The Shore Conference Athletic Directors Honor 93 Athletes with Sportsmanship Awards
(Scroll down for full list of recipients)
TOMS RIVER - The Shore Conference athletic directors honored a special group of 93 athletes on Sunday at Pine Belt Arena, presenting their annual Sportsmanship Awards to seniors from each of the conference's 47 schools.
This was the first year that the Shore Conference honored the athletes from both Monmouth and Ocean counties at the same time in one place, highlighting their achievements as leaders on and off the field and their classy behavior on it. The athletes, one male and one female from each school except for all boys' Christian Brothers Academy, are nominated by their coaches and then are selected by their respective athletic directors.
"It's great to have both counties together today,'' said Ocean Township athletic director Rusty Todd, who is the Shore Conference president. "It's very prestigious to us. This is what we hope all of our kids could do. It would make all of our jobs a lot easier if all of our kids could emulate what these kids here today are doing."
The event was proudly supported by Shore Sports Network, whose own director, Kevin Williams, served as the emcee. The programs for the ceremony were also produced by SSN's Steve Meyer.
Athletes and administrators alike believe the award transcends the usual All-Shore accolades based on statistics and wins.
"This is probably the most prestigious award that any athlete could get,'' said Raritan athletic director John DeGenito, who honored football and basketball player Dylan DeWysockie and softball, basketball and field hockey player Daniella Marino.
"We try to look for kids who do multi-sport things. In our case, three different varsity coaches nominated the same kid, so I think it speaks highly of their integrity and their character, so winning this award is probably more important than any award a school could have."
Winning the award was also a proud moment for the athletes to honor their parents and the others who helped mold them into quality people as well as players. Brick Memorial football and track standout Karl-Mark Kumm, who was the Mustangs' recipient along with lacrosse and volleyball player Danielle Bolton, dedicated his award to his mother, Helica.
Kumm emigrated to Brick with his family from the Eastern European nation of Estonia when he was six years old and became an American citizen this fall during the football season. Kumm, a wide receiver/defensive back who is also an outstanding student, will continue his football career at Carnegie Mellon University.
"My mom came over from Estonia so that I would have limitless opportunity in my future,'' Kumm said. "Of course, America is the land of great opportunity, so she traveled over here, and everything I do is in her honor. Everything I accomplish is for her, and this is definitely an honor because it's not just your athletic ability, it's being a leader."
The award also lets the players know that their coaches and athletic director are watching their athletes for more than just the numbers they put up in their sport.
"It's really special to me that Coach Donohue (athletic director Chuck Donohue Jr.) would look to me as a leader in our school and someone who respects the officials,'' said Southern soccer, swimming and lacrosse athlete Morgan Von Schmidt. "It's good to know that someone notices our efforts.''
"This means way more to me because it's not about how great you are in the sport you play, it's more about the stuff you do on and off the court,'' said Toms River East basketball player Amanda Kennedy. "It means so much to me knowing that they appreciate me as a leader."
It also was a chance for the athletes to recognize those in addition to their parents who taught them lessons along the way. Red Bank Regional football and basketball player Jimmy Ferrogine dedicated his award to the late Albert Martin, Ferrogine's former basketball teammate who died tragically at 17 years old in December of 2012 when he collapsed during a preseason scrimmage.
"My coach said he selected me because of my leadership and how I dealt with the Albert Martin situation,'' Ferrogine said. "Albert welcomed me into the program my sophomore year. We were a very young team that year, and he did everything he could to bring the team together at the beginning of the year. When we lost him, we were devastated, but we fought that season and the rest of our careers for him. I'm proud to accept this award because of him."
Four recipients also got an added bonus because of the generosity of Pine Belt Auto Group, which donated four $1,000 scholarships, one for an athlete of each gender from each county who were chosen randomly by a drawing. The recipients were Kennedy from Toms River East and Manchester football, basketball, golf and tennis player Robert Planter Jr. from Ocean County, and Colts Neck basketball and soccer player Colton LaLima and Freehold Township basketball player Taylor Devlin in Monmouth County.
The full list of recipients is as follows:
Asbury Park: Sal Swain (football/baseball); Rizwana Khan (cross country/track).
Barnegat: Kyle Morris (football/basketball); Sophia Beyer (soccer/lacrosse).
Brick: Joe Phillips (football/track); Kristianna Kawa (softball/tennis).
Brick Memorial: Karl-Mark Kumm (football/track); Danielle Bolton (lacrosse/volleyball).
Central: Joseph Firetto (cross country/indoor track/baseball); Erin Trapp (soccer/basketball/softball).
Christian Brothers Academy: Derek Leohner (basketball).
Colts Neck: Colton LaLima (soccer/basketball); Halley Cartas (soccer).
Donovan Catholic: Dale Barlet (football/wrestling/tennis); Janina Talamayan (swimming).
Freehold Boro: Joseph McMerty (soccer/volleyball); Rebecca Cobb (volleyball/basketball/track).
Freehold Twp.: Robert Griswold (swimming); Taylor Devlin (basketball).
Henry Hudson: Derek Lucas (soccer/basketball/baseball); Julia DiGiorgio (field hockey/softball).
Holmdel: Nicholas DeMaio (cross country/track); Morgan Graziano (basketball).
Howell: Anthony Pozsonyi (wrestling/lacrosse); Gabby Greene (basketball).
Jackson Liberty: Bryan Coger (cross country/track); Lindsay Corallo (soccer/track/lacrosse).
Jackson Memorial: Joe DeMaio (football/baseball); Jenna McDonnell (basketball/field hockey)
Keansburg: Tony Demir (football/wrestling); Shannon Kerrigan (wrestling/cheerleading).
Keyport: Jake Caverly (soccer/baseball); Gabrielle Piccini (basketball/softball).
Lacey: Chris Iapicco (basketball); Erika Schoeneberg (cross country/track).
Lakewood: Tomas Uribe Tobon (soccer/tennis); Phylice Beverette (basketball/volleyball).
Long Branch: John Mimes (football/wrestling/track); Violet Hoagland (field hockey/swimming/lacrosse).
Manalapan: Gerard Hodge-Rocourt (football/basketball/track); Tracey Dantone (basketball).
Manasquan: Kyle McDermott (cross country/track); Quinn Saito (softball).
Manchester: Robert Planter Jr. (football/basketball/golf/tennis); Katherine Chinery (cross country/track).
Marlboro: Andrew Nardi (baseball); Kristi Casale (soccer/basketball/lacrosse/track).
Matawan: Matt Isaacson (soccer/track); Colleen Branagan (basketball/soccer/track).
Mater Dei Prep: Jason Mandile (football/basketball); Lindsey Florio (soccer/basketball).
Middletown North: Zachary Gazette (soccer/hockey); Annie Rozzo (soccer/lacrosse).
Middletown South: Wes Friberg (hockey); Madison Curtis (soccer/basketball).
Monmouth: Matt Vincenti (soccer/baseball); Michelle Montefinese (soccer/basketball/softball).
Neptune: Justin Pack (golf); Taleeya Terrell (basketball/volleyball).
Ocean: Daniel Worthington (cross country/track); Samantha DaCruz (soccer/lacrosse).
Pinelands: Tom Poklikuha (soccer/cross country/wrestling); Juliana White (soccer/track).
Pt. Beach: Jake Fioretti (football/wrestling); Alexa Russell (volleyball/softball).
Pt. Boro: Owen Herrington (hockey/soccer/tennis); Emily Henn (soccer/basketball).
Ranney: Jacob Palecki (soccer/lacrosse); Kristen Guyler (tennis/swimming).
Raritan: Dylan DeWysockie (football/basketball); Daniella Marino (softball/basketball/field hockey).
Red Bank Catholic: Liam Byrne (basketball/golf); Grace Eckstein (cross country/track).
Red Bank: Jimmy Ferrogine (football/basketball); Mia Nelson (soccer/basketball/lacrosse)
Rumson-FH: Charlie Volker (football/track); Janie DeVito (soccer/track).
Shore: Matt McCarthy (basketball/baseball); Megan Racioppi (cross country/soccer/track/lacrosse).
Southern: Pat Ferraro (football/wrestling/track); Morgan Von Schmidt (soccer/swimming/lacrosse).
St. John Vianney: Andrew Zimms (soccer/volleyball); Anne Marie Arcidiacono (soccer/swimming/track).
St. Rose: Alex Oleck (soccer/track); Jacqueline Pettit (cross country/track).
Toms River East: Jordan Feigin (cross country/track); Amanda Kennedy (basketball).
Toms River North: Matthew Kazanowsky (swimming); Taylor Ward (volleyball/softball).
Toms River South: Tymere Berry (football/basketball); Chelsea Smith (cross country/track).
Wall: Brendan Barcas (soccer/basketball/baseball); Christina Tricarico (cross country/basketball/lacrosse).