EASTCHESTER — The best of Section 1 were dressed to the nines on Tuesday for the annual All-section dinner at Lake Isle Country Club. The night named the four Conference Players and Coaches of the Year, handed out three scholarships/awards, and introduced the 2013 Section 1 Hall of Fame class.
Here is the brief summation of the awards handed out on Tuesday:
Conference 1 Players of the Year: Brigitte Burcescu, Panas and Megan Theiller, John Jay-East Fishkill
Conference 1 Coach of the Year: Katy Sherwood, Yorktown
Conference 2 Player of the Year: Kristella Morina, Yonkers (right)
Conference 2 Coach of the Year: Patty Duane, Dobbs Ferry
Conference 3 Player of the Year: Lindsay Kim, Blind Brook
Conference 3 Coach of the Year: Lauren Riccardi, Ossining
Conference 4 Player of the Year: Mallary McFadden, Albertus Magnus
Conference 4 Coach of the Year: Mark Stanford, Tappan Zee
Julie Feldman Scholarship: Megan Krause, Pelham
Dan Veglia Scholarship: Carina Spiro, Scarsdale
Margot Irish Award: Carmen Bates, Westlake
Hall of Fame inductees: Michael J. Carroll, Suzanne K. Elson and Missi Larzelere
Here are some notes about the awards that were handed out:
The Julie Feldman and Dan Veglia Scholarships are awarded to players with exceptional academic, athletic and extracurricular resumes. According to the selection committee, each candidate are rated on a point basis for every area of qualification.
Feldman was a former volleyball coach at Mount Vernon, and a mentor to current Pelham coach Mark Finegan before she passed away, according to Croton-Harmon coach Robin Cooke, the head of the selection committee. Krause (pictured below), a Con Ed Scholar-Athlete winner during the year, winning the award was a deserving and appropriate selection.
Veglia was a former volleyball coach at Mahopac who passed away approximately a year and a half before current Indians coach Jay Melville began his tenure. Veglia was not Melville’s immediate predecessor, but was the longest-tenured coach before Melville.
Three former coaches were inducted into the Hall of Fame, although only two were recognized.
Because the family of Carroll, a longtime coach at North Rockland, could not attend, Section 1 coordinator Diane Swertfager said that he will be recognized during next year’s event, although he is still a member of the Class of 2013. “We’re not changing the plaque,” she joked.
Carroll, who won two state titles with the Red Raiders, posted a 371-40 record in his career. (Fun fact: North Rockland’s current assistant coach, Lauren Myers, was a member of the 1996 state championship squad.)
Elson, a two-time Section 1 Class A volleyball coach of the year, was incredibly instrumental with the local Special Olympics volleyball programs and was also recognized as the NYS Special Olympics Coach of the Year in 1993. Elson accumulated a 346-173 record as a high school varsity coach.
Larzelere, who coached for more than three decades at John Jay, won a section title with the Indians in 1987 and was predecessor to current Indians coach Tom Rizzotti. Larzelere led John Jay to eight league titles and five sectional finals, not including the 1987 win. The longtime coach amassed 409 wins during her career.
Prior to the high school awards announcements, former Hen Hud player Maggie Wright spoke to the audience. I spoke to Wright before she went on to get to know the guest speaker a little better.
Wright (pictured left), who was a two-time state finalist at Hen Hud, is currently finishing up her medical doctorate in orthopedic surgery at Columbia University, with a projected graduation date in May. Wright, who earned her bachelor’s degree from George Washington, won the Doris Duke clinical research fellowship, which she used for pediatric orthopedic research.
At Hen Hud, Wright was a two-time all-state setter who was also selected as a Con Ed Scholar-Athlete of the Week in 2003. Swertfager called Wright, “the foundation of the program.” Upon graduation, Wright switched positions at George Washington, where she tallied more than 1,000 digs in three years as a libero.
“I’m very honored and surprised,” Wright said. “It doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone (from high school) that long.”
Wright reminisced on her Sailor days, sharing stories on when a four-year-old Theresa Swertfager (daughter of Diane and current John Jay libero) would “hide” in the player lines during drills during practices. Wright also reflected on what it was like to see Swertfager, an all-state selection this year, all grown up.
Featured photo credit: Wikipedia
Morina photo credit: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News
Krause photo credit: John Meore for The Journal News
Wright photo credit: Rory Glaeseman/The Journal News