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Blue and Gold Banquet Honors 2017-18 UP Athletes
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent
2018-06-06

            After the tangible awards for the athletic year had been handed out, senior Ryan Kendra had the honor of making the closing remarks at Upper Perk's annual Blue & Gold Banquet last week. Kendra, the Tribe's all-time leading scorer in basketball and a star on the football team, commented on the true value of high school sports.

            Kendra spoke of the intangibles: the bonds formed with teammates, the invaluable lessons learned through competition, the hard work of making it through the daily grind of practice and the ups and downs of the seasons.

            "It's hard to believe that I'll never miss another tackle in that football stadium," Kendra joked.

            Kendra lamented that his high school career is now coming to an end and he had a message for Upper Perk's returning athletes about taking life for granted.

            "I encourage the underclassmen...to play every second of your sport like it is your last."

            Kendra lauded his teammates and coaches, Tom Hontz in football and Jared Krupp in basketball, for their selflessness and drew a parallel with real life.

            "Sometimes you need to find the people to lean on to help you through things or accomplish a goal that you set."

            Kendra, headed to York for basketball, reiterated afterward that playing sports at Upper Perk made him "a better person and a better teammate".

            Kendra was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award as well as the Outstanding Male Athlete Award, shared with football teammate Tyler Whary, and was named basketball MVP.

            All-time leading lacrosse scorer Hope Flack, who will continue her education and lacrosse career at Liberty University in the fall, was also presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award,

            "I'm so honored," Flack said of the award. "I didn't expect this at all."

            Flack, too, cited her teammates and coaches for an enjoyable four years at Upper Perk. Her mother, Sue, a math teacher at the high school, was Hope's lacrosse coach.

            "I loved playing for her," Hope said. "I played for her ever since middle school, and I just love her as a coach, and she's a huge reason for me being the person I am today."

            Hope was named the Outstanding Female Senior Athlete, the MVP of lacrosse and made the PAC All-Academic Teams for lacrosse and field hockey.

            The All-Around Athlete Awards went to Cameron Junk, MVP of cross-country and boys track, and Kayleigh Durning, MVP of soccer, Valley Soccer Club Award winner, and co-MVP of girls track.

            Other awards of note included those presented in honor of former students and adult contributors to Upper Perk athletics.

            Jeff and Tammy Snyder were on hand for the Samantha Snyder Memorial Water Polo Award given in memory of their daughter. Zach Fetchen and Caitlyn McKelvy received half-tuitions to the Princeton Water Polo Camp.

            Joel Williams earned the Terry Fetterman Memorial Award, named for the outstanding UP athlete who graduated in 1954. Williams was also the water polo MVP.

            The Joseph Ricapito Memorial Award, commemorating the former Sports Booster Club president, went to cheerleader Tyler Markoski.

            The Deborah L. Hodge Memorial, named for the 1986 grad who was an outstanding goalkeeper for hockey and lacrosse, was presented to Liz Fox.

            The Ralph W. Engle Memorial Award for "athletic prowess and academic excellence" was given to Karlee Fretz, also the softball MVP, and Eric Schneider.

            The Kyheim Tripp Memorial Award, in honor of the late 1997 grad and football and baseball standout, went to John Miller.

            The Lori Moll Memorial Award, in remembrance of the 1993 four-sport athlete, was won by LeeAnn Markwalter, also co-MVP of girls track with Taylor Sottung and Durning.

            The Keith Klepac Memorial Award, named for the three-sport athlete who would have graduated in 2008, was presented to Bo Duka.

            State qualifiers in cross-country, Serena Detweiler and Cameron Junk; wrestling, Jared Kuhns; swimming, Noel Fresa (swimming MVP), Bailey McCausland, Madison Modugno, Jayme Fisher, Kyle Kovalenko (swimming MVP), Junk, Dan Miller, Joel Williams, and Trevor Cairns; field hockey; cheerleading and softball were presented with plaques. 

            For the first time in recent memory, no one was added to the Wall of Fame at the banquet. Athletic director Bobby Kurzweg stated via email that there was "no reason" for the lack of recognition of distinguished alumni or coaches. "We are hoping to have new nominees next year."

            As usual, the Sports Booster Club in conjunction with the Green Lane-Marlborough Lions and Lionesses and the Upper Perkiomen Valley Lions Club sponsored the event.


 

 

 

 

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