Winter 2019 Varsity Athletic Awards

Mar 08 2019

On Tuesday, March 5, the winter varsity athletics programs gathered to honor the athletes of the winter 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.

 

Boys Varsity Basketball

Joseph Braskey
Most Improved
As the top defender on this year’s Varsity basketball team, Joe was given the job of guarding the top offensive player against every opponent this season. His leadership and emotional support to his teammates was directly affiliated with this year’s team success. Over the course of two years on the Varsity basketball team, Joe drastically improved his ball handling, shooting, and playmaking abilities. Offensively, Joe averaged 5 points per game, 6 rebounds per game, and handed out 3 assists per game.

 


Daniel Wilson
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
As last year’s team MVP, Dan continued his dedication and commitment to this year’s Varsity basketball team by being the leader on and off the court. Dan was an extension of the coaching staff on the court for the past three years. As the team’s leader in defensive charges taken, rebounding, and diving for loose balls, Dan was a great example of what a Coach looks for when he puts a player on the court. Dan’s commitment was not only on the court but was shown in the many activities he is involved with at Kellenberg Memorial HS. He averaged 10 points per game and grabbed 10 rebounds per game this season.

 

Sean Boll
Most Valuable Player
While directing the Boys’ Varsity basketball team at the Point Guard position over the last two years, Sean played an instrumental part of this year’s team success. Sean was put in charge of directing the offense, breaking the press, and leading the team on the fast break. As a player who logged the most minutes on the court during the season, He showed composure and determination while playing the most important position on the court. His leadership and all-around skills were needed against every opponent this year. Sean averaged 7 points per game and handed out 6 assists per game over the course of the season.

 

 

Girls Varsity Basketball


Colleen Bowles
Most Improved
As a role player off the bench her junior year, the coaching staff had high expectations for senior Colleen Bowles coming into the season. The expectations were surpassed as Colleen became an integral part of the team once moved into the starting lineup. While Colleen improved in every offensive and defensive statistic this year, leading the team in three-point percentage and steals. More importantly, Colleen was a friend to all and her presence on the team will be sorely missed next season. This year’s Most Improved Player is senior Colleen Bowles.

Colleen Moulder
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
While Kellenberg’s school motto is “One Heart, One Mind”, Colleen Moulder became the true “heart and soul” of the Girls Varsity Basketball team this season. Although she will go onto college to play volleyball next year, Colleen made the most of her final season playing basketball, committing herself to not only improving her own personal game but also her teammates. A true leader by words and actions, Colleen embodied the team motto of “Bleed Blue and Gold”. This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award is senior, Colleen Moulder.

Gabby Faya
Most Valuable Player
Whoever wears number 15 next season will have big shoes to fill since Gabby Faya has left her mark on the Kellenberg Girls Basketball program. As a three-year Varsity starter, Gabby improved her skill set each year and this year became the focal point of the team’s offense. The drive, termination, and confidence were just a few of the characteristics that her teammates looked to and learned from which make Gabby such a valuable part to the team’s success. By season’s end, Gabby led the team in scoring and in the process has been recognized as an All-League Player. The program wishes Gabby the best of luck as she continues her basketball career next year. This year’s Most Valuable Player Award goes to senior captain, Gabby Faya.

 

 

Boys Varsity Bowling

Tyler Kollman
Most Improved
After getting limited playing time as a starter last year, Tyler was put into the starting rotation at the start of the season with the hopes that he would develop some chemistry with the current starters and develop his skills over time. The result was more than anyone could have hoped for. Tyler immediately thrived as a starter, becoming a very consistent bowler throughout the season. His consistent play enabled his teammates to focus on their own game and not try to cover anyone else’s miscues. Tyler’s lightheartedness and bright personality will be missed next year.

Nicholas Repoli
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Nick has been a reliable starter for two years now and no one can question his commitment and dedication to the team. Nick attended every practice and game this year and bowled every frame like his life depended on it. Whenever the team needed a boost this year, Nick would make a huge strike or spare without any pomp or circumstance. In my opinion, Nick’s commitment can be summed up perfectly by the last throw of his high school bowling career when he bowled a strike while falling over, carefully avoiding a foot foul, even though the match was out of reach.

Joseph Tallini
Most Valuable Player
This year, as one of our captains, Joe was a quiet but strong leader. Joe was always the type of bowler that let his play do the talking for him. He was also not shy about helping out his teammates when necessary. Joe’s 182 average led the team this year. It was also good enough for him to qualify for the league’s individual championships as well as qualifying for the state tournament. As the only four year bowler on the team, Joe will be greatly missed next year.

 

Girls Varsity Bowling

Brooke Cassatto
Most Improved
Brooke Cassatto has worked hard each day at the alley perfecting her skills. At the beginning of the season, she had the basic skills of bowling down. With a little encouragement and lots of practice, Brooke soon perfected her footwork and spins to her bowling ball. Brooke would always ask questions and watch some of her other teammates and she soon learned what she needed to do to become a better bowler. She bowled some of her best bowling in our championship game with a high game of 169 which helped the B team win some of the points needed. She ended the season with a 119 average. Congratulations on your first season as a Firebird Bowler!

Allison Sliwinski
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Allison Sliwinski was one of the captains of the team. Allison showed up each day to practice or a match with a smile on her face. She worked each day to continue to get better and better. She was one of the players on the team that would help everyone understand the oil pattern on the lane or what to do to make a spare and she would do all of this with a smile on her face. She won a high game award of 222 and ended the season with a 163 average. Allison has been a part of this team since she was a freshman and she has been a pleasure to coach each year. She works hard and is a true team player. Allison, I am very proud to be your coach and I am looking forward to what next year brings! Congratulations on a great season.

Daisha Howard
Most Valuable Player
Daisha Howard is a true athlete. She never lets the pressure get to her. She has been a part of the bowling team since she was a freshman and has had one of the highest averages on the team each year. She is always willing to help other teammates get better and is always willing to help the team work together. She was also one of the team captains and she helped keep the team focused during the playoff week. Daisha bowled many great games this season but had season highs of 279 and 267. She finished the regular season with a 190 average and a playoff average of 200. Daisha I am very proud to be your coach and I am looking forward to what next year brings! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments this year.

 

Varsity Cheerleading

Maya Mangual
Most Improved
The most improved Varsity cheerleader is a girl that has worked extremely hard in improving herself in all aspects of cheerleading. She has shown great improvement in her stunting ability and has become one of the strongest bases on the team. She worked diligently to improve her jumps and her tumbling skills. She was always willing to take corrections and was a delight to coach. Her positive attitude and will power gave her the ability to improve greatly this year. The most improved Varsity cheerleader is Maya Mangual.

Meredith Kass
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
This season’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award winner is a young lady who has been a part of the Kellenberg Cheerleading program since she was in 7th grade. Meredith Kass has always been driven and enthusiastic about her improvement and growth as a flyer and an all-around cheerleader. From her early years in the program, the coaches were impressed with her talent and her positive attitude. Even after the many obstacles, Meredith has faced within the last two years, she has continued to remain fully committed and optimistic. And although it hasn’t been easy, Meredith worked tirelessly and proved to be an asset to the Varsity team. We couldn’t think of someone more deserving of the Bernie Ward Commitment Award and we commend Meredith for her continued perseverance.

Brooke Hunstein
Most Valuable
This season’s MVP is a cheerleader who has been truly valuable to our program since she was a freshman. Her strength and positive attitude make her a leader and role model for every girl on our team. She is an all-around cheerleader, with strong stunting skills, phenomenal tumbling, and beautiful jumps. The coaches turned to her to motivate and set an example for her teammates. Even with her elite skill set, she always pushed herself to be better and worked tirelessly at each practice. It has been a pleasure to watch this young lady master the sport of cheerleading and she will truly be missed. This season’s most valuable cheerleader Brooke Hunstein.

 

Varsity Dance Team

Linda Cesark
Most Improved
This year’s Most Improved Player Award goes to a dancer who continually developed her technique and performance skills not only throughout the season but throughout her years in the dance program. She is a valuable asset and an incredible addition to the Varsity team. As the season progressed, she constantly perfected her moves and worked on more challenging skills to make herself a better dancer as a whole. She is always looking to improve and seeking the advice of coaches, captains, and other team members in order to do so. We have seen her become a developed and gifted dancer. With her hard work ethic and practice, she excels in anything she does. This year’s Most Improved Player Award goes to Junior Linda Cesark.

Amanda Pugliese
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
This year’s Most Committed Award goes to a dancer who is an integral and influential part of the team, not only on the Varsity level. She has been invested in making herself and our team better throughout the season. She always tries to find ways to better herself as a dancer during the offseason and continuously improves her skills during the season. She is never afraid to ask for help from her coaches and always goes above and beyond to develop her dance abilities. Her commitment to the team was most apparent not only on the dance floor but in practice sessions as well. She was always willing and ready to try new dances and always worked well with her teammates. When her coaches or teammates needed her, she was always there without hesitation. We are proud to have her as a member of the Varsity Dance Team. This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award goes to Senior Amanda Pugliese.

Cassandra McMillian
Most Valuable Player
This dancer has been on the dance team since her freshman year and we knew right away that she would be a remarkable young woman. From the start of her dance career, it was clear that she would be one of our strongest and most committed dancers. Throughout her years in the dance program, she has always looked for ways to improve and progress her dance abilities. There has never been a task that was too difficult for her to accomplish. Her dedication to not only her team but the entire dance program has been unmatched. She possesses excellent leadership skills and is always willing to assist her teammates with learning new choreography for each dance. As a captain, her commitment to her team has been unwavering. She is early to every practice and is always willing to go above and beyond, especially to help her team and coaches. Her personality, demeanor, and sense of humor have made it an absolute pleasure to have her on the team. This year’s Most Valuable Player Award goes to Senior and Captain, Cassandra McMillan.

 

 

Varsity Diving

Claire Galante
Most Improved
This season’s most improved diver goes to Claire Galante. Claire is a former gymnast who transitioned over to diving just two years ago and has performed amazingly! She has a drive in her that you can see as she’s diving and is very methodical in her approach which leads her to much success and improved scores from this year to last year. A running joke among the two of us is that she doesn’t even need the springboard to get her height because of her incredible strength to land difficult dives. She can see the best in her flaws and try even harder the next time she gets on the board. I am so thrilled to have her on the team for two more years and I thank her for her hard work as well as her ability to welcome new teammates and show them the ropes. Congratulations Claire!

Michaela Hall
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
The Commitment Award this year goes to Michaela Hall. Michaela is an athlete that any coach would love to have on their team! She listens to directions, attends every practice and meet, has a positive attitude, and is always looking to improve herself in her sport. I have the lovely privilege of coaching her to success and watch her become an amazing diver and improve tremendously from last year. She is always willing to lend a helping hand to any team member and cheers her teammates on when they need it the most. Thank you, Michaela, for setting such a fine example of what a Kellenberg student and athlete looks like and congratulations on your 5th place finish this year!

Olivia McNicholas
Most Valuable Player
This season’s most valuable diver goes to Captain Olivia McNicholas. Olivia is one of the most dedicated and hardworking athletes that I have ever coached. She practices 6-7 days a week most days two times a day and is always trying to improve her scores or the degree of difficulty of her dives. Her commitment to her sport will set her up for much-deserved success in College, but I am lucky to have her for one more year. Not only did she win the CHSAA league which is a first in Kellenberg history, but she made states for the second year in a row. She is always willing to help her teammates and was a great help to me in preparing the team for practice each week. Olivia, congratulations on your success which is due to your work ethic and drive. You are a force to be reckoned with!

 

Ice Hockey


Stephen Papp

Most Improved
Stephen was by far one of the hardest working players on the team this season. He plays a physical brand of hockey that both frustrates and neutralizes opponents. Stephen immediately showed promise and was inserted into the team’s top line early in the season. While there, he contributed immediately and continued to improve as the season progressed.

Adrian Harmaty
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Adrian’s commitment to his team is second to none and marked by his impeccable attendance record. Not only was he present for all team scheduled events, but his work ethic also proved to something that his teammates would emulate. Whether it was an on-ice or off-ice activity, Adrian was always in attendance and giving it his absolute best.

Johnathan Fusaro
Most Valuable Player
Johnathan led the team in goals and was second overall in total points; however, his contribution to Kellenberg Hockey extends way beyond the score sheet. He is a bona fide leader with a knack for motivating his teammates in his interactions with them as well as by example. Often times when the team was struggling during a game, Johnathan’s intensity and passion for winning inspired the team around him.

 

Varsity Swimming

Brandon Ramtahal
Most Improved
Brandon Ramtahal has been one of the more dedicated and hard-working athletes I have had the pleasure of working with this year. With the goal in mind from day 1 to make our “A” Championships, Brandon worked his tail off every practice, never missing one. His hard work paid off later in the season, as he dropped 3 seconds in a normal 30-second race, a feat that is very rarely seen in the swimming world. This incredible swim would qualify him for his first “A” Championships and help Kellenberg triumph over St. Peter’s High School, the prior 2nd place team in our division. Brandon has come a very long way from his freshman year and will continue to grow as a swimmer and man. Congratulations Brandon.

Bryon Phillip
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Bryon Phillip has been an excellent role model for the entire team, and I could see the other athletes taking on his mannerisms when they saw how well it worked for him. Bryon gave every race his best, and constantly asked how he could do better. Bryon had one thing on his mind from the first tryout to his last race: his team. Bryon was always more concerned with the score of the meet than his own races, how we fared as a team against others than if he would win his race or not. He even gave up swimming his favorite event at “A” Champs because he knew swimming a different event would benefit the team more. If anyone gave his whole heart to the team, it was Bryon. I hope to always have Bryon swimming for me.

Andrew Nazareno
Most Valuable Player
Andrew Nazareno has been the most valuable player in every meet, as well as every practice. He would give his all in every race, every lap, every stroke. He was the embodiment of what a most valuable player looks like. He was not only our leading point scorer for the season but also a perfect role model for how athletes should be, doing whatever he could to help the team, no matter if it was what he wanted to do or not. With the talent and work ethic Andrew displays, I know that he will be a success in not only swimming but in life as well.

 

Boys Varsity Track

Thomas Hopkins
Most Improved
Team Captain Thomas Hopkins does everything right. He shows great leadership on the track, and he is the ultimate team player willing to do whatever is necessary to make the team better. During the off-season, Tom worked tirelessly to make himself into a better runner. He has improved almost an entire 2 seconds in the 400 meters, which is a significant amount at his level in this event. The team was able to capitalize on this improvement and become All Catholic State and All NSCHSAA in the 4×400 meter relay and narrowly miss qualifying for the New York State Championship meet. This year’s Most Improved Runner goes to Thomas Hopkins.

Elias Baltas
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Although Team Captain Elias Baltas showed a great deal of personal improvement this season his commitment to the team is the reason for him receiving the Bernie Ward Commitment Award. The Shot Put team had the NSCHSAA Freshman Champion, NSCHSAA Sophomore Champion, overall this has been the best group of shot putters in recent memory at Kellenberg. Elias’ leadership as a team captain was a large part of this year’s team performance. Whether it was coming to the NSCHSAA Freshman & Sophomore to support his teammates or showing great leadership every day at practice. This year’s Bernie Ward Commitment Award goes to Elias Baltas.

Erik Brown
Most Valuable Player
If you were to meet Erik Brown in the hallways of Kellenberg and have a conversation with him, you would assume he was a member of our perennial powerhouse Science Olympiad Team instead of one of the top track athletes in the entire country. He is soft-spoken, a deep thinker and unassuming. At the same time, he currently owns the 6th fastest 600-meter time in the entire country and has the top seed time entered in the New York State Meet in the 600-meter, but he always puts the team first. He is an All-Catholic State Runner, All NSCHSAA Runner both as an individual and as a member of multiple relays. This year’s Boy’s Most Valuable Runner goes to Erik Brown.

 

 

Girls Varsity Track

Olivia Colletta
Most Improved
The pleasant warm personality and affability of this young woman belie a steely competitiveness within her. That competitiveness saw her emerge from a good sprinter to the feared anchor leg sprinter on Kellenberg’s scintillating state qualified sprint relay. It is our honor to award the Most Improved Award to senior Olivia Colletta.

Sam Bendig
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
It is not an easy task to be a thrower at Kellenberg, let alone a successful one. It requires a special commitment of practicing in the field far off from the rest of teammates and friends and staying true to your goal. Thanks to the mentorship of her coaches, and her special commitment, Samantha Bendig scored critical points for her team in both the Sectional and Intersectional Championships. We are honored to bestow the Bernie Ward Commitment to senior Sam Bendig.

Maya Richardson
Most Valuable Player
This young lady in four years has never missed a practice or meet. She has been an All-League runner in seven seasons, including this one. She has been a NY State qualifier for the same amount of seasons. She is also so well-respected that this season she was named “Sportsmanship winner” for the whole CHSAA. She is a model sportswoman athlete. We are honored to bestow Maya Richardson with the MVP award.

 

Varsity Wrestling

 

Matt Moreno
Most Improved
Matt Moreno came into our program four years ago as a timid Freshman with no wrestling experience. Four years later Matt is an outstanding young man who now knows so much about wrestling that he is often coaching up the younger wrestlers in our program during practice and showing them how to correctly do different techniques. Two years ago Matt won just 13 matches, this season he won over 25 matches and placed in the top 4 at multiple tournaments always contributing to the team’s efforts. Although his finish to the season is not where he wanted it to be you cannot deny the leaps and bounds Matt made as a wrestler and more importantly as a man.

Keith Sherry
Bernie Ward Commitment Award
Keith Sherry caught the wrestling bug as a freshman and never looked back, from then on he identified as a Wrestler. Always attending offseason workouts, tournaments, camps and becoming a student of the sport. Wrestling became a top priority and it showed as he placed in the NY CHSAA Tournament three times. Keith wrestled through injuries and always showed perseverance setting a great example for his teammates. Often times he would stay after practice and work with the coaches on things to improve. Keith had a drive and determination that others on the team could look to and use as motivation themselves.

Andrew Cascio
Most Valuable Player
Andrew Cascio placed at every tournament he competed in this season and took home a title and two runners up finishes. When the team went to Utica to compete in the Central Valley Duals Andrew was named Most Outstanding Wrestler for going a perfect 7 wins and 0 losses that weekend. Almost all of Andrews very few losses this season were to wrestlers who ended up competing at the New York State Championships. Andrew put everything he could into the pursuit of his CHSAA Championship but came up just a little short. This was not because of a lack of hard work as Andrew pushed himself whenever he was in the practice room or the weight room to be the best he possibly could.

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