Kaitlin Carney | Democrat
The Eldred Central School Male and Female Athletes of the Year, Patrick Reiser and Erika Vorstadt, center, pose with their proud parents at the Eldred Varsity Athletic Banquet held on Wednesday evening. Patrick Reiser’s parents, Joanne and Doug Reiser, are at left, while Erika Vorstadt’s parents, Sue and Tom Vorstadt, are at right.
Eldred Central School athletes lauded at annual banquet
By Kaitlin Carney
YULAN Many of Eldred Central School’s student-athletes and their families celebrated a year of accomplishments at the annual Varsity Athletic Banquet held on Wednesday evening at Young Life Camp Champion.
Athletes represented every sport and were honored for not only their athletic prowess, but for being good teammates, students and citizens.
In speaking about each team’s Most Valuable Player and the 2010-2011 Athletes of the Year, coaches praised the honorees for their conduct both on and off the playing surface. Athletes were also mentors, coaches, positive role models, volunteers and scholar athletes. Coaches, Board of Education members, Superintendent Robert Dufour and Athletic Coordinator Kelly Doherty joined parents and friends in celebration of the accomplishments of the 2010-2011 sports season.
The evening opened with the singing of the national anthem by student-athlete Alyssa Startup.
Girls’ soccer Coach Kelly Robertson opened the awards program by honoring the “amazing, amazing young women I get to work with every day.” She thanked the administration for making it possible for the girls to play under the lights for Homecoming and celebrated the team’s first season competing in Class C.
The team will be losing seniors Kim Elvin, Meaghan Hazen and goalie Diana Schombs. Elvin, the team’s top scorer, was honored as the team’s MVP.
Coach Gerard Gass spoke about the boys’ soccer team and complimented the Eldred community.
“Eldred sports, in general, have a great following to both home and away games,” he said.
Gass noted that his team will be losing three seniors to graduation. He praised the hard work and play of those young men Patrick Reiser, Nick Mehedin and Otto Banghart. Junior Dennis McCullough was selected as the team MVP.
Running at Eldred has three seasons: cross country, indoor track and spring track. Coaches Frank Schorling and William Kroohs lead an impressive group of athletes to personal and team bests, including Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V Championships and Section IX Titles.
With the new facilities and support from parents and volunteers, Eldred was able to host eight home meets during the cross country and spring track seasons. Christine Donnelly was recognized as the cross country female MVP. Alex Campanella, the team’s first Section IX Champion since the mid-1990s, received the male MVP award.
The school’s indoor track team competed in a variety of locations during the season, including meets in New York City. Coach Schorling selected, Diana Schombs, whom he said is “one of the best athletes, male or female, in the school” as the team’s female MVP. Hunter Proscia who competed in states for four of his seven years of competitive running was honored as the team’s male MVP.
For spring track, Russell Amore was chosen as the male MVP and Erika Vorstadt was named the female MVP.
Schorling remarked that he is “very proud of all of his runners” and “wishes I could give an MVP to everybody.”
First year football Coach Mike Paradisis praised his team for “suffering through two-a-days [practices], weathering a tough transition and playing their hearts out” for the 2010 season.
Paradisis selected Gino Jones as the Yellowjackets’ MVP.
Football cheerleading Coach Patty Norris praised the dedication of team captain Abigail Casmay for never missing a practice and selected her as the MVP.
Girls’ basketball Coach Jolene Porter, who has guided many teams in her 19 years of coaching at Eldred, thanked her team for “putting in time to make the sport a success.” She celebrated her team’s scholar athletes, and All-Section IX player Sage Owens, and wished the six graduating seniors success. Porter got choked up while bestowing the honor of MVP on Meaghan Hazen, who is one of the Lady Yellowjackets’ graduating seniors.
Boys basketball Coach Gerard Gass celebrated the team for everything from Sunday morning basketball games to a very memorable, four-overtime win against Tri-Valley. He recognized the contributions of his graduating seniors, including Joe Boehm and Nick Mehedin, who rolled his ankle in a game and, due to physical conditioning, didn’t miss the next one.
“The big crowds, the Beehive these seniors built this,” Gass remarked before selecting Patrick Reiser as the team’s MVP.
This past winter, Eldred combined with Fallsburg to have a wrestling team, with James Corcoran and Tim Bult sharing the coaching duties. The first varsity team for the schools in 20 years defeated Tri-Valley, Goshen, Liberty and Millbrook.
“It was not the easiest season, but the most rewarding” Bult remarked.
He presented Jesse Corcoran with the MVP award, relaying a story of Corcoran’s hard-fought battle in double overtime of a match.
Softball Coach Teresa Colvin celebrated the hard work and team spirit the Lady Yellowjackets showed this spring before selecting Tomara Bodnaruik as the team’s MVP.
Baseball Coach Gerard Gass, who is losing one senior to graduation, celebrated a team which was able to adapt to poor weather at the beginning of the season and a busy schedule at the end of the season. Patrick Reiser was selected as team MVP.
Coach Bob Bliefernich wrapped up the MVP presentations with his golf team. The team tied Tri-Valley for OCIAA Division IV Champions and exceeded their coach’s early season goals. Bliefernich said that MVP Keith Hallock was “proud to win and gracious in losing,” and will turn his golf prowess into a career by studying course management in college.
Superintendent Robert Dufour spoke to the crowd before having Board President Doug Reiser and member James Burns present the awards for male and female athlete of the year.
“Eldred is about many things - sports are a big part of that,” Dufour said. He urged the athletes to “stand and thank your parents, they got you where you needed to be, when you needed to be there. They washed your uniforms and cheered you on,” to which the athletes gave a rousing standing ovation.
Senior Erika Vorstadt was honored as Female Athlete of the Year for her multiple state titles, participation in many varsity level sports, and mentoring. She is also a liaison for Sullivan Renaissance, a Girl Scout and the National Honor Society Vice President.
Vorstadt thanked her parents for their support.
Patrick Reiser was honored as the Male Athlete of the Year and was able to receive the trophy from his father Doug Reiser.
Patrick Reiser thanked his parents and his closing remarks mirrored the sentiment of many of his fellow graduating athletes.
“I’m really going to miss Eldred,” he said. “It really is something special.”