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SW’s rite of winter passage

Rachel Depa

By Richard A. Ross
March 24, 2011

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The warm afternoon sun felt wonderful on my face as I sat outside on a balmy St. Patrick’s Day, the morning after Sullivan West’s winter awards presentation held on the evening of March 16. Following a welcome by high school principal Margy Tenbus, athletic director Dave Franskevicz introduced the coaches and referenced Rachel Deppa, who finished 10th in NYS in the 1500 race walk, and Drew Billard, who finished 33rd in the slalom at the state Alpine ski championships and 40th in the giant slalom competition. The boys and girls basketball teams were honored by NYSPHSAA as scholar athlete teams with at least seven players with averages of 90 percent or better.

Coaches called up their teams and presented the following awards: Todd Roeder, Boys Top Male Field Athlete; Kyle Flynn, Boys Top Track Athlete; Rachel Deppa, Most Valuable Winter Indoor Track Athlete; Hannah Feinman, Most Valuable Winter Indoor Track Field Athlete; Kendall Menges, Most Valuable Female Skier; Kassie Thelman, Alpine Skiing Coaches Award; Drew Billard, Most Valuable Male Skier; Jonah Bauer, Most Improved Skier; Megan Haberli, Most Valuable Cheerleader; Allesandra Vertrees, Most Improved Cheerleader; Lucas Bauer, Boys Basketball Most Valuable All-Around Player; Michel Durkin, Comeback Player of the Year; Gabrielle Humleker, Miss Basketball; and Regina Nicoletti, Girls Basketball Most Valuable Player. A slide show that provided a retrospective chronicle of this wonderful winter season followed the presentations.

This past weekend, this writer made his annual pilgrimage to Glens Falls for the NYS boys basketball championships. Visit to read about this year’s tournament that produced the first-ever boys title win by Section 9’s John S. Burke Catholic and for details on the exploits of the Sullivan West award winners.