Congratulations to the following student-athletes. On Wednesday, May 20, Kellenberg Memorial High School honored the athletes of the spring athletic season and presented the awards of Most Improved Player, Most Valuable Player, and the Bernie Ward Commitment Award to those deserving recipients of each team. 57 student-athletes were honored throughout the evening.
Most Valuable Player – Rob Weissheir
When 6’4” Rob Weissheir moved to catcher our entire pitching staff improved. Rob is a fierce competitor and demanded perfection from the pitching staff. He also batted 3rd for the Firebirds and was one of the NSCHSAA leaders in batting average all season. An incredibly hard worker in the weight room and in the batting cage, Rob always wanted to do whatever he could to get better. If Rob continues to improve there’s no limit to how good he can be. This year’s MVP is Rob Weissheir.
Most Improved Player – Connor Smith
When last year ended the coaching staff wasn’t sure what role Connor Smith would play on this year’s Varsity team. That all changed towards the end of the season as Connor made the most of his playing time and proved to the coaches that he should be in the everyday line up. Once Connor became our everyday Designated Hitter he excelled more than we ever imagined. Connor went into the playoffs batting well over .300! This year’s MIP is Connor Smith.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Peter Lawless
I love giving this award to young men who I feel Bernie Ward would have loved to coach. Coach Ward’s favorite players were athletes who were coachable, had a great attitude, and always seemed to get the job done when opportunity knocked. Coach Ward would have loved Peter Lawless. Pete was our cleanup hitter all year and was top three in almost all offensive categories (except stolen bases!). Peter slid, dove, and hustled his way through the 2015 season and always had a smile on his face. It is with great pleasure that we award Peter lawless the Bernie Ward Commitment Award!
Junior Varsity Baseball
Most Valuable Player – Thomas Paulich
This year’s Most Valuable Player goes to one of the most respected players in our league. Aside from leading the team in many offensive categories, including home runs, runs batted in and runs scored, this individual was also one of the top infielders in the league as well. It is no easy adjustment to change positions mid-year from third base to shortstop however due to an injury, this individual did it with relative ease. This young man improved every facet of his game throughout the year and is the reason he is considered to be the most valuable. There is no doubt that he will continue to improve and the coaching staff looks forward to seeing what he can do at the next level. This year’s Most Valuable Player goes to Thomas Paulich.
Most Improved Player – Patrick Agresti
This year’s Most Improved Player goes to an individual who throughout the season worked hard to compete and work his way into the lineup. Although starts were few and far between at the beginning of the season, this individual did not accept mediocrity and worked harder than most to prove that he belonged in the everyday lineup. By season’s end, this individual’s work ethic, positivity and genuine passion for the game became an example for all of his teammates. The coaching staff is proud to say he embodies the true essence of a Firebird Baseball player. This year’s Most Improved Player goes to Patrick Agresti.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Andrew Williams
This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award recipient goes to an individual who embodied the phrase “actions speak louder than words”. Being a pitcher is never an easy task. Aside from having to perform in many pressure situations, this individual worked hard to perfect his craft every day at practice as he became one of the most trusted arms on our very talented pitching staff. There is no doubt to the coaching staff that this individual has a bright future and we look forward to seeing him bring his mentality to the varsity level. This year’s recipient of the Bernie Ward Commitment award is Andrew Williams.
Most Valuable Player – Kevin Begis
If 71% of the world is covered by water, then the other 29% is covered by Kevin Begis. Kevin had 24 putouts playing centerfield, giving our pitchers the confidence to throw strikes, knowing that anything hit in Kevin’s direction would be caught. He also recorded a few outfield assists, cutting down opponents’ runners, and striking fear in anyone who thought of taking an extra base. When Kevin got up to the plate, there was always the hope that he would make something positive happen. He led the team in RBIs, and was among the team leaders in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Most Improved Player – Bret Carpentieri
It would have been easy for Bret Carpentieri to give up on his Freshman Baseball season, but he does not know the word “quit.” After some early struggles at the plate, and on the mound, Bret slowly but surely not only worked himself back into the lineup, but also worked himself up to the top of the lineup. So humble and focused is Bret that when asked who he thought led the team in hitting, he had no idea it was he! Bret provided the spark that the team needed to get going offensively, and is about as sure handed an infielder as they come.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Andrew Wagner
Andrew Wagner’s position on the Freshman Baseball Team was “Baseball Player.” He played infield, outfield, pitched, and also served as designated hitter. Whatever the team needed was what Andrew wanted to do, and he did it well, as he was constantly on base, and chased down line drives in the outfield, and gobbled up ground balls in the infield. Most importantly, Andrew brought a fire and intensity that the team needed to succeed.
Boys Varsity Golf
Most Valuable Player – Santiago Rolon
Santiago Rolon is another player whom the coaches have counted on this season. He is another player who was asked to play in the difficult #1 position and face every team’s best player. This position, at times, can be daunting to a player’s golf game and ego. He is looked upon by other members of the team as the best player, and he had better be competitive in every match. Santiago always gave his best effort and was a great role model and leader for all the players on the team. We know he will continue to grow as a player and a leader in the future. Congratulations to the 2014-15 Boys’ Golf team MVP: Santiago Rolon
Most Improved Player – Phil Oliver
Phil Oliver played in the #6 position for most of the season. Phil played a vital role in each match by trying to get the team valuable points in match play. As the season progressed, he improved various aspects of his game and became a tough opponent to the various teams he faced. Congratulations to the 2014-15 Boys’ Golf team MIP: Phil Oliver.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Will Buckley
Will Buckley was given a difficult task by the coaching staff at the beginning of the season. As a sophomore Will was asked to play in the #2 position for the entire season after playing just one season on the varsity team. He played some competitive golf against some of the best players in the league, and although the results were not always to his liking, Will never complained about his situation or his win-loss record. He always gave his best effort and the members of the team and the coaches never doubted him. Congratulations to the 2014-15 Boys’ Golf team Bernie Ward Commitment Award recipient: Will Buckley
Girls Varsity Golf
Most Valuable Player – Nikki Dilluvio
Nikki Dilluvio has a stranglehold on the Girls’ Golf MVP award. Last year, she was named the NSCHSGAA Golfer of the Year and she won the League Tournament. This year, she didn’t skip a beat and continued where she left off. She continued her winning ways by racking up a match record of nine wins, one loss, and one tie. Nikki is never intimidated by any competition that she faces, and her grace-under-pressure attitude is noticeable to all members of the team. The coaching staff and team are grateful and thankful for all she does for the team. Congratulations to the 2014-15 Girls’ Golf team MVP: Nikki Dilluvio
Most Improved Player – Ashley Harding
As a freshman, Ashley Harding had many adjustments this year. Being in a new school, using an iPad, and making new friends were all part of her program. However, on the golf team, the only change she had to make was playing competitive golf with a partner instead by herself. She started out this season in the #4 position and continually beat her opponents so thoroughly that she was moved into the #3 position where she continued her victorious ways. She is always looking to improve her game whenever she gets the chance, and the coaching staff and the other players know she will only continue to get better with age and opportunity. Congratulations to the 2014-15 Girls’ Golf team MIP: Ashley Harding
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Megan Schiesser
Megan Schiesser always shows dedication and commitment to her team and her golf game. She always practices and improves her game before a match either on the driving range or on the putting green. Megan is certainly committed to bringing out the best in her playing partner or other members of the team. Certainly, no one can doubt her commitment to having fun and enjoying her time on the golf course. The coaching staff and players are universally grateful for her commitment to this team. Congratulations to the 2014-15 Girls’ Golf team Bernie Ward Commitment Award recipient: Megan Schiesser
Boys Varsity Lacrosse
Most Valuable Player – Michael Mongelli
During the 2015 season Michael Mongelli has proven to be one of the best shut down defenders in the league. Michael was consistently matched up against our opponent’s best offensive player, often allowing them to yield zero points. He was a force to be reckoned with on ground balls as well as clearing the ball. His leadership on the defensive side of the ball was invaluable and it is for these reasons that Michael Mongelli is our 2015 Most Valuable Player.
Most Improved Player – Rudely Dorce
As a Junior Rudely Dorce began to establish his role as a long stick midfielder. In the off season Rudley was consistent member in the weight room and at our winter workouts. Through his hard work and determination Rudley has become one of the best long stick midfielders in the league. He consistently shut down our opponent’s best midfielder. As the season progressed Rudley continued to improve his stick skills and became a force to be reckoned with in the clearing game. It is for these reasons that Rudley Dorce is our 1025 Most Improved Player.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Liam Monarchio
Liam Monarchio was the leader of our defense from inside the cage, often keeping us in close games with key saves. After practice Liam would stay late to put in some extra time to work on his positioning in the cage. His commitment to the team was never questioned and his leadership in the off season and during the season is one that is unrivaled. It is for these reasons that Liam Monarchio is our 2015 recipient of the Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Boys Junior Varsity A Lacrosse
Most Valuable Player – Ryan Barrett
This season’s Most Valuable Player Award goes to Ryan Barrett. Ryan embodies everything that a coach could ever ask for in a player, no matter what we ask of him Ryan never doubted himself or his abilities. We often asked a lot of Ryan both physically and mentally, we were also very hard on him trying to get all we could out of Ryan as a player and a captain but we knew he was a young man who could handle it. Ryan embraced the pressure and never asked out, he was a dual threat as a middie on both offense and defense. His dodges from up top often initiated the action we needed on offense to create goals, on defense he always knew where to slide and played exceptional 1 on 1 defense. In addition Ryan also did all of the intangibles that make lacrosse middies special, he was a clearing machine and always hustled to force turnover when riding. Ryan even dominated the Faceoff X when both the teams faceoff guys were out sick for a game, he truly did it all for us and did it as a leader. Most of all Ryan’s value came from the fact that we knew we would get a maximum effort and a warrior’s attitude in every game and practice from him. The future is bright for Ryan as a lacrosse player and in life.
Most Improved Player – Brendan Pues
The Most Improved Player for this season is Brendan Pues, Brendan started out for us a second line midfielder who we mainly played on defense and in some clearing situations. By the middle and end of the season Brendan did it all for us, especially on the offensive side of the field. His deft ability made him a weapon as a crease player when we ran our two crease men sets on offense. When he developed the confidence there Brendan continued to grow on the offensive side of the ball becoming an all-around middie and one of our go to guys we knew we could count on in pressure situations. In addition to all this Brendan contributed as a key wing player for face-offs and was our short stick specialist on man down.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Jared Possidel
The Bernie Ward Commitment Award goes to goalie Jared Possidel, Jared has been the starting goalie for us for two years. Being a goalie in lacrosse can be a brutal position, throughout the course of a season you can literally take a beating from the amount of shots you face. Jared never complained once during a practice or a game no matter how many shots he would face. He simply showed up every day and did his job, often times the coaches would watch a play or series of plays in a game or practice and discuss taking Jared out of the game in fear he was handling too much. Anytime this thought of taking Jared out crossed our minds he would never want to come out and would embrace the challenges he was presented with, some games he truly was a rock in the cage for us. Just like our season Jared had his ups and downs and some games he played better than others but his consistency and willingness to lead the defensive side of the field from the goalie position is why he is the Bernie Ward Commitment Award winner.
Boys Junior Varsity B Lacrosse
Most Valuable Player – Billy Lombardi
This year’s Most Valuable Player was always willing to go the extra mile to help the team. On several occasions, this player nearly had to be helped off the field as he continuously gave all he could to help the team win. This fearless player never hesitated to take control of the game, as he constantly put the team on his back as he dominated the midfield position. This player has a ton of potential and the coaching staff is looking forward to seeing him become an outstanding player in the future. This year’s Most Valuable Player is Billy Lombardi
Most Improved Player – Ryan Tyznar
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This year’s Most Improved Player continuously strived to get better in every aspect of the game. Having not played lacrosse for very long, this player was nervous about making the team at all. His intensity and passion to never quit caught the coaches’ attention during tryouts as he earned himself a spot on the roster. After a change of position early in the season, this player never looked back as he became an integral part of our defense. He always wanted to help the team in any way he could and was an absolute pleasure to coach this season. This year’s Most Improved Player is Ryan Tyznar.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Sean Crotty
This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award winner is a perfect example of what commitment really is. This player never once complained this season or ever took a single play off. He was happy to play anywhere on the field as long as it meant that the team had a better chance of winning. All season long, he gave 100% no matter if it was a practice or a game. This unselfish player was always looking to give someone else the spotlight by occasionally giving up his own opportunity to score. He was a silent leader as one of our captains, and always had a huge smile on his face. This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award winner is Sean Crotty.
Girls Varsity Lacrosse
Most Valuable Player – Lindsey Ehrhardt
This year’s Most Valuable Player award is going to a three-year varsity starter who possessed such tremendous talent. Senior captain Lindsey Ehrhardt served as one of the league leaders in both goals and assists. It’s not all about points though. Besides being a leader on attack, Lindsey was relied upon in the midfield and on defense. No matter where she was on the field, she delivered time and time again. Unfortunately Lindsey has suffered from illness and injury a few times while on varsity. Although we missed her on the field, she served as a mentor to her peers and coaches on the sidelines and was just as influential off of the field. Lindsey has been a player who has continuously set realistic goals for herself and for the team, and she consistently delivers. We wish you nothing but the best at Loyola and cannot wait to hear of all of your outstanding accomplishments both on and off of the field.
Most Improved Player – Nicole DiGregorio
This year’s Most Improved Player award is going to a young woman who showed tremendous growth as the season progressed. Nicole DiGregorio knew that she would be relied on this season as the only returning starting defender from last year’s team. She would be a leader and the backbone of our defense this year. Right before the season began, Nicole’s father passed away very suddenly. Understandably so, Nicole had a tough start to the season. Nicole could have easily chosen to give up. She did just the opposite. She knew something was “off” and would consistently ask the coaches for advice. Something suddenly clicked and Nicole played her best game of the season when we needed her most against St. Anthony’s. From that point on she continued to improve her play and encourage her teammates. Senior captain Nicole DiGregorio is our 2015 Most Improved Player.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Alexis Morales
Devotion. Dedication. Loyalty. These are a few words that come to mind when thinking of who is most deserving of the 2015 Commitment Award. Alexis Morales could easily be viewed as a co-MVP with all of her accomplishments and contributions to the team’s success, but the coaching staff wanted to recognize her commitment to herself, the team and the girl’s lacrosse program. Alexis currently leads the team in points from her goals and assists and leads the team in draw controls which contributes greatly to possession time in games. These contributions have certainly helped to pave the way for team success, but it is Alexis’s work ethic and determination that truly makes her stand out. She is the player is who running on her days off and finding a cage to go perfect her shot at. She gets frustrated when things don’t seem to be clicking for herself or for the team but she never gives up. She is one of the most mentally tough players we have ever coached and the coaching staff and her teammates have learned a lot from her. We wish you nothing but the best at Niagara and we thank you for your commitment.
Girls Junior Varsity A Lacrosse
Most Valuable Player – Christen Patalano
This year’s most valuable player has been a pleasure to coach. A sophomore captain, she has taken a personal interest in the improvement and success of the team, and consistently leads by example. The combination of her individual talent and her unselfish play has been instrumental in the team’s success. This year’s Most Valuable Player is Christen Patalano.
Most Improved Player – Ashley Llewellyn
Over the course of the season, this player has grown in nearly every aspect of her play. By becoming a more confident player, she has made her role on the team an essential one. It has been a pleasure to watch her outstanding effort pay off as her speed, fundamentals, and team awareness has grown to far surpass our expectations. This year’s Most Improved player is Ashley Llewellyn.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Caleigh Bennett
This player has emerged as a leader for the team. Her consistently strong play and excellent communication with her teammates has made her a steady presence on almost any lineup. She has fully embraced her role as team captain by demonstrating both solid fundamentals and unmatched hustle. The recipient of this year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award is Caleigh Bennett.
Girls Junior Varsity B Lacrosse
Most Valuable Player – Courtney Ferguson
This year’s Most Valuable Player Award goes to a girl who was skilled in all aspects of the game. From offense to defense, to taking over the draw controls, Courtney Ferguson could do it all. Her quickness and speed made it difficult for any defender to catch her and any offender to get away from her. She never slowed down and always worked her hardest whenever given the opportunity.
Most Improved Player – Greta Hartung
This year’s Most Improved Player award goes to someone who saw limited playing time last year. Being our only goalie, team captain Greta Hartung needed to step up her game this season, and she definitely rose to the occasion. Not only did her play improve, but her confidence rose as well. She helped keep us in a lot of games and never gave up on herself.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award -Mckayla Schaefer
This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award goes to someone who demonstrated great leadership and dedication to the team day in and day out. Her constant hustle and hard work helped to set the pace for her teammates, encouraging them to work harder and get better. Even throughout a rough season, she always remained optimistic. Congratulations to team captain Mckayla Schaefer.
Most Valuable Player – Kacie Badolato
The most valuable player is someone who offered day in and day out consistency and dependability on both offense and defense in a somewhat erratic 2015 season. This player has amassed the second highest batting average and on base average while also having one of the lowest strikeout to at-bat ratios on the team. On the defensive side, she found herself catching the majority of the games and managing the two pitchers. Her dependability and consistency both offensively and defensively were extremely valuable on a team which struggled at times to find a consistent operating level. This year’s most valuable player award goes to Junior, Kacie Badolato.
Most Improved Player – Julia Lafferty
The most improved player is a first year varsity player who began the season rehabilitating from a serious back injury. She began as a reserve outfielder who through hard work and improvement became a regular fixture in the middle of the batting order and a viable starting outfielder. Then, as the season grew to a close the team needed to make adjustments in the infield. She emerged as a capable and athletic third baseman enabling the team to improve its overall infield structure. Such growth and adaptability to team needs render Julia Lafferty the 2015 Most Improved Player.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Katherine Piorkowski
Commitment to a team demands tremendous personal sacrifice, schedule flexibility and mental dedication under ordinary circumstances. When a player experiences personal tragedy and a concussion eliminating her from 3 1/2 weeks of competition, that commitment becomes almost impossible to make. This player managed both of the aforementioned life difficulties and still managed to enter the pitching circle shouldering the tremendous expectations of being the defending NYS Catholic Champs. In the midst of all the confusion she pitched the team to 9 of the 13 wins and she hit in the number 2 spot in the order while dealing with the external and internal distractions. This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award goes to Senior, Katherine Piorkowski.
Junior Varsity Softball
Most Valuable Player – Kaitlin Maniscalco
There was one player this year that the coaches as team relied on through every game and practice. She is one of those athletes that will do anything to stop a ball even use her sunglasses. She led the team in RBI’s 16 and extra base hits 6. She truly earned her spot as the starting shortstop and captain of the team. She constantly was there to motivate the team and even helped some younger athletes on the sidelines. This young athlete has definitely stepped up this year and has improved many skills from last year. She was the person the field that would calm the team down after errors were made and she took the team under her wing. She is a mature athlete and always had some words of wisdom for the team. She played an integral role in the lineup as the number 3 hitter she was always able to move others over a base or two and eventually found a way to get herself home. She will be missed on the JV team next year but we are looking forward to see her grow as an athlete. This year’s most valuable player is Kaitlin Maniscalco.
Most Improved Player – Clare Posillico
This season proved to be time for all 16 members of the team to improve on some aspect of the game. However, there was one team member that improved greatly. The coaches saw something special in this young athlete at the very first day of tryouts. At the beginning of the season, we asked this athlete to switch to the opposite side of the plate and learn how to be a productive bunter and she did just that. She was willing to learn and listen to helpful hints to make her a better player. She had some clutch bunts to help move runners and even get herself to first safely. We are looking forward to even more improvements from this player in the future. This years most improved player is Clare Posillico.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Nicole Giella
This young lady is the epitome of commitment to our team. She has stepped up in more ways then one to help support the team. She was able to not only play in the outfield but also help out in pitching when we needed her. She earned her spot as the starting centerfielder and took charge of the outfield. She was always asking for help and finding ways to support her teammates. She made sure that all 16 girls on our team felt like they were part of the family. She was a captain for the team and took her leadership role seriously. She was always the first one out of the locker room and on the field and never once complained on a conditioning day or missed a day of practice. She has a .333 batting average and 14 RBI’s and only 1 strike out the whole season. She always tried her best and was always willing to make herself better for the team. This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award goes to Nicole Giella.
Boys Varsity Tennis
Most Valuable Player – Nick Demaria
Sophomore Nick Demaria once again was our best player at the #1 singles position. His superior serve, signature one-handed backhand, and ability to chase down seemingly impossible shots resulted in his being seeded #4 at the season-ending CHSAA Individual Tournament. He lived up to that seeding by advancing all the way to the semi-finals and finishing third out of 60 players, bowing out to the eventual league champion from St. Anthony’s. He was also the youngest of the 8 seeded players in the tournament. Stay tuned for even greater things from this exceptionally talented young man. We are grateful to have him returning for 2 more years. Congratulations once again to this year’s Most Valuable Player, Nick Demaria.
Most Improved Player – Austin Wesch
Senior co-captain Austin Wesch is not your typical, polished USTA tournament type player seen so often in our league. He does not have a tennis coach outside of Kellenberg, and he has rarely (if ever) taken a lesson. What he does possess is above average athletic ability and superior footwork developed on the soccer field, which actually is his best sport. At our 3rd singles position, Austin held his own against some of the best players in the NSCHSAA, the highlight being an upset of his St. Anthony’s opponent. Austin has improved in each of his 4 years on Varsity Tennis, and this year is no exception. Congratulations to this year’s Most Improved Player, Austin Wesch.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Chris McGorty
Chris McGorty is the tennis equivalent of a “gym rat”. His love and enthusiasm for the game of tennis come through every moment he is on the court. Whether hitting with his singles teammates to prepare for his own matches, or working with a less-gifted teammate on the mechanics of a backhand volley, Chris is all about the team, in a sport that rewards individual success. Chris has been a starting varsity tennis player for 4 years running, first at doubles, then the last 3 years as a singles player. For the past 2 seasons, he was a seeded player at the CHSAA Individual Tournament, this year advancing to the quarter-finals. His commitment to improving has resulted in his winning more matches than anyone in KMHS history. Congratulations to this year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award winner, Chris McGorty.
Boys Varsity Track
Most Valuable Player – Joseph Panico
When you look at an athlete who embodies “valuable” you look no further than this hurdler who lead our team as captain in the winter season and continued to lead our veteran and freshman hurdle crew through a season of fine development. In addition to his runner up finish in the hurdles at the Valley Stream Challenge Invitational, he was also our leadoff leg on the 4X100 meter relay that competed at the historic Penn Relays in Philadelphia. His accolades on the track are to be acknowledged, but what a coach sees both on and off the track as a mentor and friend to all those who commit themselves to this program is something that will stick with you forever. Our most valuable award for the spring season goes to senior Joseph Panico.
Most Improved Player – Declan Westlake
The most improved athlete goes to a young man who certainly looked to improve on his performance ever since he was a freshman. He stayed the course when it came to some battles with injuries and fluctuating times in the 200 and 400-meter dashes. He proved to be a strong asset to our 4X100 and 4X400 meter relays and took on a strong role as a senior leader by organizing and staying on top of the boys who trained during the non-traditional fall season where one could voluntarily workout to get better for the winter and spring. This young man is deserving of this award and we wish him the best of success during his college career. The most improved award goes to senior Declan Westlake.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Michael Duncklee
The Bernie Ward Commitment Award belongs to a senior who gave twelve seasons of supreme dedication to our program. He was a captain both during cross-country as well as this most recent spring season. He is the definition of one who leads by example. This young man is not the loudest voice in the room but he is the one all the other boys want to hear from. He releases a various times moments of wisdom that have stuck with our freshman and sophomore distance runners and provides great mentorship to all those around him. This young man’s leadership will be sorely missed and the coaching staff is proud to bestow the Bernie Ward Commitment Award to senior Michael Duncklee.
Boys Freshman Track
Most Valuable Player – Dylan Ambroise
Our most valuable athlete is a distance runner who has set the pace from late August. He is a fine student athlete who dedicates himself to everything he does. He is very disciplined in his workouts, and realizes that he still has so much more room to grow on the track. He is clearly our most valuable athlete and is almost an automatic point scorer in every event you put him in. He makes relays stronger, and puts fear into his opponents in the league as they look to see what event he is in, so they could choose to find another event and not have to race him. Our most valuable award winner goes to distance runner and all around fine young man, Dylan Ambroise.
Most Improved Player – Patrick Beglane
Our most improved athlete is a sprinter who is a student of the sport. This is a rare find at the freshman level, to have a young man who knows the times the other athletes in our league run, and spend a weekend or two watching college and even professional runners on television to pick up a few things here and there about the sport. We as coaches have taken great joy in listening to this young man as he constantly asks on how he can better the teams standing before his own. This is also a rare find to have a freshman with such a strong sense of perspective in a sport that highlights individual success over team. Our most improved award goes to sprinter and track scholar Patrick Beglane.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Thomas McKenna
Our Bernie Ward Commitment award goes to a distance runner who has been dedicated not only to the spring season, but also the indoor and cross-country seasons as well. He lowered his mile time considerably from beginning to end, and was a valuable point scorer in the two-mile run at the freshman league championship meet. A member of one of our 4X800 meter relays as well as an entrusted athlete to the steeplechase this young man speaks softly and carries a strong work ethic. It is our pleasure to award this year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award to the hardhat wearing, lunch pail carrying distance runner Thomas McKenna.
Girls Varsity Track
Most Valuable Player – Jazmine Fray
Unknown to us prior to coming to Kellenberg, she quickly became a warm part of the Kellenberg community and one of, if not the most feared and respected, mid-distance runners in the Northeast. She finishes her storied high school athletic career as the highest point scoring track and field athlete to ever graduate from KMHS. Her unprecedented TEN CHSAA Intersectional Championships and her seven school records only tell a minute part of the impact of Jazmine Fray. For it is her warm, gentle, giving, team centered mien whether on the track, or off the track, up and down the East Coast that has always been SHINING. Always shining, like a Blue Gold diamond in the sky! That is the legacy of Jazmine Fray.
Most Improved Player – Deirdre Lewin
The biggest problem in coaching this talented and also unrelenting workhorse of an athlete, is “pulling back the reigns.” Not a bad problem for a coach to have! But it has been that work ethic that took this sweet young lady from a 2:21 800 meter best to a ferocious sub 2:14 performance this Spring. Deirdre Lewin has put the “tiger in the tank” with her own logged- in miles and her finely tuned interval workouts. It is for these reasons that she is our “Most Improved Winner” tonight.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Gabby Schreib
This young lady is a student of her craft! Working over the summer, into the Fall, and finally competing in the winter, Gabby Schreib showed signs of greatness as the long winter season ended with her being a part of Kellenberg’s “All-American” Sprint Medley Relay, along with Keryann Ladoceur, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. This Spring she really came into her own with repeat wins at major Invitationals in the New York Metropolitan area. She commits herself to a goal, and doesn’t relent from the work it takes to attain it. That is why we honor junior Gabby Schreib with the Bernie Ward Commitment Award.
Girls Freshman Track
Most Valuable Player – Grace Browne
Honed on the soccer fields of her youth, this young lady has the perfect combination of speed and strength. Add to that a competitive desire to win, and you have the complete middle distance runner in Grace Browne. She was the CHSAA Intersectional Freshman Championship runner-up, the CHSAA Intersectional Freshman Winning 4×400 relay anchor leg, she was the NSCHSGAA Freshman-Sophomore 800 meter champion, and member of the NSCHSGAA Winning 4×800 meter relay. Grace Browne was our Most Valuable Freshman Spring 2015 performer, and we know she will lead her gallant freshman team into a bright future!
Most Improved Player – Gabby Buissereth
Coming into the season after her initial season of track and field in the winter, Gabby Bussereth literally and figuratively made huge strides in Spring. Not yet under 70 seconds in the 400 meters in the winter, Gabby improved to 67, then 65, the 64, then 63. With her strong work ethic and pleasant demeanor, Gabby will be a force to reckon with in the future. We are honored to present the M.I.P. Award to Gabby Bussereth.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Molly Perrotta
With the eighteen events contested in a championship track and field meet, “covering events” is key to a team’s success and winning. When you get a young athlete eager “to learn different events,” eager to “try something new,’ eager “to make a contribution to the team,” and eager “to work at all of the above,” you have a true track and field athlete. Such an athlete is Molly Perotta. Molly ran and scored in both hurdle events, tried and scored in both the long jump, and triple jump, and was always there for a relay leg. Molly knows and lives by commitment. The commitment to challenge, and the commitment to team. We are honored to award “The Bernie Ward Commitment Award” to Molly Perotta.
Boys Varsity Volleyball
Most Valuable Player – Ryan Branigan
Ryan has been with the program for the past four years and goes down statistically as the best setter in school history. Coming into today he has 1682 assists, 151 aces, and three all- conferences nominations. However, Ryan did not enter the program with the intentions to be out setter but we were in need of one so he volunteered. His leadership through his play, vocal leadership on the floor, and cool attitude when things got rough allowed him to be the nucleus of this program. He has led the team to a 54-12 record over the past four years which has included three straight finals appearances with two championships. The program is forever grateful to you for your dedication, leadership, and ability to make everyone around you a better player. We all wish nothing but success as you take your talents to Elmira College to continue your volleyball career. Congratulations to the 2015 CHSAA MVP as well as the 2015 Boys Varsity Volleyball MVP Senior Captain Ryan Branigan.
Most Improved Player – Kevin Keenan
Kevin Keenan first began his volleyball career as a five foot five eager defensive specialist. Within the past two seasons it’s seems his has grown two feet and his play has as Middle Hitter has become stellar. This past season he has finished in the top three on the team in kills, blocks, hitting percentage, and serving percentage. His play at the net was instrumental all season and even when we needed him to play outside to fill in for a player with an injury the team didn’t lose a beat. It is my pleasure to give the 2015 Most Improved Award to junior Kevin Keenan.
Bernie Ward Commitment Award – Adam Napolitano
Adam Napolitano has been with the Volleyball program for four years. Adam is naturally a football player and when he came into the program the coaches were excited about his potential. His development over the past few years especially from last year to this year has been a pleasure to be a part of. Mainly used as a defensive specialist last year Adam wanted a larger role his senior year and he surely responded but always said, “Coach, I’ll do whatever it takes to win and whatever is best for the team”. This team first quality has made Adam the ultimate teammate. He has made an outstanding transition to outside hitter and has become one of our “go to” guys over the last few weeks. The program is forever grateful for your hard work, dedication, and positivity all through your career. We all wish you the best of luck next year in college and the program will miss you. This year’s 2015 Bernie Ward Most Committed Award goes to Senior Captain Adam Napolitano.