By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE May 24, 2005 Dozens of administrators, coaches, athletes and athletic department supporters gathered together on Monday evening, May 16 at Ninas Ristoranté in Loch Sheldrake for the Annual Sullivan County Community College Athletic Banquet.
In his remarks, SCCC Athletic Director Chris DePew praised the student-athletes sitting around the room for their accomplishments during the 2004-2005 academic year.
Our student-athletes have been exceptional this year both on the playing field and in the classroom, DePew said. They bring a great deal of positive recognition to our campus and our department. This particular group of student-athletes has helped uphold a tradition of excellence here at Sullivan.
After DePew spoke, Dr. Ellen Galligan, SCCC Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Elizabeth Kubenik, SCCC Vice-President for Administrative Services, and David Thomson, Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Development, each gave special remarks and congratulated the student-athletes.
Thomson also noted the important jobs the SCCC coaches do every day.
They are not in it for the money, he said. They arent motivated by glory. These coaches want to get the best out of their players. They are balancing egos and acting as psychologists. The coaches we have here at Sullivan are well, they are just a great group of people. Lets give thanks to these coaches and their assistants.
Thomson then led the dinner guests in a warm and well-deserved round of applause for the SCCC head coaches and assistant coaches.
The coaches and assistants then presented their team awards.
Cross County Coach Chad Nykamp noted that the 2004 season was a special one. He said it was the first time that the college had a womens cross country team. The entire team of four women and two men qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XV Championships, which were held in Poughkeepsie.
Nykamp added that one team member, Ronaldy Ventura, qualified for the NJCAA District Championships. In addition, Ventura, who had a 4.0 grade point average, was named an NJCAA Academic All-American.
Nykamp presented his Coachs Award to Ventura. Robert Aldridge was named the Most Improved Player and Crystal Grey earned the Most Valuable Player award.
Womens Basketball Coach Paul Clune noted that his players kept practicing hard and playing hard even after the decision was made in January to play the rest of the schedule as a club team due to a lack of players.
I want to thank these ladies for their dedication, he said.
Clune also thanked Assistant Coach Steve Nash for all of his hard work this season.
Pam Graddick was named the teams Most Valuable Player, Jessica Lake was chosen as the Most Improved Player and Jennifer Wright earned the Coachs Award.
Womens Volleyball Coach Bryan Bury said that although the team did not win a match last fall, there were some positive aspects to the season.
We improved during the season, he said. Some of our losses were very close games. These girls really worked hard this season.
Rita Giannone was chosen as the teams Most Valuable Player, Desiree Farmer garnered the Most Improved Player award and Vicki Vargas earned the Coachs Award.
Golf Coach Matt Turnbull noted that his team had a very successful season. The Generals finished third at the Region XV Championships and one team member, Thomas T.J. Kurtz, qualified for the NJCAA National Tournament.
I want to thank these guys for a fantastic season, Turnbull said.
Kurtz was honored with the teams MVP award, Jason Holden was named the Most Improved Player and Gary Muller earned the Coachs Award.
In addition to serving as the SCCC Athletic Director, DePew completed his seventh season as the head coach of the Generals basketball team during the 2004-2005 academic year.
We finished the season with a 25 and 7 record, won our third straight Mid-Hudson Conference championship and made it to the title game of the Region XV Tournament, he said. This was the seventh time in the history of the mens basketball program at Sullivan that the team had at least 25 wins.
Everage Richardson was named the teams Most Valuable Player, Dwain Joseph was honored as the teams Most Improved Player and Ghiles Jackson earned the Coachs Award.
DePew then announced several individual awards. They were as follows:
NJCAA All-American Fourth Team Everage Richardson
All Region XV First Team Everage Richardson, mens basketball, T.J. Kurtz, mens golf
All Mid-Hudson Conference First Team Everage Richardson (also named Mid-Hudson Mens Basketball MVP), T.J. Kurtz (also named Mid-Hudson Mens Golf MVP), Greg Johnson mens basketball, Jeff Danzer mens golf and Jason Holden mens golf
All Mid-Hudson Conference Second Team Rita Giannone, womens volleyball; Kevin Johnson, mens basketball
Academic NJCAA All-American Ronaldy Ventura, cross country, 4.0 GPA
Academic All Region XV Team Ronaldy Ventura, cross country, 4.0 GPA; Rita Giannone, womens volleyball, 3.78 GPA; Desiree Farmer, womens volleyball, 3.27 GPA; Kevin Johnson, mens basketball, 3.23 GPA; Jeff Danzer, mens golf, 3.95 GPA; Jason Holden, mens golf, 3.60 GPA
Academic All Mid-Hudson Conference Team Ronaldy Ventura, cross country, 4.0 GPA, Rita Giannone, womens volleyball, 3.78 GPA; Desiree Farmer, womens volleyball, 3.27 GPA; Kevin Johnson, mens basketball, 3.23 GPA; Jeff Danzer, mens golf, 3.95 GPA; Jason Holden, mens golf, 3.60 GPA.
At the end of the evening, DePew announced that the three finalists for the SCCC Athlete of the Year Award who were chosen by DePew and the SCCC coaches during a recent meeting were Kevin Johnson, T.J. Kurtz and Everage Richardson. Moments later, DePew stated that Kurtz was the SCCC Athlete of the Year.