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EYE ON EDUCATION: Students athletes honored at Lake Placid High School

November 17, 2017
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer (gkelly@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - This past fall season for Lake Placid Central High School student athletes was a testament of dedication.

The boys soccer team turned a mediocre season around and wound up going to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Final Four, the boys cross-country running team won silver at the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference, and the volleyball team dearly touched and inspired their coach in her last year of instructing.

The student athletes were invited to the high school auditorium Tuesday night, Nov. 14, for an appreciation ceremony where some received special awards and plaques for their commitment to their teams.

Article Photos

Lake Placid High School varsity volleyball Coach Donna Moody and student athlete Lauren Miller hug during the athletic awards ceremony Tuesday evening, Nov. 14 in the school auditorium.
(News photo — Griffin Kelly)

"I think it's important to recognize our student athletes," said Donna Moody, Lake Placid High's physical education teacher, athletic director and varsity volleyball coach. "They put in a lot of time, a lot of effort, not only in this season, but in past seasons. It's good to recognize them for their efforts."

Moody said every team had something they should be proud of and something worth addressing.

"Obviously our boys going to the Final Four for the first time was a big accomplishment," Moody said. "The cross-country team winning their fourth sectional title and getting sixth at states was a big accomplishment. If you look at the wins and loses those were probably the bigger ones, but every team had a different goal, and I think a lot of the teams reached those goals."

The boys soccer team going to the Final Four was a standout success. This was the first year they ever reached it. Coach Stuart Hemsley said he was pleasantly surprised by how far the team went this season.

"The biggest accomplishment this year was winning a sectional title," Hemsley said, "which I didn't expect to win."

With mainly underclassmen, Hemsley figured it would be a much more of a developmental season.

"We graduated 10 seniors last year," Hemsley said. "I had eight new starters this year, two of whom were freshmen, so there was a real steep learning curve with a lot of the young players. Graduating that whole bunch, I knew it was going to be a tough season."

With such young players leading the varsity squad, Hemsley said he was excited to see them improve throughout their high school careers.

"Those kids are going to be around another two or three years, and they were doing well this year, so I only expect them to get better," Hemsley said.

Hemsley said he appreciates his players both on and off the field and knows that the athletes really do care about the sport. Forward Malik Cecunjanin is even organizing an alumni soccer game as his senior project.

"Hopefully it'll give us a chance to bring the soccer community back," Hemsley said.

This year is Moody's last year at Lake Placid Central High School before retiring. As she congratulated her volleyball team on a job well done, she held back tears and cited student athlete Sara McKillip, who was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, as a source of inspiration.

"I think she showed so much grace and poise," Moody said. "She's 15 years old. They talk about what we as teachers and coaches teach athletes, but I think she's taught all of us a lot."

After 30 years of working in physical education, Moody said she couldn't be prouder of how the student athletes represent both the school and the community.

"I think we have a great group of kids here at Lake Placid," Moody said. "A lot of the coaches talked about how they are as people not just as athletes. They're good kids. They're leaders in this school. They're leaders on and off the field. They do own the classroom. They work hard. Maybe I'm prejudiced, but I think we got some of the best kids around."

 
 

 

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