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Exceptional seniors

Sullivan West seniors Brad Hemmer, Scott Erdman and Sawyer Erlwein participated in the first-ever Section 9 Exceptional Seniors All-Star Football Game. The trio played for the American Squad, where they joined forces with players from rival Liberty as well as Monticello and a bevy of other teams from Section 9.

By Richard Ross
November 21, 2012

NEWBURGH, NY — For the first time in Section 9 history, an all-star game, featuring exceptional seniors from schools across the region, gave gridiron elder statesmen one last chance to play the game they love. The game, which was played at Newburgh High School on November 18, was the last hurrah for these outstanding players, and gave them an opportunity to join forces with stars from other teams and to learn from the incredibly talented coaching staff that mentored them during the week as they practiced for the iconic event. The two teams, the National and American, included senior standouts from Sullivan County.

The American squad included Sawyer Erlwein, Brad Hemmer and Scott Erdman from Sullivan West. Scott Herbert was also selected to play but an injured shoulder prevented his inclusion. Also on the American squad were Atwoun Ackerley, Andy Martinez and Tony Saravia from Liberty, as well as Mistah Ali and Jake McLachlan from Monticello. The American Squad was also comprised of players from FDR, Kingston, Burke, Washingtonville, Minisink Valley, Ellenville, Pine Plains, Pine Bush, New Paltz, Saugerties and Dover. Aric Boyes from Tri-Valley played for the National squad, which won the game by the score of 24-11. Teammate Brendan Tierney injured his knee last week and was unable to compete. Eldred’s Anthony Margarum, RJ Thiele and Rob Weber represented the Yellow Jackets, who were joined by Fallsburg’s Matthew Straus on the victorious squad. The National team also featured players from Monroe-Woodbury, Newburgh Free Academy, Spackenkill, Onteora, Wallkill, Warwick, Millbrook, Goshen, Red Hook and Valley Central. Since James I. O’Neill, Marlboro and Cornwall had all played (and lost) in regional games earlier in the weekend, the seniors from those schools could not participate. And since Middletown and Port Jervis will play on Thanksgiving Day for the annual Erie Bell bragging rights, those two schools were also not included.

The Exceptional Senior All-Star game has been something that has been in the planning stage for years, and now that it has been staged, it will become an annual event. Seniors raved about the experience, the camaraderie and the incredible learning curve that afforded them new insights into the game they have played for years and that they cherish dearly.

Fall’s closure was also marked by Tri-Valley’s Autumn Sports Award’s night, as well as the Federation Race at Bowdoin Park in Wappinger’s Falls. Tri-Valley Fall winners included the following: