By Benito Vila
“There is no off-season” is the slogan for an up-island training facility that some Pierson athletes go to. It speaks to the amount of preparation competitive athlete must put in to succeed.
This year’s Pierson senior class has at least three seniors going on to play in the college ranks: Abby Gawronski, field hockey at Division II Bentley (outside of Boston); Brandon Kruel, baseball at Division II C.W. Post; and Kyle McGowin at Division I Savannah State.
Those three, their classmates, their varsity and JV teammates, their parents and friends and the Pierson administrators all gathered in the cafeteria and then the gym last Wednesday to celebrate the collective achievements of Whaler spring sports and the spirit of the graduating seniors. The highlight, as always, was the “slide” montage, prepared this year by Kara Gengarelly, each school sport and each senior getting applause and recognition.
Before the slide show, special recognition awards for Most Valuable Player (MVP), Most Improved Player (MIP) and the Coach’s Award were given out by Pierson’s coaches. Softball varsity coach Melissa Edwards honored Lindsay Warne with her Coach’s Award, Kasey Gilbride with her MIP and selected Kaci Koehne and Melanie Stafford as her co-MVPs.
JV baseball coach Henry Meyer chose Joe Faraguna for the Coach’s Award, Colman Vila for MIP and Aaron Schiavoni for MVP. Varsity baseball coach Jonathan Tortorella recognized Brandon Kruel with his Coach’s Award and Kyle McGowin as his MVP. He awarded MIP to two players, Eddie Schall and Cesar Banados.
After those awards were distributed, each senior athlete was called up to receive a plaque for their effort and commitment in representing Pierson. That ended with the announcement of the most coveted senior awards: Outstanding Athlete of the Year, Most Valuable Player of the Year and Sportsperson of the Year.
Those award winners were Natalie Abbene and Joe Dowling for Outstanding Athlete of the Year; Aly Bori and Jeff Schimmer for Most Valuable Player of the Year and Alexia Faraguna and Luke Kirrane for Sportsperson of the Year.
Section XI Awards
This week, Pierson’s springtime athletes were honored by opposing coaches, softball’s Abbene and Warne selected All-League and Gilbride All-Division. Koehne and Stafford were named All-County with Stafford also being selected Pitcher of the Year. Coach Edwards came home with Coach of the Year honors, her team completing a 14-4 campaign.
The county’s baseball coaches recognized Kruel as All-League, McGowin as All-County and Mark Mahoney as Academic All-League.