Athletic Bonds and Determination Celebrated at the Fall Athletic Awards Ceremony

Ryan Fan, Staff Writer

On November 6, 2014, Ward Melville JV and Varsity athletes attended the first Athletic Awards Ceremony of the 2014-2015 school year to be recognized for their hard work and accomplishments throughout the fall season. This ceremony was the first of many for freshmen athletes, but unfortunately also a final toast to the commitment of departing seniors. It saw the Ward Melville athletic community band together to collectively bear crushing defeats as well as celebrate tremendous victories through a long and arduous season.

“We had a good turnout from most of the teams that participated in our first Athletic Awards Ceremony of the 2014-2015 school year,” said Ward Melville Athletic Director, Erin Blaney. “I appreciate the contributions of parents, coaches, and the athletic staff in ensuring a very successful season.”

Of the teams that participated in the Awards Ceremony, the Girls Gymnastics and Girls Swimming and Diving teams won the Section XI County Championships, one of many consecutive County Championships won by both teams. Both teams also went undefeated in respective League I competitions. The Girls Swimming and Diving Team won its 23rd consecutive county championship – a feat accomplished by few rival programs in the state.

The Boys Golf Team, coached by Mr. Spira, completed yet another undefeated season. The team attained a 6-0 League VI record.

Both the Boys and Girls Soccer Teams finished their seasons with winning records (7-2-2 and 13-0-1 conference records respectively), going further into the playoff brackets. Unfortunately, despite strong efforts from both teams, the boys team fell to Walt Whitman in the quarterfinal round while the girls team fell to Huntington in the first round.

The Boys and Girls Volleyball Teams also completed their seasons in impressive fashion, with respective conference records of 10-5 and 12-1 Both teams made the playoffs but were eliminated in the latter stages of the playoff brackets, with the boys team falling to Sachem North in the semifinal round and the girls team falling to Connetquot in the semifinal round.

The Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams completed their seasons with 5-0 and 4-1 records respectively. At the Warwick Wave Mania Invitational, both teams won the Varsity II race, solidifying their positions among the state’s elite. At the Section XI County Championships, both teams finished a close second to Sachem North and Sachem East respectively.

The Girls Tennis Team finished its season with a splendid 14-1 winning conference record. It fell to William Floyd in the county semifinals with a score of 2.5-4.5.

The Girls Field Hockey Team completed its season with a 12-2 conference record and rode its momentum to the Suffolk A county championship final. Unfortunately, it fell to  Sachem East with a score of 0-1 in the county final.

The Ward Melville Football Team finished its season with a 3-5 League I record and a close victory over Bay Shore in the Homecoming game.

This season, an unfavorable theme among many of Ward Melville’s teams was just falling short of winning county championships. To the athletic community, this theme has caused a great deal of hardship for the potential each individual team possessed. But at the Athletic Awards Ceremony, the community celebrated the already impressive accomplishments of these teams, as well as individual accomplishments. All-County, All-Conference, and All-League Honors were awarded with in seemingly indiscriminate fashion to some of Suffolk County’s most talented athletes at Ward Melville. For some individuals, the season continues and will not end until well into November or even December.

Above all, every team, despite frustrating losses or records, emphasized the importance of family among their teams. For Ward Melville teams, the barriers of team and school had been transcended to become a second family for their members. As families, the teams cheered together, suffered together, and triumphed together and left a tradition of friendship, integrity, and fraternity for JV and younger athletes to carry on. No matter the final result of the season, members of each team poignantly cherish time spent together, and shed tears as graduating seniors depart. For junior leaders taking the torch, this will certainly be a tough act to follow.