Last night in the Sturtz Theatre at Jefferson Community College, the Athletic Department held their 3rd annual Student Team & Athletic Recognition Awards Ceremony. Athletes, Coaches, Administrators, and Families came together to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2017-2018 Athletic Teams. Here is a recap of the award winners:
Play of the Year:
Christina Platt, Women's Cross Country
In Christina's second collegiate race she had things figured out. At the Cazenovia Homecoming Invitational she went out as planned at the start and settled in but it was clear to her that a strong field of Le Moyne College (NCAA DII) runners were trying to prevent her from moving to the front, in a gutsy move around the half mile mark Christina used her strength to split the lead group of runners and quickly open a gap between her and the rest of the field on an uphill section of the tough course. Despite their best efforts the rest of the field could not close the gap and Christina extended her lead with every stride. As her lead grew it was obvious she was going to win, the question was just by how much. Christina won the race, beating a strong field of NCAA DII and DIII and NJCAA runners by 36 seconds.
Game of the Year:
The Women's Soccer team fell behind Niagara CC 4-0. The TEAM rallied for 5 second half goals. Zoe Stuckey scored an unassisted goal to start the comeback. Sierra Fleming scored with an assist from Mazzy Watson, Zoe scored again with an assist by Fleming. Sierra scored to tie the game at 4-4, with the assist coming from Paige Hamilton. Julie Owens scored the unassisted game winner to complete the comeback win.
Male Frontier League Cannoneer Scholar Award:
Joshua Navarra, Baseball
Navarra, an Immaculate Heart Central graduate came to Jefferson with family ties having his sister Gabby (Soccer/Lacrosse), Cousin Ashley Capone (Volleyball) and Cousin Associate Head Coach Dave Navarra all having paths in the Cannoneer Athletic program. Josh had strong freshmen & sophomore seasons in 2017/18 finishing his Jefferson career that spanned 54 games with a .379 batting average, 67 hits, and having only 4 errors defensively. On the mound Josh finished his Jefferson career with a 3-3 record in 25.67 innings pitched while striking out 37. In 2017 Josh was elected to the All Mid-State Conference Baseball team. In 2018, Navarra lead the team in batting average, hits, RBI, and on base percentage all while moving to the outfield mid-way through the season. For that Josh was elected the 2018 team Most Valuable Player. Navarra currently holds a 3.63 overall GPA and will graduate with a Business Administration degree. He will then transfer to SUNY Cortland to continue his academic career in hope to become a Lawyer while finishing up his athletic career for the Red Dragons as a member of one of the top DIII programs in the country.
Female Frontier League Cannoneer Scholar Award:
Logan Labiendo, Softball
A graduate of Lafargeville Central, Logan has shown her leadership on the field this year, meeting the competition with poise and consistency. With few sophomores returning this year, the team relied on Logan to guide the growth of her freshman teammates. Logan's glove at first base was exceptional, only having 2 errors all season, at the plate, Logan has also anchored the lineup, having the highest batting average on the team, ending with a .404 average. In the classroom Logan and her classmates had the opportunity to assist the NEW Collegiate Baseball Team coming to Watertown by creating the LOGO the team with use. Logan participated in the Press Conference announcing the Team and New Logo. Logan will use this summer to gain real life work experiences with an internship with the Watertown Rapids baseball team, before heading off to SUNY Cortland in the fall to major in Sports Management.
The Rene D. Valentine Award:
Amy Holland, Women's Basketball
Amy has enjoyed a very successful 2 year basketball (1 Year Lacrosse) career at Jefferson. Standing only 5'3" she played the role of power forward for the team and adapted exceptionally. Amy averaged 11.3 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, and 2.9 steals per game. Amy's ability to lead through her communication skills, and by her efforts was the single most important asset to this year's team. Amy is a Human Services major and an honors program participant, works in the Fitness Center, volunteers 5-10 hours per week with Oswego County Hospice, is a PTK member, and has a golden retriever (named Bristol) in training to become a therapy dog. On the weekends Amy is a race car driver and is currently looking for SPONSORS! Amy will be transferring to Cazenovia in the fall to continue her education in Human Services, and basketball career!
Cannoneers Cares Award:
The Cannoneer Cares award goes to a team that has gone above and beyond for the Watertown and surrounding community. Community Service teaches our Student/athletes lifelong lessons about giving back, respect, civic responsibility and team work.
Men's Basketball Team led by Coach Joe Vaadi, Matt Gorman and Andre Brown worked with the American Red Cross and their program to install smoke detectors in homes across the Watertown and Clayton Area. This Group installed about 50 detectors. Some players also worked the phones and Bid boards for the Annual WPBS auction and lastly the team led by advisor Steve Brown held a free throw shoot-a-thon. The team solicited pledges and then shot their free throws. A portion of the money was donated to the SPCA of Watertown.
The team members:
Herby Plaisimond, Nickson Merone, Antoine Domino, Graham Miller, Quincy Aubertine, Caleb Riordan, Marlon Richardson, Nathan Weaver and Joshua Newman.
Male Performance of the Year:
Quincy Aubertine, Men's Basketball
Quincy finished with 31 points shooting 12-18 from the field, 4-6 from the 3point line and 3-3 at the free throw line. He also had 6 Rebounds in a Mid-State Conference win against Tompkins Cortland. This game was Quincy's most complete game in his career at JCC. He punctuated his performance with his first and only slam dunk in his collegiate career.
Female Performance of the Year:
Courtney Laflesh, Softball
Courtney has proven herself a leader and a calm presence on the mound in key game situations. Against Mohawk Valley Community College, Courtney carried a perfect game into the 7th inning against Mohawk Valley. In the seventh Mohawk got 3 straight hits to load the bases, remaining calm, Courtney recorded the next 2 outs to preserve the shut out! This was her second shut-out of the year. In game 2, Courtney was again able to show her leadership, being called into the game from the dugout with 2 outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh. With only 3 pitches, Courtney struck out the final batter, sealing the sweep.
Male Rookie of the Year:
Joshua Newman, Men's Basketball
6'5 Forward from South Lewis started all 24 games averaging 13 points/ 8 Rebounds a game, 75 Blocks (8th in the NJCAA) Josh Newman may not have been the highest scorer every game, but the impact he had kept us close in many games. Josh had to take on a different role from high school and become more of a complete player this year. Because of his improvement over the season, he was one of the leaders in the conference for blocked shots and rebounds. We are looking forward to Josh having a strong sophomore campaign and leading Jefferson to a successful season. Congratulations Josh!
Female Rookie of the Year:
Sierra Fleming, Women's Soccer and Basketball
A freshman from Hammond Central School came in and was outstanding for both the Soccer and basketball teams. Sierra was one of the hardest working freshman on the soccer team. She gives 100% no matter what. Her speed and athletic ability made her a dangerous player who gave teams problems where ever she was on the field. She finished the soccer season with 3 goals and 7 assists from the Mid-Field. In her first collegiate basketball game she scored 29 points, grabbed 8 Rebounds and had 4 assists in a 79-77 win over Hudson Valley. She finished her freshman year averaging 17.9 points per game, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.0 steals per game. She tallied 7 games with 20 plus points including a season high with 29 points. Her unselfishness and willingness to be a great teammate outweighs all of her statistical contributions this year.
Male Athlete of the Year:
Edward Goodall, Men's Soccer and Cross Country
Ed came to Jefferson from Australia! Comparing him to other athletes, no one works harder than Ed in the weight room, in the classroom or on the playing field. Whether winning or losing, you could always count on Ed to continue to play as hard as he possibly could until the final whistle. Ed truly defines competitive spirit, whether in life or sport. Ed is always game for something so when he won the Alumni Weekend 5K race by more than 3 minutes, he asked if he could run on the cross country team for the rest of the year. The schedules allowed him to do both and Ed made history.
Female Athlete of the Year:
Xanara Ruiz, Volleyball
This year Xanara was named our Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Leader and Most Valuable Player. She was named Athlete of the Week on September 26th, MSAC All-Conference, and 2nd Team All-Region for this season as well. Xanara played a huge role in rebuilding this year after losing 6 of 7 starters from the 2016 National Qualifying Team. She helped to lead a young group of girls to once again be MSAC Runners-Up and compile 19 wins respectively. Her leadership on and off the court will certainly be missed. Xanara will be transferring to SUNY Potsdam to continue her studies and play volleyball for the Bears!
Coach of the Year:
Sara Kolenda, Volleyball
Sara continues year after year to put a competitive team on the court. Replacing six players from the National Qualifying team is always difficult. Her team building strategies and coaching style makes it look easy! Sara has built a program! Her expectations of the team success is huge. Her passion and dedication for Volleyball is amazing, playing, coaching and watching always learning strategies to be the best! The team finished 19-14 Overall, 4-2 in the Mid-State athletic Conference and earned Mid-State Runner UP in the conference tournament. The team's goal is to make it back to the National tournament in the fall.
Team of the Year:
With the tallest player at 5'8 at best, the team had the heart of LIONS. Down to 7 players, this team battled each and every game. Often putting 5 guards on the floor at a time the team executed the offense to perfection, played unselfishly and shot the three very well. Defensively the team was scrappy and fundamentally sound, often having to rebound against players 6'0 or taller. They got the job done! The team finished 13-11 overall and 6-6 in the Mid-State Conference and earned the 6th seed in Regional tournament. With 5 freshman returning the team has a great chance of bringing home the Regional Championship Banner!
We would like to thank the following for their contributions and their continued support of Jefferson Athletics:
- Alumni, Members of the Jefferson Hall of Fame
- All the Parents and Friends of our Student/Athletes
- Our Team Managers, Assistant Coaches and Head Coaches
- FSA/Campus Catering-Deb Gaudette and her staff
- Athletic Trainer -Mark Streiff
- Recreational Assistants Josh Woodward, Ryan Gentile, Danny Granger, Tim Kenealy, Robin Caprara, and Sam Hagan
- Student Employees for their assistance in running all the Athletic Events
- Photographer- Sam Hagan
- Bruce Alexander/Shawn Maloney-and the facilities staff
- Our Presenters for this evenings awards and their continued support of Jefferson Athletics!
- John Northrop, Assistant Athletic Director
- Rachael Riordan, Sports Information
- Tom Finch, Vice President of Academic Affairs,
- Dr. Dan Dupee-Vice President for Administration and Finance,
- Dr. Ty Stone, College President