The High School Cafeteria was the site of Southern Lehigh's Salute to Spartan Athletes, a combination Hall of Fame and Athletic Award ceremony. Parents and award recipients were treated to punch and delicious treats and were given an opportunity to watch their favorite athletes receive well-deserved awards.
Athletic Director Don Harakal introduced the inductees into the Hall of Fame, including Christine Weiss, Tony Hegedus and Rob Schubach. Weiss (class of 2007) played field hockey and softball while attending Southern Lehigh. She wracked up school, league, district and state recognition for her athletic prowess and went on to play field hockey at Bucknell, receiving acclamation there as well. Hegedus participated in track and field during his time at Southern Lehigh, setting school records that still stand and gaining recognition at the state level. Hegedus, who went on to Kutztown University, thanked his coaches. Schubach played baseball and basketball at Southern Lehigh, with 116 career hits on the diamond and 1,385 points on the basketball court. Schubach, who went on to play basketball at DeSales, attributed his success to his family, who made him do his best even when he was "only interested in the snack" at T-Ball.
The following students received an award for having five varsity letters: Kevin Anderson, Melinda Berean, Dalton Biery, Karleigh Blum, Maggie Cerciello, Makenzie Cook, Chris DeLuca, Michael DiSanto, Bridgette Dougherty, Katrina Doll, Ray Durkin, Keaton Eisenhauer, Justin Festa, Nicole Fiscella, Austin Fluck, Michelle Forrester, Katherine Fradeneck, Ashley Getz, David Givler, Max Hausman, Stephanie Hess, Kelly Hynes, Evan Lee, Michael Linden, Seth Loew, Kitlyn Madiara, Rodney Manor, Rylee Maton, Nick Masciantonio, Jason Moyer, Alison Newman, Griffin O'Donnell, Corinne Ozanne, Amy Phillips, Alan Rockel, John Sabino, Heather Smillie, Shannon Sullivan, Sam Terlingo, Connor Vanin, Gareille Wilson, Bradley Zamojski.
The following students received Nine Letter Awards for receiving nine varsity letters: Eleni Dimou, Hannah Doell, Kelsey King and Michael Nemeth.
The following students received Twelve Letter Awards for receiving 12 varsity letters: Emily Cerciello (15 varsity letters), Hannah Doell, Kaitlin Hogman, Chelsea Rivenbark.
MVP Awards were also given out for each sport. In some sports, multiple MVP awards were presented.
The following athletes were recognized for Scholar-Athlete Awards: Colonial League Scholar-Athletes -- Stephanie Hess and Evan Lee; Lehigh Valley Girls Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete -- Gabrielle Wilson; Lehigh Valley Soccer Officials Scholar-Athlete --Emily Cerciello; VIA Basketball Scholar-Athlete -- Hannah Doell.
The Varsity Club awarded the Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year to Emily Cerciello. For the first time in 22 years, voting for the Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year ended in a dead heat, with Michael DiSanto and Jason Moyer sharing the honors.
The school also presents the Anuszewski Award for the ideal Southern Lehigh Athlete. This award is voted on by the head coaches and is considered the most prestigious of the athletic awards. Emily Cerciello was this year's recipient. In addition to receiving a trophy, her name will be on a plaque in the trophy case, along with the names of previous winners. The Anuszewski Award honors more than just athletic achievement -- it honors leadership and all of the attributes that make a "champion" in life. Congratulations Emily!!
The Coach awards are voted on by team captains. This year, Ian Beitler received the Assistant Coach of the Year for his assistance with Field Hockey. Girls and Boys Head Tennis Coach Andraea Drabenstott took home Coach of the Year honors. Drabenstott's athletes racked up an impressive list of Colonial League and District championships.
Athletic Director Don Harakal also closed the ceremonies. It should be noted that Harakal has announced that he will retire sometime in the coming year, making this his last award ceremony. He has been instrumental in forming a fine athletic program that has gone on to graduate many community leaders. Don's guiding hand in the athletic department will surely be missed.