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Culpeper Times newspaper reinstitutes “Athlete of the Year” trophies

Last week managing editor Anita Sherman and I had the privilege of attending the Convocation ceremonies at Eastern View High School (Tuesday night) and Culpeper County High School (Thursday night).

Over the past school year I have interviewed nearly 40 athletes from the two local high schools. This year, Culpeper Times was able to re-establish an award that was built into the editorial guidelines of Times Community Media papers by owner Arthur (Nick) Arundel, who passed away Feb. 8, 2011, namely a male and female “Athlete of the Year” for both high schools.

The guidelines for this award state that the student is typically a graduating senior, participates in at least two sports, has been nominated as “Athlete of the Week” by his or her coach and has a solid academic record.

Each of the four athletes who earned the award this year is not only a leader on the field or court, but also respected by their peers, coaches and Mike Wills and Mark Settle, the activities directors at CCHS and EVHS, respectively.

I'd like to share with you comments I received from coaches.

EVHS male “Athlete of the Year” Jeremiah Yates

“Jeremiah is a great selection. He is a quiet leader, hard worker. He is a special athlete that combines great athletic ability and a true care and concern for people.”
Greg Hatfield, EVHS head football coach

“Jeremiah is a 'yes, sir,' 'no, sir,' type of guy. He is always willing to do anything to help the team, [he is a] team player. He works hard and goes the extra mile to better himself. He is also determined to be successful in life and his great work ethic will lead him to success.” – EVHS head boys track coach Terrence Johnson

Yates will attend Chowan University in North Carolina this fall on a football scholarship.

EVHS female “Athlete of the Year” Suzie McCauley

“Suzie set a school record this year in lacrosse with 101 goals. To put that in perspective, the next closest girl in the district had 83. Suzie was first team all district and offensive player of the year. She is truly a leader in both soccer and lacrosse. During the lacrosse season, Suzie did not get a single yellow (penalty) card, which is such a statement for a dominant player like she is.”
Peggy Allen, head girls soccer and girls lacrosse coach

McCauley plans to attend Germanna Community College for two years then transfer to a four-year school. She want to be a P.E. teacher for young children.

CCHS female “Athlete of the Year” Casey Mocarski

“Casey is a well-rounded athlete who has worked very hard over the years to become the…player she is today. However, what you might not know about Casey is that she is an academically strong student, whose success has come from a lot of studying and working hard. While it may have been a challenge at times she was able to find a balance between sports and academics. Along with excelling in athletics and academics…she is a very talented artist. [Her] work ethic and creativity will take her places in the future.” – Cathy Uribe, varsity field hockey coach

“Casey is a very hard worker. She received my 'most improved player” award her freshman year.” (A concussion and an ankle injury limited Mocarski's basketball playing time her sophomore and junior years). “This season, Casey watched our first couple games from the stands. She approached me and wondered if I would give her a shot to try out at such a late date in the season. I allowed her to, but she had to sit on the bench for a month before she could play a game… equivalent to the month of pre-season the rest of the team had. Casey agreed and cheered her teammates on the whole time. When it came time for her to play, she upped the level of her teammates and always played her hardest. I could not have been happier that Casey came out to play basketball her senior year.” –
Katie Shaw, head girls basketball coach

“There couldn't be a better choice for 'Athlete of the year.'” (Casey) has been our team captain for both her junior and senior years. I think of her as 'old school' in that she didn't dedicate herself to just one sport, but played year round. She is a member of the National Honor Society and a true leader on and off the field. She is truly a well-rounded athlete and one I have been blessed to have had as a player.” –
Earl Mills, varsity softball manager

Mocarski plans to attend the University of Mary Washington and would like to earn a degree in pharmacology or optometry.

Note: As of press time, Mocarski was helping to lead the Devilettes in the Group AA state softball tournament.

CCHS male “Athlete of the Year” Colton Elliot

“Colton is a competitor. He will rise to the occasion and the competition and he hates to lose. This year he came into the season as a runner to beat. A runner like Colton will be impossible to replace.” –
Kim Williams, head boys cross country coach

“What a nice honor for Colton. One that is well deserved. I refer to Colton as my 'quiet leader.'” He is the Cal Ripken of Culpeper County High School boys soccer. He shows up every day, works hard, keeps quiet and gets the job done. If Colton has an ego, he leaves it in the car before practices and games. I have never heard him talk up statistics or individual glory. He leads by example. He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He is one of the most talented soccer players I have every coached.” –
Tim Kearney, varsity boys soccer coach

Elliot is unsure of which college he will attend, but said he hopes to continue playing soccer at the collegiate level.

Congratulations to these four outstanding athletes!
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