It’s been a wild winter. And now, it’s over.
The winter athletes did very little to make our jobs easy, it seemed just about every team had a candidate for the winter awards. But after crunching numbers, we’ve come up with an illustrious list of winners.
The winter winners, as well as the athletes who won in the fall, and those who will receive honors in the spring, will be honored at the annual sports banquet, held May 11 at the FOP Lodge 5.
Catholic League Player of the Year
The Raiders had a lot of good players this year, but everything started with the big man in the middle. Sorber helped Ryan finish third in the Catholic League and helped them advance to the semifinals of the PIAA Class 5A state tournament, where the Raiders fell to nationally ranked Imhotep Charter, which went on to win the title.
Sorber averaged just under 18 points per game and more than 10 rebounds per affair. He was tough on defense, too, averaging better than four blocks a game.
He’ll return for his senior year, and he’ll have plenty of options beyond high school. He picks up offers from high-level Division I programs just about every game.
Public League Player of the Year
The Pioneers took a huge step this year and the play of their junior swingman was a huge reason why.
Parker-Barnes could play point guard, shooting guard and small forward, and wherever he was, he caused headaches for opposing defenses. He averaged close to 13 points per game, six rebounds and three assists per game. He also was a strong defender, averaging 1.5 steals per game and about one block per contest.
His efforts meant a lot for the young, inexperienced Pioneers, who won 14 games, including 10 of 11 Public League games to finish atop their division.
Parker-Barnes will only get better and next year he’ll be among the top players in the Public League.
Coach of the year
Since taking over the Ryan program, Zeglinski has guided the Raiders to the state championship game, the Catholic League championship game and five trips to the Catholic League semifinals. This year might have been his best.
After playing an outstanding nonleague schedule, Zeglinski guided Ryan to a third-place finish in the Catholic League. Any year that’s an accomplishment, but this year, in a season when four teams made state championship games, this was an incredible feat.
One of the biggest wins this year was in the state quarterfinals, when Ryan avenged a nonleague loss and in the process handed Radnor its first loss of the season.
Ryan did suffer three postseason losses, but only lost to state champions. West Catholic won its bracket and Imhotep Charter, widely considered the best team in the Philadelphia area and one of the best in the country, defeated Ryan in the District 12 championship and in the state semifinals.
Zeglinski had this season despite just two seniors on the roster. The team had plenty of talent, but the youngsters were forced to grow up quickly. They did, and it showed. Despite playing the toughest teams around, Ryan ended the season with 19 wins.
The coach’s efforts not only helped Ryan this year, but should pay dividends in the coming seasons.
Catholic School Player of the Year
When you have a group of five sophomores starting, you might think it’s a rebuilding season. But this year, behind star guard Power, the Pandas won the District One championship and went on to win two games in the state tournament.
And whenever the Pandas needed someone to step up, it was usually Power. She helped run the offense as Nazareth held its own in a very tough Catholic Academy League, and by the time the postseason rolled around, the Pandas were a force to be reckoned with.
Next will be a huge season for the Pandas, who are joining the Catholic League. That’s a tough league, but it will help that the team will have Power and the rest of the starting five around for two years.
Public League Player of the Year
It’s hard to believe what the sophomore guard did this year. After playing for Imhotep Charter as a freshman, Parker enrolled at Fels and became one of the top players in the area. She put up ridiculous numbers, scoring 43 points per game, handed out two assists per game, and was a dog on the defensive end, notching an average of eight steals per game.
She did this while leading a team that struggled mightily the previous season. This year, the Panthers went unbeaten in league play, won 15 games, including a playoff triumph and qualified for the state playoffs.
Parker still has two years left as a Panther, and her goal is to eventually lead Fels into one of the top teams in the Public League.
Coach of the Year
The Panthers went from a winless team in 2021 to a playoff team, both Public League and state playoffs, this year. They won 15 more games this year than the previous season, and were one of the top teams in the Public League.
Carrion did this thanks to the great play of Senaya Parker, but he also got great contributions from all of the players on the young squad.
This year was very valuable for the Panthers because while young, they got a taste of postseason play at both the state and Public League level. That experience will help them next season.
Catholic League Wrestler of the Year
The Raiders had a very young team this year, but one of their leaders was Rehfuss, who showed the team exactly what it takes to be a top-tier Catholic League wrestler.
Rehfuss finished 36-7 on the season with 27 pins to his credit. He finished his Ryan career with 106 victories.
He also won his second straight District 12 championship this year and finished second in the All-Catholic tournament in a very tough 160-pound weight class.
Next year, he hopes to continue wrestling, and is deciding on a major. He’s interested in both physical therapy and sports management.
Public League Wrestler of the Year
When the Vikings won the Public League championship this year, they had a lineup of great wrestlers who contributed to the cause. But without a doubt, the leader of the team was their 139-pound captain.
Melendez went 31-8 with 19 pins and two tech fall wins on the season. His efforts helped him not only get All-Public but he also brought home a district championship.
His biggest win came when he defeated Central’s Jairo Gomez in 1:59 to help the Vikings knock off the Lancers 42-27 in the Public League championship for their third straight Public League crown.
Coach of the Year
It’s never easy to win a Public League championship, but winning following the pandemic was exceptionally tough because so many wrestlers were unable to find places to practice.
At Northeast, the pandemic did anything but slow the team down. This was the third year in a row Siravo led Northeast to a Public League championship.
It helps that he has great wrestlers who are willing to work, but Siravo loads up Northeast’s schedule during nonleague matchups. It always pays off by the time the postseason rolls around.
This year, Siravo won with a young team. It’s likely Northeast will make noise next year when the season begins.
Boys Swimmer of the Year
Ever since walking into Ryan, Gonzalez has been a key contributor to the Raiders, serving as a captain all four years. But he’s been even more successful in the pool.
He’s a two-time District 12 champion in the 200-freestyle, and this year he added the 500-freestyle title to his collection.
He picked up another District 12 championship by anchoring the 400-free relay team to a title, and in the process helped the relay team advance to states for the first time in school history.
This is the second year in a row that the talented swimmer has won this award.
Girls Swimmer of the Year
Philadelphia Academy Charter
Just because your school doesn’t have a swimming team doesn’t mean you can’t be one of the best swimmers in the area.
Ciamaichelo, a junior who also swims all year long for the Lower Moreland Lightning, won District 12 championships in both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke, and in the process set personal best times in both events, qualifying for the state meet.
At states, Ciamaichelo took 19th in the 50-yard freestyle. She did even better in the breaststroke. In the preliminary race, she moved up from 19th to 14th, then finished ninth in the state.
Coach of the year
If there’s two things Clothier is good at, it’s promoting his sport and helping his swimmers drop times.
This year, while having some very good swimmers, Clothier helped lead Zoe Steinmetz to the District 12 championship in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke, and Iyana Chong, who won the district championship in the 100-yard butterfly. Both swimmers qualified for states, making Clothier the only District 12 girls coach who sent two swimmers to states.
And while Clothier has proven over the years to make great swimmers incredible, he can also turn a new swimmer into a point-scorer. This year, with 50 percent of the roster swimming for the first time, he helped every swimmer on the roster record personal bests this year.
Clothier also does a fine job championing the sport, not just for his team, but for both the Public and Catholic leagues.