Santa Maria School honors b-ball stars

Santa Maria School’s basketball stars, on all levels, were recently honored during an award banquet celebrating the success of the program.

The basketball program at Santa Maria School recently held its end of the year Sports Dinner, honoring the great accomplishments made by the team this year. 

The 2007-2008 Basketball Season was a success on many levels.  For the first time in 10 years, the program was large enough to have both girls’ and boys’ teams at every level, with several squads winning tournaments in 2008. 

The Gidgets won the St. Brenden’s Tournament, the Bantams won the NYI Tournament and the Tyros won the Christmas Tournament at Salesian High School, just to name a few victories on the season. 

In addition to competitive wins, Santa Maria also raised enough money through their concession stand to purchase bleachers, team benches, new uniforms and banners to hang on gym walls. 

The gym will be going through some renovations over the summer, with new windows, padding and painting to occur, all to prepare for another exciting basketball season in 2009. 

As the school celebrated these great accomplishments, awards were given out to all athletes and individual honors were given to the Most Outstanding player on each level. 

The Gidgets award went to Azell McPherson, the Bantams award was handed to Eric Berrios, the Tyros trophy went to Aaron Cruz, the Debs award was presented to Alicia Velez, the Girls’ Varsity Most Outstanding Player was Kathy Gutierrez and the Boys’ Varsity Most Outstanding Player trophy was given to Matthew Kerrigan.

Additional awards were given for Most Improved players and Spirit/Scholar.

The highlight of the sports year was the Boys’ Varsity team, who was coached by Gene New.

New has been part of the Santa Maria family since his daughters were in the school and began coaching over 20 years ago.  A special presentation was made to New by the Boys’ Varsity captains to thank their coach for an outstanding season and his dedication to the Santa Maria Sports Program.

The Boys’ Varsity was undefeated during the regular season and won the CYO Archdiocesan Championship by beating Visitation, Mt. Carmel, St. Francis Xavier and St. Clare’s. The team went on to beat Sacred Heart, of Staten Island, to win the City Championship. 

For the first time in school history, a banner celebrating the Boys’ Varsity City Championship was raised during the Coaches vs. Athletes game held earlier this year on May 31st.

The banner will greet the players as they attempt to repeat as champions next season. 

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