The Block “O” Booster Club revived the Block O Awards Night last year to honor the concept of the outstanding teammate. Block O Booster Club President Steve LaRose emphasized that concept in making introductory remarks before each coach in the school year made remarks on their team at the 2014 awards night on Monday.
“Tonight you athletes will receive a letter and pins for each sport you participate in. It may seem somewhat trite but please keep these in a shoebox somewhere. Fifteen years from now, you will want pull these out because they will mean a lot to you,” said LaRose.
“It symbolic that you were a member of a team and that you contributed to that team.”
Superintendent of Schools Tim Vernsey spoke of the pride which the school district felt for the 2013-14 Blue Devil athletes.
“You represented your parents and your school very well. We won a lot of championships and we had a tremendous number of scholar-athletes. We couldn’t be prouder of you,” said the superintendent.
“We didn’t have any of the problems that we have in some other years. Please keep your letters to remember this is the time of the your life.”
Guest speaker Matt Kelly, an assistant coach for the 2014 NCAA Division I Champion Clarkson University Women’s Hockey Team, spoke of how the Lady Knights became a team capable to beating a seemingly invincible University of Minnesota team riding a 63-game winning streak.
“We had players who set high goals and believed in themselves. They knew that there was no easy task,” said Kelly who urged the athletes to follow the advice of University of Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban who said “you can either invest your time or spend your time”.
After the coaches made their presentations the school district presented its Outstanding Senior Athlete Awards.
Four athletes were honored who exemplified the concept of the outstanding teammate as well as the outstanding performer.
The Marilyn (May) Ferguson Memorial Award went to Paige Perry and is presented each year to a well-rounded senior female student athlete who has made positive contributions to the Interscholastic Athletic Program and exemplifies those qualities which coaches want to see in OFA Student-Athletes.
Paige Perry, the daughter of Bob and Dana Perry, transferred into the district last year and has made significant impressions as a valued reserve in volleyball, basketball and softball.
She will attend SUNY Potsdam in the fall.
Track-field standout Charlotte Miller, the daughter of Mike and Shirley Miller, received the Carolyn Elliott Memorial Award which is presented each year to an outstanding senior female student-athlete who embodies Leadership in athletic and school activities, Scholarship with above average competence in academics and Service with awareness for others as well as excellence in athletics while demonstrating sportsmanship.
Matt Piercey, the son of Jeff and Suellen Piercey, received the James A. Pinkerton Memorial Award which is presented to a well-rounded senior male student athlete who has made positive contributions to the Interscholastic Athletic Program and exemplifies those qualities which coaches want to see in OFA Student-Athletes.
As a senior Piercey played key roles for an NAC Central Division Champion Boys Soccer team, a number two state-ranked basketball team which won dominant division, sectional and intersectional titles on its way to the New York State Class B Final Four and a golf team which repeated NAC Division I and Section 10 Division I Championships. Piercey set a single season school record for assists, earned a spot on the All-New York State Tournament Team and plans to continue his basketball career at SUNY Potsdam.
Conor Hannan, the son of Tom and Debbie Hannan, received the James P. Seymour Memorial Award which is presented each year to an outstanding senior female student-athlete who embodies Leadership in athletic and school activities, Scholarship with above average competence in academics and Service with awareness for others as well as excellence in athletics while demonstrating sportsmanship.
Hannan, who willa ttend North Carolina State in the fall, was a scoring leader for an NAC Central Champion Boys Soccer team, an prototype sixth-man in the basketball team’s dominant run to the New York State Final Four and played a lead role in OFA’s back-to-back NAC and Section 10 Golf Championships.
He completed his career on a fitting note by placing 40th in a field of 197 at the New York State Golf Championships.
The evening closed with OFA Athletic Director Tony Bjork recognizing The Journal-Advance News Sports Editor Dave Shea for his 40 plus years of covering sports in the school district.
“I would like to take a few moments to pay honor to a highly respected, honorary member of the OFA Interscholastic Athletic Department,” said Bjork.
“As we all know, Dave “Doc” Shea is retiring from the paper this summer. OFA would like to pay tribute to this exemplary man for all of the time, effort, and energy he has given to our school, and our entire sports community, over the years.”