The first annual fall sports award celebration was held Thursday night at Lacey Township High School honoring the athletes who competed this season.
Earlier this school year, when the ceremony was originally proposed, it was criticized as parents and student-athletes were concerned that it threatened individual team award gatherings.
Administration and the students compromised to have both ceremonies coexist.
“It didn’t come easy. It took a little strategy, a little compromise and I think everyone in the end was happy and the bottom line is we could be here this evening to celebrate our fall athletes who have been great ambassadors for the high school the last three months,” Athletic Director Karen Hughes said.
The ceremony consisted of special speakers including Board of Education member Bruce Carney, Superintendent Dr. Sandra Brower and high school Principal James Handschuch.
“Like many other schools, every school has student athletes. But you know what makes us special? We’re Lacey Lions,” Handschuch said.
First, second, third and fourth year letter winners were honored and then Golden Paw, Academic and MVP award winners were recognized. Each coach spoke specifically to their teams and the season.
Carney thanked Hughes and Handschuch for taking the “initiative” while Brower appreciated their “visionary work” in coordinating the event.
Hughes called the ceremony a “cool journey.”
Parents and students learned of Thomas Phillips who won a cross country race with one shoe on (his other shoe fell off in the beginning of the race) and Alexis Dellapietro who is ranked in the top 10 soccer players nationally for her age group.
“I don’t know if we ever really recognized some of these accomplishments. We found out so much about our kids that maybe I didn’t even know,” she said. “I certainly think it’s interesting that all of our kids have an idea of what some of our other kids are doing.”
The event concluded with a group photo of all the fall senior athletes.
Members of the girls varsity field hockey team thought the ceremony went “pretty well.”
Aly Smialowicz said there was a sense of “togetherness” throughout the ceremony and Emily Berberrich added that she learned of other student-athletes accomplishments that she wouldn’t have otherwise known of.
“I thought it was nice,” Rachael Brignola said.
Below is a list of those student-athletes who were awarded the Golden Paw, Academic and MVP awards.
The Golden Paw Award, sponsored by the Lacey Township Booster Association, is given to an athlete on each team who exemplifies good attendance, attitude, dedication, desire, enthusiasm, loyalty and perseverance.
The Academic Award, sponsored by the Board of Education, is given to a junior or senior athlete who has the highest GPA on the team.
Each coach grants the MVP award to the athlete who is considered the most valuable player.
Golden Paw: Angela
Academic: Alexis Apostlos
MVP: Jaclyn Bocchini
Girls Cross Country
Golden Paw: Jessica Mentzel
Academic: Jessica Mentzel
MVP: Danielle Leavitt
Boys Cross Country
Golden Paw: Matthew McMahon
Academic: Matthew Moeller
MVP: Thomas J. Phillips
Golden Paw: Abigail Granit
Academic: Rachel Scafuro and Rachelbeth Brignola
MVP: Alyssa Smialowicz
Golden Paw: Brandon Boos
Academic: Joseph Elefante
MVP: Christian Tutela and Kyle Spatz
Golden Paw: Caitlyn Ellingham and Marissa Reilly
Academic: Amanda Mengotto
MVP: Kelly Reitmeyer
Golden Paws: Brihana Martins
Academic: Melissa Freudenberg
MVP: Alexis Dellapietro
Golden Paw: Kevin Charette
Academic: Evan Powell
MVP: Kevin Tonkovich
Golden Paw: Kelsey Cornelius
Academic: Carly Ragan
MVP: Carly Ragan
Golden Paws: Jennafer Locandro
Academic: Lauren Butler
MVP: Sarah Jakositz