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June 27, 2009

 

Parge’s Scholarship goes to Williamson

WilliamsonBob Ellis/staff photographer
Partigianoni Scholarship winner Trevor Williamson of Cortland High cracks a game-winning double against Chittenango this past season.

By TANEY BEAUMONT
Staff Writer

Trevor Williamson 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 $27,000 in the 18 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.
Williamson, a centerfielder, was an OHSL Freedom Division all-league second-team selection this spring when he batted .321 (.397 on-base percentage) with two doubles, 11 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He will attend Tompkins Cortland Community College this fall, where he plans on playing both baseball and basketball while majoring in Criminal Justice, with the ultimate goal of becoming a New York State Trooper.Williamson also played golf and basketball during his high school career, earning numerous individual honors. He was a first-team all-leaguer and team MVP this past basketball season, and won the golf team Coaches’ Award last fall.
“Just being considered for the Partigianoni Memorial Scholarship is an honor,” Williamson, 18, wrote in his application letter. “If I receive this scholarship, I feel I would be recognized as one of the best baseball players in Cortland High School’s history. I would also feel that I have the same qualities that Greg had. I would be very proud to be awarded this scholarship as a great accomplishment in my life.”
Williamson noted that family is very important to him, as it was to Partigianoni, and that he was named honorable mention all-league for baseball in 2007, when he won the team’s Coaches’ Award, and was a second-team all-leaguer last spring. He wrote the letter before knowing that he would also be named to the second team this spring.
“These awards are given to a player showing respect to coaches, teammates, umpires and fans,” Williamson wrote. “Greg Partigianoni was a team player and a great athlete, and had respect for every aspect of the game. This award would mean more to me that all of my other awards.”
“It’s awesome,” Williamson said with a smile during a post-commencement ceremony at the Red Dragon to honor him for the award. “Not only the award, but the money, which is a great for my parents (Briggs and Christine Williamson), a head start at putting me through college. The other seniors had good years, and I feel fortunate to win.”
Asked about the highlight of his baseball career, Williamson said: “When I was a sophomore, I made a game-winning catch in right field, headed toward center, in a game at CBA that got me honorable-mention all-league that year. If the ball would have fallen in for hit, we would have lost the game. CBA won the league that year, and we had three wins (including that season-ending 2-1 victory).
“Trevor is a very talented kid,” Cortland coach John Tobin said. “He was an all-league second-teamer two years and honorable mention one, recognized by the league’s other coaches. He’s one of those athletes who’s successful at anything he does, and showed more leadership this year as a senior. He made many big plays for us; our strength was our defense up the middle, and he was a big part of it. I’ve seen him since T-Ball, and he’s come through the program, attended our baseball camp and later helped with it. It’s nice to see a kid like that continue to grow.”
“Mr. Tobin has been there and helped me out my whole career,” Williamson said. “When I was little he gave me gloves, and I went to his camps. He’s also helped my younger brother Parker (14). We were both bat boys for the varsity team. He’s also given me jobs at baseball camps, refereeing youth basketball, umping T-Ball and working the flags in youth football. He’s my favorite coach.”
“Greg would like Trevor,” said Tobin, who was a good friend of Partigianoni’s. “He’d like the fact that if you ask him to do something he does it; one thing I’ll always remember about Trevor is how, as a sophomore, he offered to step in when we found ourselves without a catcher and did a great job for us. When we needed someone, he stepped up.”
Williamson has a sports-oriented lineage. His great-great grandfather, Jasper Williamson, was the mayor of Cortland in the 1940s and started the first community youth bureau in the state. Williamson Field at Suggett Park is named in his honor.
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 head coach Ted Thoren, who he was in line to replace, before succumbing to cancer 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 and Steve Wright.