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Schools

Schreiber Girls Softball Scholar-Athletes

An already successful Schreiber High School girls’ softball team season became even more satisfying and rewarding with the recent announcement that the New York State Public High School Athletic Association had named the Vikings as its scholar-athlete champion in softball for the 2012-2013 school year.

A very proud coach, Eric Sutz, who guided the girls to the conference championship this year following a season when they failed to lose a single league game, was surprised at this latest honor. “We found out about this when most of the girls were already done with school, so we didn’t really have an opportunity to celebrate as a whole group,” he said. Sutz nominated his team, filling out the application that required the listing of grade point averages for each of the 20 team members for the year.

“I think what’s amazing,” he added, “is that the girls achieved this despite a busy spring with SATs, AP tests, and having to choose colleges. I give them a lot of credit for performing.

The Vikings won all 14 of their league games and finished 15-4 before losing in the first round of the playoffs. The conference championship was their first since 2004. They’re also the second Schreiber team to achieve the scholar-athlete designation this year. The boys’ volleyball team was honored in January, becoming the first Port team to be named since the award was established 12 years ago.

Jackie Avila, one of only four seniors who played on Sutz’s team, was thrilled with the softball team’s accomplishment. “It made me feel very proud of my team,” said the catcher, who is continuing her education at Binghamton in the fall. “I knew they were smart but to have this achievement on top of the conference championship was an awesome way to end the season. It shows how great they were.” Elisabeth Kostallas (Nassau Community), Georgia Goodman (Tufts) and Sarah Marinelli (University of Vermont) are the other graduating seniors.

“I’m going to miss all of the girls,” said Avila, who recently received her own individual honor, a $1000 scholarship and sportsmanship award named for Rem Lumi. “They’re like my second family. I’m going to come back as much as I can because the girls are so sweet and hard working.”

Sutz, who just finished his fifth year as head coach, still has the potential of bringing back 16 of his players for next season. All of the returning players played on the varsity level, as there weren’t enough players to field a junior varsity.

Avila was asked for a prediction as to how the team would do next year without her, Kostallas, Goodman and Marinelli, who Sutz has frequently referred to as his core four. Avila and Marinelli played for Sutz for four years and Kostallas and Goodman played three. I think we’re going to come back to the playoffs, I mean ‘they’re’ going to come back, she said, with a touch of envy and sadness. “They’re going to do even better.” Their other co-captain, Alex Caprariello, who was an all county pitcher this season as a junior, will lead the Vikings.