June 25, 2011
Stacy gets special ‘Parge’ prize
Alex Stacy was honored with this year’s Greg Partigianoni Scholarship Friday night during Cortland High’s commencement ceremonies.
The $2,000 cash stipend is sponsored by the Red Dragon Restaurant, which has given out $32,000 in the 20 years of the award’s existence. It goes annually to the senior member of the Purple Tiger baseball squad who best exemplifies the academic and athletic qualities of the late Cortland High and SUNY Binghamton player.
Stacy, the son of Robert and Sarah Stacy of East Freetown and Tracy Brown of Cortland, was named an OHSL Freedom American Division first-team all-leaguer this spring after being a second team selection the two previous years. He will continue his baseball career at St. John Fisher, where he also plans on playing football.
Stacy was a first-team all-league selection for Section 3 Class A American football for the second year in a row this past fall and a third-team All-CNY pick, and played varsity basketball this past winter. He won the Ross O. Shafer Award as Cortland High’s top senior male athlete for this school year.
Stacy led the Purple Tiger baseball squad in hitting this spring with a .491 average and had a team-high seven doubles as well as a triple and a home run, with 14 RBIs, second-best on the team. As a pitcher, he had three wins (tied for best on the staff) and a save, a 3.20 ERA, and a team-high 37 strikeouts in 44 innings.
“If you play baseball here you know what the scholarship means, and what Greg meant to Cortland baseball and the community,” Stacy said during a post-commencement reception in his honor which took place at the Red Dragon. “When I heard my name announced as the winner, it was a relief and an honor. It means so much to me to be considered along with the people who won the award and with Greg himself.”
In his application letter for the award, Stacy wrote that “Being an athlete, especially a baseball player, at Cortland Junior-Senior High School, I know the importance and impact that Greg Partigianoni had on people his whole life. I wore the jersey number five for every year of baseball until my seventh-grade season.
“When I was told I could not wear that number any more, I did some research as to why. I found that the number five was retired to Greg Partigianoni. The disappointment I first felt quickly turned to respect. I have respected and looked up to everything Mr. Partigianoni accomplished ever since. Seeing what it meant to the players who won the award and to the committee that gives it out made me strive to earn it. I’ve wanted to win the Partigianoni Award ever since I was in junior high and was introduced to the scholarship.”
“Alex is a hard worker, is very coachable and would do anything for the team,” Cortland coach Ben Albright said. “He’s an excellent student and really works hard on and off the field. He’s dedicated to everything he’s involved with, goes the extra mile and does his best, which was evident in the way he worked in the weight room, on the field and in the classroom.
“He was a leader this past season and was very vocal, an all-around good kid. He has a bright future ahead of him, and I feel strongly that whatever he chooses to do after college, he’ll be successful.”
John Tobin, who retired as CHS varsity coach following last season after 15 seasons at the helm and was one of Partigianoni’s best friends, said that “Alex is very deserving, and Greg would love him. He’s a kid who loves to play ball and will play anywhere, any time, like Greg.
“I remember when he was 11 or 12 talking to Alex and a couple other kids at the water fountain (in Partigianoni’s honor at Beaudry Park) during our camp and telling them about Greg,” Tobin added. “Alex came to the camp, then helped out for a number of years when he got older. He did all he could. Alex is Greg’s type of person, and Greg would be very proud of him.”
“Alex is one of the best young men you’d ever talk with,” selection committee chairman Lum Cooper said. “Like our previous winners, he represents everything that’s good about student-athletes. He’s a hard worker, and Greg would have loved him.”
“I remember when I started playing in CYB ball that Mr. Tobin was always there for me,” Stacy said. “He supported me when I wasn’t playing well. He was my number one baseball influence along with Mr. and Mrs. Hughes (Yale and Michele). Mrs. Hughes was one of my first coaches in CYB, and Mr. Hughes coached me on my first travel team, in junior high and on junior varsity. They’ve both always been there for me on and off the field, too.
“And I can’t say enough about coach Albright, with his knowledge of baseball. I wish I had one more year to play for him; it was a great time. I’d also like to thank my dad and step-mom for all their support. Their support has meant a lot to me, including travel ball the last three seasons, and I appreciate all they do for me. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
When asked about the highlight of his baseball career, Stacy said that “It’s hard to pick one. Baseball is the game I love; it’s my passion. Any day I’m able to play is a highlight.”
To close Friday night’s ceremonies, Cooper read a latter of congratulations to Stacy from St. John Fisher baseball coach Brandon Potter.
Partigianoni was a coach at then-SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Cortland and Ohio State, receiving his Masters from the latter and also working with the Columbus Clippers of the International League. He was the first head coach of the Cortland Apples in what was then known as the Northeast Collegiate Baseball League, and was pitching coach at Cornell under then-head coach Ted Thoren — who he was in line to replace upon the latter’s retirement — before succumbing to cancer (leukemia) in 1990.
Cortland High retired his uniform number (5), as did the Cortland Apples (28).
Previous winners of the Partigianoni Scholarship, which was first awarded in 1992, were, in order, Seth Montgomery, Matt Rohde, Mike Reeners, Nick Leopardi, Joe Meldrim, Matt Pearsall, Chris Poli, Adam Cincotta, Brett Seyfried, Shawn Collyer, Brendan Byrnes, Brandon Galutz, Jared Wood, Mike Avery, John Sinsabaugh, Anthony Pitts, Steve Wright, Trevor Williamson and Justin Burns.
Cooper announced that the annual Greg Partigianoni Golf Tournament, with all proceeds benefiting the scholarship fund, will take place Sept. 10 at Elm Tree Golf Course with a 1 p.m. shotgun start, dinner and awards to follow at the Red Dragon. Stacy, as the honorary starter, is entitled to hit the first ball.
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