More than 100 Fulton seniors were honored for their athletic accomplishments Tuesday at a first-ever banquet thrown for them by the Fulton Athletic Booster Club.
The dinner at the Oasis for the athletes and their families replaced the tradition of holding school assemblies at the end of each sports season.
Eleven awards were given out at the ceremony:
- The Dale Tombs Baseball Award was given to Max Fobes;
- The Barney Naioti Leadership Award, to Colin Shannon and Stephanie Hotaling;
- The Joe Castiglia Effort Award, to Zach Howell and Kara Pafumi;
- The Gene Adams Most Improved Athlete Award, to Don wilmot and Kayla Hanczyk;
- The Sox Stuber Sportsmanship Award, to Scott Bullard and Kirsten Francis;
- The Dan McGinnis Senior Athlete of the Year Award, to Brett Williams and Morgan Cooper;
- The Rick Luciano Football Scholarship, to Brett Williams;
- The Shirley Chalifoux Scholarship for Sportsmanship, to Scott Bullard and Kirsten Francis;
- The Mike Hogan Scholarship, to David Hall;
- The Margaret Beckwith Scholarship, to Kara Pafumi, and;
- The Carl Barton Scholarship, to Brett Williams.
Athletic Director Christopher Ells said that the school’s more than 60 sports teams provided nearly 1,100 slots for students to participate in more than 800 contests in the past year.
Keynote speaker Blake Bednarz, a former Syracuse University and professional football player who lives in Fulton, told student athletes that his parents gave him the tools he needed to succeed.
He said his father taught him to work hard, recalling that his father had him helping to tear off a roof when he was just four years old. Bednarz said his mother taught him to live with integrity and honesty. And he said the knee injury that forced him out of pro football showed him how to overcome difficult challenges.
Bednarz now sells replacement spines for a medical equipment company and said it is amazing that a doctor with 14 years of training will turn to him during a difficult spinal replacement operation and ask for advice.
Photos from the event (click each thumbnail for a full-sized version; two takes of the seniors photo are posted because some students were not seen in each one.)