By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE May 16, 2003 It has once again been a banner year for Sullivan Athletics, said Christopher DePew, athletic director at Sullivan County Community College (SCCC).
Our student-athletes have been extremely successful both on the playing fields and in the classroom. As I complete my second full year as athletic director, I am proud to say that we are continuing on our chosen path to greatness here at Sullivan.
On Monday, the local community colleges athletic department hosted its annual awards banquet. It was held at Ninas Restaurant, opposite the main entrance to the college.
This past year has seen a relatively new staff continue to improve their programs, DePew said. Our student-athletes and coaches have risen above the rest with this years accomplishments.
He cited several highlights of the athletic program: the year-old crosscountry team qualified three runners for the NJCAA national championships; the emergence of a well-coached and highly competitive mens golf team produced two golfers who will compete in the NJCAA chamionship golf tournament; the womens basketball squad clinched its first Region XV bid in over 15 years and the womens volleyball team continued to improve.
Of course, the mens basketball team, which sported a 25-5 record this past season, racked up the honors. The Generals won the Mid-Hudson Conference Champioship, were the #1 ranked team in the nation for more than seven weeks, finished second at the Region XV tourney and Coach Chad Beeten was voted Coach of the Year by his peers.
In her remarks to the assemblage, SCCC Vice-President of Administrative Affairs Elizabeth Kubenik said the goal of Generals sports is to provide a quality program designed to encourage everyone to participate, to step up to the plate and learn.
Dean of Student Enrollment Dave Thomson said the annual awards dinner represented the diversity of the college community.
Its how we deal with winning and losing that brings this community together, said Thomson. Our strength comes from recognizing the individual talents of every student- athlete and the lessons learned on the playing fields carry over into life.
In the past, the SCCC coaching staff met to select four finalists for the Athlete of the Year award. Each coach talked about why they felt each athlete deserved the prestigious award.
We have decided to start a tradition this year and introduce all of our award finalists, DePew said.
The finalists for the 2003 Athlete of the Year award were Jonathan Peters (cross country), Rachelle Irwin (womens basketball), Wygene McCants (mens basketball) and Gregg Semenetz Jr. (mens golf).
The athlete of the year may not be the best player, the top scorer or have the highest grades out of all the athletes, but is the person that the coaching staff and I feel best personifies what it is to be a Sullivan County Community College athlete, said DePew moments before presenting the 2003 SCCC Athlete of the Year award to Semenetz.
The 2002-2003 Womens Basketball Team: Qaysara Forlenza, Rachelle Irwin, Sandie Darang, Miranda Walker, Krystal Hill, Lakeisha Brown, Nicole Argent and Marielle Saunders.
The 2002-2003 Mens Basketball Team: Nathaniel Jean-Baptiste, Mikail Malik, Joseph McLeod, Darius Waters, Dante Griggs, Glenn Davis, Haron Hargrave, Wygene McCants, Keith Bussey, Dana Holmes, Gary Jones, Darren Sykes and managers Allah Atkins and Derick Harry.
The 2002 Womens Volleyball Team: Wendy Diaz, Erika Hernandez, Jocelyn Hernandez, Nancy Patricio, Jarisel Santiago, Marielle Saunders and manager Arianna Rios.
The 2002 Mens Cross Country Team: Neil Brown, Jonathan Peters, Brendan Sarsfield and Doneilous King.
The 2003 Mens Golf Team: Gregg Semenetz Jr., Adam Hauser, Brian Bezenberg, Craig Corigliano and Tyler White.
SCCC Team Awards
Womens Basketball (coached by Kyle Walter): Coachs Award Nicole Argent, Most Improved Player Krystal Hill and MVP Rachelle Irwin.
Mens Basketball (coached by Chad Beeten): Coachs Award Nathaniel Jean-Baptiste and Wygene McCants, Most Improved Player Joseph McLeod and MVP Darius Waters.
Womens Volleyball (coached by Bryan Bury): Coachs Award Jarisel Santiago, Most Improved Player Erika Hernandez and MVP Jocelyn Hernandez.
Mens Cross Country (coached by Chad Nykamp): Coachs Award Brendan Sarsfield, Most Improved Player Neil Brown and MVP Jonathan Peters.
Mens Golf (coached by Matt Turnbull): Coachs Award Tyler White, Most Improved Player Craig Corigliano and MVP Gregg Semenetz Jr.
All-Star Athletic Awards
All Conference Golf Team First Team Tyler White and Gregg Semenetz Jr.
All Conference Mens Basketball First Team Gary Jones and Darius Waters, Second Team Haron Hargrave.
All Conference Womens Basketball First Team Rachelle Irwin, Second Team Krystal Hill and Nicole Argent.
All Conference Womens Volleyball Second Team Jocelyn Hernandez and Nancy Palricio.
Womens Basketball Nicole Argent and Rachelle Irwin.
Mens Basketball Joseph McLeod, Keith Bussey and Nathaniel Jean-Baptiste.
NJCAA Mens Basketball
Division III Awards
Coach of the Year Chad Beeten.
All-Region Second Team Haron Hargrave and Gary Jones.
All-Region Third Team Darius Waters.
Second Team All-American
Mens Basketball Darius Waters.
All-Region Academic Team
Mens Cross Country Doneilous King.
Volleyball Erika Hernandez.