Ocean City High School receives the same honor this year as this one. Pictured is Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor and Athletic Director Geoffrey Haines in 2019. (Photos courtesy JASM Consulting) The school’s athletics was awarded the NJSIAA Sportsmanship Award for the second consecutive year, as well as the Ed Byrnes Memorial Award for the eighth year in a row, according to a news release. Both awards come from the team’s success on and off the field, even with a shortened 2019-2020 athletic season.“The Ed Byrnes Award shows how diverse our athletic skills are and how teamwork under great coaching staffs leads to success on the competition venues. The NJSIAA award shows the character of the student-athletes and coaches,” said the district’s Athletic Director Geoffrey Haines.Haines added, “It also takes more than just coaches, it is also the leadership of the teaching staff and building staff, to the athletic trainers to administration to a supportive community. I am proud of these honors and it shows that hard work pays off.” The awardees of the NJSIAA Sportsmanship Award are presented with a banner to be displayed with their other record-setting and championship honors as motivation for current and future athletes. “It’s great to see our students be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication to their teams and to the teams around them. It’s been a challenging few months, but they persevered,” said Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor. “I feel an immense sense of pride for our student- athletes and our athletic program.”This year, the high school was the only Cape Atlantic League school given this award, compared to last year when two other schools received the honor. Each conference has its own requirements for selecting recipients, usually presenting a banner to a school representing each of the divisions. Winners are chosen with a vote by other schools. Since it began 30 years ago, Ocean High School has been awarded the Ed Byrnes Memorial Award 18 times. The district athletics also receives the Ed Byrnes Memorial Award for the eighth consecutive year.This year is the eighth consecutive year. During the 2019/2020 season, the Red Raiders won a State Championship in girls soccer, additional South Jersey titles in girls basketball, boys cross country and girls cross country, and deemed Regional State Champions in girls basketball despite the finals being cancelled due to Covid-19. Ocean City High School also won conference or league championships in five different sports. The system used to determine what schools are awarded are points for championships won in both Cape Atlantic League and NJSIAA with bonuses for the number of different sports in which they were won. Under this system, which rewards a sports program’s versatility, a school that wins one championship in each of two different sports will get a higher score than if it won two championships in the same sport. Only sports in which the CAL crowns a champion are considered for the award.This all-sports award was created by Prime Events and Schoppy Inc. in 1991. It was renamed in memory of Edward Byrnes, the longtime Athletics Director and football coach at Holy Spirit, after he died in February 1996. Byrnes was president of the Cape Atlantic League for six years and had just won his 100th football victory just months before his passing.
Published on September 26, 2019 at 12:17 am Contact Gaurav: [email protected] In the 2018 club volleyball national tournament, Syracuse failed to win a single set — the Orange went 0-8. Then-freshman Eric Lee couldn’t take the pain of losing that badly so many times. He knew it was time for a change.Lee was voted club president at the end of his freshman year along with fellow freshman Seth Reed, who was named vice president. The night that they were elected, Lee and Reed were already setting goals for the next year, ones they spent all summer planning.“When we met that night I just knew he was going to be a great leader for the team and the leader that the team needed,” said Reed.Now a junior, Lee has helped Syracuse’s club volleyball team grow during his time as president. The libero inherited a team that won no national games, but changes under him led to four postseason wins the next year. The team that once didn’t have a coach now does. And Lee’s relative inexperience didn’t stop him as older club members now look up to him.As the new captain and president of the team, Lee’s new responsibilities included scheduling, getting funds, coaching and organizing rides for teammates. But first, Lee needed to change the culture. In the past, practices were informal and attendance wasn’t consistent. Under Lee, the team would have accountability.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAll these duties presented challenges to Lee, but he’d do anything to erase the prior year’s shortcomings, he said.“I wasn’t used to losing because of high school,” Lee said. “I think I lost probably seven games my whole high school career.”At Wayne Valley (New Jersey) High School, Lee played for head coach Jason Carcich, who praised Lee’s toughness and grit. At SU, Lee plays libero, so his role on the team lends itself to natural leadership. Part of the reason Lee wanted to transform the club into a winning culture was because of his age. Elected at the end of his freshman year, Lee felt some pressure from the older players to improve from the prior year.One of the older members of the team, Koby Avramovich, a graduate student at SU, has seen the transformation of the club volleyball team under Lee. Even though Avramovich is a few years older than Lee, he still voted for Lee for president and looks up to him now.“He definitely leads by example,” said Avramovich.It was the small things, like having more intensity — and participation — at practices, that aided the team. When Lee was a sophomore, in his first year as president, the team won four games at nationals. The changes were clear. This year, the team has hired an actual coach that will take some of the coaching burden off of Lee, but that’s only made him set higher goals for the team.“I’m saying this right now,” Lee said, “We’re placing top five at nationals.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+