June 24, 2008


Stegeland, Pitcher top CHS seniors

Staff Writer
Matt Pitcher won the Ross O. Shafer Award and Janelle Stegeland the Norma Riley Award as the top senior male and female athletes at Cortland High this school year.
Pitcher was a three-year member of the football team as two-way lineman, and was a first-team A-Class A American selection for the second straight year and the team’s Defensive MVP this past fall, when he was a co-captain.
Pitcher was also one of the captains of the basketball team, which as a center he led in blocks (24) and shooting percentage (.553). He was also the second-leading rebounder, with 96, and averaged 2.8 points per game in his second varsity season.
A key member of the boys’ lacrosse team’s defensive unit in his third year on the varsity squad, Pitcher was accorded All-OHSL Class B honorable mention and scored a goal this past season.
He plans to attend SUNY Cortland this fall and play football.
Stegeland led the girls’ lacrosse team, for which she played for four years and was also a midfielder and a tri-captain, in scoring for the third time in her four varsity seasons, notching 64 goals and 27 assists for 91 points for career totals of 197 goals, 61 assists and 258 points. She was also an All-OHSL Freedom Division first-team pick for the fourth consecutive year, and was named an honorable-mention all-American, one of vie from Section 3.
She was a first-team OHSL West pick for the third straight year and was co-MVP of the field hockey team (as she was in 2005) as a midfielder and tri-captain, scoring two goals and adding an assist as the third-leading scorer in her fourth varsity season.
Athletes on the spring sports squads at Cortland High were honored recently at their individual team ceremonies.
Following is a list of the award-winners for each varsity sports squad, and the respective coaches’ comments on their Most Valuable Players.
Coach: John Tobin
MVP: Steve Wright.
Most Improved Player (MIP): Derek Allen.
Coaches’ Award: A.J. Meldrim.
Tobin on Wright: “We were really a different team when Steve pitched. He took the ball against all the top teams, beating league champion Mexico and Jamesville-DeWitt, and should have beaten state-ranked New Paltz. His won-lost record isn’t indicative of how he pitched. When he was on the mound, the kids followed him.”
Coach: Mick Lowie
MVP: Melanie delRosario and Andrea Turcsik.
MIP: Kaleigh Smith and Kayleigh Mital.
Coaches’ Award: Lauren Shirley and Jamilla Fort.
Lowie on delRosario: “Melanie is a 2 year starter as a junior and was one of our tri-captains this year. As an honorable mention shortstop last year, we moved her to third base and ultimately to the catchers position this year, where she did a great job of solidifying our defense. Mel wound up with a .945 fielding average. At the plate, Melanie hit .320 with a double and a triple. She is a great leader of our team on and off the field. Mel also has the highest academic average on the team with a 95.85, qualifying as a New York State Scholar Athlete.”
Lowie on Turcsik: “Andrea is also a 2 year starter as a junior and one of our tri-captains this year. Moving to shortstop this year after a season at second base, Andrea was our vocal leader of the infield. She has a great glove at short and a strong arm, which surprised many opposing coaches with her ability to make plays. Andrea hit a solid .293 with 3 doubles and led our team with 11 RBIs. Andrea is also a fine all-around team leader and student-athlete, qualifying as a New York State Scholar Athlete with a 91.57 academic average.”
Coach: John Spallone
Offensive MVP: Jack Spallone.
Defensive MVP: Matt Marks.
Co-MVPs: Nate Thomas (offense) and Chris Fernandes (defense).
MIP: Dan Miller and Brad Rogers.
Coaches’ Award: Brian Sypher and Travis Carruthers.
Spallone on Jack Spallone: “Jack has had an MVP season, leading our team in scoring and assists He assumed the role of offensive ‘quarterback’”
John Spallone on Marks: “Matt has been our catalyst, being able to make an impact on our team play. He is the best in the league from restraining line to restraining line.”
John Spallone on Thomas: “Nothing would happen without Nate. The team needed him winning faceoffs and starting our offensive motion.”
John Spallone on Chris Fernandes: “Game in and game out, Chris was counted on to control the top offensive player from the other team.”
Coach: Kim Pace
MVP: Janelle Stegeland and Caitlin Stevens.
MIP: Lisa Frare.
Coaches’ Award: Bailey Reagan.
Pace on Stegeland: “Janelle was a motivator, encourager, and on the field coach. From the side lines we would often see her guiding her teammates with hand signals to help them get into the right places. All the while she was guiding and directing, she did it with such a positive attitude and never made a teammate feel like she didnt know what she was doing. Janelle has always been one of the leading scorers on the team; however, her greatest asset to her team was not in the number of goals she scored.
Even in games in which she had few points, her presence was felt everywhere on the field. Herstrength and speed allowed her to dominate all over the field, usuallyscore at will, and help shut down the opposition. In some way, she had a hand in almost everything that happened on the field during a game. Janelle always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and had a way of making everyone play a little harder and a little better.”
Pace on Stevens: “Caitlin is natural leader; one who leads through example by what she brings to the field every day. She constantly put forth maximum effort to reach her greatest potential in everything she did. As a self-motivated, driven athlete Caitlin set the tone for her teammates. She had an amazing ability to evaluate the opposition and figure out ways to slow them down. She would constantly ask questions about what we were doing and why so she could better understand her role on the field.
Once again this year, she embraced the role of face-guarding the opposition’s leading scorer and thrived on doing whatever was necessary to shut them down. If a player was going to be shut down, Cait was the one who could do it. Her presence was felt all over the field, for just about every minute of every game. Her tireless effort and amazing game sense are two of the reasons our team was so successful this year.”
Coach: Bob Walrath
MVP: Luka Starmer.
MIP: Mike Hall and Ryan Reagan.
Most Dedicated Player: Jacob Klinger.
Coaches’ Award: Levi Walrath and Evan Henkel.
Walrath on Starmer: “On the court, Luka played both first singles and first doubles for us on any given day. He always played the other team’s toughest without complaint. Not only didn’t he complain, Luka turned in some great efforts. Being a young, rather inexperienced team, we needed that kind of on-court leadership. He helped to set the tone for our team. Off the court, Luka was a well-respected leader who other players could turn to for help. He was always concerned for the bettering of the team.He would lead drills, help setour line-up and plan fun team events. In many ways, because ofLuka’s efforts andselflessness, this team exceeded my expectations and goals.”
Coach: Bob Vidulich
Co-MVP (runner): Montana Sanders and Geoff Peppel.
MIP: Eric Reisweber.
Coaches’ Award: Alex Brevetti, Justin Carter.
Vidulich on Sanders: “Robert was named second-team all-leaque in pentathlon at sectionals. His strong second place gained him recognition not only for this honor but also as a most Valuable Runner, where he pointed in 4X100, 4x400, 400m, and high jump. Robert had a hard-working positive attitude throughout the whole season. He moved up in distance very well; after never running anything over a 400 I would say a 1500 time of 4:45 was excellent. “
Vidulich on Peppel: “Geoffrey was an outstanding 110hurdle man all season; he ran the low 17’s all season in the 110s and ran the tough 400 hurdles in the low 60s. Geoff also ran the fastest leg of 4x400 relay, with a strong 52 sec. time. He did a great job for us and was a major contributor to our point-making squad.”
Coach: Ron Reed
MVP: Deanna Bishop.
MIP: Anna Bitterbaum.
Coaches’ Award: Danielle Dineen.
Reed on Bishop: “Deanna has dedicated six years of her junior-senior high school career to running.  A valuable member of both the cross-country and track teams, Deanna has served as a role model for her teammates.  She is committed to excellence and recognizes that, quoting former Coach Williams of the YMCA Stingers swim team:  ‘You get what you work for, not what you wish for.’
Deanna is being honored this year as the team MVP not only because she was the top point earner on the team, but because of her accomplishments in the pentathlon, a competition involving five different events.  Throughout the year she has been preparing herself to peak at the league, sectional, and state-qualifying meets.  And she did.  Her 2414 pentathlon points at the Section III meet broke a school record that had stood since the early 1980s. She is a leader on and off the field, and I am completely confident that she will continue in this tradition at the collegiate level.”