BERGEN — This school year was certainly atypical fore high school student-athletes. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone had their years and, in many cases, their careers cut unceremoniously short.
As always, Byron-Bergen High School honored its annual postseason student-athletes, though this year the athletic department decided to add multiple recipients to its biggest postseason awards.
However, Byron-Bergen not only got it done athletically, the Bees got it done in the classroom as well. Byron-Bergen had 100 percent of its teams in the fall receive the NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete team award, while the Bees also had four out of five teams accomplish that in the winter.
“Our fifth team just missed out with an overall team GPA of 89.2,” athletic director Rich Hannan said. “So, to say that our teams knocked it out of the park is an understatement.”
This year the Byron-Bergen coaches decided to have a pair of Gary Liles Memorial Sportsmanship Award winners. This year that award went to Travis Lambert and Hannah Catalino, two very deserving seniors who have played multiple sports over their years at B-B and ‘are wonderful ambassadors for our school and athletic community.’
For the 2019-20 high school year, the Byron-Bergen Athletes of the Year are Kelsey Fuller and Miriam Tardy for the girls, and Bryce Yockel and Zach Hannan for the boys.
B-B’s criteria for this award is as follows — given to the athletes who demonstrate excellence in team play, leadership, and good sportsmanship. The recipients should have competed in several sports and must have maintained a record of good citizenship throughout the year, both in and out of the classroom.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these four kids,” Hannan said. “They are all fantastic students and athletes and most importantly, they are great young people that will have an impact on whatever they choose to do with their lives. I will miss the entire class of 2020 and all of our wonderful students and athletes, and I would like to publicly say thank you and good luck to each and every one of them.
ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Fuller was a four-time GR all-star for soccer (2016,2017,2018,2019) and Section V Player of the Year for 2019; she was also a three-time team MVP for soccer (2017-19) and a second-team All-State selection this past season.
This past season Fuller also earned her first GR All-Star nod for basketball.
Fuller plans to attend Division I Canisius College and play on the womens soccer team and to pursue a career in business and marketing.
As for her best memories at B-B — “Being super close with my teammates and building strong bonds with coaches and players. Always jamming to music and being crazy before games. And team bondings and pre game huddles.”
Yockel had an outstanding football career as he was a four-time GR All-Star, three-time All-Greater Rochester selection, 2017 Class C tournament MVP, 2018 Connors and Ferris MVP, the 2019 Section V Class C Player of the Year, the 2019 G & G Fitness Player of the Year, an NFF Scholar Athlete Award winner and an Eddie Meath All-Star.
Yockel also broke the all-time rushing record for Caledonia-Mumford (Byron-Bergen) this past season.
In track and field Yockel was a two-time GR All-Star, while he will be attending Baldwin-Wallace University to play football.
His favorite memories at B-B were “winning sectionals, spending time with my friends, and every year of sports in my high school career.”
A second-time recipient of the B-B Player of the Year honor, Tardy was a four-time Genesee Region League all-star (2016-19) for girls soccer, the Bees’ Most Valuable Offensive Player of the Year for 2018 and 2019 and also a four-time GR All-Star in track and field (2015-17, 2019).
Also to her credit she was named to the Class C1 All-Tournament Team for hoops this past season, won the Most Respected Player Award for girls basketball for 2019 and 2020, won the Most Valuable Female Track Athlete Award for 2018 and 2019 and was also a winner of the Stan Sherwood Memorial Scholarship in 2020.
Hannan was a three-time GR All-Star in wrestling and finished his career 156-31 — including 37-2 this past season.
Hannan was a four-time sectional place finisher, including a Section Class B2 title at 152 pounds this season; Hannan was also a two-time Supersectional place finisher, with the championship at 152 this winter, and the 2019-20 GR Wrestler of the Year
“I would like to thank all my coaches, my friends, my teammates, and my family for all the support throughout my entire career,” Zach Hannan said. “My favorite memories include all the spaghetti dinners for cross country, and just hanging out with my teammates throughout high school.”