Deptford banquet celebrates school athletes

Local students cited for academic success and sportsmanship

The South Jersey Coaches Association recently honored student athletes at a Deptford banquet. Forty-four of them across the region displayed academic excellence, sportsmanship and courage in their sport. Photo by Danielle DeAngelis / The Sun

The South Jersey Coaches Association (SJCA) hosted its annual student athlete banquet on  May 4 at Auletto’s Caterers in Deptford to give awards for academics, sportsmanship and courage this school year. 

“This organization (SJCA) honors coaches in the fall that previously won league or state championships,” event emcee Chris Haines said. “In the early spring, retired coaches and retired athletic directors are inducted into the SJCA hall of fame. 

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“And tonight,” she added, “we honor our scholar athletes, our athletes that best showed sportsmanship and our most courageous athletes.”

Forty-four students from high schools in Gloucester, Camden, Burlington, Cumberland, Salem, Atlantic and Cape May counties were honored with an award.

The following student athletes won a SJCA scholar award:

  • Olympic American Male: Cameron Hoelzel from Cherokee
  • Olympic American Female: Laurel Decker from Cherry Hill East
  • Olympic Patriot Male: Brandon Drea from Cherry Hill West
  • Olympic Patriot Female: Tess Strittmatter from Seneca
  • Olympic National Male: Ralph J. Giuliano III from Pennsauken Tech
  • Olympic National Female: Tah-Janai Carstarphen from Woodrow Wilson
  • Colonial Liberty Male: Jacob Cobb from West Deptford
  • Colonial Liberty Female: Evie Davis from Haddon Heights
  • Colonial Patriot Male: Jairo Guerrero Cartagena from Lindenwold
  • Colonial Patriot Female: Madison Scambia from Gateway
  • BCSL Liberty Male: Ryan Braga from Delran
  • BCSL Liberty Female: Sanai Jenkins from Rancocas Valley
  • BCSL Patriot Male: Sean Hargrow from Doane Academy
  • BCSL Patriot Female: Megan Normile from New Egypt
  • BCSL Freedom Male: Sam Kotch from Cinnaminson
  • BCSL Freedom Female: Ebony Johnson from Pennsauken
  • BCSL Independence Male: Chris Schoemer from Willingboro
  • BCSL Independence Female: Heather Adams from Palmyra
  • Tri-County Royal Male: Nolan Jess from GCIT
  • Tri-County Royal Female: Victoria Griffiths from Kingsway 
  • Tri-County Liberty Male: Dennis Fortuna from Triton
  • Tri-County Liberty Female: Monica Thomas from Timber Creek
  • Tri-County Diamond Male: Noah Tighe from Woodstown
  • Tri-County Diamond Female: Riley Fulmer from Woodstown
  • Tri-County Classic Male: Cole Sharpnack from Pitman
  • Tri-County Class Female: Imene Fathi from Wildwood

Those who won the SJCA sportsmanship award are:

  • Olympic Male: Patrick Caulden from Lenape
  • Olympic Female: Kathryn Fricker from Cherokee
  • BCSL Male: Ankith Keshireddy from Northern Burlington
  • BCSL Female: Sophia Wilburn from Palmyra
  • TCC Male: Ryan Campisi from GCIT
  • TCC Female: Molly Jespersen from A.P. Schalick
  • Colonial Male: Michael Busbee from Lindenwold
  • Colonial Female: Olivia Magee from West Deptford

The SJCA’s most courageous awards were given to Gabriel Planas-Borgstrom from Bordentown and Colin Randles from Ocean City. 

All winners got a plaque and had a photo opportunity with association President Irv McFarland, who is vice principal of student activities and athletics at Deptford High School.

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