Wildcat Fall Athletes Earn Postseason Accolades
All-state award recipients were:
Ryan Brelsford (Montoursville) and Damon DeTato (Montoursville).
Faisal Al Nufeai (Saudi Arabia), Kurt Russ (Waynesboro) and Juan Condo (Springfield).
Rebecca Breary (Lansdale Catholic), Kim Kremer (Mifflinburg) and Melissa McKee (Milton).
Scott Morgan (Pocono Mountain) and Bryan Wolfe (Warrior Run).
Christine Seward (Pottsville), Jessica Decker (Abington Heights) and Becky Snyder (Hughesville).
Joining them as all-conference selections were:
Justin Howe (Williamsport) and Zack Meck (Brandywine).
Rohan Lewis (Lansdale North Penn).
Charlee LaForme (Warrior Run).
Men's Cross Country
Joel Wilbur (Woodstock Academy).
Josh Wells (DuBois) and Bryan Vertigan (Emmaus).
Jennifer Sterner (Spring Grove).
Baseball "Ryan was our leading hitter (.494) and, as my shortstop, was one of the keys to our defense. Damon was my catcher and hit .324, but his major contribution was his defense and leadership," said Coach Mike Stanzione. Brelsford is a freshman and DeTato a sophomore.
Commenting on Howe, a sophomore, and Meck, a freshman, Stanzione stated, "Justin hit .375 and played wherever I needed him. He's a real versatile kid who always hits well for me. Zack, from a pitching standpoint, came in and gave us a ton of innings when we needed them. Originally, he was the No. 6 man on the depth chart, but he ended up being probably the most valuable pitcher because he gave me so many innings." Meck finished with a 4-2 record.
Coach Dan Hibbs' biggest surprise concerning his state-championship women's squad wasn't who was chosen for all-state and all-conference honors, but who was left off goalie Laura Rudenstein of Lower Merion.
"It's really not a surprise. I thought they (Breary, Kremer, McKee and LaForme) were very good players. I was hoping to get more named, but I guess you only have room for so many," Hibbs said.
The coach noted that Breary scored in every game but one during the team's 8-2 season, that Kremer was "pretty much all over the field, particularly in that last (championship) game," and he called McKee the "anchor of the defense." According to Hibbs, had LaForme played during two regular season games against Manor, his team could have won those, too, and finished undefeated.
"She was an extra person back there who knew what to do defense-wise," Hibbs assessed.
Coach Andy Richardson described al Nufeai, as "an International student whose crafty and skillful play netted him nine goals and one assist" on the season and noted that "Juan (Franco) Condo, our talented attacking midfielder, had six goals and led the team with six assists for goals. Franco's determination and vision out of the midfield ranks provided the team with many opportunities. He truly was a leader and playmaker."
The coach continued, "our defense ruled throughout the year, and Kurt Russ was rock-solid in every game, stopping many counter attacks, and tallying two goals with one assist. Kurt's play exemplified hard work and his smooth no-panic style of play helped lead our defense in the eight shutouts this season. Lewis, as starting forward, accumulated an impressive six goals and five assists for goals. Rohan's clever and skillful footwork set up many attacks, while his unselfish assists allowed for many tallies, as well.
"These selections represent the best of our team and I was proud to be their coach. Franco, Kurt and Rohan are all second-year players who will be greatly missed in 2002," Richardson added.
Following their 11-3-1 season, which ended with a loss in the state quarterfinals, all of the awarded players, along with fullback George Bender (East Chester), goalie Matt Koloch (Pottsgrove) and midfielder Alex Hartman (Marathon) played on a team representing the EPCC North Division in a postseason All-Star game and helped the North defeat the South, 3-1.
Cross Country Penn College's men and women both won team state championships, so, while the fact that its top runners received state honors wasn't a surprise, Coach Mike Paulhamus was pleased just the same.
"I'm happy for them, for all the honors they're receiving," he said, noting that not only did Seward capture the individual women's state championship, but Morgan, who originally finished second in the men's race, has since been declared the winner and individual state champ after the runner who finished ahead of him was disqualified over an eligibility issue. Of the group cited, only Seward will return.
"This is the second year that Bryan has received such an honor and is very deserving. He came back as a team leader and played as such," Coach Chet Schuman said. "Josh, as a freshman, ended up, after a couple of matches, being our No. 1 golfer, He is a real gentleman on the course and has a real sense for the game, a real touch," the coach added.
Said coach Bambi Hawkins of Sterner's contribution to her team, " She was a consistently hard-working player. Most notably, she was the only player with significant volleyball experience and was willing to share that experience with a team of rookie players. Jen continued to encourage her teammates despite a difficult season."