HEUVELTON - The Heuvelton Central Girls Soccer team provided Coach Gus Burns with a constant flow of clutch efforts in the course of 16-1-2 season.
They also came through in the classroom as every member of the Bulldogs NAC West Championship squad qualified for a New York State Scholar-Athlete Award.
That afforded Coach Burns with more time to recognize the individual and collective achievements of the Lady Bulldogs at Thursday Nights Fall Sports Awards Night.
Burns and Boys Soccer Coach Dave Steele needed a lot of time to recognize an outstanding soccer campaign. A campaign which featured one of the best shootout performances ever by the Coach Steeles ninth seeded Bulldogs in an upset for the ages when they advanced past top-seeded Madrid-Waddington which went unbeaten in the NAC East Division.
Coach Steele, who is also Heuvelton Centrals Athletic Director, started the evening by thanking the modified and varsity soccer coaches, the players and their parents, the school districts administration and staff, the custodial crew the community, and anyone who supported the Bulldog teams in any way.
Entering the season Coach Steele urged a young team to concentrate on the fundamentals, have fun and work hard so that their hard work would pay off in the playoffs.
We lost nine seniors including the divisions Offensive MVP and seven players who produced 52 goals and 36 assists from our Class D Championship team of the year before, recalled Steele.
I didnt want to put this years team under a lot of pressure. We had some bumps along the road but we stayed positive and it did pay off in the playoffs.
The pay off came in the form on a 9-8 shootout win in the sectional quarter-finals against Madrid-Waddington after a 2-1 overtime victory at St. Regis Falls.
To advance past Madrid-Waddington was amazing and after the game we made it to Sergis for a team banquet, said Steele of his team which dropped a 1-0 decision to Morristown in the Class D1 championship game.
Coach Steele presented seven team awards at Thursdays awards night: Noah Steele - Rookie of the Year, Will Tennant - Outstanding Playmaker, Dylan Liscum - Mr. Hustle. Joe McDonnell - Offensive MVP, Mike Martin - Most Improved Player, goalie Zach LaShomb - Outstanding Defensive Player and Aiden Scagel - Captains Award.
McDonnell was also honored as a Second Team All-NAC selection, Scagel received the teams NAC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award and Lucas Brown was honored as a First Team All-NAC West selection.
Earning NAC All-Academic and/or NYS Scholar-Athlete Awards were: Scagel, Tennant, Casey Smith, Martin, Carter Pierce, Jordan McCauley, Josh Trathen, Ben Jacobs and Cole Piercey.
Other contributions to the season came from: Ethan Burwell, Andrew Streeter, Anthony Butterfield and Chris Lovely.
Coach Gus Burns opened his remarks by citing his team for allowing only five goals all year, allowing just one goal in 200 minutes of action to Chateaugay which downed Heuvelton 1-0 in overtime in the Section 10 Class D Championship game, posting a 14-0-2 record in winning a fourth straight NAC West Championship and earning a school record seven All-NAC West selections.
But what he was most impressed with was the way his team played with pride for their school and their community.
Playing so well against Chateaugay in the Class D finals showed that our program is right where we want it. We are losing outstanding seniors but we have a lot of good kids coming, said Burns.
The school spirit here at Heuvelton is outstanding. Heading the outstanding seniors was the trio of Alexis Weidner, Maddie St. Pierre and Logan Tallman who were part of 16-1-2 seasons as seniors and freshmen and enjoyed a four-year record of 59-9-6.
Weidner, who delivered 37 goals and 10 assists this season and career numbers of 80-27, was honored as the NAC West MVP and HCSs Outstanding Offensive Player for a second straight year.
Tallman was honored as the Most Valuable Player and Maddie St. Pierre was recognized as the Defensive MVP and also delivered five goals and 12 assists to the offense.
Other team awards went to goaltender Paige McCormick as the Most Improved Player, Nathalie Barr as the Rookie of the Year and Olivia St. Pierre and Eliza Jane Hamilton who received Coachs Awards.
Weidner, Tallman, Maddie St. Pierre, who also received the teams NAC Sportsmanship Award, and Hannah Thornhill all received First Team All-NAC West selection.
Olivia St. Pierre, Shelby Williams and Alex Steele were all honored as Second Team All-NAC West selections.
Olivia St. Pierre and Kylie Piercey were named as captains for next years team.
Also contributing to the wide-ranging success of the squad were: Rachel Thornhill who received an all-star award at the OFA Tournament, Renee Breault, Ashlynn Foster, Taylor Dawley, Karina Warren, Gabby Johnson, Kristin Harper, Miranda Donnelly, Erin Kennedy and Corrin Sherwin.