Dinner with Winners: New Co-Ed Varsity Banquet

By Samantha Greben

This year, the Varsity Awards Dinner will be hosted for both boys and girls varsity players and teams. The banquet aims to honor our varsity athletes’ dedication and commitment, and it is to be co-ed for the first time because many coaches feel that all varsity athlete participants should acknowledge their fellow teammates and peers for their hard work—regardless of the group to which they belong. Last year, two separate dinners were held for each gender, and both junior varsity and varsity athletes were invited to attend.
The new event will be run by Athletic Director Thomas Umstatter, Boys Athletic Association (BAA) advisers James Morrow and Dennis Mooney, and Girls Varsity Club (GVC) adviser Carol Nesdill. Of the alteration to the event, Coach Nesdill said, “Having mostly juniors and seniors together makes it better there is more interpersonal support within each grade.” Beyond high school, there are few opportunities for students to partake in athletics, so this dinner gives athletes the occasion to be commemorated.
The coaches feel that this also allows the student body to embrace athletes and enables the BAA and GVC to show their appreciation. Mr. Morrow thinks this alteration will be more enjoyable for “everyone to see and hear about each sports’ and their peers’ accomplishments.” Coach Umstatter added that the athletic department wants to “honor athletes for their hard work, sportsmanship, teamwork, and school spirit.” For teammates and coaches who have spent countless hours practicing and competing together, this dinner provides an evening for them to convene and reflect on their season.
All varsity players and teams will be honored; each team will award one Most Valuable Player (MVP) and one Coach’s Award, as well as Athlete of the Year awards for every grade level. This year, County and State awards will also be announced. All athletes will receive a participation award based upon the number of years they have been on varsity, accolades such as varsity letters, pins, statues, and plaques.
Although junior varsity athletes are not included at this event, the organizers hope that it will become something that they can look forward to in the future as they progress through their high school athletic career. All varsity athletes are invited to attend the event at the New Hyde Park Inn at 6:30 p.m. on June 6.