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Class Night 2018

May 26, 2018

 

In the fall of 1922 the Stony Brook Athletic program was ignited when Clyde Mellinger, our school’s first Athletic Director, strode onto a field where 7-11 now stands, lined it, put up goal posts, and, with 12 boys and a handful of mismatched uniforms, started a football team that fabled first fall. In the intervening 96 years, Brookers, Blue Jays, Bruins, Shrikes, and Bears (all mascots we proudly represented over the decades) have earned well over 200 team championships and attained the highest individual honors from National Championships to All-American recognitions. This year’s group of Bears did not let the standard fall on their watch:

  • The girls’ volleyball team went undefeated, earning the first League Championship in their 28-year history, powered by League MVP and All-State recipient Sam Petersen.
  • The boys’ badminton team, just three years removed from their winless inaugural season, won the League Championship. The girls’ badminton team set a program wins record for the second straight year and, along with the boys, earned a berth in the Suffolk County Final 4 against some of the largest schools on the island. Additionally, Jerry Liu finished 3rd, while Mary Wang, and the doubles tandem of Leslie Kang & Melody Li took 4th in the individual County Championships, the highest finishes in program history.
  • The baseball team earned its first postseason berth in 19 years, thanks in large part to sophomore Joe Wozny’s school record 121 strikeouts and Aidan Mega’s gaudy .493 batting average.
  • Brandon Gicquel and Steven Ou earned the first Division Doubles Championship for the tennis team since 1993.
  • And Madi Sargent & Hunter Markowitz each set two school records while winning a pair of individual League Championships, the first since the early 2000s.

These accomplishments represent an incalculable amount of time and sacrifice, building your bodies and sharpening your skill in order to succeed athletically. As someone who grew up loving the Bears and who wore Stony Brook across my chest, these engender a tremendous amount of joy and pride in me.

But winning is not the highest goal at the Stony Brook School. If we are not challenging you to be as good a person as a soccer player, or runner, or wrestler, then we are shortchanging you in a way that no amount of yellowing banners or rust-prone trophies could repay. It’s for that reason that I take as much pride in seeing the baseball team bring joy to our faculty children with an afternoon clinic as I do a thrilling 16-12 comeback win over Port Jeff. I take as much pride in seeing Miranda Harrigan surrounded by opposing runners, concerned over her well-being after a fall at the County Championships, as I do in seeing her win a race. I take as much pride in seeing you face  losing with humility as I do seeing you win with grace.

Who you are and how you play is more important than the game’s final result. It is for that reason that Stony Brook teams walk off the field as champions no matter the final score. Years from now the result will be forgotten, but how you played will not fade away. There is something different about a Stony Brook athlete and I am so grateful for the coaches and athletes I get to work with every day. With that, let’s honor some of the individuals who made this year in athletics so special.

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Major Athletic Awards

John Long Manager’s Award

Given to the athletic team manager who shows the responsibility and dedication demonstrated by John Long, Class of ’75.

Our recipient went above and beyond his requirement by serving both the girls’ and boys’ swim teams, knowing that in doing so he would still need to participate in a spring sport.

  • Buomie Oruene

Clyde L. Mellinger Award

Two trophies in memory of Clyde L. Mellinger, the first Director of Athletics at The Stony Brook School, awarded to the eighth grade girl and boy, who have best demonstrated good sportmanship, courage, and best use of ability.

Each of these recipients made a significant impact on a varsity team this year.

  • Madison Sargent & Tiger Winston

Thomas W. Brohard, Jr. ’25 Wrestling Award

Named in honor of the SBS faculty member who is credited with bringing interscholastic wrestling to Long Island schools.  This annual cash award, endowed by Thomas W. Brohard III ’65, the late John S. Cather ’35 and his widow Edith Cather, is given to offset the college expenses of a wrestler.

  • Eze Barrah

The Bear Blanket

Presented to athletes who demonstrate a consistent contribution of quality performances in athletic competition based on a points system and an application.

  • Hannah Detwiler
  • Samantha Petersen
  • Steven Ou
  • Louis Wang

O. Floyd Johnson ’32 Scholar/Athlete Award

A plaque endowed by Philip and Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, awarded for excellence in scholarship and athletics.

  • Miranda Harrigan

Marvin W. Goldberg Coach’s Award

Awarded to the coach who has demonstrated professionalism, expertise and compassion towards his or her athletic team. This award is voted upon by the varsity coaches of the Stony Brook School, lending the recipient the admiration of his or her peers.

This coach brought energy, joy, and a palpable belief with him to the field every single day. In his daily work with his players he not only helped them grow as hitters, pitchers, and fielders, but as young men of character, who value each other and the way they play the game more than victory. But victory followed this team as our recipient guided the Bears to their first postseason berth since 1999.

  • Dustin Mones

Swanson Trophy for Superior Performance

Two trophies awarded in memory of the late Robert S. and Louise Swanson by Mary Jane and John P. Swanson ’47 for superior male and female athletic performance.

Our girls’ basketball program has a rich history of outstanding teams and exceptional individuals. In just two years with the program, our recipient placed herself among the best players to have taken this very floor with the likes of Rebecca Fischer ‘99, Kristyn Dunleavy ‘07, and Brannon Burke ‘11. This season she earned All-Conference and League MVP honors while averaging 20.6 points per game and knocking down 57 three-pointers, the 2nd-highest mark in Suffolk County. In addition, this season she became just the 6th girls’ player to eclipse the 1,000 career point milestone.

  • Beth Felix

The life of a swimmer can be a lonely one. The cheering crowds see merely the culmination of a lengthy process, forged in anonymity on cold mornings when the last thing a swimmer wants to do is enter the unforgiving water. The life of a swimmer is as much mental as it is physical, perhaps even more so, forcing one’s body through the pain and monotony of the seemingly endless lap, after lap, after lap. This swimmer not only withstood the daily crucible, but thrived in the midst of it. At February’s League Championships he claimed individual titles in the 50 free and 100 free, breaking school records in the process. He is only a sophomore, so many more marks on the Swanson record board could be in peril.

  • Hunter Markowitz

Swanson Trophy for Best All-Around Athlete

Two trophies awarded in memory of the late Robert S. and Louise Swanson by Mary Jane and John P. Swanson ’47 to the persons whose all-around ability, sportsmanship, and courage in varsity competition enabled them to make the greatest contribution to Stony Brook teams.

This year’s female recipient has been with us only a year, but what an impact she made in such a short time at the Brook. On the soccer pitch she led the team in scoring with 16 goals and 5 assists, including a pair of hat tricks, good enough for 20th in Suffolk County. On the basketball court she was an indispensable part of the team’s first playoff run since 2013. In a thrilling County semifinal victory over Pierson she pulled down 11 rebounds, blocked 3 shots, and drained a huge jumper to help lead the team back from a late-game deficit. On the lacrosse field her athleticism enabled her to make an immediate contribution despite being brand new to the sport. Our recipient is an outstanding athlete and helped lead two teams into the County Championship, but what makes her so valuable to the Bears, and an all-around athlete in the truest sense, is her willingness to put the team before herself. When Sophia DiLavore, our outstanding starting soccer goalie, went down with an injury, our recipient willingly stepped between the posts, knowing it would curb her scoring statistics. On the basketball court she played wherever she was asked, for as long as she was asked, often doing the unglamorous work of battling for rebounds and playing stout defense, all with an elegant balance of competitiveness and joy.

  • Leka Lee-Maeba

Our male recipient is the motor for all three of his teams. His perfectly-coifed, mid-game hair belies the tenacity and grit he brings to the soccer pitch, the basketball court, and the lacrosse field. He was an All-League recipient for the soccer team, commanding the midfield with his deft touch, sharp vision, and ankle-serrating handle. On the hardwood he earned All-League and Rookie of the Year honors while leading the team in rebounding and finishing as its 3rd-leading scorer. According to the all-seeing Brownworth formula, which calculates a player’s true impact by factoring in unheralded statistics, he had the team’s highest rating by 284 points. On the lacrosse field his 18 points ranked second on the team in scoring. What further sets him apart is his courage to rise in the game’s biggest moments, imbuing his teammates with a confidence, and even a little swagger, to finish the job.

  • Owen Sobel

Bruce Finlay Vanderveer Award

The Vanderveer Trophy is our school’s oldest athletic award. Endowed in memory of Bruce Vanderveer ’31 and presented to the athlete who has shown the highest qualitties of sportsmanship.  For 82 years it was presented specifically to a football player. Now it represents the standard for which every Stony Brook athlete should strive.

Bruce Vanderveer was a true Renaissance man. He starred at center for the Blue & White football team, garnered Cum Laude honors in the classroom, and was voted “Most Popular” by his classmates in the 1931 edition of Res Gestae. In his freshman year at Harvard he went out for the crew team and was elected captain, despite never having before pulled an oar. In addition he was a word class sailor and won the 1932 Internationals race by an astonishing 8 minutes over 27 other vessels. The newspaper recounted, “It might well have been said there was no second.” The day after that race, Bruce died in a car accident.

Upon Bruce’s death, Arthur S. Draper wrote the following about him: “A great sportsman is so modest that he is never conscious of his qualities.  He is bewildered by praise, abashed by compliments. His leadership lies in his native qualities–the things which have come to him through his parents. He is always natural, always playing his hardest because he knows no other way. He never cuts corners; he never thinks of anything except the course he is asked to steer.”

The very same could be said of this year’s recipient. Whether he is attacking the soccer goal with his dizzying speed or draining a three-pointer at a key moment of the game, he gives every ounce of what he has in pursuit of victory while honoring his team, school, and family in the way he does it. He shuns glory, revels in the success of his teammates, and plays the game as a true sportsman.

  • Jai Narain

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Fall Athletic Awards

Marvin Goldberg Boys Cross Country Award

Two plates endowed by the late David W. Cloos, M.D. ’61 and Nancy Cloos Babin.

  • Performance: Riley Corcoran
  • Contribution: Louis Wang

Girls Cross Country Award

  • Performance: Miranda Harrigan
  • Contribution: Sarah Wong

Golf Award

  • Performance: Chris Kang
  • Contribution: Steven Ou

Fall Dinghy Sailing Award

  • Performance: Thomas DeRose
  • Contribution: Jack Adams

Brandon Stuckey Boys Soccer Award

Two plates endowed by Phyllis and Schuyler Stuckey with love and pride for their son, Brandon Stuckey ’93.

  • Performance: Chris Swiatek
  • Contribution: David Choi

Girls Soccer Award

  • Performance: Alyssa Martinez
  • Contribution: Donna Sanders

Girls Swimming Award

  • Performance: Madison Sargent
  • Contribution: Rachel Crane

Buyers Girls Tennis Award

Two plates donated by Fred and Karen Jordan.  Mr. Jordan was the coach of the girls tennis team for its first fourteen years.

  • Performance: Sadhana Sridhar
  • Contribution: Marta Bennett

Volleyball Award

  • Performance: Samantha Petersen
  • Contribution: Lois Ezi

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Winter Athletic Awards

Taft Boys Basketball Award

Two plates endowed by Lyman Taft ’45.

  • Performance: Owen Sobel
  • Contribution: Emil Vaughn

Girls Basketball Award

  • Performance: Beth Felix
  • Contribution: Samantha Petersen

Boys Swimming Award

  • Performance: Hunter Markowitz
  • Contribution: Aidan Harrigan

Norman J. Wiedersum Wrestling Award

Two plates endowed by Norman J. Wiedersum ’39.

  • Performance: Chris Swiatek
  • Contribution: David Wadding

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Spring Athletic Awards

Boys Badminton Award

  • Performance: Jerry Liu
  • Contribution: David Wang

Girls Badminton Award

  • Performance: Melody Li
  • Contribution: Elena Chen

Swanson Baseball Award

Two plates given by Mary Jane and John P. Swanson ’47.

  • Performance: Joe Wozny
  • Contribution: Aidan Mega

Boys Lacrosse Award

  • Performance: Owen Sobel
  • Contribution: Joseph Spreckels

Girls Lacrosse Award

  • Performance: Margaret DiRuggiero
  • Contribution: Kate DiRuggiero

Spring Dinghy Sailing Award

  • Performance: Thomas DeRose
  • Contribution: Ella Simmons

Pierson Curtis Boys Tennis Award

Two plates given by the family of Mr. Jan C. Parmentier ’43, in memory of the School’s first tennis coach.

  • Performance: Brandon Gicquel
  • Contribution: Alan Wang

Downey Boys Track Award

Two plates given by the family of Bill and Earl Downey ’45, in their memory.

  • Performance: Louis Wang
  • Contribution: Riley Corcoran

Laura J. Shybunko Memorial Girls Track Award

Two plates endowed by the family of Laura J. Shybunko, mother of Donna Shybunko ’83 and Anne Shybunko Moore ’89, in memory of her life of courage and strength.

  • Performance: Francine Leung
  • Contribution: Sarah Wong

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