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Above the Rest

Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

DARREN SYKES, LEFT, proudly accepts the SCCC 2004 Athlete of the Year Award from Athletic Director Chris DePew.

College's Best In
Sports Recognized

By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE — May 14, 2004 – “As athletes, there’s wins, loses and records,” said Dave Thomson, Dean of Students at Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) during introductions at the college’s Annual Block “S” Athletic Awards Banquet.
Thomson said the main thing wasn’t so much winning, as learning how to lose, “making the choice between quitting and staying the course.”
The annual awards dinner in recognition of the two-year college’s student-athletes was held on Monday night at Nina’s Ristorante in Loch Sheldrake.
“Our young men and women have represented the college, themselves and their families with pride and distinction throughout each of their seasons,” SCCC Athletic Director Chris DePew said.
According to DePew (who also serves as coach of the men’s basketball team), the student selected as Athlete of the Year “may not be the best player, top scorer or have the highest grades of all the athletes . . . but is the person the coaching staff feels best personifies what Sullivan County Community College athletes should be . . . what each athlete has done for themselves, their families and the college.”
The three finalists for the 2004 SCCC Athlete of the Year award were Nicole Argent, Alesia Rexford and Darren Sykes.
SCCC Softball Coach Kyle Walter recognized Rexford for excelling in both school and athletics. Rexford has a 3.47 GPA in her elementary education studies.
“Her hard work, dedication and attitude in the classroom also manifested itself in the athletic arena . . . she played a large role in helping get the softball team off the ground . . . [she] pushes herself and her teammates.”
Rexford batted over .400 this season for the Lady Generals. She also recorded 12 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.
DePew called Darren Sykes the “central player on this year’s [men’s] basketball team . . . he became one of the greatest all-time players to wear our uniform.”
Sykes scored 1,146 career points at SCCC and became only the fifth hoopster in the college’s history to break the 1,000-point plateau. He recently accepted a full scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania.
“Nicole Argent combined work, school and athletics, and she excelled at them all,” said Walter in introducing the third finalist for the Athlete of the Year Award. “She was constantly in the gym working on shooting drills to improve her game, before and after practice . . . Nicole became one of the region’s best three-point shooters.”
Following the introductions by their respective coaches, Sykes was named the 2004 SCCC Athlete of the Year.
Several other awards and accolades were announced at the event. They included:
Mid-Hudson Conference Awards:
• Men’s Basketball All-Conference Team: Darren Sykes (Most Valuable Player), Joe McLeod (Second Team).
• Women’s Basketball All-Conference Team: Nicole Argent (First Team), Lakesha Brown (Second Team).
• Golf All-Conference Team: Thomas Kurtz (First Team).
• Softball All-Conference Team: Alesia Rexford (First Team)
• Conference All Academic: Ashley Hoag (women’s basketball), Nicole Argent (women’s basketball), Joe McLeod (men’s basketball), Brian Benzenberg (golf), Thomas Kurtz (golf) and Alesia Rexford (softball).
• NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball All-Americans: Darren Sykes (Third Team).
• NJCAA Region XV (Division III) Men’s Basketball All-Region: Darren Sykes (First Team).
• NJCAA Region XV All-Academic: Ashley Hoag (women’s basketball), Nicole Argent (women’s basketball), Joe McLeod (men’s basketball), Brian Benzenberg (golf), Thomas Kurtz (golf) and Alesia Rexford (softball).
• NJCAA Region XV Golf Team: Thomas Kurtz (First Team).
• Softball Officials Sportsmanship Award: 2004 SCCC Softball Team (First Place)
Individual Awards (listed by team):
• Men’s Basketball: Ghiles Jackson (Coach’s Award), John Bentley (Most Improved Player) and Darren Sykes (Most Valuable Player).
• Women’s Basketball: Jennifer Wright (Coach’s Award), Sandie Darang (Most Improved Player) and Nicole Argent (Most Valuable Player).
• Cheerleading: Ernishka Saint-vil (Coach’s Award), Dominique Campbell (Most Improved Cheerleader) and Michael Hernandez (Most Valuable Cheerleader).
• Men’s Cross Country: Mark Hoover (Coach’s Award), Raymond Ortiz (Most Improved Player) and Neil Brown (Most Valuable Player).
• Softball: Alesia Rexford (Coach’s Award), Lisa Castillo (Most Improved Player) and Katrina Meyer (Most Valuable Player).
• Golf: Gary Muller (Coach’s Award), Brian Benzenberg (Most Improved Player) and Thomas Kurtz (Most Valuable Player).
The 2003-2004 SCCC Teams in Review
• Men’s Basketball (coached by Chris DePew and Troy Nowlin): Jonathan Frasier, Ghiles Jackson, Gregory Primus, Jonathan Bentley, John Bervine, Wayne Coward, Daishawn Fowler, Keith Bussey, Dante Griggs, Gary Jones, Joseph McLeod and Darren Sykes. (Team Managers: Elias Colon and Michael Russell.)
• Women’s Basketball (coached by Kyle Walter and Jason Mitterwager): Nicole Argent, Sandie Darang, Kristy Falkenmeyer, Jamie Hopkins, Ashley Hoag, Amber Gray, Jennifer Wright and Lakeisha Brown. (Team Manager: Muria Aristizahal.)
• Cheerleading (coached by Jesyca Murphy): Dominique Campbell, Latonya Garner, Michael Hernandez, Tyleia Howard, Janice Maynard, LaToya Peters, Tynisha Pinckney, Tony Ray, Ernishka Saint-vil and Alecia Sharpe.
• Softball (coached by Kyle Walter and Steve Nash): Nonah Bollis, Lisa Castillo, Irenia Fernandez, Amber Gray, Destiny Hinkley, Jamie Hopkins, Katrina Meyer, Alesia Rexford, Ariana Rios, Carly Sklar, Jennifer Wright and Kristin Young.
• Men’s Cross Country (coached by Chad Nykamp and Jon Peters): Raymond Ortiz, Robert Aldridge, Neil Brown, Mark Hoover and Jeffrey Dallemand.
• Men’s Golf (coached by Matt Turnbull): Joshua Belle, Brian Benzenberg, Michael Fink, Thomas Kurtz and Gary Muller.

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