December 2, 2021

Woods, Phillips top seniors at CHS

Jake Woods won the Ross O. Shafer Award and Jackie Phillips the Norma Riley Award as the top senior male and female athletes at Cortland High for the 2015-16 school year.

Woods played golf for four seasons, bowled for two seasons and played varsity baseball for three seasons during his varsity career at CHS. He was a first-team all-league golfer last fall and a second-teamer the season before and was team MVP in 2015 and co-MVP in 2014.

In baseball, he earned first-team all-league honors as a pitcher this spring (when he was a co-captain) after being an honorable mention (second team) in 2015. He will continue his baseball career at SUNY Cortland this fall.

Phillips played tennis, at both singles and doubles, for three seasons and varsity basketball for five seasons. She scored 929 points in her basketball career and was an all-league first-teamer (co-Most Outstanding Player this past winter) and team co-MVP her last three seasons, a second-team all-leaguer in 2012-13 and a team co-captain the last two seasons. She will be attending St. John Fisher.

Other senior athletic award winners included:

John A. Gee Scholar-Athlete Award: Russ Gerhard and Allison DeGraff.

Outstanding Runner Award: Andrew Boyce and Jessica Kryger-Stramba.

Robert Fragnoli Award: Curtis Wilk, Clayton Larson and Hannah Whelan.

Athletic Booster Club Jack and Bonnie Radzavicz Award: Jonny Phillips and Shea Swartwout.

Booster Club Sportsmanship Award: Harold Pallone and Molly Doubet.

William C. Maher Award: Jake Prignon.

Senior Physical Education Award: Ben Condit and Maria Kostiv.

Cortland High’s spring athletes were honored recently at their teams’ respective season-ending ceremonies. The following is a list of award winners for each team, with the respective coaches’ comments on their MVPs.


Coach: Ben Albright

Most Valuable Player: Jake Woods.

Coaches’ Award: Clayton Larson.

Rookie of the Year: Jake Prunier, Noah Barber.

Gold Glove: James Lane.

Silver Slugger: Alex Babcock.

Cy Young: Duff Steve.

Fat Bat Award: Duff Steve.

Albright on Woods: “ Jake was our leadoff hitter and was dominant as a pitcher. He will continue his career at SUNY Cortland next year and they will be getting a true competitor and someone who has a passion for baseball with a great work ethic. I’m excited for him to get to the next level and continue his baseball career in such a great collegiate program.”

Woods went 3-3 overall with a save, a 1.64 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 47 innings as a pitcher, also played shortstop and hit .294 with four doubles, eight RBIs, 11 runs scored and three stolen bases.”


Coach: Maureen White

MVP: Cady Walts.

MIP: Liz Minnard.

Coaches’: Hannah Whelan.

Rookie of the Year: Sarah Boyce.

White on Walts: “Cady worked very hard in the off-season and it showed during our season. She was voted the league’s Pitcher of the Year for the second straight year, which was well deserved. Cady was our only pitcher, she knew the pressure and accepted it and took the pressure of it. She is very serious when she gets on the mound, and is determined to try her best to shut every batter down

Cady had 181 strikeouts, only allowed 68 hits, only had 23 walks with an ERA of 1.28. She also was our leading hitter this year, with a .510 batting average. She also led our team in RBIs with 27. I feel the best part of all of this is that she is only a junior. It will be very exciting to watch her and this team next year.”


Coach: Matt Blaich

Offensive MVP: Joe Piedigrossi.

Defensive MVP: Jonny Phillips.

Blaich on Piedigrossi and Phillips: “Both of them did a great job of leading our team this year. The are both going on to play in college, Joe at Morrisville State and Jon at Oswego State.”

Senior midfielder Piedigrossi scored 32 goals and had seven assists for 39 points this spring. Senior defenseman Phillips scored two goals.


Coach: Kindra Catalano

Offensive MVP: Shea Swartwout.

Defensive MVP: Paige Potter

MIP: Jackie Rosetti.

Unsung Hero: Logan Chase.

Sportsmanship Award: Molly Doubet.

Catalano on Swartwout: “Shea (a senior midfielder) is an obvious choice based on season and career points alone. She is a dynamic, competitive and regularly takes on the role of playmaker on the field. She scored 63 goals and also had 11 assists this season and has 231 career points. Shea can always be found chasing for a game changing stick check. Her fast pace and high intensity will be missed on the turf in future seasons.”

Catalano on Potter: “Paige (junior goalie) is the player who has the largest impact in the defensive end of the field. This season she used a mix between her vocal leadership and led by example. She is an active, quick and athletic goalie. I have watched her field vision grow and her overall game sense improve over the last three seasons. She is a competitor. She carries the scoreboard results on her back simply due to the nature of her position. She earned herself first-team recognition this season.”

Potter made 175 saves this spring and had a goals-against average of 10.88.


Coach: Cheri Olson

Co-MVPs: Ben Condit and Garrett Reagan.

MIP: Gavin Tabel.

Olson on Condit and Reagan: “These two had the most solid record (8-2) of the team. Even when they weren’t paired together, they were usually successful. Garrett was 4-1 at first singles and I am excited to have him back there in that position next year. Ben is a great doubles partner and will be sorely missed next season.”


Coach: Ron Reed

Most Valuable Runner: Ezra Engst-Mansilla.

Most Valuable In Field Events: Ray Rogers.

Most Improved: Owen Stehm.

Coaches’: Mike Emm.

Reed on Engst-Mansilla: “Ezra was, without question, the most versatile athlete on the team this year. In the open races of 400m and under, he has proven himself to be among the top sprinters in Section 3. Ezra met the State Qualifier standard in all four of his events — three individual (100 meters, 200 meters and long jump) and the 400 meter relay. His personal bests in each area: 100 (11.57), 200 (22.79), long lump (21-2 3/4)) and 45.41 in the 400 relay with senior teammates Brandon Sweet, Ryan O’Neil and Mike Emm. Throughout most of the season, Ezra ran the 400 meters (52.9) and as a member of the 1,600-meter relay team.

His commitment to the team was unsurpassed. He competed in the maximum allowed number of four events in all but three of our competitions this season; he did not miss a single meet, invitational or championship. In the six dual meets alone, he scored a team-high 99 points. The most an individual could score is 120 with first-place finishes in every event entered. As one of our team captains, Ezra was a true leader and positive role model for the younger athletes. It has been an honor to be his coach for the last few years.”

Reed on Rogers: “In his junior year, Ray set two personal records in his throwing events. At the Arcaro (Baldwinsville) Invitational he threw the discus 117-11. During competition at the Section III meet, his shot put mark of 42-10 1/4 earned him a fourth-place finish. Since last season, Ray improved his shot put by four feet, four inches and his discus by a remarkable 24 feet. If he continues to improve at a similar rate next year — and we know he is capable of doing so — he will easily reach the standards (45 feet in shot put, 135 feet in discus) for the State Qualifier. During the regular-season dual meets, Ray scored nearly 50 points.”


Coach: John Busch

MVP: Lauren Phetteplace.

MV Thrower: Jessica Kryger-Stramba.

MIP: Madisyn Zimmer.

Coaches’: Larkin Schumaker.

Busch on Phetteplace: “Lauren was still a sophomore this year. She is kind of shy but she has an endearing smile when you make her laugh. To the casual observer, there is nothing special about her until she starts to run. When she runs, you can’t help but take notice. She is our premier distance runner, equally at home with the 800-, 1,500 and 3,000-meter races. Her individual victories coupled with her valuable contributions to our 3,200m relay team supplied our team with 42.25 points this season. I look forward to the next two years, during which she will certainly continue to grow even stronger.”

Busch on Kryger-Stramba: “Jessica came to us six years ago. Even as a Modified athlete she exhibited an air of confidence in herself and her abilities. It may have been passed down from her older brother, Travis, who was also an excellent member of our team at that point. Jessie is one of those athletes that listened carefully and worked hard to incorporate our hints, tips and suggestions into her throwing. Good throwers are money in the bank. Jessie consistently turned in first- and second-place throws meet after meet. This season she effectively scored 40 points during league play, our second highest scorer, and was awarded as our Most Valuable Thrower.

Jessie was also our team captain. We’ve usually had more than one captain each year; this year we only needed one. She led by example, inspiring and motivating her teammates. She was cheerful, helpful and always willing to go that extra mile. It was like having an extra coach, she made our job much easier because she fun to be around and she was always there when you needed her. She has a great sense of humor and I was always glad to see her at practice. We miss her already but know that she is destined to enjoy a good life.”

CHS SMARTS: All seven of Cortland High’s 2016 varsity spring sports squads have been named NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete teams.

The boys’ tennis team led the way for the Purple Tigers this spring with an average of 96.840, followed by girls’ track at 95.518, boys’ track at 94.863, girls’ lacrosse at 92.655, softball at 92.481, baseball at 92.163 and boys’ lacrosse at 90.108.

Varsity teams must earn an academic average of 90 percent or higher during their season to qualify for the award, with letters of recognition and pins provided by NYSPHSAA for the individual athletes who made the team awards possible.