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Decatur athletes earn Bayside, team awards

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Jun 15, 2017
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Senior Lexie VanKirk was named Bayside South Offensive Player of the Year.

(June 16, 2017) A number of Stephen Decatur athletes earned Bayside Conference accolades as well as team awards for their performances during the spring sports season.

• Girls’ lacrosse:

Lady Seahawks who received Bayside South First Team honors were senior captains Christina Romano, Claire Porter, Lexie VanKirk and Jillian and Sara Mitrecic, seniors Victoria Kerkovich, Logan Figgs and Brigitte Ardis, and juniors Chloe Sass and Lily Belle Baker.

VanKirk was also named Bayside South Offensive Player of the Year.

“Lexie is certainly an amazing lacrosse player with a lot of passion for the sport,” Decatur Coach Sara Braniecki said.

VanKirk scored 39 goals and had 19 assists, for a total of 58 points this season. She scored her 100th career goal this year and finished with 131 overall. She will play for Division I James Madison University in Virginia next season.

“Lexie primarily plays in the midfield and her presence is felt all over the field,” Braniecki said. “She led the team in draw controls, helping us to have possession to be productive on the offensive end. While on the offensive end, she knows how to effectively get herself in a good position to score.”

Jillian Mitrecic was named Bayside South Defensive Player of the Year.

“Jillian has been a remarkably solid defender for Decatur. Her 1v1 defense is amazing,” Braniecki said. “It’s rare that she gets beat 1v1 because of her disciplined body positioning, allowing her to control the offensive player’s move.”

Braniecki said Mitrecic, who will compete for Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina, with her twin sister, Sara, a goalie, is also fast, tenacious, frequently comes up with ground balls and causes turnovers.

“Her speed allowed her to help our team push the ball through the midfield and get it into our offensive end of the field,” Braniecki said. “She played an instrumental role in helping to shut down key offensive threats from opposing teams.”

Kerkovich, who will compete for Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania, also earned U.S. Lacrosse All-Academic accolades.

“They recently changed the rule for earning the award – now only two girls from the Eastern Shore (12 schools) can receive All-American and two can receive Academic All-American. Very prestigious,” Braniecki said.

Second Team honors went to senior Gabby Wilkins, junior Caroline Engle, sophomores Logan Townsend and Kennedy Duke, and freshman Abby Yesko.

Porter led the team in points, with 74. She scored 30 goals and had 44 assists. VanKirk was second overall. Kerkovich led the team in goals, with 41. She also had eight assists. Sara Mitrecic finished the season with 107 saves.

Braniecki presented the team MVP Award to VanKirk. She gave the Coaches Award to Engle and the Unsung Hero Award to Ardis.

Rookie of the Year went to Yesko and the Sportsmanship Award to Wilkins. Figgs won the Most Improved Player Award.

• Boys’ lacrosse:

Juniors Collin Eichelberger, a team captain, and Hayden Zaiser received Bayside South First Team accolades for midfield and defense, respectively.

Junior Charlie Coates (attack) and seniors Robbie Duke (midfield) and Tyler Keiser, a team captain, (long stick midfield) took home Second Team honors.

Honorable mention awards were presented to seniors Tucker Cordial, a team captain (attack), Noah Shockley (defense) and goalie Zac Cioccio, and sophomore Collin Eitel (face-off).

Cordial led the team in goals, with 34. He also had six assists. Eichelberger chipped in with 24 goals and 14 assists, followed by Coates (23 goals, 14 assists) and Duke (22 goals, 13 assists).

Coach Scott Lathroum presented the team MVP Award to Cioccio, who recorded 120 saves this season.

Eichelberger won the Offensive MVP Award and Keiser earned the Defensive MVP Award. Lathroum gave the Coaches Award to junior Parker Wheeler (13 goals, nine assists).

The Warrior Award is presented to “someone who gives everything on the field, is a warrior who fights and battles,” Lathroum said. Duke earned the award.

• Baseball:

Tristan McDonough, who took home Bayside South Pitcher of the Year in 2016, was awarded Player of the Year this season. The junior, who has already committed to the University of Miami, also received First Team accolades.

“He had a solid year on the field with four home runs and hitting above .400,” Coach Rich Ferro said. “However, he was a very positive influence in the dugout.”

Senior Jake Shockley was also named to the Bayside South First Team. Junior Stephen Bontempo scored a spot on the Second Team. Senior Wyatt Church earned an honorable mention award.

Church and Shockley were among the 22 athletes to be placed on the Senior All-Star Team.

Ferro was named Bayside South Coach of the Year.

“The acknowledgment is nice, but the guys put in the work and won games,” he said. “I’m really happy for the guys to be Bayside South champs.”

Ferro gave Coaches Awards to all the seniors.

• Softball:

Sophomore pitcher Lexi Black earned First Team distinction.

Freshman Sierra Eisemann had a productive season. She broke the Maryland Public School state softball record for stolen bases in a single season. The previous record of 44 was held by Michelle Lloyd of Crossland High School (2001).

Eisemann stole six bases during Decatur’s May 8 game against Washington to break the state record by two. She finished the season with 47.

“If we get her on base, she’s stealing. She’s been great at it,” Coach Heather Patnode said.

Eisemann received Second Team honors. Senior captain Sam Kefauver took home honorable mention.

Patnode presented the team MVP Award to Black and Coaches Award to Kefauver. Sophomore Alex Richwalski was given the Unsung Hero Award. Freshman Amber Whittaker was named Rookie of Year. Kylie Whitaker, a freshman, received the Most Improved Award.

• Track and Tennis:

No Bayside awards are presented for outdoor track and field, and tennis.

Track Coach Jody Stigler did give out awards during the team banquet last week.

Junior Tah’jeem Woodland, who finished in sixth place in the 400-meter dash during the state championship, was named boys’ team MVP.

Coaches Awards went to seniors Jared Massey, Cameron James and Patrick Miller. The Newcomer Award was presented to freshman Richard Poist. Junior Montrel Moore got the Sportsmanship Award.

Stigler gave the MVP Award for the girls’ team to senior Claire Billings. Senior Peyton Dunham, junior Maya Knepp and sophomore Dori Krasner earned Coaches Awards. The Newcomer Award went to sophomore Noelle Dennis. Senior Jessica Wharton got the Sportsmanship Award.

Girls’ team tennis Coach Jamie Greenwood presented the team MVP Award to sophomore Grace Beres. The Coaches Awards went to senior Megan McConnell and senior Olivia Rorke. Rorke also received the Sportsmanship Award. The Most Improved Award was given to sophomore Sofia Gordy.

Boys’ team Coach Steve Berquist presented MVP awards to senior captains Josh Domingo and Brennan Holloway. He gave Coaches Awards to seniors Drayton Hoffman and Egor Reznikov.

Sophomores Jon Petito received the Unsung Hero award and Trevor Hayes was named Rookie of the Year.

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