Catonsville High athletic director Rich Hambor recently held a virtual awards ceremony to honor the school’s gold and silver award winners along with athletes who have committed to play sports in college in 2020 and 2021.
Adam Kolarek, a 2007 Catonsville High graduate and current relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was also there for the virtual ceremony.
“I’m hoping that this is short enough to keep your interest, but also to give respect and honor everybody that deserves it today,” Hambor said at the opening.
Normally, the athletes would be honored in the cafeteria or auditorium, but the coronavirus pandemic that closed schools on March 16 prevented that.
The gold award winners is for athletes who have participated in at least 11 sports at the school.
“As sports specialization gets tougher and more demanding, it’s really rare and we love to see people playing multiple sports and this us how we honor them,” Hambor said.
Recipients of the Comet Athletic Achievement Gold award included: Mark Brady (soccer, basketball, baseball), Grant Nyland (badminton, wrestling, lacrosse), Elliott Wack (cross country, indoor and outdoor track), Kolby Weedon (soccer, basketball and lacrosse and Sophi Wrisk (volleyball, basketball, lacrosse).
The recipients of the Comet Athletic Achievement Silver award (at least nine seasons) included: Michael Bowers, Dashawn Dixon, Bella Dunigan, Mateen Kareem, Jessica McDivitt, Maddi McLean, Evan Rogers, Libby Ruppel and Don’ya Truesdale.
Hambor spoke about the future for the departing athletes before announcing the college signees
“This group is deciding to go into an uncertain world of athletics next year in college in general, but just like all of us as seniors in high school, getting ready to move on in really as a unique way as anybody ever has before,” he said.
Seven athletes announced their college commitments at the school in November.
Gunnar Cheuvront – Loyola University Maryland – lacrosse
Makaela Hill – UMBC – swimming and diving
Anna Kearney – Frostburg State – lacrosse
Lindsey Marshall – Towson University – lacrosse
Liz Perry – Frostburg State – swimming
Kolby Weedon – St. Joseph’s University – lacrosse
Sophi Wrisk – University of Maryland – lacrosse
There were 16 Comet athletes who made their college decision in the spring.
Michael Bowers – McDaniel College – football
Dashawn Dixon – Penn State-Schuylkill – basketball
Bella Dunigan – St. Mary’s College of Maryland – lacrosse
Brogan Hurd – Marietta College - lacrosse
Mateen Kareem – Morgan State University – football
Syd Keagle – Delaware Valley University – field hockey
Hayden Kesner – St. Mary’s College of Maryland – field hockey
Kyle Lane – University of Rochester – track and field
Marciss Lawson – Bridgewater College – football
Lily Mellendick – St. Mary’s College of Maryland – soccer
Lauren Neebe – Hood College – field hockey
Grant Nyland – Bridgewater College – lacrosse
Tye Perry – Plymouth State University – wrestling
John Sanick – Hood College – Lacrosse
Jamie Taylor – Washington & Jefferson College – football
Adam Williams – Howard Community College – lacrosse
During the ceremony Hambor showed a clip of Kolarek retiring Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto three times during the National League Division Series last fall.
Later, Kolarek presented the gold and silver award winners and had some words for the group.
“One thing I always make sure whenever people throughout my professional career ask where I’m from, I always say Catonsville,” said Kolarek, who pitched for the Comets in the state semifinals in 2007. “I wear that with a lot of pride. My time spent in high school with my classmates and teammates, those games that we played together are memories that we still talk about and I feel like it was yesterday. Those moments are as important to me as the ones you saw there that I got to be a part of with the Dodgers.”
He added these words for the graduating class.
“For the seniors, I’m really proud of all you’ve accomplished and really honored to be a part of your awards ceremony today,” Kolarek said.
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Towards the end of the awards ceremony, Hambor got word that track athlete Kyle Lane was the winner of the $1,000 track and field-based award for the Carol Saffron Brinks Memorial Scholarship.