Sports Caravan Recognizes Berkshire Student Athletes
|Cori Ghidotti of Drury High School, this year's Sports Caravan Female Athlete of the Year, gets a medal for her swimming achievements from WSBS station manager David Isby on Wednesday night.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire County high school athletes, coaches, and referees were recognized at the 52nd annual Sports Caravan Awards dinner at the Crowne Plaza on Tuesday night.
The WBEC 1420 and Pittsfield Cooperative Bank sponsors the event that celebrates the athletes from a range of sports and with a designated a male and female athlete and coach of the year.
Peter Barry, general manager of WBEC, welcomed the athletes, coaches, and their families and said how proud he is of the student athletes.
"I am continually amazed by the talent of the student-athletes that come before us; in a world filled with temptation and distraction the athletes here tonight have stayed the course and excelled and a bright future awaits them," Barry said. "Whenever I hear someone express doubts about the younger generation I think about the athletes that are recognized at this event, and I know our future is in good hands."
Twenty-five students from around the county were recognized as Athletes of the Year in their respective sports; they also received scholarships and the coaches, scholarships for their schools.
Female Athlete of the Year was Cori Ghidotti of Drury High School. Ghidotti played soccer, ran track and field, and swam. She plans to study physical therapy at Ithaca (N.Y.) College and to swim.
Ghidotti reflected on the important skills and lessons being a student athlete taught her.
"The past five years I played on the Drury field were some of the best memories I had here at Drury, and as a whole, it taught me to never give up, to have fun, and to work hard on and off the field," Ghidotti said. "Participating in high school sports shaped me into the kind of player and athlete I wanted to be and for that I am very grateful."
Male Athlete of the Year was Heamon Williams of Lee High School. Williams played soccer, football, baseball and basketball. He plans to attend Fairfield (Conn.) University and wants to study finance and economics.
Williams said he enjoyed the friendships he made through sports.
"The best part about playing sports for me is meeting kids from other schools … because when you see them latter on in life they are not really going to remember who won the game, but they are going to remember that I was a nice guy," Williams said. "The best part of sports for me was when I could make friends."
Coach of the Year in a female sport was awarded to John Warner, who coaches Lee volleyball. Warner has coached volleyball at Lee for 11 years.
Warner reflected on his past years playing volleyball and how he has become one of the "old farts" he used to laugh at as a younger man at volleyball alumni banquets.
"They would come up with their canes and walkers, and they would sit at the head table; I thought that back then when I was a 25-year-old punk by the nickname Johnny Rotten in volleyball circles," Warner said. "I fast forward through decades and all of the sudden I am inducted into the Berkshire County Volleyball Hall of Fame, and I remember standing up there and all of the sudden it dawned on me that I was one of those old farts."
Recipient of the Coach of the Year in a male sport was Hoosac Valley football coach Dayne Poirot. Poirot has been a head coach for two years and was the assistant coach for seven. He led the Hurricanes to a Western Mass Division V Championship last year and into the semifinals the year before ( and a 14-0 victory against archrival Drury).
Poirot told the students to surround themselves with good people.
"If I could give any advice to the student athletes in this room … it would be to surround yourselves with great people and to never stop learning," Poirot said.
The recipient of the third annual John Codey Officials Award was Wray Gunn. Gunn has been a referee in the Berkshires for more than 35 years.
Gunn said Berkshire County has recently become a larger presence in Massachusetts athletics.
"The competition in Berkshire County is very tough because everyone is out there trying to be better than the other," Gunn said. "In the last decade I believe a majority of the teams in Western Mass tournaments have been from Berkshire County because they start playing each other all over again."
|Boys Alpine Skiing||Trent Pfeiffer, Monument Mountain||Boys Lacrosse||Michael McCormack, Mount Greylock|
|Girls Alpine Skiing||Jen Evans, Monument Mountain||Girls Lacrosse||Sarah Stripp, Mount Greylock|
|Baseball||Joe Dewey, Taconic||Boys Swimming||George Sommerville, Taconic|
|Softball||Alicia Bazonski, Mount Everett||Girls Swimming||Cori Ghidotti, Drury|
|Boys Basketball||Heamon Williams, Lee||Girls Tennis||Samantha White, Monument Mountain|
|Girls Basketball||Jen Gale, Hoosac Valley||Boys Tennis||Nyein Soe, Mount Greylock|
|Boys Cross Country||Tucker McNinch, Lenox||Boys Soccer||Kevin Boino, Wahconah|
|Girls Cross Country||Emily Kaegi, Mount Greylock||Girls Soccer||Maddie Sprague, Wahconah|
|Football||Ethan Wells, Wahconah||Boys Track & Field||Conor Storti, Monument Mountain|
|Golf||Matt Lawrence, Drury||Girls Track & Field||Jenna Phelps, Mount Greylock|
|Hockey||Pat Jamross, Wahconah||Boys Cross Country Skiing||Will Nolan, Mount Greylock|
|Volleyball||Katie Morin, Lee||Girls Cross Country Skiing||Grace Smith, Mount Greylock|
|Wrestling||Bradley Lupiani, Mount Everett|
Tags: awards, banquet, coaches, graduation 2014, high school sports,