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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

MIKE VANWAGENEN HAPPILY accepts his boys’ cross country Most Valuable Runner trophy from Coach George Shakelton at Wednesday night’s awards ceremony.

A Special Day
For Sullivan West

By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON — November 18, 2005 – Coaches, players, parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers and administrators gathered in the Sullivan West High School auditorium on Wednesday night to honor the hundreds of student-athletes who competed for the Bulldog and Lady Bulldog sports teams during the recently completed fall sports season.
“We applaud your efforts and thank you for the great seasons,” SW High School Principal Margaret Tenbus said.
“Thank you for the opportunity to be here on this night dedicated to these exceptional Sullivan West student-athletes,” SW Superintendent Alan Derry commented.
Before introducing all of the fall sports season team coaches, Athletic Director David Franskevicz noted that the 2005 fall sports season was very special.
“We had five teams qualify for sectionals this fall,” Franskevicz said. “Two teams won their division, three won sectional titles and three qualified for state competition. This was by far the best sports season that Sullivan West has seen in its history.
“In addition, we had the largest number of students ever participating in a sport this season,” he continued. “A total of 260 students played on our fall sports teams.”
Mike Mahoney, coach of the Lady Bulldogs’ junior varsity soccer team, noted that the squad improved a great deal this past season. He compared the players’ progress to that of an infant learning first to crawl, then to walk and finally to run.
“By that last game of the year against Roscoe, they were running,” Mahoney said. “There is an old African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of that village.”
Members of the Lady Bulldogs’ junior varsity soccer team included: Vicky Argueta, Lindsey Bauer, Colleen Chudik, Lizzy Ferber, Katrina Graby, Shannon Hauser, Melanie Kleiner, Kelli Long, Ella MacDonald, Ashley Mahoney, Stephanie Meyer, Lindsey Murphy, Brittany Reddish, Dianna Scott, Samantha Sosa, Claire Stabbert and Kellee Thelman.
Varsity girls’ soccer coach Mike Ellmauer noted that the 2005 Lady Bulldog squad was “a hard working team that got better and better.”
“This is just a terrific group of kids to work with,” he said.
Ellmauer also noted that he enjoyed working with Cliff Kelly, who was the assistant coach of the varsity team, and Mahoney this season.
Ellmauer and Kelly then presented two special awards. The Most Improved Player award was given to Stevie VanWagenen and Kate Fanning was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Members of the Lady Bulldogs’ varsity soccer team were: Jessica Armstrong, Tara Brewer, Jessica Corbett, Morgan Edwards, Lauren Ellison, Kate Fanning, Mara Gabriel, Donna Kelly, Kristi Kern, Patti Knack, Sarah Lander, Katie Moloney, Kristen Niemann, Kimberly Parks, Ginger Pierce, Laura Stabbert, Stevie VanWagenen and Audryanna Ward.
Varsity boys’ soccer coach Debbie Owen read a list of definitions for the word “teamwork,” such as “joining forces” and “joining together.”
“Teamwork can also be defined by the 2005 boys’ soccer team,” she said. “These guys played with heart all season and gave it their best out on the field.”
Owen noted that the 2005 Bulldog squad was the first SW boys’ soccer team ever to qualify for sectionals. The Bulldogs scored a goal in the final minute of their first sectional match versus Highland and then defeated the Huskies 3-2 on an overtime goal by senior Kevin Brewer.
SW then played Spackenkill, whom Owen called “the most talented team we faced this season,” in the semifinal round. Spackenkill ended the Bulldogs’ terrific season with a 4-0 victory.
Owen and Assistant Coach Ron Bernhardt presented the Coaches Award to Brewer, the Best Defensive
Award to Joe Layman and Best Offensive Award to Jonathan Reynolds. Brewer finished the season with 12 goals and 10 assists, Reynolds recorded 18 goals and 10 assists and Layman made 167 saves, which is an average of eight per game.
The members of the Bulldog varsity soccer team included: Justin Armstrong, Ross Bernhardt, Kevin Brewer, Todd Calvet, Kevin Cappiello, Kevin Correa, Joseph Drobysh, Mitch Ellmauer, Jesse Fadis, Rich Feeney, Chris Franke, Steve Gaebel, Kienan Garn, Logan Grishaber, Joe Layman, David Lundgren, Eric Minton, Will O’Brien, Garret Owen, Gaston Owen, Kevin Pinkel, Brandon Redmond, Jonathon Reynolds, Colin Seidl, Harold Smith and Vincent Spruill.
Football cheerleading co-coach Nina Verderber noted that the cheerleaders and coaches “had a great time together” this autumn.
“These girls worked hard and gave it 110 percent,” said Verderber, who guided the squad along with co-coach Tara Brey. “It was a fantastic year.”
Verderber and Brey presented the Most Improved Cheerleader award to Ashley Niero and the Most Valuable Cheerleader award to Genna Delgado.
Members of the cheerleading squad included: Genna Delgado, April Drake, Kayla Gerow, Kelsey Hornicek, Sarah Kolakowski, Megan Meyer, Janine Neumann, Ashley Nicoletti, Ashley Niero, Ashlee Norris, Maegan Sauer, Crystal Talmadge and Kimberly Verderber (junior cheerleader).
Head JV Football Coach Kurt Buddenhagen noted that the team had a great season. The Bulldogs, led by Buddenhagen and Assistant Coach J.P. Lang, posted a 6-1 record. The only loss came to Highland, which had about 35 players to SW’s 17.
Varsity Football Coach Ron Bauer noted that the JV players did a great job, especially when they practiced with the varsity and ran the plays of the upcoming opponent.
The varsity Bulldog gridiron squad, which was guided by Bauer and Assistant Coaches Chris Reichmann, John Schlott and Keith Travers, had a record of 7-4 and won the Section IX Class C championship.
The season began with a lopsided non-league loss to Section IV’s Delhi in early September and ended last Friday with a tough defeat at the hands of Section I Class C champion Rye in a state regional game at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.
“From that loss to Delhi to winning the Section IX Class C championship, this team had a really great turnaround,” Bauer said. “It was a great effort. These players worked hard all season and did a great job.”
Brian Hubbert, who had 13 sacks, three blocked punts and broke up six passes, was named the team’s Best Defensive Player. Jimmy Erlwein, who carried the ball 121 times for 1,010 yards and 10 touchdowns, was chosen as the squad’s Best Offensive Player.
Members of the JV and varsity football teams included: Alan Ackermann, Justin Alsdorf, Abner Argueta, Corrilee Banks, Donald Cooper, Bryce Copp, Mackie Crawson, Ben Creegan, Steve Daley, John Dertinger, James Erlwein, Dan Figueroa, Jonathon Figueroa, Matt Forster, Logan Frazier, Brian Hubbert, Patrick Knack, Andy Krantz, Charlie Kreitlow, Jason Leewe, Thomas Lynch, Gregory MacArthur, Jim Moloney, Nick Mootz, Kayla Olsen, Mike Peck, Paul Pitz, Anthony Rasmussen, Nick Redmond, Bradley Reimer, Will Schlott, Bryan Schmidt, Steve Steffens, Matt Swendsen, Shane Talmadge, Ben Tonjes, Luke Tonjes, James Tyles, Chris Wagner, Tyler Wagner, John Whittaker and Brett Youmans.
Jennifer Warner coached both the JV and varsity volleyball teams. She proudly noted that the JV team sported a perfect record this season and over the past four years the Lady Bulldog JV teams have posted a combined record of 47-13.
Warner also noted that the varsity squad made some history this autumn.
“Our varsity team qualified for the sectionals for the first time ever,” she said. “This is only the third year we have a had varsity team, so that is a great accomplishment.”
Warner added that the Lady Bulldogs improved in several areas of the game this year, such as digging and serving.
In addition, three varsity players were named to the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) all-star team. Seniors Marissa Lanese, who set career marks for aces, digs and points, and Kimberly Boyd, who set career records for assists and blocks, were chosen for the Class B/C First Team. Senior Krystle Gorr, who set a team record for kills, was an Class B/C Honorable Mention selection.
Warner presented Boyd with the Coach’s Award and Lanese with the MVP Award.
Members of the JV volleyball team included: Juliet Corcillo, Becky Cutler, Caralynn Davies, Victoria Harmon, Brionna Lovgren, Amber McGibbon, Bridgett Metzinger, Antoinette Moffett, Camille Peters, Jessica Ramirez and Samantha VanDiver.
Members of the varsity volleyball team included: Kimberly Boyd, Sarah Cutler, Brittney Geiger, Krystle Gorr, Marissa Lanese, Megan McCormack, Erika McKinney, Sarah Nicoletti, Alexandra Peters, Melissa Reynolds, Michelle Spafford and Jessica Taylor.
George Rose, coach of the boys’ cross country team, said that the 2005 team possessed a special quality that made it stand out from past squads.
“This was the most poised team I have ever seen,” Rose said. “No matter what, these guys stayed poised and didn’t get rattled. They kept their cool every time.”
The veteran coach said that the squad’s four seniors displayed the traits of athletes from other sports. For example, he noted that Mike VanWagenen was a team leader much like a starting pitcher in baseball or a quarterback in football. He described Matthew Gain and Trevor Kreznar as having the communication and teamwork skills of a double play combination on the baseball diamond or the two guards on a basketball team. And Rose likened Adam Nebzydoski to a baseball relief pitcher who saves victories for his team.
The Bulldogs won the OCIAA Division IV title, captured the Section IX Class C championship and placed fifth among Class C teams at last weekend’s New York State meet.
“That was the best Sullivan West finish ever,” Rose said.
VanWagenen was named the team’s Most Valuable Runner and Brett Cucci was chosen as the squad’s Most Improved Runner.
Members of the boys’ cross county team included: Dan Brennan, Brett Cucci, Matthew Gain, Trevor Kreznar, Matthew Layman, Adam Nebzydoski, Leland Peterman, Dallas Ripley and Mike VanWagenen.
“We had an amazing time this year,” girls’ cross country coach George Shakelton said. “Three of our four seniors have been running since the seventh grade and Eleanor [Bryan] has been on the team since her freshman year. All of the girls on the team worked very hard this season.”
The four seniors Shakelton spoke of are April Ackermann, Eleanor Bryan, Jessica Wagner and Amanda Ward.
The Lady Bulldogs had an overall record of 15-2, won the OCIAA Division IV championship for the fourth straight year, won the Section IX Class C title and finished third at the state meet.
Shakelton said the team also did very well at several invitational meets, including the Lackawanna Invitational in Scranton, Pa. and the Disney Classic at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Chelsie Schadt was named the team’s Most Improved Runner, while April Ackermann was chosen as the squad’s Most Valuable Runner.
Members of the girls’ cross country team included: April Ackermann, Sara Alsdorf, Kendra Barker, Eleanor Bryan, Rianne Erlwein, Katie Fenshaw, Rebecca Molinaro, Megan O’Keefe, Charlotte Peters, Chelsie Schadt, Julie Schultz, Jessica Wagner and Amanda Ward.

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