June 14, 2006

Bonackers Dish Out Awards At Banquet

Last Thursday evening East Hampton conducted its 24th Annual Varsity Athletic Awards Banquet at East Hampton High School, handing out both individual and team awards to many of its fall, winter and spring athletes.

Two of the most notable recipients were Willa Johann and Michael Tuths, who were each awarded the Kendall Madison Scholarship Award at the end of the night, bringing a standing ovation from the large crowd that filled East Hampton's gymnasium. Athletic Director Michael Burns delivered a heartfelt, emotional speech regarding Kendall, describing just how special a person he was before presenting the evening's final awards.

Moments later, Willa Johann and Michael Tuths were then honored by AD Burns with the East Hampton High School Paul Yuska Award, given to the most outstanding male and female student athletes who display ability, sportsmanship, leadership and dedication and who are each deemed role models for other student athletes. In order to qualify for this special award, a student must letter in two or more varsity sports during his or her senior year.

Johann, a member of the this season's Class C champion softball team, also was honored with the NYSAHPERD INC. Suffolk Zone Award, along with senior Mark Scioscia, a standout lacrosse player who had earlier received the team MVP award.

Johann also won numerous awards on the night, including the Channel 12 News Scholar Athlete Award and a Gold Key Award, sponsored by Section XI-New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

Other Gold Key award winners — student athletes must letter in a minimum of eight varsity sports from grades 10 through 12 in order to qualify for the award — were Kristin Carroza, Mary Fromm, Adam Mamay, Matthew McDonough, John Pineda, Helen Quigley, Christian Schenck and Melanie Sosinski.

Johann and Pineda were both honored with the prestigious East Hampton Scholar Athlete Award. The VFW Sports & Sportsmanship Award was handed by AD Burns to Michael Rodriguez and Kylie Titus, while Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame awards were given to both Johann and Tuths.

All of East Hampton's varsity teams were honored on Thursday, most notably, the Bonackers softball and boys' basketball teams. Jessie Stavola, the sophomore pitcher who helped lead East Hampton's softball team to a Suffolk County Class A championship this spring was named the team's Most Valuable Player while Willa Johann and Kristen Carroza, both seniors, won the coaches award. Carroza, a pitcher, didn't lose a game for the Lady Bonackers for two years.

With 378 career strikeouts, Stavola broke the program's all-time mark, recording 222 this season and shattering the old record of 247, held by Jackie Ewing. Stavola also broke the record for career shutouts with 16, totaling 10 this season, and she tied Ewing with the most career no-hitters (five). Stavola's two year varsity record is 36-4 overall and her next win will tie her for first in career victories.

It turned out to be a terrific evening for all in attendance as AD Burns and all of the varsity coaches honored East Hampton's athletes for their hard work, perseverance and achievements, big or small, this season.

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