SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ – Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School hosted its Winter Sports Awards at which athletes were honored on Monday night for their efforts during the season.
SPFHS Athletic Director Ryan Miller started the night with a powerful speech in which he concluded by saying: “I’m proud of the hard work that these seniors put in. They didn’t leave a footprint. They left a crater.”
The bowling team had a very impressive year as they qualified as the third seed in the UCIAC Finals. They ended up placing fifth, and had a lot of positive things to take away from the season. Captain Spencer Vaughn capped off a great season as he qualified individually for the UCIAC tournament finals.
Wrestling coach Marc Fabiano had a great start to his young career leading the Raiders to a 2nd place finish in the district. Three wrestleers -- Jalen Bryant, Jashmar Phillipe, and Sam Wustefeld -- all had more than 20 wins on the season and qualified for regions. Wustefeld, a sophomore, was the only one to qualify for states and was recently named 3rd team All-Area.
6th Season Award winner and team captain Bianca Demaria, Bridget Vannatta, and Isabella Bernardo led the varsity cheerleaders to a fun season. Bernardo recognized the cheerleading team by stepping up to the microphone to thank her teammates and coaches for a great season and career.
After enduring a tough couple of seasons, the girls basketball team had a solid season. Caroline Babis, Micaiah Battle, and Kara Foley led the way for the team as they finished 2nd place in the Mountain Division. The highlight of the boys basketball season was beating Elizabeth on Senior Night. Playing before a packed crowd, the Raiders came from behind to win to shock the crowd. Nigel Nelson had a highlight reel season with flashy moves and dunks.
Led by senior captains Nick Cassara, Matt Halpin, and junior phenom Jared Figueroa, the hockey team had its first ever-positive record season going into the state tournament. Cassara was the only player to earn 1st Team All Star Essex County honors. Figueroa, who was named 2nd Team All Star Essex County, joined the 100-point club before the end of his junior year.
Boys and Girls Track had a long list of individual achievements on the season. For the boys, Alexander Skowronski won the state sectional championship in the shot put and was a Group III Championship Qualifier. Marquel Taylor was the Union County Champion for the high jump. Isaiah Thompson won the team high jump for the UCC and also won the State Sectional Championship. For the girls, Madeline Bord, Wildege Francois, Mary Stovall, and Summer Robinson qualified for the Group III 3200 Championship. Madeline Weber qualified for the Group III Championship high jump, as did Summer Robinson, who won the State Sectional Championship.
The swimming program had one of its most memorable seasons in history. Boys swimming took second in both the Union County Championships and the Union County Conference. They went on to win the North 2 Public B Sectional Championship, and advanced to the state finals. Chris Bondarowicz (100 breaststroke) and Josh Cohen (500 freestyle) both broke school and county records. Also breaking school records were the 200 Medley Relay and the 400 freestyle relay teams.
The girls were the UCC Champions and Union County Tournament Champions. Stephanie Judge, Sarah Davis, Rachel Maizes, and Erika Frazier got into the record books, breaking the state record for the 200 Medley Relay. Jess Hulnik did a wonderful job coaching these teams, and was rewarded by being named "Coach of The Year" by NJ.com.
"It was a special night for the players, especially for the seniors, some of whom are ending their athletic careers. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors," said Miller. "Finally, a big thank you to the parents who put in so much time and effort to get their kid to practice, games, etc."