Despite Marco Island Academy’s small student population, there are numerous students that show their athletic skills, whether it be on the court, field, or track.
Marco Island Academy (MIA) recently held their annual Sports Awards Ceremony at the Rose Hall Auditorium. Coaches, students, and their families gathered together to reflect on an amazing athletic year as well as highlighting a few of the most well-rounded student-athletes.
To start off the ceremony, teacher and athletic director Gerard Miller spoke to the room about the ups and downs of this year’s seasons. Discussed were the impacts of Hurricane Irma on the athletic department, some of the Academy’s best statistics, and the hopes for next year’s seasons.
The football team is the largest of the MIA sports teams, and by far the most diverse and dedicated. As head coach Damon Coiro had moved to North Carolina by the time the awards ceremony arrived, assistant coach Max Salain awarded three outstanding athletes. Senior Skylar Lee was given the “Coaches Award,” junior Jay Cartwright received the “Leadership Award,” and freshman Kyler Howard received the “Most Valuable Player Award.”
For the girls volleyball team, former teammate, Alyssa Stolinas, had to step up to be their coach during the end of the season. Alyssa awarded junior Lauren Dehooghe the “Most Valuable Player Award.” Lauren feels she earned this award as she states, “Being an athlete comes with sacrifice, and for me, athletic sacrifice was for volleyball. I dedicated almost every day in the summer working out, doing volleyball drills, and going to private lessons with a club volleyball coach just trying to improve my skills for the upcoming fall and club seasons.” Sophomore Lauren Faremouth was given the “Coaches Award” and senior Chelsea Casabona earned the “Leadership Award.”
Although not many students participate in tennis when compared to other sports, they are one of the best teams at Marco Island Academy. Sophomore Lauren Faremouth, who also plays for the volleyball, soccer, and swim teams, was awarded the “Most Valuable Player Award” for the girls tennis team. The “Leadership Award” was earned by junior Emma Snow and the “Coaches Award” was awarded to freshman Jasmine Schauer. For the boy’s team, junior Won Shin received the “Most Valuable Player Award” which contributes to a great ending at his first year at the Academy.
Boys Basketball Coach Travis Barry handed out awards not only to the team’s Most Valuable Player and or Most Improved, but to every player on the team. Coach Barry believes that “every player brings their own individual attributes and that valuing one player over others detracts from their team mentality.” Some of the awards consisted of “Gentle Giant” awarded to senior Seth Wilson, “For The Love of The Game Award,” received by sophomore Dominic Moller, and the “Team Spirit Award,” earned by junior Evans Metelus. Barry’s sentimental yet comedic awards made the coaches, players, and parents fill the room with their laughter.
The girls soccer team, one of the most victorious teams at MIA, gave out many amazing awards as well. Coach Darin Palumbo awarded his hardworking daughter, sophomore Jenna Palumbo, the “Most Valuable Player Award.” Senior Julia Wagner earned the team’s “Coaches Award” and head coach Jim Watt awarded his deserving daughter, senior Olivia Watt, the “Leadership Award.”
Overall, the athletics at Marco Island Academy have had their fair share of up and downs throughout the year. Despite various obstacles, students prevailed and showed their true athletic ability. The dynamic of the athletics department at MIA is all about working together as a family, pushing the limits, and having courage in being the underdog.