March 14, 2014 at 3:10 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston High School Sports main gym was filled with student athletes, their families, coaches and school administrators gathering to recognize LHS participants in the 2013-2014 winter athletic sports program at the Sports Award Night on Tuesday.
This year’s winter sports athlete recognition night was well-attended and began with remarks from LHS Principal Mark Stern praising the athletes, coaches and families for their commitment to athletics and academics. Noting the challenge this season due to the harsh winter endured, Stern said that that the weather conditions did not hinder the dedication of the school’s athletes, parents and fans. The Livingston Big L Club’s president was also in attendance addressing the audience in support of the winter athletes and the school’s sports programs.
Livingston’s Athletic Director Patrick Genova also applauded the student athletes and explained the history of the accolades and how the winners were selected. Among the category of awards given, Livingston athletics recognized an “Athlete of the Month” whereby each month, one male and one female athlete were chosen for a total of six awards to student-athletes in this category for the three-month winter season.
Recipients of the “Athlete of the Month” award were:
- December—Brianna Valese (fencing) and Tom Heller (wrestling)
- January—Samantha Rothenberger (girls basketball) and Chandler Balter (track)
- February—Gabby Tartakovsky (fencing) and Brian Lilien (ice hockey)
Additionally, each winter varsity sports team chose one athlete for the “Best Teammate Award.” The coaches of the fencing, bowling, winter track, swimming, wrestling, ice hockey, and basketball teams named a “Best Teammate” for their respective teams.
Recipients of the “Best Teammate Award.” were:
- Joey Ratner—Boys Winter Track
- Jinny McIlvaine—Girls Fencing
- Cole Friedfertig—Ice Hockey
- Dylan Camche—Bowling
- Joe Romano—Boys Swimming
- Adam Belizzone—Boys Basketball
- Samantha Leschinsky—Girls Basketball
- Jocelyn Wang—Girls Swimming
- Jon Yap—Boys Fencing
- Mike Danenberg— Wrestling
- Kristi Kwok—Girls Winter Track
A special “Spirit Award” was also presented to an individual who demonstrated outstanding support, enthusiasm and spirit this past winter, with the award going to Jeremy Raiten.
Once the plaques were given out to award recipients in the main gym, each team had a break-out session in its own room dedicated to the individual sport where coaches gave further accolades, summaries of the season and discussed the individual team and its accomplishments.
The next Sports Awards Night dedicated to LHS spring sports will be at the conclusion of the 2014 spring sports season.