E.H. Athletes Cited At Awards Dinner

Boys soccer, swimming, girls volleyball strong
The Paul Yuska award winners, shown with the athletic director, Joe Vas, were Maggie Pizzo and Cort Heneveld. Jim Stewart

Maggie Pizzo, who’s going to Yale, where she’ll play lacrosse, and Cort Heneveld, who’s going to Annapolis, where he’ll also play lacrosse, were recipients of the Paul Yuska award, which goes to the senior class’s best athletes, at East Hampton High School’s awards dinner on June 4.

The dinner, while well-attended, was, as usual, a bit of a marathon, lasting a full three hours. Next year, said Joe Vas, East Hampton’s athletic director, the fall, winter, and spring seasons will be followed by awards nights, and the annual dinner will be forgone in favor of combining the school’s special athletics awards with its academic ones.

During the course of the evening, coaches of the school’s some two dozen teams spoke and cited their most valuable and most improved players, as well as the recipients of coaches’ awards, before the major awards — the Paul Yuska award being just one of them — were announced.

Concerning that latter category, Marina Preiss and Thomas Nelson were the recipients of Kendall Madison Foundation scholarships, which require that they help mentor East Hampton youth, and Nelson, Lucas Escobar, Raya O’Neal, and Danny McKee received East Hampton Coaches Association scholarship awards given to “athletes who plan to follow a career in the physical eduication, health, or related fields.”

Nelson, who’s going to High Point University in North Carolina, and Amanda Seekamp, who’s been recruited to play lacrosse at Hofstra, received the Athletic Director’s Award; Kathryn Wood won the East Hampton Town Women’s Slow-Pitch Softball League’s award, and the Molly Cangiolosi Outstanding Female Student-Athlete award went to Lily Goldman.

Seventeen teams (10 girls teams and 7 boys teams) were, because of cumulative averages above 90 percent, named as scholar-athlete ones by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. Girls tennis, which had on its roster the class’s valedictorian, Carly Grossman, who’s going to Georgetown, and its salutatorian, Maggie Pizzo, topped the list at 97.290.

Pizzo and Escobar, an outstanding wrestler, who’s going to Johns Hopkins, were the co-recipients of Scholar-Athlete plaques, New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Awards, and the Dellacave Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame Award. In addition, Pizzo, was cited as a News 12 scholar-athlete award winner. The U.S. Army scholar-athlete awards went to Shannen McCaffrey and Alex Osborne.

Boys soccer, girls volleyball, girls and boys swimming, and girls track were particularly strong this year.

In making her M.V.P. awards to the girls volleyball team’s senior captains, O’Neal and Christina Cangiolosi, Kathy McGeehan, the coach, said, “They were two of the best captains this program’s ever had, contributing in different ways — Christina by staying positive through setbacks like injuries, and Raya with her on-court leadership and performance. A five-year player, she leaves East Hampton leading in career assists, with 1,971, and second to Karen Bennett in career kills, with 311.”

O’Neal, who’s going to Hampton University (the first D-1 recruit McGeehan’s ever had), was one of four senior girls to win athletic scholarships to Division 1 schools; the others being Maggie Pizzo, Amanda Seekamp, and Preiss, who will swim at San Diego State. Cort Heneveld, who, as aforesaid, is going to Navy, became the ninth boy lacrosse player under Mike Vitulli to be recruited by a D-1 school.

Girls volleyball was a county finalist in the fall, and the boys soccer team, coached by Rich King, just missed getting back to the county championship game, which East Hampton had won in 2011 and 2012.

The team, said King, finished 14-3-1 over all, winning the league championship for the third year in a row. He added that the 14 shutouts and 7 goals allowed during the course of the season (four in a nonleaguer with St. Anthony’s, the third-ranked team in the nation) were school records.

The girls swimming team, coached by John McGeehan, placed 9th among the 26 entries in the county meet, and was, he said, saying farewell to Preiss, who had earned berths in four state championships during the course of her five-year varsity career.

The boys swimming team, coached by Craig Brierley, which placed 7th among 17 entries in the county meet, and finished at 5-2 (6-3), sent two of its swimmers — Trevor Mott and Thomas Brierley — to the states, and girls track, coached by Yani Cuesta,  at 3-2-1, enjoyed the school’s first winning season in that sport since 1999.

Dana Cebulski was girls track’s M.V.P. (as well as the M.V.P. of girls cross-country and girls winter track); Gabby Mc­Kay was most-improved, and Sadie Ward won the coaches’ award.

Heneveld and Pierson’s Drew Harvey shared the boys lacrosse team’s M.V.P. award. Sean Toole, the goalie, also of Pierson, was most-improved.

Pizzo was the girls lacrosse team’s M.V.P., and Amanda Seekamp and Jacqui Thorsen shared the coaches’ award.

Casey Waleko and McCaffrey were named co-recipients of the coaches’ award by the softball coach, Lou Reale, who named Maddie Schenck, an eighth grader, and Dylan Schleider, a ninth grader, as most-improved.

The most valuable player in baseball was Maykell Guzman, Patrick Silich was most improved, and Kyle McKee won the coaches’ award. Erik Engstrom was boys tracks’ M.V.P., Thomas Paradiso was most-improved, and Adam Cebul­ski won Luis Morales’s coaches’ award. In boys tennis, Michelle Kennedy named Julian MacGurn as the mv.p., Zach Bogetti as most-improved, and Brady Yusko as the recipient of the coaches’ award.

Most-valuable, most-improved, and coaches’ award recipients on the winter teams were:

Nelson, Kyle McKee, and Danny McKee, boys basketball; Jackie Messemer, Carley Seekamp, and Merissah Gilbert, girls basketball; Mott and Brierley, Joe Gengarelly, and Kyle Sturmann, boys swimming; Adam Cebulski, William Ellis, and Alex Osborne, boys winter track; Cebulski, Nina Piacentine, and Ward, girls winter track, and Lucas Escobar, Luciano Escobar, and Richie Browne, wrestling. Sheryl Hayes and Alexia Re were winter cheerleading’s most-improved participants, and Quincy King won Samone Johnson’s coaches’ award.

In the fall the M.V.P., most-improved, and coaches’ award winners were: Eng­strom, Jack Link, and Eric Perez,  boys cross-country; Dana Cebulski, Julia DeSousa, and Jackie Messemer, girls cross-country; Leonello Acevedo, Kelly Boles, and Grace Amaden, field hockey; Matthew Griffiths, Stephen Kane, and Turner Foster, golf; Nick West, Bryan Oreamuno, and Nick Quiroz, boys soccer; Amanda Seekamp and Rachel Harty, and Ali Harned, girls soccer [no coaches’ award was made]; Preiss, Diana Winthrop, and Marikate Ryan, girls swimming; Grossman, Pizzo, and Gillian Neubert and Daniella Dunphy, girls tennis, and Brady Yusko, Matt Lownes, and Peter Shilowich, boys volleyball.

Fall cheerleading citations went to Samara Banados (most-improved) and King (coaches’ award). Cheerleading recently was designated as a varsity sport by the New York Public High Schools Athletic Association — a move that Vas said was merited and “long overdue.”

Vas added that thanks was due to the Kendall Madison Foundation, which had donated $15,000 worth of equipment to the high school’s weight room, which is named in Kendall Madison’s memory, and to the East Hampton Rotary Club, which had donated $18,000 so that the scoreboard, named in memory of Brandon Hayes, could be fixed and upgraded.

In football, which is coached by Steve Redlus, the M.V.P. award went to Heneveld, a three-year starter at quarterback — the only one who’s done that, said Redlus, since Rich Cooney Jr. of the class of ’83 — the most-improved award went to Brock Kappel, and the coaches’ award went to Bryan Gamble.

A new award this year, the One Tough Bub Award, went to R.J. Notel, a senior who sustained a broken wrist in the first scrimmage of the season and who broke his nose in the homecoming win over Southampton “before coming back the following week to rush for 135 yards at Mercy, with 2 touchdowns, 10 tackles, and a blocked extra-point kick.”