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December 05, 2016
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Photos by Richard A. Ross, sportsinsightsny.com Liberty’s Amanda Bertholf and Joe Franke were this year’s Tom Kelly Award Winners awarded to the outstanding athletes of the senior class.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Standing on the ball diamonds or walking around the track and field venues now, you can hear the whispering of the wind and the sound of birds. Gone are the legions of athletes who competed there as another year goes into the books, seniors get set to graduate and the line of underclassmen gets set to move up in preparation for next year’s campaign. It seems like only yesterday that the stories surrounded the crisp days of autumn with its soccer, football and cross-country races. In the blink of an eye, the winter rushed by with its intense basketball, wrestling and indoor track as its biggest hallmarks. And now the spring, the grand finale of the athletic year, has ended too. This past week marked its last big hurrah with the NYSPHSAA/Federation track championships in Syracuse and athletic awards night celebrations in Liberty, Fallsburg and Monticello. This week Sullivan West and Tri-Valley will honor their spring athletes in year-end fetes to celebrate the outstanding job done by their teams and individuals. From the last weeks of August 2011 to this midpoint in June, The River Reporter has carried the weekly highlights in words and images from this writer’s whirlwind coverage across Sullivan County. Now it’s nearly time to close the book for this year.

At the NYSPHSAA Track and Field Championships held at Cicero North High School in Syracuse on June 8-9, Eldred’s Breanna Brucher took second in the pole vault with a leap of 11-0, thereby breaking the school’s record. She and Liberty’s Kane Sauchuk were chosen as Section 9’s recipients of the Sportsmanship Award at the meet. Hunter Proscia also ended his Yellow Jacket career with a milestone personal best, 9:41.65, to take fourth in the Division II 3000 steeplechase. Fallsburg’s Michael Robinson topped his prior best in the triple jump by more than a foot with a leap of 45-07. He took fifth in the event among Division II contenders. Tri-Valley’s Jimmy Bernstein was seventh in the 1600 among Division II contenders with a lifetime best 4:24.07. Also representing the Bears were Mareena DiMilia, who was eighth in the shot put (34-11.75). Dominique Darby was right behind her in the event in ninth place with a heave of 34-11.25. DiMilia posted a time of 16.24 in the 100 high hurdles as she finished 12th in the preliminaries but didn’t qualify for the finals. Katlynn Greffrath finished ninth in the pentathlon with a total of 2,243 points. Liberty was represented by Kane Sauchuck, who took 12th in the 400 hurdles (57.95). He placed 13th in the preliminaries of the 110 hurdles in 15.95 but did not advance. Kenny Jaycox was 14th in the long jump with a leap of 20-03.

At Liberty’s Block ‘L’ awards night, Amanda Bertholf and Joe Franke were named as the Tom Kelly Award winners for the Outstanding Senior Athletes. Other top senior awards were as follows: Elizabeth “Betty” Totten Award went to Rebeccah Harman and Cosmos Fitzpatrick, and the Rotary Club Perseverance Award was awarded to Nikole Snyder and Anthony Covington. At Fallsburg’s 2012 “Comet” Varsity Awards Banquet, the senior trophy winners were: Student Government Association Award, Morgan Vegliante and Corey McKeon, the Fallsburg Comet Booster Club Award to Shanice Mack and James Bertholf and the Outstanding Senior Athlete Awards to Michael Robinson and Celia Garcia. Monticello’s Senior Night revealed Sean Reuss as this year’s winner of the coveted Mayor’s Trophy. Reuss was not on hand as he was playing in the upstate-downstate All-Star football game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Reuss will attend the University of Maine on a full football scholarship.

Doctor of Sport winners, who earned at least nine varsity letters including their senior year, included the following, with the number of letters earned in parenthesis: Erica Concors (10), Kaitlyn Fisher (11), Ryan Heins (9), Rachel Klein (9), Ian Kolaitis (11), Bryanna Sewell (11) and Rebecca Wood (9). For full coverage of the award winners from Liberty, Fallsburg, Monticello, Sullivan West and Tri-Valley, watch for an upcoming article on www.sportsinsightsny.com. Photos of the recipients can be seen at www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com.