2019 Spring Varsity Spring Athletic Awards

Jun 05 2019

On Wednesday, May 22, the Spring Athletic Awards Banquet was held at Kellenberg Memorial to honor the varsity athletes of the 2019 spring season. Awards were given for most committed, most improved, and most valuable athletes on each team.

The Most Improved Player Award is awarded to the athlete who displayed the greatest amount of improvement and growth in their skills which contributed to the success of their team.

The Bernie Ward Commitment Award is named after our beloved former faculty member, coach and colleague Bernie Ward is for the athlete who has displayed the most passion and commitment towards bettering themselves and their teammates during the season.

The Most Valuable Player Award is awarded to the athlete whose contribution to the team contributed most towards that team’s success during the season.

Varsity Softball

Katie Hand

Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Junior, Katie Hand began the season as the starting third baseman. As the season wore on, the coaching staff decided to test another player at that position which required Katie to play a brand new position in the infield. Although she never expressed or showed her disappointment, the coaches knew it existed. Despite the move, Katie has emerged as a talented second basemen who learned the intricacies of the position within two weeks. Likewise, Katie spent the summer months working on her mental game reading about an athlete’s training in mental management. The summer commitment to time in reading and study enabled her to remain consistent as a hitter all year, batting .452 which is approximately 140 points higher than last season. For her continual commitment to the welfare of the team and not personal goals, Katie Hand is this year’s 2019 Varsity Softball Bernie Ward Commitment Award winner!


Arlene Miller

Most Improved Player
Senior, Arlene Miller, began the season as a much improved second baseman. Her glove work and throwing had improved markedly, along with her confidence and knowledge of the game. At approximately midseason, the coaches realized that a shift of three players defensively might create an even stronger defensive alignment for the team. This move necessitated that Arlene work as primarily a left fielder. Arlene greeted the change and challenge with an eager smile and a tremendous enthusiasm. Immediately, she began to show that she could make this transition. Arlene quickly mastered rounded paths to balls and demonstrated a quick transition from catch to throw. Her arm strength and accuracy from the outfield were also unexpected blessings to the team. Arlene’s flexibility and excellence in multiple defensive positions make her this year’s 2019 Most Improved Varsity Softball Player Award winner!


Julia Tarantino

Most Valuable Player
Junior, Julia Tarantino, stands out as the most valuable player on the 2019 team. As the number one pitcher on a talented staff, she has thrown 80.1 innings with a 10-2 win/loss record and an ERA of 1.66. She has only allowed 44 hits while striking out 124 opposing batters. During the course of the season, she threw two no-hitters, one one-hitter, and two two-hitters. Julia’s presence was not only felt in the circle, but also in the batter’s box. She has batted .404 this season with 6 doubles, 19 runs scored, 17 RBI’s and a .507 on base average. It is for all these accomplishments and roles within the context of the team that Julia Tarantino is the 2019 Varsity Softball Team Most Valuable Player Award winner!


Boys Varsity Tennis

Riley White

Bernie Ward Commitment Award
It has been our honor to have Senior Riley White on The Boy’s Varsity Tennis Team since his Freshman year. During the past four years, he has grown as a competitor and has led the team with confidence. Riley has demonstrated a high level of play, good sportsmanship, a commitment to the team and sport throughout his four years as a Varsity level player. He is a talented doubles player and has provided positive encouragement and strategic advice to his partners. Off the court, Riley has maintained high academic success as a member of the National Honor Society.
But most importantly, Riley always displayed good sportsmanship and a positive enthusiasm that was admired by his teammates and coaches. Riley White is my choice for the Bernie Ward Commitment Award. Riley will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology this fall and we wish him continued success.


James Reardon

Most Improved Player
Throughout the 2019 season, all athletes on the Varsity team had shown a commitment and improvement of their tennis skills, but this young man stood out. Senior James Reardon is the 2019 Varsity Tennis Most Improved Player.
James has been on the team for two seasons and came back this year with a positive determination to improve his skills, becoming one of the top three players on our team. Over the past two years, James has played as a doubles partner and stepped up to play singles when needed. His uplifting spirit, competitive nature and “can do” attitude was respected by all. A positive role model for our new athletes, he demonstrated great poise on and off the court. James will most likely continue playing tennis throughout his collegiate years and we look forward to his continued success on and off the courts.


Richie Madden

Most Valuable Player
Senior Richie Madden has played on the Boys Varsity Tennis team since Freshman year, both as a singles and doubles team competitor. His athletic ability and competitive attitude were unmatched! Although Richie may not have won every match played, he grew as a player and improved his game every time he stepped onto the court.

Over the past four years, Richie displayed a competitive maturity and had an innate ability to adjust to all types of players. His commitment to the team was undeniable. Whenever asked to play with a different partner or play singles, he did so with enthusiasm and would always encourage and strategize with his partners. Richie was the driving force in many victories throughout his high school career. Without hesitation, Richie led his teammates during our service projects. Running on the boardwalk to raise money for lower-income communities and nurturing young athletes at CYO Steadfast. His genuine love and enthusiasm for the game, our team and Kellenberg was contagious! Richie is a natural athlete on and off the court and is an experienced surf instructor as well. Very few are gifted with both a talent of sport and success as a student. But Richie has had both, maintaining honor roll status and becoming a member of the National Honor Society. We have been honored to have Richie Madden on our team and wish him continued successes going forward.


Girls Varsity Spring Track

Gabby Correia

Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Bernie Ward would tell his beloved students to, “never give up…just never give up.” This young senior stayed true to that philosophy, as, despite setbacks and disappointments, she stayed true to her sport, her event, and most importantly, to her team. She has been a captain, a sprint relay runner, a hurdler, and this year she, “put it all together,” in the triple jump- scoring in the NSCHSGAA Championships and the North Shore Invitational. Gabby Correia has never given up, and we are proud, just as Bernie Ward would have been, to honor Gabby Correia with our Bernie Ward Commitment Award.


Kaya Jacques

Most Improved Player
Working hard and staying committed to excellence is this young woman’s mantra, and she has enjoyed marvelous, steady improvement over the past two years. This year has been her “breakout year,” as she went from a discus thrower on the team to the most accomplished discus thrower in the CHSAA Intersection. She won the 70 team North Shore Invitational and a week later after scoring pivotal points in the Shot Put, she went on to win the NSCHSGAA Championship discus throw the first time for Kellenberg since All-State thrower Natalie Jean. Her throw of 104’ is currently #3 on the KMHS all-time list- We are honored to award Kaya Jacques this season’s MIP award.


Maureen Lewin

Most Valuable Player
Affectionately referred to as the “mother hen” not only of the legendary Kellenberg distance program but to the whole track and field program, this young woman will graduate as the KMHS cross country and track and field program’s second all-time leading scorer. In her four years at Kellenberg in the Spring season alone, she has won SEVEN NSCHSGAA individual or relay first-place titles, including her impressive double league win. She has been a four year NY State Qualifier, and in addition this Spring to her league titles, she has five major invitational wins to her name—the name will be unforgettable in both Kellenberg and LI track circles—Maureen Lewin.


Boys Varsity Golf

Patrick Ilardi

Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Patrick Ilardi always showed dedication and commitment to his team and his golf game. He was at every practice and over the course of the season improved his game. Patrick was not only committed to bringing out the best in his game but also the best in other members of the team. Certainly, no one can doubt his commitment to having fun and enjoying his time on the golf course. The coaching staff is grateful for his commitment to the boy’s golf team over the past four years.


Patrick Calpin

Most Improved Player
This year’s most improved player is Patrick Calpin. Patrick played a vital role in each match this season by trying to get the team valuable points in either match play or stroke play. Patrick started off the first 5 matches of the season with five wins. Over the course of 4 years on the golf team, Patrick improved various aspects of his game and became a tough opponent to the various teams he faced.


Kevin Mahony

Most Valuable Player
As a sophomore, Kevin Mahoney was given the task 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. However, Kevin handled the position with confidence in every match and did not back down to some of the best players in the league. Kevin lead the team with the lowest scoring average and had the lowest round of the year. Kevin always gave his best effort and was a great role model and leader for all the players on the team. The coaching staff knows Kevin will continue to grow as a player and a leader in the future.


Boys Varsity Spring Track

Fredrick Zenny

Bernie Ward Commitment Award
No one can argue against Fredrick Zenny’s commitment to be the best track athlete he possibly can be. Whether it is working hard at track practice or working hard on his own Fred is constantly working hard to improve himself. While Track & Field is a 3 or 6 month season for most athletes, Fred makes his track season a 12-month commitment. This season’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award goes to Fredrick Zenny.


Alain Telfort

Most Improved Player
Alain began competing in the High Jump just this year. Alain is a quick learner and a great athlete. He went from trying to figure out how to High Jump to being the NSCHSAA Champion in both indoor and outdoor Track & Field. He is also a good Long Jumper and a member of our Championship 4×400 meter relay team. This season’s Most Improved Athlete goes to Alain Telfort.


Erik Brown

Most Valuable Player
It should be a surprise to no one that Erik Brown is this seasons MVP. In fact, Erik has won every single Track & Field MVP award since he has been a member of this team. He is arguably the most accomplish member of the Boys Track & Field Team in school history. The Spring Track Most Valuable Runner goes to Erik Brown.


Girls Varsity Lacrosse

Caitlin McDonough

Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Caitlin McDonough is the 2019 Bernie Ward Commitment Award recipient. Caitlin is a two-year varsity lacrosse player and a three-season athlete. Caitlin showed strong leadership qualities early on as she began her varsity career. As a senior, she helped lead the defensive unit and transitioned into a top midfielder. With an exceptional work ethic, Caitlin came to compete at every practice and her will to win drove the team this year. Her commitment and dedication to put the team before herself will be missed and we wish her luck at Providence College.


Dora Capobianco

Most Improved Player
This year’s most improved player is Dora Capobianco. Dora was added to the starting line up early on in the season. Dora came into season in shape and ready to fight for a position on the field. She is one of the hardest working athletes to come through the Kellenberg lacrosse program. She pushed herself and her teammates to get better each day at practice. She transitioned to a low defender from the midfield rounding out our very talented defense. Her hard work and perseverance did not go unnoticed and we wish her luck as she attends Boston College next year.


Christina Marks

Most Valuable Player
Christina Marks is the 2019 Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team’s Most Valuable Player. As the starting goalie and one of four captains, Christina led the defensive unit. She had outstanding games against competitive teams like Sacred Heart, South Side, St. John the Baptist, Syosset, and St. Anthony’s having more than 10 saves in each game. Christina came up with major stops in games that were key turning points to several wins this season. Christina’s communication and understanding of the defense helped create a cohesive unit for our team. She also excelled in being a team leader on and off the field and a role model for the younger players. She will be missed next year and we wish her luck at Clemson University.


Girls Varsity Golf

Olivia Callahan

Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Olivia Callahan has demonstrated her commitment to the team and the sport of golf all throughout the season. Although she may not have gotten all the results that she might have wanted, Olivia never stopped trying to improve her game during the season. She would always head to the driving range, the putting green, or her homemade driving range in her garage to work on her game. As a member of the Diocesan Golf team, she did an excellent job representing her school and herself. As a coach, I hope she continues to grow as a golfer and to stay committed to her process of playing great golf. Congratulations to the 2018-19 Bernie Ward Commitment Award winner: Olivia Callahan


Melanie McManus

Most Improved Player
Most Improved: Melanie McManus improved her overall win total from six to ten this season. She could always be counted upon to get the team a point during a match. Melanie’s fun and easy going temperament make her an excellent partner to her teammates, and when situations can be difficult on the golf course, Melanie has a calming effect on the team. Her leadership skills have been vital to the success of the younger members of the team. Congratulations to the 2018-19 Girls’ Golf team Most Improved Player: Melanie McManus


Claire Galante

Most Valuable Player
Claire Galante has been the team’s best golfer throughout the season. With ten wins during the season, she played an important role in the #2 spot in the team’s lineup. Claire often went against some of the best golfers in the league, and her lively personality and fun temperament have permeated the personality of the team. Another member of the Diocesan Golf team, Claire got her first taste of the CHSAA State Golf Tournament. She was also the team’s top finisher at the League Tournament. Claire is going to be counted on to lead the team in the future. Congratulations to the 2018-19 Girls’ Golf team Most Valuable Player: Claire Galante


Boys Volleyball

Liam Fitzgerald

Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Liam Fitzgerald has been with the volleyball program for two years now. Ever since he entered the program he was always eager to be a part of something bigger than himself. This year his commitment to this club and his heart to put others before him makes him the ultimate teammate. Each day in practice he would be an extension of the coaching staff. Liam helped with drills, organized teams and is a pivotal part of our team rallies from the sidelines. No matter the situation, you could watch his mannerisms and know that he always cared. Add into the equation that Liam takes a train to school each and every day that is about an hour commute each way. It is my pleasure to give this year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award to Junior Liam Fitzgerald.


Jake Cosgrove

Most Improved Player
This was Jake Cosgrove’s first season with the Volleyball program. Jake is a natural athlete. He is a member of our soccer and basketball teams.; therefore, when he came into the program the coaches were excited about his potential. This past season we began to work on his footwork, his approach, and finally his arm swing. Jake came into the season with an eagerness to learn how to become not just our middle hitter but an all-around player and leader on the floor. Each day he constantly worked on improving his hands and footwork to become not only a starter but our team leader in blocks as well as third on the team in kills. It has been a pleasure to watch the enjoyment Jake has when he gets a big block or kill as well as the excitement on his face to celebrate a teammates success. This year’s Most Improved Award goes to junior Jake Cosgrove.


George Costello

Most Valuable Player
This year’s most valuable award goes to a boy who has been in the program since day one. He began to learn the game and last year was a starter at defensive specialist. After the graduation of All-Conference setter Nick D’ Amato, the staff was concerned about who would step up to be our setter. George Costello worked all summer to be our guy. In the beginning, he was a bit rusty, but after we worked on his hands, footwork, and touch he looked like he never missed a beat. He became our setter, our leader, and our captain. Some of his career highs included a 31 assist game in the senior game against St. John’s the Baptist with one of the toughest referee’s to set for. He has put together a fantastic career over the past two years and his services will truly be missed next year. The 2019 Boys Varsity Volleyball Most Valuable Player is Senior, All-League, and Captain George Costello.


Boys Varsity Lacrosse

Sean Boll

Most Improved Player
As a returning senior and a player that saw significant playing time as a Junior the expectations, we set very high this season for Sean Boll. Tallying 17 goals and 8 assists as a junior the pressure was on him to see if he could improve to become one of the leading point scorers on the team. After a slow start on the season, Sean was pushed harder in practice to work on the little things. He started to improve his techniques in shooting, dodging, passing, and his overall vision of the field. With a few games left to play, Sean is our 2nd highest point scorer tallying 33 goals and 17 assists on the year. As a senior captain, his leadership on the field is undeniable. The coaching staff is very proud of the young man Sean has become and wish him luck next year as he plays Division 1 lacrosse at C.W. Post University.


Dan Wilson

Bernie Ward Commitment Award

Dan Wilson entered every practice and game with the mentality of “I’m going to run as hard as I can for as long as I can.” Dan is a true competitor whose commitment to the boys lacrosse team is unwavering. A very talented athlete, Dan became a clearing and ground ball machine for our team. Consistently picking up the big ground ball when we needed it most and being able to progress the ball up the field. The coaching staff never questioned his work ethic in practice as Danny routinely finished first in most running drills. Danny is also a consistent contributor in our offense tallying 24 goals and 10 assists on the season. The coaching staff is very proud of the young man that Dan has become and know that he will bring this same level of dedication next year as he goes on to play at the Naval Academy Prep School.


Matt Sluka

Most Valuable Player

The easiest way to determine our team’s Most Valuable Player was to talk to our opposing coaches and ask them, “who did you game plan for.” The consistent answer was, “we need to stop Matt Sluka!” A phenomenal athlete, Matt consistently drew the opposing team’s best defensive guy. However, this didn’t stop Matt since he was our leading point scorer tallying 32 goals and 30 assists. Several times throughout the season when the team was off to a slow start, Matt would, “put us on his shoulders,” as he sparked the offense or got a big defensive stop we desperately needed. He has the ability to elevate the play of his teammates making him this year’s Most Valuable Player. The coaching staff is very proud of the accomplishments Matt has made this year and wish him all the luck next year as he fulfills his dream to play Division 1 football.


Varsity Baseball

Kristian Rafsol

Bernie Ward Commitment Award

Bernie Ward Commitment Award:  One thing the coaching staff came to terms with this year is that junior Kristian Rafsol epitomizes a commitment to excellence.  Whether it was in the cage during practice, manning the “hot corner” at third base in games or maximizing his effort in the weight room, Kristian put together one of the best all-around seasons this year.  Kristian’s hard worked paid off, leading the team in batting average (.354), runs batted in (13) and extra-base hits.  As an All-League selection, the coaching staff is excited to see what Kristian’s senior year will bring.  This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award goes to junior, Kristian Rafsol. 


Andrew Cascio

Most Improved Player

After hitting only .219 as a junior, Andrew Cascio worked tirelessly all offseason to put himself into the best possible shape heading into his final season as a Firebird.  As the year played out and with a new aggressive approach at the plate, Andrew became one of the best hitters in the Catholic League.  As an All-League player, Andrew ranked among the league leaders in batting average (.349), hits (22) and stolen bases (11) and was tied for the team lead with 14 runs scored and 13 batted in.  Furthermore, Andrew improved defensively, playing both 2nd base and left field for the team this season.  Most importantly, Andrew’s worth ethic served as a great example to future Firebirds who will one day wear his jersey.  This year’s Most Improved Player is senior Andrew Cascio.


John Carroll

Most Valuable Player Award

Coming off an elbow injury after his junior season, the coaching staff was unsure as to what they would be able to get out of senior pitcher John Carroll.  As an All-League reliever last year, John was ready to assume the role he excelled in last year.  However, after the team got off to a slow start, the coaching staff approached John to inquire about a new role: starting pitcher.  At the time, John had never started a game for the Firebirds in his previous three years in the program but without hesitation, John willing accepted the challenge.  Not only was this challenge accepted, but John turned into one of the most dominant starters in the league, compiling a 2-0 record, a 2.25 earned run average while striking out forty-four batters.  John’s season could be summed up in what would be his final game as a Firebird; after taking a line drive off his knee in the first inning of opening round playoff game, John led his team to victory with a memorable performance striking out a career-best ten batters.  As an All-League pitcher, John Carroll certainly left his mark on Firebird Baseball for years to come.   This year’s Most Valuable Player Award goes to senior, John Carroll. 

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