of the Eldred modified team were also recognized and given certificates by coaches Derr and Schneider. The squad went a perfect 6-0 on the season, outscoring its opponents by a 300-20 margin.
Those modified players included: John Adams, Marcus Chandler, Jonathan Counts, Jeremy DeForge, Daniel Driscoll, George Fountain, Nicholas Gottlieb, Jesse Hammel, Patrick Kean, Michael Kiesling, Michael Simonelli, Mark Thorton, Anthony Van Zanten and Nicolas Whitman.
Also recognized were the Yellowjacket cheerleaders, coached by Jonell Killmer and Amy Ross. The captain of the squad was Hope Wolff and Dayelle Watts served as manager. The rest of the cheerleaders included: Sabrina Alessandra, Lisa Budd, Samantha Ferrari, Colleen Pinter, Kim Ponds, Katie Shimer and Alexa Simonelli.