November 27, 2007


Spotlight shines on fall's best at CHS

Athletes involved in the nine varsity fall sports at Cortland High School this autumn were honored recently at their various team ceremonies.
Following are the award-winners for each team, with each coach’s comment on his or her Most Valuable Player.
Coach: Dave Darrow
Offensive MVP: Josh Morehouse
Defensive MVP: Matt Pitcher
Special teams MVP: Nate Thomas
Darrow on Morehouse: “We ran Josh or ran behind him whenever we needed yardage. He’s also a very good receiver out of the backfield. He should be even better next year.”
Darrow on Pitcher: “Matt never came off the field and it seemed he was in on every tackle, with 125 assisted tackles (44 solo) and 10 sacks. He is a true football player in every sense of the word and a great leader.”
Darrow on Thomas: “Nate was a great punt and kick returner (600-plus yards), and he returned one kickoff for a TD. I believe he was as good as any holder we saw on extra points and field goals. Everything he did for us, he did well.”
Coach: Jamie Brown
MVPs: Lisa Frare and Janelle Stegeland
Most Improved Player: Alissa Claiser
Coaches’ Award: Kaitlyn Rongo
Brown on Frare: “ Lisa was the heart and soul of the team this year. She is a leader by example. She demonstrates a great deal of desire and we could always count on her to never quit.”
Frare scored one goal this season.
Brown on Stegeland: “ As a four-year starter on the varsity team Janelle has been the nucleus of our team. From her center back position she has been able to control the midfield area. She has played a very prominent role both offensively and defensively throughout her career.”
Stegeland scored two goals and had one assist this season.
Coach: Dan Law
Offensive MVP: Luka Starmer
Defensive MVP: Matt Marks
MIP: Brian Clifford
Coaches’: Derek Allen
Unsung Hero Award: Josh Houck
Law on Starmer: “Luka has been a key offensive contributor for 4 years now. This year he led the team in points with 21 and goals with nine. His style of play makes him a difficult player to defend. He finishes his varsity career in the top 10 in career points, goals and assists. He rose in the ranks of all-league honors the last few years, from honorable mention in 2005 to second team last year to first team this year.”
Law on Marks: “Matt, a third-year varsity guy, was a pivotal member of our defensive unit. His size, speed, agility, skill, and heart anchored our defense and led the effort toward eight shutouts this season. He not only led with his physical skills, but was a verbal leader of our back four as well. He actually volunteered himself to play in the back, sacrificing his own desires (and even my preferences too) to play in a more offensive position. This is truly an action of a man dedicated to the team concept. And so his career ends as it began, with him playing a large role in the back (he was primarily an outside back in 10th grade).”
Coach: Abbey Albright
MVP: Natalie Muka
MIP: Adrianna Helms
Coaches’: Amanda Cheetham
Albright on Muka: “Natalie led our team on the offensive attack throughout the year. As our number-one goal and point scorer (32 and 72, respectively), she was very critical to our team. Her tremendous play came out especially during playoffs (with eight goals in four games).”
Coach: Kevin Cafararo
MVP: Nick Decker
MIP: Steve Stowell
Coaches’: Jeff Brown
Cafararo on Decker: “Nick played in every match this season and averaged 38.15 overall. He’s been with me as a varsity player for four years and helped set the stage, and the pace, for the other kids. He also led in other ways, such as providing transportation for the younger kids who couldn’t drive yet.”
Coach: Bob Walrath
MVP: Jaimee Robertson
MIP: Kim Hall
Coaches’: Liz Chappell and Lauren Shirley
Hustle Award: Eva Rosenthal
Walrath on Robertson: “I could always count on Jaimee to give her absolute best all of the time, both on the court as our best player at first singles and off the court as a captain. Jaimee is also a fierce competitor. She consistently battled her opponents tough all season long. She is very coachable and sets a good example for her teammates. Jaimee is an exceptional worker at tennis. She is a good student of the game. I haven’t had too many players over the years that have the ears to hear or the heart to make the changes to improve their game like Jaimee. She is also a nice person to be around. Opposing coaches would routinely remark about how they liked Jaimee and the way she played.”
Coach: Bob Vidulich
Most Valuable Runner: Geoff Peppel
Most Improved Runner: Mark Vidulich
Coaches’: Mike O’Donnell
Vidulich on Peppel: “Geoffrey has been recognized as our top runner this fall. He has been our number-one man in most all of our league matches. It has been because of Geoffs hard work over the summer and effort in practice that he achieved this recognition. Geoff is an athlete that desires to run at the collegiate level.”
Coach: Bob Vidulich
MVR: Deanna Bishop
MIR: Georgiana Perelka
Coaches’: Jen Merckel and Anna Bitterbaum
Vidulich on Bishop: “Deanna has been ranked in the top seven runners in Class B of Section 3, pretty much all season. She was our top female runner in every meet this year. Deanna had one or two great memorable races this year. Although they were all good, the most memorable were at Jamesville-DeWitt, where Deanna ran an excellent race against their top girl, and at Whitney Point, where Deanna polished a super second-place running against many Section 4 kids, turning in just an awesome time  20:04 on a very challenging course. She plans to attend Lehigh University.”
Coach: Joe McMahon
Most Valuable Swimmer: Adrianne Traub and Taylor Foster
Most Improved Swimmer: Caitlin Troy and Jenna Gregory
Coaches’: Linsey Etz
McMahon on Traub and Foster: “This year we decided to award co-MVPs. Both of these girls were selected, for different reasons. Adrianne scored the most individual points for the team and Taylor went further in sectionals then anybody else.”




Mites skate to victories

A couple of Mite Division teams were mighty mites over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Cortland Mite Select squad picked up a pair of victories, beating Skaneateles 8-2 and Auburn 10-2. Meanwhile, the Cortland Flames Mite Travel Team nipped host Oswego 4-3 and outscored visiting Auburn 9-6.
Sammy Robbins scored five times as the Mites skated past Skaneateles. Jonathan Frederick added a goal and two assists in the victory, while Trevor Jubran and Matt Gombas also scored.
Cortland went on a 10-goal rampage against Auburn, with Gombas coming up with six goals. Turner Pomeroy added two goals and two assists, while Robbins and Jubran also beat the Auburn goalie. Jubran and Toby Diaz had two-assist outings in the win.
Two goals in the third period got Cortland past Oswego for a 4-3 victory. Mike Turk had a three-goal hat trick in the comeback, while Ben Gravel picked up a pair of assists. Matt Pelowski had a goal and an assist. Goalie P.J. Shager blanked Oswego over the final period and finished with 14 saves.
A five-goal opening period got Cortland started on the victory over Auburn, as Cooper Swartwout and Pelowski each tallied twice. Maggie Walsh, Mike Turk, Jayson Wojcinski, Ben Gravel and Emily Krebs all registered goals in the victory.
The Economy Paving, Homer Logging and Rick & Rich Towing Squirt Travel team picked up a pair of victories. After winning 6-1 at Fulton on Saturday, Cortland returned home and blanked Fulton 10-0.
John Burnhans scored twice and Matt May had two assists in the 6-1 victory, Brian Ordway, Connor Paquin, Mike May and Julia Brazo also picking up goals.
In the Sunday romp, Paquin had three goals to lead the way while Matt May had three assists to go along with a goal. Mike May scored twice, Sean Sullivan added a goal and two assists, and Sydney Sherman and Shea Swartwout also connected in the win. Goalie Gage Eldred made six saves for the shutout.
The third annual Ithaca Shooting Stars Girls Invitational Tournament will be held Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at both The RINK in Lansing and Ithaca’s Cass Park culminating with championship games on Sunday at Cornell University’s Lynah Rink. The tournament is part of a 35-year celebration of the Tompkins Girls Hockey Association. There will be 40 games in 19-Under, 16-Under, 14-Under and 12-Under age divisions. Results and schedules can be found on-line at