June 19, 2010


Brown, VanGorder top seniors

Staff Writer

Jeff Brown won the Ross O. Shafer Award and Aubrey VanGorder the Norma Riley Award as the top senior male and female athletes at Cortland High for the 2009-10 school year.
Brown, who will continue his golf career at LeMoyne College this fall, was a three-year varsity golfer for the Purple Tigers and earned first-team all-league honors the past two seasons. He was also the MVP of this past fall’s squad.
Brown was a varsity basketball player for three seasons as a guard and was a second-team OHSL Freedom Division all-star this past winter. He played tennis this spring and played both singles and doubles, after being an attackman-midfielder on the lacrosse team in 2009.
VanGorder will play soccer for The University at Albany this fall after finishing her high school career as the second-leading point scorer in the history of the CHS program with 49 goals and 22 assists. She was an OHSL Freedom Division all-league first-teamer, a Section 3 Class A all-star selection and an All-CNY first-teamer in both her junior and senior seasons. She was also a second-team all-state honoree as a junior and a fourth-teamer as a senior, and a Region II All-American in 2008. She was the MVP of 2008’s state Class A semifinal squad, and the offensive MVP of this past fall’s Section 3 Class A semifinalists.
She was a two-year member of the girls’ basketball team as a guard, including this past winter’s sectional Class A champions. She was a three-year starter in softball, a first-team OHSL Freedom Division all-star in her junior and senior seasons as a second baseman and shortstop, respectively, and team MVP in 2010 and co-MVP in 2009.
Other senior athletic award winners included:
John A. Gee Scholar-Athlete Award: Jon Podoliak and Marlyss Darrow.
Outstanding Runner Award: Mark Vidulich and Deedi Boland.
Robert Fragnoli Award: Dan Miller and Elle DePerno.
Jack and Bonnie Radzavicz Award: Eric Reisweber, Caleb Wright and Courtney Tennant.
Athletic Booster Club Award: Chris Broyles and Maggie Reagan.
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: John Tobin.
Most Valuable Player: Justin Burns.
Most Improved Player: Brycen Dunn.
Coaches’ Award: Brandon Watkins.
Tobin on Burns: “Justin was a real team leader, one of our captains, and whenever something needed to be done on or off the field he was the one who stepped up and did it. He had a lot of big hits for us and, while not primarily a pitcher, took the ball whenever we needed him to. He did the things he had to do and did them well.”

Coach: Lara Almansberger
Most Valuable Player: Aubrey VanGorder.
Most Improved Player: Maggie Reagan.
Coaches’ Award: Kendra Foster and Erica Turco.
Almansberger on VanGorder: “I gave the MVP award to Aubrey for being a threat to opponents, defensively and offensively, along with being on the bases.”

Coach: John Spallone
Most Valuable Player: Brandon Planck and Jerrod Mahar.
Most Improved Player: Phil Potter.
Coaches’ Award: Dan Miller.
Spallone on Planck: “Brandon had a great season, and a great career, finishing as our 10th-leading scorer all time (with 168 points on 129 goals and 39 assists). He distinguishes himself by how good he has made the rest of his teammates, elevating their games.”
Spallone on Mahar: “As a playmaker in his defensive style, Jerrod’s pure defense is often overlooked. His ability to play great position defense was the anchor for that end of the field.”

Coach: Kim Pace
Most Valuable Player: Marissa Mastronardi.
Most Improved Player: Tricia Rosetti.
Coaches’ Award: Elle DePerno.
Team Player: Haley Meldrim.
Pace on Mastronardi: “Marissa grew in a leader on and off the field this year. She became a motivator, encourager and on-the-field coach, always analyzing the things we did in practice and games. In every contest, she gave 100 percent from the initial draw to the final whistle. Her level of play set the tone for her teammates and helped them raise their level of play. She brought a spark to our offense many times when we needed it most. While she ended up being our leading scorer with 46 goals, what was more impressive were the 36 times she set her teammates up to score and the 81 groundballs she scooped up that were intended for other people. No matter where she was on the field or what she was doing, she made things happen around her. ”

Coach: Bob Walrath
Most Valuable Player: Jacob Klinger.
Most Improved Player: Dennis Gallagher.
Coaches’ Award: James Williams.
Most Dedicated Player: Jeff Brown.
Walrath on Klinger: “Jacob had perfect attendance to all practices and matches. He works hard on the court during his matches and off the court with his leadership among teammates as a captain. Jacob is a good example of a player who works diligently, and his efforts paid off. He qualified for sectionals, finished fourth in the Class B tournament and qualified for the Interclass Tournament, where he lost to the number six seed.”

Coach: Bob Vidulich
Most Valuable Player: Eric Reisweber.
Most Improved Player: Brian Etz.
Coaches’ Award: Tyler Herndon.
Vidulich on Reisweber: “Eric took first in the pole vault at OHSL League Championships at 12-0. He also won Class A sectionals with a Vault of 12-4, and vaulted to a fourth-place finish of 12-0 at the Section 3 State Qualifier meet. Eric has been when one the most solid leaders and captains I have ever had in my coaching career. He was a spark to other team members, and was also a guy who ran whatever the coach would ask him to do. He excelled not only in the vault but also in the 110-meter high hurdles, 400 intermediate hurdles and triple jump. Eric is a young man with some very versatile skill who plans to compete for SUNY Cortland next year.”

Coach: Ron Reed
Most Valuable Player: Nacirema Mann.
Most Improved Player: Emalee Burkhard.
Coaches’ Award, Track: Maddison Dorward.
Coaches’ Award, Field: Ciara Tallman.
Rookie Runner of the Year: Katherine Dovi.
Reed on Mann: “Nacirema was our top point-getter this season, which is how the MVP award is determined. She scored 20 points in nearly every meet for us, including a consistent 15 in the high jump, long jump and triple jump, winning them all, and was also on the 400-meter relay team. She serves as a quiet source of inspiration for the young athletes, who look up to her.”
Six of Cortland High’s spring squads have been named Scholar-Athlete teams by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association for maintaining collective academic averages of 90 and above during their seasons.
The girls’ track team led the way with an average of 96.586, followed by girls’ lacrosse, 94.314; boys’ track, 94.129; softball, 93.659; tennis, 92.991 and boys’ lacrosse, 91.214.
The players involved in their teams’ averages will receive certificates and pins from NYSPHSAA.


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