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Massena fall athletes recognized for classroom achievements

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MASSENA - Five Massena Central School fall sports teams have been recognized by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association for their achievements in the classroom.

Athletic Director Timothy J. Hayes told board of education members Thursday night that all five of the fall teams were recognized by the NYSPHSAA for being “Scholar Athlete Teams.” At the end of each sport season, the NYSPHSAA honors those teams that excel in the classroom.

“We always read in the paper about their accomplishments in each sport, but seldom do we hear about what they do in the classroom. This speaks about how sports help them in the classroom,” Mr. Hayes said.

Massena’s swim team carried a cumulative 95.64 average, while girl’s soccer was 94.775, volleyball was 94.23, football was 93.58 and boy’s soccer was 92.9.

Several members of the swim team were on hand Thursday night to be recognized for their efforts. The team included Emma O’Connell, Kalie Peets, Abigail Elman, Ashna Gupta, Emily Hurlbut, Baylee Carroll, Courtney Croasdaile, Taylor Brault, Makenzie LaBrake, Mackenzie LePage, Kurstin Stowell, Sydney Shadle and Kaitlyn Northrop.

Mr. Hayes said what the students achieved was noteworthy. Each sport has a set number required to be used and the average has to remain above 90 for that marking period.

“All five of our teams were recognized by the NYSPHSAA for being Scholar Athlete Teams. This is the first time in several years that all five of these teams qualified. If all of our varsity teams qualify, we will become a school of distinction. The ultimate would be to have all of our varsity teams (qualify). Hopefully we can continue that,” he said.

In addition, 142 out of the 222 high school athletes - 64 percent - were also recognized as Academic All Northerns. Mr. Hayes said in order to be recognized students must have an 88 cumulative average, be on a varsity team and be in at least the 10th grade.

Two music students - Daniel Elman and Drake Tubbs - were also recognized Thursday night for their achievements. They were selected to participate in the 2014 New York State Bband Director’s Association High School Honors Band. Mr. Elman plays the oboe and Mr. Tubbs plays the tuba.

Principal Patrick J. Farrand said the NYSBDA High School Honors Band “is an opportunity for exceptional students in instrumental music performance.”

He explained that each year a committee selects high school students based on their annual New York State School Music Association solo competition ratings and director recommendations. What evolves is one single concert band featuring the best high school instrumental musicians in the state.

A symposium is held each March to help celebrate the national “Music In Our Schools Month,” and Mr. Elman and Mr. Tubbs will spend three days rehearing in Liverpool with other selected high school musicians and a “highly recognized” band director.

It culminates with a concert on the final afternoon of the symposium.

“This application and audition process is quite intensive, with only the top students in the state being selected to participate,” Mr. Farrand said.

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