Well, it’s over, and we made it.

Tuesday night brought a conclusion to the 2016-17 Scholastic Sports season for us at The Times-Tribune. It was a wonderful ceremony in the fifth-floor auditorium of The Scranton Times Building and honestly, there are so many people who work hard to make this event happen each year, it’s amazing. There were a few added touches to this year’s event as it celebrated its 67th year. This is a time-honored tradition, one I have been a part of since 1998. That is a very long time ago,

It’s always nice to have an opportunity to say thank you to the athletes and their parents and coaches one final time. We watch these young women and men grow from their freshman seasons until they are literally young adults. We celebrate their many victories and we share in their sometimes heartbreaking defeats. That’s the nature of sports.

Each year, at this time, as sports editor Chris Imperiale pointed out in his opening remarks, there are those who will question the process of selecting an athlete of the week, or a performer of the year, or the overall athletes of the year. I echo his sentiment that this is something we as a staff take very seriously. Joseph M. Butler founded this award long before any one on this staff was around, and with some luck, it will be around long after we are gone. This is, without a doubt, the most respected honor a high school athlete can receive in Northeast Pennsylvania. The responsibility of selecting just one of the many who achieve athletic excellence is something we take to heart. It’s intense, and feelings can get hurt. But we come together each week and we leave knowing we always recognize the most deserving recipient. Also remember, and athlete can only receive one athlete of the week. That gave us 43 athletes honored throughout the year and last night. I know the audience in attendance listened closely to longtime MC Scotty Walsh as he recapped each athlete’s accomplishment for their selected week. If you listen, and not just hear, you will know, our athletes had amazing seasons.

So, congratulations to those who were honored.

 

 

We also recognized longtime head football coach Nick Donato. He turned North Pocono into a football powerhouse and took over at Scranton Prep, elevating the program to championship levels. He is one of the most respected and innovative coaches of the last 30 years. His intensity and commitment to excellence, and his dedication to developing strong student-athletes made him a shining star in the landscape of this area’s scholastic sports history. Congratulations, coach.

 

 

NICK DONATO

Joseph M. Butler Award winner

 

Then, we capped the celebration by naming The Times-Tribune Female and Male Athletes of the Year. This feature began in 2003 and the announcements have become the most anticipated part of the school year. Again, it’s not easy to focus in on only two athletes of the many who made this year so special. However, I we worked very hard on these selections.

Lakeland’s Brooke Estadt was chosen as the Female Athlete of the Year. She was a three-sport standout who earned all-star honors in soccer, basketball and track and field. She was The Times-Tribune Female Performer of the Year in track and field, a two-time PIAA medal winner and the LIAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She will be attending Cornell University.

 

BROOKE ESTADT

2016-17 FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

Western Wayne’s Ryan Atcavage was chosen as the Male Athlete of the Year. He, too, was a three-sport standout who earned all-star honors in soccer and track and field, and second-team all-star honors in wrestling. He was The Times-Tribune Male Performer of the Year in track and field, and a two-time PIAA medal winner, including a gold in the Class 2A pole vault. He is attending Marywood University.

 

 

RYAN ATCAVAGE

2016-17 MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 


 

FREEZE FRAME

Abington’s Katie Dammer poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

 

Blue Ridge basketball player Jeff Morris poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

 

Scenes from

The 67th Athlete of the Week

Ceremony

 

 

 

 

Holy Cross cross country runner Lexi Walsh poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

 

Scranton basketball player Ciaira Loyd poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

Abington basketball player Jackson Danzig poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scranton Prep golfer Frank Adamo poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

 

Wallenpaupack basketball player Megan Guerrieri poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

Delaware Valley’s John Manganella (left) and North Pocono’s Ryan Deom poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Pocono softball player Ashdon Clark poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

 

Valley View wrestler Brandon Judge poses for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Male Athlete of the Year Ryan Atcavage from Western Wayne with Times-Tribune sports writer Joby Fawcett during the Athlete of the Week award ceremony at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scranton Prep’s Paddy Casey and his father Pat Casey pose for a photo during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

Scranton Prep basketball payer Logan Bailey and his coach Andrew Ketttel great each other during The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athlete of the Week Awards at the Scranton Times Building on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Jake Danna Stevens / Staff Photographer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Times-Tribune 2016-17 Athletes of the Year Ryan Atcavage from Western Wayne and Brooke Estadt from Lakeland.
Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

 

 

These photos are available for purchase HERE

 


 

That’s all for now.

There is still the matter of announcing the 2017 All-Region teams for Softball and Baseball, and I assure you they are coming in the approaching weeks.

But, for me, I am taking a break. Like Amity Mayor Larry Vaughn said about how long the beaches would be closed after a shark attack in Jaws, “Only 24 hours.”

Well, not really, 24 hours. I am actually going to take a break for a couple of days any way. Then, before we all know it, July 10th will be here and I will be at the Scranton Lions Club Dream Game Media Day, which not only signals the start of the 2017-18 Scholastic Sports season, but also the end of summer for me.

Finally, thank you again to all who were on hand to contribute and make this 67th ceremony a success. And, of course, thank you to the athletes, for without you none of this is possible.

Best of luck and continued success.