By Jeanne Sager
KIAMESHA LAKE June 7, 2002 It was a sad goodbye.
Amid tears and plenty of big bear hugs Tuesday night at Fibbers in Kiamesha Lake, Monticello Central School coaches said goodbye to the senior student-athletes they have guided through the past four years.
The coaches shared tales of funny times: when a wrestler with a losing record posted his first win against a girl; and sad times a player sitting in a school parking lot crying sophomore tears after a devastating softball loss to a stronger Wallkill team.
Shes the only student Ive ever given my AOL name to, said cheerleading Coach Marianna Sanborn of her right arm, senior Stacey Romano. And shes guarded it with her life.
Hes the only one in the room, I think, that could beat me at golf, laughed boys soccer Coach Kevin OShea, referring to Ben Morganstein.
The 14th annual Senior Athletic Awards Banquet was held to focus on the achievements of the graduating class throughout their high school careers, said Monticello Athletic Director Ken Garry.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the winner of this years Mayors Trophy. Basketball standout John DeGroat earned the coveted award.
Handed out by Mayor Gary Sommers, the trophy has traditionally been given to a student athlete with a list of outstanding athletic achievements to their credit.
DeGroat led the Panther basketball team this year to the best record in school history, 21-3, and the Section IX Class B Championship. DeGroat was chosen as a player in the recent Upstate/Downstate All-Star Basketball game, scoring 26 points in just one half.
He was also named Tri-County Player of the Year.
DeGroat will continue his career with a full basketball scholarship to Northeastern Community College in Colorado this fall. In the future, said basketball Coach Dick ONeill, a number of Division I colleges are expected to be recruiting him for their team.
Well be seeing him on television, ONeill noted.
DeGroat also played soccer for the Panthers and participated in the track program.
The athletic department also handed out the senior plaques, which represent degrees of athleticism.
Doctor of Sport, representing a senior who has earned at least nine varsity letters including senior year, were handed out to Erin Garry (14 letters), Candice Sheerer (nine) and Erik Johnson (nine).
Master of Sport plaques were presented to Kelly Bennett (six), Jeffrey Garfield (seven), Morganstein (six), Andrew Simon (seven), Kim Donohue (six), Samantha Lynch (six), Erin Shuart (eight) and William Steinberg (seven).
Bachelor of Sport degrees were handed to DeGroat (four), Megan Drobysh (five), Kristin Fried (three), Corey Kaplan (four), John Pavese (five), Chris Robinson (four), Romano (three), Kenneth Shaw (four) and Michael Tedaldi (four).
Coaches also handed out their awards to the players who exemplified the highest degree of sportsmanship, athletic performance and integrity during the season.
Winners of the coaches awards were:
Girls tennis Casey Berson
Boys outdoor track, boys indoor track, boys x-country Timothy Billias
Girls indoor track Shannon Dietrich
Girls soccer Megan Drobysh
Wrestling Kyle Fried
Girls x-country skiing, girls x-country Erin Garry
Baseball Christopher Longano
Boys alpine skiing John Pavese
Cheerleading Stacey Romano
Volleyball Holli Schoonmaker
Girls outdoor track Katy Schlichtman
Boys tennis Kenneth Shaw
Softball Erin Shuart
Girls alpine skiing Candice Sheerer
Boys soccer Andrew Simon
Girls basketball Dierdre Smith
Golf William Steinberg.