'SECAUCUS, NJ - Cross country and track runners TK Kasper and Roberta LaBarbera were named the winners of the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference Sportsmanship Award for Hasbrouck Heights.
Each year the NJIC holds its annual Sportsmanship banquet. Representatives from each school are selected for this prestigious honor and attend a luncheon where each student-athlete is called up to the dais to receive their award plaque. Due to the pandemic the banquet was canceled.
“Please know that our athletic directors are going to make the rounds to be certain that every honored individual will receive their award,” said NJIC Executive Director Stan Fryzcynski. “The entire NJIC wishes to congratulate this very special group of student-athletes. They represent all that is outstanding in interscholastic athletics.”
"At our school selecting students as our sportsmanship award winner is no easy task as we have many deserving athletes," stated Hasbrouck Heights athletic director Mike Scuilla. "After polling all the coaches this year our winners were obvious. Roberta LaBarbera and TK Kasper as role models in every sense of the term. To say that both are polite, positive, and hard-working is an understatement. They are both part of our state powerhouse cross-country and track teams. Winning is never easy but with athletes like Roberta and TK on your team you will always have an advantage over your competition. I wish them both much success in their future endeavors. Congratulations."
“It's a real honor that two cross-country runners were the Hasbrouck Heights recipients of the NJIC Sportsmanship Award,“ stated Hasbrouck Heights cross-country head coach Mike Ryan. “Both of these athletes are hard-working, dedicated, enthusiastic, and role models for our program, high school and community, not just as athletes, but academically as well.”
“Both are tremendous leaders and are examples for their teammates to follow. Their leadership qualities are the reasons why Roberta was two year captain and TK a captain his senior year. Both these athletes are reason why our programs were so successful during their tenures at Hasbrouck Heights.”
“Both were varsity runners on three straight NJIC Meadowlands and Bergen County championship teams from 2017-2019,” Ryan stated. “TK was a varsity runner on the 2018 that qualified for the NJ State Meet of Champs for the first time ever, and the 2019 team that finished third at the Bergen Meet of Champs, second highest place by a group 1 school and the first team to win a state sectional title since 1974.”
“TK was a two time first team all-league runner and Roberta a three time first team all-league runner,“ said Ryan. “These attributes and accomplishments epitomize athletes who deserve to be honored with this NJIC Sportsmanship Awards. I am so proud of them and will miss seeing these two athletes everyday.”
Hasbrouck Heights track coach Rob Brady echoed those sentiments.
“Tk is a great hardworking student-athlete,” Brady stated. “His work ethic and desire to improve is unmatched. Roberta is one of the nicest caring athletes in our program's history. Her attitude towards her teammates makes everyone around her better. We will miss both of these great senior athletes.”
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