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2015 SB Awards

July 15, 2015
Jyles Etienne took home SBs for Breakthrough Athlete & Play of the Year (Photo credit: Bruce Jeffrey)

Jyles Etienne took home SBs for Breakthrough Athlete & Play of the Year (Photo credit: Bruce Jeffrey)

Tonight ESPN will celebrate the year in sports with the 23rd Annual ESPY Awards (“ESPY” stands for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly). Coinciding with that occasion are the SB Awards, a celebration of the year in Stony Brook athletics.

2014-15 was another memorable year for the Bears. Three more banners were added to the walls of Swanson Gymnasium as the girls’ and boys’ tennis teams conquered their respective league and the boys’ basketball team claimed a 3rd straight Class C County Championship. This year school records fell, individual milestones were achieved, and our community was given innumerable moments of pride in our student-athletes and coaches. Two athletes also signed on with Division I teams as Emily Pius ’15 accepted an offer to play soccer at High Point University and Jerome Washington ’12 committed to play football at the University of Miami. The SB Awards were created to honor those achievements.

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Rising Cub Award

Given to the middle schooler who made the greatest contribution to a varsity team.

Nominees:

  • Sadhana Sridhar was a dominant force at number two singles for a girls’ tennis squad that finished undefeated in league play.
  • Seamus Scanlon was a major contributor on the baseball team with several strong pitching performances.
  • Ella Simmons was a potent offensive weapon for the girls’ soccer team, including a two-goal performance vs. Pierson.
  • Stephen Ou was one of the top golfers for the Brook. He shot a 42 to win his match vs. John Glenn on Oct. 1st.
  • Josh Zhang was a key contributor for the baseball team, earning a win on the mound.

Winner: Jake Tutuska was a contributor on three varsity teams: football, wrestling, and baseball. In wrestling, he finished 4th in the 152-pound weight class at the County Finals, an incredible accomplishment for a 7th-grader.

Newcomer Award

Given to the first-year student that made the greatest contribution to varsity athletics.

Nominees:

  • Robbie Colarusso was the MVP of the boys’ basketball team, helping them win a 3rd straight County Title. He was named All-State and was one of the Top 25 scorers in Suffolk County.
  • Luke Meyer was key to the boys’ basketball team’s title run this year. His penchant for the big play and headiness with the ball made him indispensable.
  • Martin Sadlon was a force at first singles for the boys’ tennis team that finished first in League VI.
  • Aaron Jobst anchored the defense for the boys’ soccer team and was a steadfast contributor for the boys’ tennis squad.

Winner: Jyles Etienne was a shot-blocking terror for the boys’ basketball team and a dominant interior scorer at times. As the MVP of the track team, he broke the 50-year-old school record in the high jump as well as the javelin throw. His 6′ 8″ mark in the high jump was the 10th best among sophomores in America.

Breakthrough Athlete Award

Given to the returning Brooker that emerged as a major contributor on their respective team.

Nominees:

  • David Choi emerged as one of the boys’ soccer team’s most dangerous scoring threats. He recorded a hat trick in a three-goal comeback victory over Greenport.
  • Chelsea Garbe was a consistent contributor at third doubles for the undefeated girls’ tennis team. She also stepped up into singles roles whenever needed. She was a consummate teammate that did whatever it took to help the team win.
  • Julia Ray emerged as a leader in the sailing program, earning the MVP award for the Fall Dinghy Sailing team.
  • Jason Lee emerged as a potent scorer for the boys’ soccer team.
  • Meghan Hutzler was one of the strongest horizontal jumpers and middle distance runners for the girls’ track team.

Winner: Rosa Jones qualified for the boys’ County Golf Tournament and was the MVP of the girls’ track team as the squad’s strongest middle distance runner.

Unsung Hero Award

Given to the athlete whose contributions to their team were significant, yet often went unheralded.

Nominees:

  • Sam Petersen may not have always had the highlight reel spike or block, but her exceptional skill and savvy play was integral to the volleyball team’s run to the County Finals in the fall. She was the motor that made the team go.
  • Ben DiRuggiero was a steady presence in the backfield as a key member of the boys’ soccer team’s defense.
  • John Desan didn’t win many races, but a cross country team’s success lies in the consistency of all five runners. His steady presence as the third scorer was vital to the team.
  • Anna Wadding, though a star on the soccer pitch, was not the primary scoring option for the girls’ basketball team. However, her quiet leadership and work ethic made her a vital contributor to the team.

Winner: Morgan Pius is an All-State caliber forward on the soccer pitch, but when her team needed her athleticism between the goal posts, she selflessly took on the role. She would often play half the game in goal to keep the Bears in the game, then move to the field for a second half offensive punch. Her hat trick vs. Smithtown Christian was evidence that she could still be a devastating offensive weapon even in limited time.

Fan Performance of the Year

Nominees:

  • Football vs. Wyandanch | Sept. 12th | The Blue Fan Group’s first major event began with 100 blue streamers being thrown into the night sky and culminated with a 26-6 win over the Warriors.
  • Boys’ Basketball vs. Haldane | March 13th | Hundreds of fans turned out for the boys’ Regional Championship game. The Blue Fan Group captains created over twenty cardboard big heads of players, coaches, and a brotastic Mr. Radcliff. The boys’ trailed by 20 in the 4th quarter, but the BFG never quit on them, willing them to within 5 points of the Blue Devils.
  • Volleyball vs. Greenport | Oct. 27th | Though the girls would drop a thriller to the Porters, the Blue Fan Group hung on every bump, set, and spike to create an electric atmosphere in Swanson.
  • JV Girls’ Basketball vs. Smithtown Christian | Jan. 16th | Since their games occur during the dinner hour, the junior varsity girls’ basketball team often plays without a bevy of fans to cheer them on. On this particular night, a large contingent of freshman boys arrived after the meal and willed the team back from a large deficit with their enthusiastic cheering. Their impact on the game was immediate and left our girls’ with smiles despite a tough loss.

Winner: Boys’ Basketball vs. Smithtown Christian | Feb. 6th | On Senior Night the Blue Fan Group changed their color for a White Out. The rowdy fans helped the Bears pull out a thrilling 52-50 win and then stormed the court to cap an unforgettable night in Swanson.

Sportsmanship Award

Given to the athlete who competes with excellence and in a way that honors themselves, their team, and their school.

Nominees:

  • Hannah Abrahamsen was a leader on both the volleyball and basketball squads and always in a way that would elicit nothing but pride from her coaches.
  • Erik Holvik was a consummate leader for the football, basketball, and baseball teams. He competed as hard as anyone, but always in a way that honored the school and his team.
  • Angela Wong was a fierce opponent on the tennis court, but always treated her opponents with the respect they deserved.
  • Cordae Mattson was an offensive and defensive star for the volleyball team and was the track team’s best high jumper, but she always competed with a smile and humble spirit.

Winner: Miranda Harrigan will fight as long as she can and give everything she has on the cross country course or the track, but always with a positive attitude and in a way that honors the blue and white.

Alumni Award

Given to the alumnus or alumna who has excelled in athletics beyond Stony Brook.

Nominees:

  • Rod Odom ’09 was one of the most potent offensive weapons and best rebounder for the KAOD Basketball Club based in Drama, Greece.
  • Danielle Spiliotis ’09 also played professional basketball in Greece for Terpsithea Glyfadas, based in Athens. She was the second-best scorer on the team at 10.2 points per game and its second-best rebounder (6.1 per game).
  • Emily Anderson ’11 was the MVP for her William Smith College crew team as she helped the Herons to a 5th consecutive Liberty League title.
  • Jerome Washington ’12 had a breakout football season in which he tallied 8 touchdowns, 24 receptions, and 510 receiving yards for Gattaca Football. His impressive play garnered scholarship offers from the likes of Alabama, Nebraska, and Washington, but he committed to the University of Miami and is expected to contribute right away at the tight end position.

Winner: Donna Liotine ’11 capped a memorable soccer career at Adelphi University. She was named team captain, garnered 1st Team All-Conference honors for a second straight year, and made the Northeast-10 All-Tournament Team, the All-Region 2nd Team, and the All-ECAC 1st Team. She also led the conference in penalty kick goals (4).

Game of the Year

Nominees:

  • Boys’ Tennis vs. Sachem North | April 28th | After narrowly edging the Flaming Arrows 4-3 just two weeks earlier, the Bears won in dominant fashion, 6-1, to clinch the outright League VI title.
  • Girls’ Tennis vs. Sachem East | Oct. 9th | The girls edged Sachem East 4-3 on Sept. 17th, the Arrows’ only loss to that point. The Bears needed to top them again to finish 12-0 and earn the undisputed League Championship. The match was tied at 3-3 and the outcome rested in the hands of a 7th-grader with a scorching forehand, named Sadhana Sridhar. After winning the first set 6-2, she dropped the second, 5-7. Sadhana found the strength to grab the momentum back and overcome her opponent, 6-3, helping the Bears complete their quest for perfection.
  • Boys’ Basketball vs. Smithtown Christian | Feb. 6th | The Bears pulled out a 52-50 thriller on Senior Night that ended with a sea of white storming the court.
  • Girls’ Soccer vs. Smithtown Christian | Sept. 23 | The Bears trailed the Knights by three goals, but Morgan Pius’ second half hat trick led them all the way back in a 5-3 win, the largest comeback victory in program history.

Winner: Boys’ Soccer vs. Port Jeff | Sept. 24The Bears were down by three goals with just 15 minutes left, but rallied to score three straight in just 13 minutes. Jason Lee’s volley from 40 yards with 30 seconds left gave the Brook a miraculous 6-5 win.

Play of the Year

Nominees:

  • Jason Lee vs. Port Jeff | Sept. 24th | With just 30 seconds remaining Lee struck a volley from 40 yards that sailed over the outstretched arms of the keeper and into the net for the go-ahead goal in the Bears’ incredible 6-5 comeback win.
  • Luke O’Connor vs. Pierson | Feb. 16th | With 2:19 left in the County Championship, O’Connor drilled a 3-pointer to put the Bears up by two on the way to a 44-39 win and a 3rd straight Class C title.
  • David Choi vs. Greenport | Oct. 21st | After trailing 0-3 to begin the game, the Bears battled back to tie the game at 3-3. With four minutes left, David Choi found the top shelf on a free kick from just outside the box to give the Brook a thrilling 4-3 win.
  • Robbie Colarusso vs. Haldane | March 13th | With time waning in the 4th quarter of the Regional Championship, Colarusso became just the 7th boys’ basketball member of the 1,000 Point Club with a three-pointer.
  • Annie Skorobohaty vs. Shelter Island | Jan. 20th | With just 16 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter and the game tied at 24-24, Annie drilled a 3-pointer to beat the Islanders 27-24 on their own court.

Winner: Jyles Etienne at the Bahamas Open Nationals | June 27th | Having already broken our 50-year-old high jump record at the New Balance Nationals, Etienne shattered his own record with a 6′ 8″ jump at the Bahamas Open Nationals. It was the 10th best jump in America among sophomores.

Team of the Year

Nominees:

  • Boys’ Tennis earned a second League Championship in three years with a dominant 9-1 record.
  • Volleyball earned a spot in the playoffs despite being in a Class C laden league. They earned a berth in the Class D County Championship.
  • Girls’ Cross Country finished with a 4-2 league record and took 3rd place in the County Championship.
  • Boys’ Basketball finished second in League VIII and won a 3rd straight Class C County Championship.

Winner: Girls’ Tennis won the League VI Championship in dominant fashion, knifing through the competition with a 12-0 record. Their 13 overall wins tied them with the 2012 team for the most in program history.

Buddy Pierce Courage Award

On October 11, 1983, in a JV football game against Lutheran, sophomore Buddy Pierce fractured his spinal cord leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.  The Stony Brook community was rocked by Buddy’s injury, but it was Buddy himself, laid up in a hospital bed at Stony Brook University Hospital, who helped heal the community’s heart with his courage, grace, cheer, and will to overcome.  The Buddy Pierce Courage Award is given to a Stony Brook athlete who exhibits these same qualities.

Nominees:

  • Nancy Lin rolled her ankle in the first set of a Sept. 17th tennis match against Sachem East. Instead of succumbing to the pain, she shook off the rolled ankle and a deficit in the second set to win a key match, 6-4, 7-5, in the Bears’ 4-3 victory.
  • Robbie Colarusso sustained a tear in his left shoulder mid-way through the Bears’ County Championship basketball game vs. Pierson. The senior guard persevered to lead the Brook with 17 points, including two clutch free throws in the waning moments of the Bears’ 44-39 win.
  • Cianka Haynes was just four days removed from a foot injury that had hampered her running during most of the cross country season. She showed courage and selflessness by running in the County Championship, pushing through the pain on the way to an 18th place finish.
  • Meghan Hutzler battled knee pain all track season. Despite the pain, Meghan continued to triple jump and run, giving everything she had every meet for the Bears.

Winner: Jackson Painter had a litany of injuries throughout the entire football season. A separated shoulder. An injured wrist. Either would have kept most players from the field, but the senior’s leadership and courage shown through every time he took the field.

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The SBs

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