The St. Marys Area Quarterback Club held their 54th Awards Program Saturday night at the St. Marys Area High School Carpin Auditorium.
Following the invocation by Tim Kopp, everyone was welcomed by Bob Luchini, master of ceremonies for the evening. Luchini noted that the St. Marys Area Quarterback Club is an all-volunteer group dedicated to supporting the SMAHS football program.
Quarterback Club President Steve Aul welcomed everyone and said the reason for the change to just an awards program was that the school district had discontinued their banquets due to budget cuts.
Aul reported on changes being made on the club’s bylaws regarding officers. He said the elected officers will rise through the ranks and exit. They hope the change will boost interest in the club and they encourage people to come to the meeting and bring their ideas.
“It’s all about the kids,” said Aul.
He introduced his fellow officers, vice president Bob Cogley, secretary Lynn Schatz and treasurer George Young. Cogley will be the next president. Schatz is the first female officer of the organization and in two years she will be the first female president. Young has been a member of the club for 34 years.
Aul also recognized his wife Marie for all her help in his 15 years as club president. He noted in his tenure that the club had raised over a quarter of a million dollars, built the pavilion, provided team benches and worked on the weight room.
Also in his remarks he thanked the club’s directors as well as the cheerleaders, as they are a big part of being on the sidelines on Friday nights. He congratulated the players on their 4-0 start and making the playoffs, although injuries played a big part in their season.
High school principal Dr. Josh Williams, on behalf of the St. Marys Area School District, thanked the Quarterback Club for their support. He acknowledged the administration and the parents of the student-athletes for their support of the program. He said the student-athletes represented the school with class and sportsmanship. He also noted that this group had generated support from fellow students and they should be proud of what they have done on and off the field. Williams also thanked the coaches for teaching the kids life lessons.
Williams then presented Brenda Kopp with a plaque for her 15 years of active service to the Quarterback Club. Her husband, Tim, accepted on her behalf.
Head cheerleading advisor Justina Cesa thanked the club for their assistance during the season.
Junior high cheerleading coach April Auman introduced the junior high squad. They are: Madison Cashmer, Kayla Causer, Lauren Cotter, Caylene Genevro, Nicole Holland, Maggie Martin, Robyn Montanaro, Bryanna Ott, Mallory Samick, Audrey South, Sierra Tucker, Kayla Vollmer and Jordyn Wilson.
Junior varsity cheerleading coach Ashley Polaski introduced the junior varsity squad. They are: Cassidy Lenox, Sara Brouse, Casey Johnston, Alana Stauffer, Paige Werner, Kylee Ehrensberger, Sierra Ginther, Megan Henderson, Carly Mosier, Allison Orenak and Alyssa Salvaggio.
Coach Cesa Introduced the varsity squad: seniors Karly Bish, Jolene Herbstritt and Emily Slaughenhaupt and juniors Erin Gahn, Samantha Garner, Lacey Hanes, Cheyenne Hoffman, Kelsey Kronenwetter, Allison McCurdy, Rebecca Miller, Tori Rooker and Caylin Smith.
The cheerleaders then presented scrapbooks to the senior players and managers.
Head coach Joe Schlimm was the next speaker. He acknowledged outgoing Quarterback Club president Steve Aul and recognized his varsity coaching staff of Jim McGonnell, Tony Defilippi, Rob Schreiber, Jim Swanson, Mike Kunes and Tom Young.
Schlimm then gave his “state of the program” address. He said the main question they should ask is if they left the program better than how they found it. He said that today’s student-athlete is asked to make a year-long commitment to a sport and it is harder now on the student-athlete than it has ever been. Their commitment has contributed to the team’s growing success, as they completed their fifth consecutive winning season.
“This senior group has learned that life isn’t always fair,” said Schlimm. “The seniors was determined to have a season of no regrets.”
To the underclassmen, Schlimm said that the torch has been passed and they are to make the program better and stronger than when they entered it. “Make it something to be proud of,” he said.
A brief highlight film of the 2011 season was then shown.
Junior high coach Gary Lewis acknowledged his coaching staff of Seth Rhed, Ed White, Dean McClain and Anthony Mastrogiacomo.
Lewis introduced the Dutch junior high teams, seventh graders: Pat Schlimm, Jarret Jackson, Zack Pistner, Cody Kunes, Damon McClain, Isaac Wehler, Tyler Martino, Alex Brown, Kenneth Krempel and Nick Williams; eighth graders: Brady Bauer, Jordan Venne, Nick Taylor, Nick Cunningham, Austin Wolfel, Jordan Romain, T.J. Hogan, Brad Wurm, Kyle Pecht, Richie Williamson, Nathan Straub, Zach Timchak, Tyler Burke, Dalton Bauer, Tony Anders, Nolan Sorg, Ray Kline, Nick Bauer, Hunter Fantechi, D.J. Salinas and Zach Snelick; ninth graders: Ray Dent, Justin Schaut, Willie McGonnell, Doug Watkavitch, Dylan Meyer, Jordan Straub, Kyle Glatt, Tod Streich, Derek Taylor, John Caskey, Mike Wolfel, Tyler Donachy, Kyler Lenox, Michael Rearick, Mark Ehrensberger, Andrew Cravener and Jacob Wonderly.
Schlimm noted that Luke Schreiber had been named to the second team of the Pennsylvania Football News (PFN) all-state team as a linebacker.
Senior Brian Merritt gave the players’ address to the audience.
The following members of the varsity squad were presented with letters or certificates of participation: sophomores - Nick Proesl, Matt Fitzgerald, Alex Feldbauer, Evan Gabor, Josh Cameroni, Tyler Updyke, Kyle Fedder, Sean Gray, Christian Keller, Tim Shrubb, Nick Burdick, Alexx Tyger and manager Brianna Nussbaum; juniors - Alex Coudriet, Kyle Gaton, Tyler Yetzer, Robbie Glass, Cody Baker, Joe Luchini, Justin Riccadonna, Colby Mahovlich, Logan Gilmore, Shane Gradl, Eric O’Dell, Tony Catalano, Shajuan Carrero, Colby Lenox, Tyler Cuneo and manager Matt Kronenwetter; and seniors - Justin Quiggle, Luke Schreiber, David Aul, Scott Barber, Trent Schreiber, Jusson Glatt, Sam Guido, Jimmy Werner, Brian Merritt, Jimmy McClain and managers Jessie Donachy and Alexa Stauffer.
Vice President Cogley presented the five major awards. The award winners are selected by a Quarterback Club committee made up of 10-year members. None of the selection committee members may have a family member on the team.
The Dr. Valigorsky Academic Memorial Award was presented to Brian Merritt.
The Jerry Sain “Oil Can” Award, which goes to the player who shows integrity, honor and courage, was presented to David Aul.
The Dr. Black Memorial Award, which goes to the team’s Defensive MVP, was presented to Luke Schreiber.
The Dr. Keebler Memorial Award, which goes to the team’s Offensive MVP, was presented to Cody Baker.
The Dan Conners/Tex Knouse Memorial Award, which goes to the team’s overall MVP, was presented to Jimmy Werner.