Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

THESE MEMBERS OF the Sullivan West football team received special mini-helmet awards at Sunday’s banquet. Standing from left to right are Brian Hubbert, Steve Daley, Jimmy Erlwein, Brett Youmans, Ben Tonjes, Mike Peck, Byrce Copp and Andy Krantz.

Sullivan West
Celebrates Football

By Rob Potter
CALLICOON — December 16, 2005 – Coaches, players, parents and family members gathered on Sunday afternoon at Hermann Hall at the Delaware Youth Center to celebrate the Sullivan West football program’s 2005 season.
After winning the 2004 Section IX Class B title, the Bulldogs went 7-4 this autumn and won the Section IX Class C championship.
Several awards were presented to players and coaches alike as the Sullivan West football booster club held its second annual banquet.
After enjoying a buffet meal provided by Matson’s Delicatessen & Catering of Jeffersonville, John Schlott, one of the team’s assistant coaches, welcomed everyone. He thanked the booster club for organizing and holding the banquet.
“Thank you to all of you who helped the football teams – modified, JV and varsity – have a very successful year,” Schlott said.
Head Coach Ron Bauer echoed Schlott's sentiments and then introduced the guest speaker, Jan Cheripko.
Cheripko, who served as editor of the Democrat in the 1980s and the author of seven novels, spoke of the important role sports played in helping him through a difficult childhood.
A member of the 1968 Valley Central football team that won the Orange County championship, Cheripko encouraged the SW players seated before him to cherish their football experiences. He said that he and his former teammates still talk about their high school football games and practices and reminisce about all of the good times.
However, Cheripko also spoke of a lopsided loss on the gridiron. While a member of the Valley Central freshman team, he and his teammates were defeated by Middletown, 77-0.
But many of those players went on to be a part of the varsity team that won the 1968 title.
“Winning is great, but losing helps to build character,” Cheripko said.
Cheripko continued to speak about the importance of a person’s name and their character.
“Your name is all you have in life,” he said. “It’s your integrity.”
Cheripko, who currently teaches English at The Family School in Hancock, also reminded the players to be willing to assist others – and accept help themselves. He fondly recalled a caring teacher who helped him enroll in college and get started on a positive career path.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help because everyone needs it,” Cheripko said.
Before presenting team awards and all-star certificates, Bauer reminded the players about the importance of perseverance.
He said that many years ago a coach gave him some advice on how to persevere and be successful.
“Number one is to be tough,” Bauer said. “Second is to stay enthusiastic. Third is to stay positive. And fourth is to be like a duck. Things aren’t always going to go your way, so learn to let things roll off your back and go on.
The veteran coach pointed out that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team when he was a junior. But Jordan kept working out and practicing on his own and made the team as a senior. He then went on to win a national championship at the University of North Carolina and six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls.
After Bauer and his assistant coaches presented an award to all of the varsity players, several Bulldogs who were recently chosen to the Section IX Football Coaches Association Class C/D Team were given their certificates for being named to that all-star team.
They included: Jimmy Erlwein, who led the Bulldogs in rushing with 1,010 yards and 10 touchdowns; Brian Hubbert, who led the Bulldogs with 13 sacks and well over 100 tackles; Steve Daley, who scored 42 points this season and was the team’s second-leading tackler; Jim Moloney, who passed for 990 yards and amassed 1,164 total yards this season; Brett Youmans, who was the Bulldogs’ leading scorer with 89 points.
In addition, three players – Jason Leewe, Paul Pitz and Ben Tonjes – were Honorable Mention selections to the Section IX Class C/D team.
Hubbert was also named the Class C/D Lineman of the Year. He and Erlwein were also chosen for the All-Section Team, which includes players from Class AA, A, B and C/D teams.
Bauer was chosen by his fellow coaches as the Class C/D Coach of the Year.
The team’s nine seniors – Abner Argueta, Bryce Copp, Daley, Erlwein, Hubbert, Mike Peck, Paul Pitz, Ben Tonjes and Brett Youmans – were honored with special awards.
Schlott presented Youmans with the Iron Dog Award for his toughness and perseverance.
Team managers Colby Copp, Chris Lang and John Lang each received awards from Bauer and the assistant coaches.
All of the football program’s coaches received awards from Bauer. Before introducing JV coaches Kurt Buddenhagen and J.P. Lang and handing them their awards, the varsity head coach noted that the JV Bulldogs had a 6-1 record this autumn.
“They are a big help to the [varsity] team,” Bauer said of Buddenhagen and Lang.
Bauer also praised assistant coach/offensive coordinator Chris Reichmann for “doing a great job.”
And since football is such an emotional sport, Bauer noted that “every team needs someone to get the team fired up.”
For the Bulldogs, he continued, that was assistant coach Keith “Buddha” Travers.
Before giving assistant coach John Schlott his award, Bauer noted that Schlott “did a great job for me” this season.
In presenting Bauer with his award, Travers noted that he has been “honored to coach along this man the past four or five years.”
Travers added that Bauer has won numerous sectional football championships in his long coaching career, perhaps more than any other coach in the state.
Modified Coach Anthony Durkin noted that 35 kids played on the team this fall and that they compiled a 3-4 record.
“This was a really nice group of kids to coach,” he said.
Booster club member Bonnie Schlott thanked all of the club members for their work to support the Bulldogs’ during the 2005 season. She especially noted the efforts of Sally Creegan, Kelly Erlwein, Patty Schmidt and Mary Tonjes.
Each of the varsity team members received a photo CD of pictures that Bill Moloney, father of quarterback Jim Moloney, had taken at all of this season’s games.
The members of the 2005 SW varsity football team 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 Moroney, 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.

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