By Jeanne Sager
JEFFERSONVILLE June 11, 2002 Dave Franskevicz had a lot to celebrate Sunday night.
Closing out a successful spring season, the Sullivan West athletic director called parents, coaches, administrators and athletes together for the districts first-ever spring sports award presentations.
After the merged district was created by voters in 1999, students continued to compete for their respective school campuses with their own traditional mascots.
But in September, students were brought together for the first time in one practice gym under one mascot. The Sullivan West Bulldogs were born, kicking off the 2001-2002 school year with dominating football and soccer teams.
According to Franskevicz, the schools premiere season was the best any athletic department could have asked for. Every varsity team qualified for post-season play, and the spring teams walked away with a combined winning record.
We had to blend philosophies, we had to blend ideas, we had to blend talent, said softball Co-Coach Mike Ellmauer.
Coaching with three teams combined was fun, and sometimes frustrating, but I think it worked out well, added softball Co-Coach John Meyer.
Other coaches echoed their sentiments, complimenting this years graduating class on coming together as a district with class and a cooperative spirit.
To honor their athletes, the Sullivan West district created several new awards this year, which they hope to give out to a number of students over the years.
The Sullivan West coaches put their heads together last week to whittle their athlete lists down to two a girl and a boy who represented the most outstanding qualities in a competitor.
According to girls soccer Coach Mike Mahoney, the coaches award was to go to an outstanding athlete who exemplified the ideals, standards and personal discipline which is needed to succeed in varsity athletics and life.
Mahoney handed the female award to senior Aileen Semenetz, a girl he thinks is really going to score big in life.
Semenetz played soccer, basketball, softball and golf during her tenure at Jeffersonville-Youngsville and Sullivan West.
Boys basketball co-coach Rick Ellison was charged with naming this years male coaches award winner Justin Pinkel.
Ellison coached Pinkel this winter, and found him to be extremely deserving of this award.
Pinkel put in playing time for the Bulldogs on the soccer and baseball fields as well this year.
The district also presented Most Valuable Senior Athlete awards for the first time this year.
Using an extensive point system, the athletic department narrowed down its senior athletes to a small list of students who excelled at a number of sports.
The girls who received plaques and were nominated for the award were: Jennifer Ackermann, Erin Bose, Shelisa Duquette, Megan Moran, Calley Sander, Semenetz and Christina Winski.
Ackermann walked away with the prize for her efforts on the soccer, basketball and track teams over the past six years.
The boys up for the senior athlete award were: Jon Fanning, Evan Kraack, Matt Lanese, Kevin McCarthy, Kevin Mullally, Matt Parks, Pinkel, Matt Pomes, Dan Steele and E.T. Toledo.
Mullally, a star on the football, indoor track and track teams, received this years award.
Also up for grabs at this years sports awards ceremony were the Milt Gaebel awards, a remnant of the J-Y athletic department tradition.
The award began in the 1995-96 school year as a way to honor students who gave at least 100 percent on and off the field.
Winski and Kraack were honored for their determination, perseverance, dedication and loyalty to sports.