Homer Central recently announced its spring sports student-athlete award winners, highlighted by naming seniors Jerrad Reiner and Molly Ulrich as the 2015-16 Athletes of the Year.
Ulrich took to the volleyball court in the fall, ran indoor track in the winter and played softball in the spring.
She was the Freedom National Division Libero of the Year as the Trojans won the league volleyball title She recorded 243 digs, 53 aces, seven kills and five assists as Ulrich was also the team’s MVP award winner.
In track, Ulrich earned first team all-star honors as a member of the 4×200-meter relay team. This spring, she was a first team all-star and and team MVP.
Ulrich will be heading to Juniata College in Pennsylvania and plans to play softball.
Reiner competed in football, basketball and lacrosse for the Trojans during his senior season.
In football, he was the team’s top punter, played Z-back and safety. He averaged 34 yards on his 23 punts with a long punt of 49 yards. He ran the ball eight times for 13 yards, threw one incomplete pass and picked off two passes in the secondary.
He shined on the basketball court as he led the team with 320 points this season, an average of 15.2 points per game. He is tied for third place on the all-time scoring list with 720 points (13.3 ppg) and he is fourth all-time in 3-point baskets made with 53. He was a first team all-star and the Trojans’ MVP.
In lacrosse, Reiner had nine goals and two assists for 11 points from his midfield position. Reiner will be heading to Onondaga Community College in Syracuse to play basketball.
Each spring sport held its own season-ending banquet where the Most Valuable Player and Most Improved Player honorees were named for each sport. There were also a large number of special athletic awards handed out for the 2015-16 season.
Additional special awards winners for the past school year included:
— The Sheldon S. Riter Memorial Athletic Awards were presented to Ian Stoddard (football) and Brody Urban (lacrosse);
— The Michael “Buck” Johnson Memorial Awards were presented to Joel Christopher, Andrew Jacobi, Garrett Lewis, Dylan Williams-Bachman, Zach Clark, Nathan Apker, Beck Lundeen, James Denkenberger, Cameron Cronk, Matthew Fox, Ryan Parker and Ian Stoddard;
— The William C. Van Patten Memorial Baseball Awards were presented to Garrett Lewis (varsity) and Jason Haselkorn (JV);
— The Friends of Homer Runners Scholarships were presented to Mary Keefe and Evan Ulrich;
— The Homer Athletic Booster Clubs Awards were presented to Abby Gray (varsity), Ben Mortas (varsity), Marissa Cottrell (JV) and Grant Stokoe (JV);
— The Charles F. Beaudry & Peter T. Beaudry Memorial Award
— Bryan Czarnecki Football Backers Scholarship was presented to Dylan Williams-Bachman;
— The James L. Hilsinger Memorial Award was presented to Beck Lundeen;
— The Women in Sports Award was presented to McKayla Crawford;
— The Varsity Club Awards were presented to Abby Gray and Nathan Cottrell;
— The Emerson R. Avery Memorial Wrestling Scholarship was presented to Isaac Cline;
— The John Riter Memorial Golf Award was presented to Brody Urban;
— The Friends of Homer Wrestling Scholarship was presented Cameron Cronk;
— The Homer Lady Lacrosse Scholarship was presented to Carolyne Yonta;
— The Power of the Stick Award went to Kayla Roos;
— The Homer Softball Scholarship was presented to Molly Ulrich;
— Section 3 Scholar-Athlete Awards were presented to Rachael Church and Joel Christopher;
— Senior Three-Sport Plaques were presented to Ryan Aylesworth, Isabell Berthelsen, Rachel Brady, Rachael Church, Nathan Cottrell, McKayla Crawford, James Denkenberger, Brandon Grant, Storm Grant, Abby Gray, Nikolai Grihin, Logan Grihin, Mary Keefe, Michael Morse, Ben Mortas, Christian Pittsley, Jerrad Reiner, Jared Rogers, Kathryn Ryan, Timothy Swenson, Molly Ulrich and Carolyne Yonta.
Following are the Most Valuable Players and Most Improved Players for each varsity sport (voted on by the players) with coaches’ comments on the MVP honorees:
MVP: Garrett Lewis
MIP: Evan Ulrich
Coach Robert Nasiatka on Lewis: “Garrett did a great great job with the pitching staff and was solid at the plate. This was a very evenly talented team and it was a tough decision. When it comes down to it, the hardest job on the field and our most solid player was Garrett.”
Lewis hit .393 as he led the team in hits (24), and at bats (61). The catcher was second in runs scored (15) and tied for second in RBIs (11).
MVP: Mark Suits
MIP: Justin Wainwright
Coach Tom Cottrell on Suits: “Mark was very deserving of this award. His teammates recognized his position determined wins and losses and he was willing got be in that position. Mark did everything he could to help us succeed and it was his play that baled us out in some games with save after save. Mark will be missed next year.”
Goalie Suits had an 11-8 record with an 8.17 goals-against average in 852 minutes played. He made 210 saves this season.
MVP: Olivia Porter
MIP: Deanna Partigianoni
Coach’s Awards: Nina Armideo
Coach Ed Porter on Porter: “Liv did it all for us this season (draw control, ground balls, caused turnovers, goals and assists). In fact, she has been a leader in these categories for several years. Liv is that much of her scoring while being double teamed or sometimes even triple teamed. Liv will be missed because she has been such an important part of our program – not just as a player, but also because she is a leader and mentor to many of our young players.”
Porter led the team in goals scored (71), assists (14) and points (85). Her 71 goals is a new single season school record. Porter finishes her career ranked first in goals (214) and points (264) and second in assists with 50.
MVP: Matt Pelowski
MIP: Ethan Lunas
Coach Nancy Cavellier on Pelowski: “This was Matt’s first year on the team as a junior and what a success it’s been for him and the team. Matt has been a role model of determination on and off the court. He started the season at first doubles, where quickly it was observed how consistent he was on the court; hence he quickly became known as “The Wall.” Moving him to singles proved to be the position for him. He went 4-1 at fourth singles and 5-0 at third singles. More importantly though, Matt is a class-act that is coachable and has exceptional character and sportsman-like qualities.”
MVP: Molly Ulrich
MIP: Isabell Berthelsen
Coach Cris Colasurdo on Ulrich : “Molly has been a great leader on and off the field for her teammates. How she conducts herself and handles situations is a role model to all. She has been such an asset to us for four years, playing shortstop for three of those years. Defensively, her range at shortstop stretches almost the length of the base path, preventing many hits from getting into the outfield for doubles, holding them to singles, and more often than not, somehow gets the throw to first to record the out and prevent a runner even getting on base. Offensively, Molly has the speed and smarts on bases to be our leader in runs scored. More importantly, we will miss Molly’s positive personality and uplifting spirit. She is such a team player and natural leader who genuinely cares about her teammates and wants to see them all succeed and reach their individual goals, as well as team goals.”
Ulrich hit .268 (15-for-56) with 19 runs scored, 10 stolen bases and four RBIs. Her fielding percentage was .848 with 51 putouts and 61 assists.
MVP: Matt Guerrera
MIP: Brent McNeil
Coach’s Award: Grant Stokoe
Coach George Schneider on Guerrera: “Matt was voted by his teammates as last year’s most improved team member and followed it up this year by being voted the team’s MVP. Entering the season, expectations were high for Matt with the loss of a few very strong sprinters. He stepped up to the plate every meet the entire season and gave his best running the 100m, 200m, 400m, and 4×400 relay at almost every dual meet. He was also asked to do all four at sectionals. What I didn’t know at the time was that he ran all four events at sectionals with what can only be described as a gigantic blister in the pad of his foot directly under his big toe. He did so without complaint and helped the team to win the Sectional Championship.”
Guerra placed second in the 200m and fourth in the 100m and was a member of the second place 4x400m relay at the OHSL Freedom Championships. At the Section 3 Championships, he placed third in the 400 and fourth in the 100m and 200m as well as being a member of the second place 4×400 relay squad. At the State Qualifier, with a blister on top of his larger blister, Matt finished sixth in the 200m and was a member of the second place 4×400 relay. He tied the junior class record in the 200m and is a member of the school record 4x100m relay foursome.
First team all-stars for the Trojans included Kollin VanWagenen, Andrew Swenson, Logan Grihin, and Grant Stokoe (4x800m relay), plus Stokoe in the 800m run.
MVP: McKayla Crawford
MIP: Brenna Johnson
Coach’s Award: Alsasce Lorraine Sanders
Coach George Schneider on Crawford: “McKayla was selected by her teammates as this year’s MVP. This is the second year in a row that she was selected for the award. Her three individual Sectional Championships in the distance events on a hot day may have contributed to their decision or perhaps it was the fact that she lead the team in scoring for the second year in a row.”
Highlights of Crawford’s season include leading the team in the 800-meter, 1500m, 3000m, 2000m steeple and 800m split. At the OHSL Freedom Championships, Crawford won the steeplechase, placed fourth in the 1500 and was a member of the second place 4x400m relay. At sectionals, she won the 1500, 3000 and steeplechase while placing second in the 800. She was seventh 1500 at the State Qualifier. Crawford is a member of the school record 4×1,600 relay and 4×800 steeplechase teams.
Joining Crawford as first team league all-stars were Alsasce Lorraine Sanders (100m) and Arielle Moheimani (pentathlon).
HOMER SMARTS: The Trojans had six varsity teams as recipients of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Scholar Athlete Award for the 2016 spring season. Players from the boys’ tennis (91.23), baseball (90.74), softball (90.73), girls’ track and field (90.70), girls’ lacrosse (90.30) and boys’ lacrosse (90.23) were honored.
Each student-athlete member who qualifies is presented with a pin and a letter of recognition for achieving academic excellence while actively participating in varsity level interscholastic athletics.