By Rob Potter
MATAMORAS, PA December 14, 2004 Student-athletes, coaches, parents, family members and friends gathered together on Thursday night for the Eldred Football Booster Clubs annual banquet.
The event, which included dinner and dessert, the presentation of several awards to Eldred Central School football players, coaches, cheerleaders and fans and a prize raffle, was held at The Riverview Inn in Matamoras, Pa.
Following a stirring rendition of The National Anthem sung by ECS student Katie Hanson and welcoming remarks by Eldred Football Booster Club President Cathy Daboul, the four captains of this autumns varsity Yellowjacket football team addressed the dozens of teammates, coaches, family and friends seated before them.
Brian Daboul, Tim Hallock, Corey Proscia and Kyle Schneider thanked their teammates, coaches and parents for all of their hard work and support this season and in the past few years.
Ive had the time of my life, Daboul said.
Practicing and playing games with you guys has been the best time Ive had, Proscia added.
Varsity Head Coach Frank Kean, who has been guiding football teams at ECS on either the varsity and/or modified level for 33 years, noted that this was probably the most enjoyable and quickest year Ive had in coaching.
Im very proud of this team, Kean said. We had an above .500 record for the first time since 1991. To go five-and-four this year was a reflection of the hard work you guys began back in August.
Kean noted that with a few breaks here and there, the Yellowjackets could have ended the regular season with an 8-1 record.
The veteran coach also thanked all of the Eldred Football Booster Club members for all of their hard work and fundraising efforts which allowed the Yellowjackets to host two Friday night football games this autumn by using a temporary lighting system.
Assistant Coach John LiGreci encouraged the junior varsity and modified players to keep working hard in future seasons.
Make every game count, he said. Play for today.
Kean and Assistant Coach Lance Schneider then presented each modified, JV and varsity player with a trophy that featured a small football and cleat. Each player gave a flower to their parents as well.
Those varsity and JV players included Kyle Bosch (Senior), Brian Daboul (Sr.), Taylor Diuguid (Sr.), Tim Hallock (Sr.), Corey Proscia (Sr.), Kyle Ranne (Sr.), Kyle Schneider (Sr.), John Adams (Junior), Jonathan Counts (Jr.), Jeremy DeForge (Jr.), George Fountain (Jr.), Nick Gottlieb (Jr.), Patrick Kean (Jr.), Walter Kreidell (Jr.), John Thomas Vogt (Jr.), Sean Colley (Sophomore), Danny Driscoll (Soph.), Steven Geiger (Soph.), Jesse Hammel (Soph.), Hilton Johnson (Soph.), Nick McCormick (Soph.), Mark Thornton (Soph.), Thomas Compasso (Freshman), Chris Leader (Fr.), Nick Proscia (Fr.), Nick Simonelli (Fr.), Tim Decker (Fr.), Sean Donnelly (Fr.), Evan Laput (Fr.), Chris Mehedin (Fr.), Kevin Prunka (Fr.), Sean Ranne (Fr.), Stan Smith (Fr.) and Patrick Speaker (Fr.).
The modified players included: Shaun Berger, James Brush, Joe Counts, Devin Gales, Jon Geiger, Scott Hallock, Jill Harris, Jason Jennings, Patrick Kerr, Matt Puzio, Zachary Shaffer, Zachary Tyler and Mike Walton.
In addition to John LiGreci and Lance Schneider, Hilton Johnson Sr. and Tom Compasso also served as assistant coaches this autumn.
Richard Daboul Sr. was the official team videographer.
Cheerleading Coach Elaine Kuhn and Assistant Coach Jeannette Davis presented a few special awards to the young ladies who cheered on the Yellowjackets on the gridiron.
Those young ladies included Hope Wolff, a senior who served as a student advisor, mascots Caitlin Davis and Carly Worzel, and cheerleaders Amanda Bush, Heather Davis, Krystina Drasher, Serena Gregory, Stephanie Knapp, Randi Leek, Kati Paterson, Marissa Schneider, Carly Stickle, Lauren Terry, Jazmyn Turell and Adrienne Walters.
Eldred Football Booster Club member Denise Kreidell presented Spirit Awards on behalf of the booster club and the players.
The football coaches, along with their wives, and the cheerleading coaches were so honored.
Also recognized were Hanson, who sang The National Anthem prior to all home games; Tim Hallock Sr., who was named the Super fan of 2004; Cathy Daboul; Patrick Speaker; and Richie Ranne.
Ranne, who attended all of the varsity games this autumn to watch his brother, Sean Ranne, and cousin, Kyle Ranne, and their teammates play, received an official Eldred Yellowjackets football hat.
While introducing the player who had been chosen by his teammates as this seasons Most Valuable Player, Kean noted that the player had set school records by rushing for 1,476 yards this season and more than 2,700 yards in his three-year varsity career. He also noted that the player, Kyle Schneider, had worked diligently to return to the gridiron after missing the entire 2003 season due to a serious knee injury.
First of all, I have to thank all of my linemen, Schneider said as he held the MVP award and stood at the microphone. I thank Mr. Kean for eight years.
Schneider also thanked his parents, Lance and Laura Schneider, as well as all of his other coaches and teammates.
Cathy Daboul praised everyone for their efforts to help the Eldred football program.
Thanks to all of you, its been an exciting year, she said.
Near the end of the evening, winners in the booster clubs raffle drawings were announced. The grand prize was two tickets and parking passes to the Dallas Cowboys versus New York Giants game on Sunday, January 2, 2005 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The lucky winner of those ducats was T. Vitanza of Barryville.
Other raffle winners were as follows:
Free rafting trip for two provided by Kittatinny Canoes Barbara Poillon
Dinner for two at The Eldred Preserve Mr. Skibinski
Dinner for two at the Mohican Trail Inn in Glen Spey Mike Monteleone
100 Hot Wings from BVH Sports Bar in Barryville Matt Nelson
Three pizzas from Il Castello Pizzeria & Restaurant in Barryville Ruthie Rollins
Three free videos at River Market in Barryville Kenny Mims
$25 gift certificate from Pecks Market in Eldred Nancy Jacks.