By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE Administrators, trustees, coaches, athletic department staff members and student-athletes celebrated another year of accomplishments on Monday night at the annual Sullivan County Community College Athletic Banquet.
Dozens of SCCC student-athletes were honored at the banquet, which was held at Nina’s Ristoranté in Loch Sheldrake.
“This has been a great year for Sullivan athletics,” said SCCC Director of Athletics Christopher DePew, who is completing his seventh year as the college’s AD.
He noted that highlights of the 2007-2008 school year included one member of the cross country team being named an Academic All-American runner, the men’s basketball team posting at least 20 wins for the 11th consecutive season, and the baseball team winning the 2008 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XV championship, which was the first baseball championship in the history of the college.
Following dinner, SCCC President Dr. Mamie Howard Golladay, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Ellen Galligan, Vice President of Administrative Affairs Elizabeth Kubenik and Dean of Students Dave Thomson all gave some special remarks.
“We are very proud of our athletes,” Golladay said.
Galligan, Kubenik and Thomson echoed Golladay's sentiments, noting that the SCCC student-athletes have brought positive recognition to the school.
Thomson also praised DePew, who was recently selected NJCAA Region XV Men’s Division Assistant Director.
“Chris is well respected as an athletic director throughout Region XV,” Thomson said. “He is one of the best ADs I have worked with.”
DePew thanked the athletic department staff members for all of their hard work and dedication. The staff includes Assistant Athletic Director Mike Marra, Department Secretary Georgia Lyons, Coordinator of Recreation and Wellness Zachariah Mathew, Coordinator of Intramurals Adam Lake, Coordinator of Fieldhouse Operations and Equipment Gregg Semenetz and Coordinator of Fieldhouse Operations and Equipment Diana Traugot.
Each of the SCCC coaches called their teams up to the podium to be recognized and then presented special awards.
DePew handed out the men’s and women’s cross country awards since Coach Chad Nykamp recently left SCCC to take another coaching job.
The recipients of those awards were William Berger and Cory Ramos, who each earned the Coaches Award.
Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach Paul Clune noted that his team “did a great job” this season.
Last week, SCCC hosted the Region XV golf tournament at Grossingers Country Club in Liberty. One of the Generals’ golfers, Eric Hendrickson, finished fourth and qualified for next month’s NJCAA Division III Tournament.
Clune presented the Most Improved award to Brandon Katz, the MVP award to Eric Hendrickson and Coaches Award to Sam Hellman.
Men’s and Women’s Track Coach Zachariah Mathew, who noted that this spring marked the first season for the track and field program at SCCC, presented the Coaches Award to Mike McNair.
DePew and Assistant Coach Troy Nowlin handed out three awards for the men’s basketball team. Coaches Awards went to Tymel Ambrose and Andre Martin and Bertram “B.J.” McDowell was named the MVP.
Baseball Coach Mike Marra, who was recently selected the 2008 NJCAA Region XV Division II Baseball Coach of the Year, thanked his players for a great season. He also thanked the administration and staff for their support of the team throughout the regular season, the NJCAA Region XV Tournament and NJCAA East District Tournament.
Marra presented several awards. They included: MVP John DeGroodt; Coaches Award Dan Mercedes; Most Improved Cesar De La Cruz; Hank Aaron Award for Best Hitter Albert Bevacqua; Cy Young Award for Best Pitcher Mike Prunka and Gold Glove Award for Defense Fred Moore.
The three finalists for the Athlete of the Year award Eric Hendrickson, B.J. McDowell and Fred Moore were introduced by their respective coaches. DePew then announced that McDowell had been selected as the 2008 SCCC Athlete of the Year.
Note: Several of the aforementioned athletes also earned recognition from the Mid-Hudson Conference and/or Region XV for their performance on the playing field and in the classroom. Please see Tuesday’s issue for a list of those athletes and their honors.