A total of eight Cortland County students from four different schools were recognized at this year’s Section III Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner in SRC Arena.
These four schools include, Cortland, McGraw, Cincinnatus and Homer.
Student athletes came along with their families and their school’s athletic directors, in order to enjoy the ceremony.
One of these student athletes who was recognized, was David Simmonds from McGraw High School. Who is planning on attending SUNY Binghamton next year. As he played both baseball and soccer.
“It feels like a great accomplishment,” said Simmonds. “Even though I am not the best athlete at my school, I am the valedictorian. A person who helped me a lot was Coach Shawn May for baseball. He has been a great part of me developing not just as an athlete, but as a person as well.”
Simmonds made history with the McGraw baseball team after winning sectionals with the team this past season. He also won sectionals for soccer during his tenth grade year.
Another student from McGraw that was recognized at the awards dinner was, Desirae Livermore. As she was a soccer star for the Eagles.
“Winning my first sectional round with our soccer team is my proudest memory as an athlete,” said Livermore. “I wish we could’ve gone further, but we never did that during my previous three years. My mother has been my greatest motivator. She has always made sure that I am on time for practice and every game.”
Livermore will continue her soccer career playing at Cayuga Community College.
One of the students from Cortland Sr/Jr High School, that was recognized, was Lauren Swartz. Who is a three sport athlete, as she played Field Hockey, Ice Hockey and Lacrosse.
“I am honored to be here honestly,” said Swartz. “I think that it’s awesome see this big of an event and seeing other student athletes who have worked hard and dedicated themselves excelling both on the field and the classroom.”
Swartz recently had a great lacrosse season,as she recorded a total of 50 goals and 11 assists.
“It was an amazing season,” said Swartz. “I was able to play with a lot of my really close friends that I’ve been playing with since I was little. Last year I had a knee injury and didn’t play as much as I wanted to. So being able to come back strong and have a great senior season was a great feeling.”
Cortland Cross Country and Track star, Alexander Ryan was also in attendance.
“Being an athlete was one of the best parts of being in High school,” said Ryan. “Being able to practice every day with the same group, improving and seeing how your training pays off is outstanding. I love it.”
Both Cortland athletes will continue their athletic careers in college. With Ryan running track at RPI and Swartz playing both Field Hockey and Lacrosse at St. John Fisher College.
For Cincinnatus, Miranda Wolf and Christian Gallow were recognized. With Wolf being a three sport athlete playing Soccer, Basketball and Track & Field. While Gallow played Soccer and did Shot-put in Track & Field.
They both had great soccer seasons this past fall. With both winning sectionals and qualifying for the State regional tournament.
“It felt really good to win sectionals for soccer this year,” said Gallow. “We worked really hard to get there. Now I am just excited and can’t wait to go to college. I will most likely be playing inter murals.”
Gallow has committed to attend RIT next year.
“I feel like both Chris and I have worked extremely hard to keep our grades up,” said Wolf. “It feels nice to be recognized for it.”
After going all the way to the State regionals semi-finals, Wolf is excited to go to college at Clarkson University. As she plans to play at either the club or varsity soccer team.
“My favorite memory as an athlete, was winning sectionals in penalty kicks against Poland, who is one of our biggest rivals,” added Wolf. “It was heart warming making it far into the season. I’ve been on varsity for five straight seasons. So it is great to see hard work paying off.”
Homer was not able to attend the awards dinner, as they hosted their own awards ceremony last night.
The two Homer student athletes who were recognized at the awards dinner were:
- Reagan O’Donnell – Volleyball, Basketball, Track & Field, Lacrosse; plans to attend Clarkson University
- Adam Brown – Soccer, Tennis; plans to attend Houghton College