AHS girls basketball holds end of season banquet

The Amsterdam High School girls basketball program officially concluded the 2015-2016 season with its end-of-the-season banquet Monday evening at the Amsterdam High School cafeteria. The event, organized by the booster club, recognized the many accomplishments of the program’s four teams during a record breaking season. Master of ceremonies Barry Rouse, who was the voice of all the Amsterdam Lady Rams home games, introduced the many guests including parents, scorekeepers, team trainers, and sports journalists, and then introduced the coaches who presented their teams.

Amsterdam 7th grade coach Alison Miller presented her team that included Charli Beekman, Jamie Corcoran, Natalie Flint, Andie Gannon, Jessliana Gracia-Rivera, Lydia Iorio, Mianna Jackson, Gianna King, Antonia May, Sydney Szczepanik, Luzmari Torres-Fuentes, Karen Troche, and Tiana Walker. Miller noted the teams’ winning record and commitment to success in being the future of the varsity team. Team captains Beekman and May, with the help of Rouse, thanked Miller for her dedication.

Amsterdam 8th grade coach Julie Pendt introduced a team that included Emily Schaufelberg, Kayli Hoefs, Anaida Urriola, Jade Pimentel, Francesca Derosa, Selinda Torres, Grace Patrei, Lillian Patterson, Astrid Dimas, and Madison Wojcik, and team mangers for both the seventh and eighth grade teams Shelby Lamont and Brianna Francisco. Pendt noted the team’s dedication to the game and willingness to learn the sport. Team captains Schaufelberg and Hoefs, thanked Pendt for her dedication as well. The two younger Amsterdam squads teamed up for 12 wins during the 2015-2016 season.

Amsterdam junior varsity coach Jessica Byerwalters presented her team that included Mady Carmona, Megan Lamont, Delianna Figueroa, Lilian Orengo, Elena Fedullo, Gianna Derosa, Natalie Fernandez, Yarlyn Toro, Gabrielle Stanavich, Tamia Walker, Karly Power, Taylor Flint, and Jillian Rodecker, and team managers Jael Irizarry and Kaleigh Carrero. Byerwalters noted the team’s overall winning record with only two losses in the Foothills Council and their determination in beating a Glens Falls team in a late season game. Four members of the junior varsity team were called up to varsity for sectionals including sophomores Derosa, Flint, Power, and freshman Fedullo. Captains Derosa, Flint and Power thanked Byerwalters for her dedication and preparing them for their turn on the varsity team.

Amsterdam varsity coach Eric Duemler presented the 2015-2016 Foothills Council champion and New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Section 2 Class A runner up Amsterdam Lady Rams that included seniors Autumn Duemler, Gabriella Catena, Kaitlyn Devine, Rayven Roach, Braelin Aldi, and Jailene Irizarry, juniors Nina Fedullo, Maria Lomanto, Brady Santiago, Grace Catena, and Victoria Barone-Lopez, and sophomores Lucia Liverio and Giuliana Pritchard, and team captains Solmarie Rivera and Khamara Badji.

Duemler recognized the team’s record breaking season and reaching the Section 2 Class A championship game and battling to the end against defending champion Averill Park. Duemler unveiled the Section 2 Class A runner-up plaque and called Devine to the podium to present it to Amsterdam High School athletic director Brian Mazza stating that “next year it will be a championship plaque.”

The Amsterdam Lady Rams were also one of the top scholar athlete teams during the 2015-2016 NYSPHSAA Section 2 winter sports season. Autumn Duemler, Gabriella and Grace Catena, Kaitlyn Devine Victoria Barone- Lopez, and Giuliana Pritchard were honored as the teams top scholar athletes with Duemler representing the club at an awards ceremony held earlier this month. The NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete Team Award Program was established in 1991 and recognizes teams who earn a 90 percent average or higher during their sport season. Amsterdam was also recognized for this achievement in 2014-2015.

Duemler noted the Lady Rams winning the Foothills Council South division for the second straight year with a perfect 8-0 record, and this year winning the Foothills Council title outright with an exciting win over Glens Falls in the championship game at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The Lady Rams varsity completed a 17-6 season and competed at The Mecca tournament in New York City where they challenged a pair of talented NYC teams including an 80-53 win over JFK High School at the late January weekend event. Duemler stated that college coaches contacted him after the tournament, and he thanked the parents, boosters and Mazza for the opportunity that the Lady Rams had to participate in one of the country’s premier high school basketball tournaments.

Nina Fedullo was presented with the basketball that was in play when she broke the school scoring record for girls basketball. Fedullo passed Amy Jo Stewart on the all time scoring list when she scored her 955th point on February 1, 2016 on Senior Night at AHS in the Lady Rams 63-37 win over Broadalbin-Perth. Fedullo became the first Amsterdam High School girls basketball player to reach the 1,000 point mark on February 20, 2016 during Amsterdam’s 65-54 quarter final win over Mohonasen at AHS. Duemler stated that that ball will be placed in the trophy case when Fedullo finishes her high school basketball career.

Duemler went on to recognize the teams’ six seniors who “gave all their heart to the game.” Amsterdam team captains Autumn Duemler, Kaitlyn Devine and Nina Fedullo took the podium to thank their coaches, parents, and boosters. Autumn Duemler spoke for the team and thanked her coach, who is also her dad and said, “I’m very fortunate to be able to call you my coach but more importantly, my dad.”

The varsity team recognized all the parents, scorekeepers Bill and Patti Wills, announcer Barry Rouse, team trainer Carla Pasquarelli, and head of the booster club Carmie Pritchard, who’s son Michael opened the evening leading the Pledge of Allegiance. A buffet style dinner was served.

The Amsterdam Lady Rams 2015-2016 high school basketball season has come to an end, but the game goes on with Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams preparing for the Spring and Summer seasons. Many of the Lady Rams will stay active on the court with some also playing spring sports at AHS.

Photos by Scott Mulford.

Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.