Fall Bomber athletes celebrated with own ceremony

PINE PLAINS — In what Pine Plains Central School District Interim Athletic Director Mike Kohut explained was basically a trial run, a sports award ceremony dedicated solely to fall athletics was held last week honoring all levels of Stissing Mountain Middle/High School sports.

For the past few years at least, the Bombers have only had one sports award ceremony, a banquet for varsity teams held at the end of the spring season. Kohut said holding three ceremonies in a year would give the junior varsity and modified teams recognition on a more even level with varsity sports. At the end of the 2010-11 school year the school will collect feedback and determine the best way to proceed in the future.

All awards and plaques distributed were paid for by the Bomber Booster Club. That organization will also be sponsoring two basketball events during the winter season: a Christmas tournament on Dec. 27 and 28 and an inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. weekend Bomber Classic event.

Kohut also explained the presence of a large trophy in front of the speaker’s podium at the ceremony. When Pine Plains was part of the Bi-Valley League in the 1980s and early ’90s, there was a sportsmanship trophy that the district won seven out of the 10 years it was awarded. Pine Plains has recently been the recipient of good sportsmanship recognition, including the Section 9 award two years ago and a basketball officials award banner last year. Kohut said he has added those honors to the trophy and that it will be displayed prominently during the upcoming winter sports season.

Coaches from each team, including varsity, junior varsity and modified levels, presented their athletes with certificates of participation, varsity letters and varsity bars, depending on the level of play and how long they had been on the team.

Team introductions ranged from the number of honor students playing for each squad to the team’s record for the season and a highlight of individual player achievements.

Varsity football Coach Jim Jackson remarked that this year was the first he could remember in which a college scout had come down for a Pine Plains football player, while cross-country Coach Neil Murray aptly summarized the irony of running among high school athletics (“our sport is your sport’s punishment�). There was even an inspirational tale from JV Coach Sarah Stevenson, who put off knee surgery after finding out no coach had signed up to lead the team.

The following is a list of the individual awards given out to this year’s fall athletes.

Modified football

Sportsmanship Award: Tyler Puisello

JV football

Most Improved Player: Jake Gomm

Varsity football

Pete Miller Sportsmanship Award: Ricky Hill

Les Barton Award: Travis MacDonald

Modified boys soccer

Most Valuable Player: Marc Jusi

Varsity boys soccer

Most Improved Player: Austin Christensen

Most Valuable Player: Raine Owens

Modified girls soccer

Lady Bomber Award: Emily Thompson

Girls varsity soccer

Most Dedicated Award: Michaela Herman

Most Valuable Player: Cristina Cummings

Cross-country

Outstanding Performance: Devin deJoode, Ndue Palushi, Amber Conforti

JV field hockey

Most Improved Player: Jennifer Nicolich

Varsity field hockey

Seventh Annual Coach Soracco Miss Field Hockey Award: Robyn Downing

Varsity golf

Outstanding Effort Award: Nathan Badore

Most Valuable Player: Mike Kirschenheiter

Modified volleyball

Most Valuable Player: Bethany Russell

JV volleyball

Most Improved Player: Kayleigh Jones

Varsity volleyball

Most Improved Player: Krystal Alverez

Most Valuable Player: Elizabeth Hollick

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