By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON November 19, 2004 Athletes from the fall sports teams at the Sullivan West Central School District were recognized and honored Tuesday evening in the SW High School auditorium.
The members and coaches of the junior varsity girls soccer team, varsity girls soccer team, varsity boys soccer team, junior varsity volleyball team, varsity volleyball team, varsity boys cross country team, varsity girls cross country team, varsity football cheerleading team and varsity football team were honored before an audience filled with proud parents, grandparents, siblings, other family members and friends.
At the beginning of the program, SW Superintendent Alan Derry spoke about the student-athletes who were being recognized and their pursuit of excellence.
They seek to play a role in something bigger than themselves, he said. Their fellow students are counting on them to do their best.
SW High School Principal Margaret Tenbus noted that about 25 percent of the students in grades 9 through 12 participated on one of the Bulldog or Lady Bulldog fall sports teams.
Of that 25 percent, a good 50 percent of those students are also involved in other extracurricular activities such as student council, National Honor Society, band and choir, Tenbus said. We have a good quantity of students participating in fall sports and we can also be proud of the quality of those students.
Tenbus also praised the dozens of parents who attended the scores of games and matches over the past two months.
I congratulate all of the fall sports athletes and coaches for a very successful season, Athletic Director David Franskevicz said.
He then introduced all of the coaches so they could be applauded by the crowd.
The first coach to speak at the podium was Greg Brewer, who coached the girls JV soccer team.
He thanked the players, their parents and fellow SW teachers, coaches and staff members for a good season.
The members of the girls JV soccer team included: Tara Brewer, Mara Gabriel, Patti Knack, Fallon Mashatt, Stephanie Meyer, Megan OKeefe, Ginger Pierce, Jessica Pitz, Skie Rocco, Dianna Scott, Laura Stabbert, Kori Valentine, Stevie VanWagenen and Audryanna Ward.
The Lady Bulldogs varsity soccer team was coached by Mike Mahoney.
It was a season of ups and downs, which is half the fun of coaching high school athletes, he said.
Mahoney noted that the squad improved greatly as the season progressed. He recalled that near the end of the season an opposing coach was very impressed with the Lady Bulldogs and how they competed on the pitch.
She said, Your girls truly have the passion for the game they get it, Mahoney said.
The members of the varsity girls soccer team were: Jessica Armstrong, Kristen Brucher, Jessica Corbett, Morgan Edwards, Lauren Ellison, Kate Fanning, Angela Fortin, Tracy Henry, Karry Johnston, Donna Kelly, Heather Lander, Sarah Lander, Kristen Niemann, Nellie Norden, Michelle Rhodes and Janet Saul.
Johnston, a sophomore, was named the teams Most Improved Player. Heather Lander, a senior, was chosen as the teams Most Valuable Player.
Jennifer Warner coached both the JV and varsity volleyball teams this autumn. She spoke of the progress the Lady Bulldogs volleyball program has made over the past few seasons.
The program began five years ago with just a modified team. A JV squad was added three years ago and the varsity team made its debut in 2003.
This year we were able to hold intramurals in the spring and volleyball camp this summer, Warner said. We hope to form two traveling club teams over the winter.
The members of the JV team were: Becky Cutler, Caralynn Davies, Brittany Geiger, Amanda Gruenke, Victoria Harmon, Nicole LaFleur, Brionna Lovgren, Megan McCormack, Erika McKinney, Alexandra Peters and Camille Peters.
By a vote of their teammates, McKinney was chosen as the squads Most Valuable Player, Alexandra Peters was named the Most Improved Player and Harmon was selected to receive the Sportsmanship Award.
The members of the varsity team were: Kimberly Boyd, Jaclyn Bunch, Sarah-Beth Cohen, Sarah Cutler, Krystle Gorr, Francesca Haynes, Sara LaFleur, Marissa Lanese, Christina Lavinski, Colleen Metzinger, Sarah Nicoletti, Sabrina Reimer, Melissa Reynolds and Michelle Spafford.
In a vote by their teammates, LaFleur and Nicoletti were chosen to receive the Sportsmanship Award and Bunch and LaFleur were honored as the Most Improved Players.
Boyd was chosen as the recipient of the Coaches Award and Reimer was named the squads Most Valuable Player.
Boyd, who registered a team-high 117 points this season, also earned Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Honorable Mention status. Reimer, who made a team-best 43 digs this season, was named to both the OCIAA and Section IX All-Star teams. Reimer set a career record for digs at 68 and Lavinski set a career record for blocks with 42.
I would like to wish the girls who are coming back next year the best of luck, Reimer said. Lets go ladies, lets get some [championship] volleyball banners up there [in the gym].
After introducing the members of the boys varsity cross country team, Coach George Rose said that the team had a great season. He noted that one of the highlights was winning the OCIAA Division IV championship.
Rose thanked George Shakelton, who coaches the girls varsity cross country team, and everyone, including Ryan Gain and Tom Gain, for assisting and supporting the team at meets throughout the season.
There are no seniors on the team, so all of these guys are coming back next season, Rose said.
The members of the boys cross country team were: Eric Cina, Brett Cucci, Matthew Gain, Trevor Kreznar, Matthew MacArthur, Adam Nebzydoski, Mike VanWagenen and Robert Ward.
Matthew Gain was named the teams Most Improved Runner and VanWagenen was chosen as the teams Most Valuable Runner.
Rose also presented VanWagenen with his state meet medal, which he earned by finishing in the top 25 of his race at last weekends New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHAA) cross country meet at Chenango Valley State Park near Binghamton. VanWagenen was fifth in the boys Class C race.
Shakelton noted that the girls varsity cross country team also had a great season, finishing with a perfect 7-0 division record and 11-1 overall record. He said the highlights included winning the OCIAA Division IV title and finishing in eighth place overall at the Marathon Invitational at the beginning of the season. SW was one of 53 schools to compete at that meet and was the top Class C or Class D school in the final team standings.
Members of the girls varsity cross country team were: April Ackermann, Eleanor Bryan, Jamie Clifford, Michelle Manzi, Charlotte Peters, Rebekah Peters, Jennifer Pitz, Chelsie Schadt, Julie Schultz, Jessica Wagner, Amanda Ward and Jessica Weyandt.
Wagner was honored as the teams Most Improved Runner and Clifford earned the Most Valuable Runner award.
Shakelton also presented Clifford with her state medal for finishing 16th in the girls Class C race at last weekends NYSPHAA meet.
It was a great season, Rebekah Peters said. All of the runners did their best.
Varsity football cheerleading Co-Coaches Tara Brey and Nina Verderber thanked the cheerleaders, parents and SW staff members for a great season.
Verderber also praised the cheerleaders for their enthusiasm and work ethic.
All season we only missed one stunt, she said. Thats awesome.
The varsity cheerleading team included: Brittany Coney, Amanda Conley, Genna Delgado, Kayla Gerow, Heather Gorr, Kelsey Hornicek, Julie Keller, Megan Meyer, Ashlee Norris, Nicole Singer, Crystal Talmadge and mascot Kimberly Verderber.
Ron Bauer, coach of the varsity football team, spoke about the success the Bulldogs enjoyed this autumn.
Of all the years I have been coaching, this is one of the finest teams I have worked with, said Bauer, who as been coaching for 38 years. We won the Class B Division II title and won the Section IX Class B championship. As far as Im concerned, over the past three years, these guys have been some of the best football players in the area.
Bauer thanked assistant coaches Kurt Buddenhagen, J.P. Lang, Chris Reichmann and Keith Travers as well as SW staff members and parents for all of their help and support during the season.
The members of the varsity football team included: Alan Ackermann, Justin Alsdorf, Jared Carlew, Ben Creegan, Steve Daley, Orion Darder, Marc DeCristofaro, Eric Delaurenco, Jimmy Erlwein, Jonathan Figueroa, John Glassel, Corey Hornicek, Brian Hubbert, John Kitson, Patrick Knack, Charlie Kreitlow, Jonah Lagrutta, Jason Leewe, Bryan Lopez, Thomas Lynch, Joe Meyer, Jim Moloney, Joe Murray, Steve Musso, Mike Peck, Scott Peters, Paul Pitz, Ryan Redmond, Brett Reimer, Andy Rosenberger, Will Schlott, Bryan Schmidt, Matt Swendsen, Ben Tonjes, Luke Tonjes, Andre Trujillo, Brett Youmans and team manager Justin Polizzi.
Bauer and the coaches presented each of the seniors with Bulldog mini-helmets as a special reminder of the 2004 season. Those seniors are Carlew, Darder, DeCristofaro, Glassel, Hornicek, Kitson, Lopez, Meyer, Murray, Musso, Peters, Redmond, Trujillo and Polizzi.
Musso was named the teams Best Defensive Player. He recorded 120 tackles on the season, 32 of them for a loss. He also recovered a fumble and made one interception.
Peters was named the teams Best Offensive Player. He had 1,123 all-purpose yards this season and scored 11 touchdowns (eight rushing and three receiving). In addition, Peters averaged an incredible 8.8 yards per rush.
Trujillo and his teammates presented each coach with color photos featuring that particular coach on the sidelines during a game this season that had been signed by all of the players. Peters read a heartfelt poem thanking his teammates and coaches for such an incredible season.
When he took the podium, boys varsity soccer coach Joe Ebeling noted that his squad had a very interesting season.
He noted that on the first day of practice back in August, only 12 boys showed up. The Bulldogs added three more players before the season started, but faced some teams that had 20 or more players on their rosters.
We finished with a record of 6-10-2, which is an improvement over our 5-13 record last year, Ebeling said. We won the Downsville Tournament, where we faced some quality Section IV teams.
Ebeling thanked the players, assistant coach Debbie Owen and the parents for all of their hard work this season.
The members of the boys varsity soccer team were: Ross Bernhardt, Kevin Brewer, Kevin Cappiello, Jesse Fadis, Rich Feeney, Chris Franke, Kienan Garn, Joe Layman, David Lungren, Will OBrien, Garrett Owen, Kevin Pinkel, John Reynolds, Vincent Spruill and Joe Winski.
Lungren was chosen as the teams Most Improved Player and Winski was named the teams Most Valuable Player.