"We Win or We Learn"
As the sun begins to shine brighter and the snowfall can be measured in dustings, it is time to recognize the winter athletes who not only battled through historically difficult weather conditions, but who represented Hanover with stunning results, determination and dignity.
At the Winter Athletic Awards Night held earlier this month, Athletic Director, Kelly Bermes expressed the pride she feels in her athletes, her coaches, and perhaps most of all the families of the athletes who make it all possible. “We’ve had a great winter season with 135 athletes participating. In fact, we’re not quite finished with our winter season as our boys’ basketball team will participate in the IHSSA Regionals game this weekend after capturing the Sectional Championship last weekend. This is the first time since 1986 our boys team has won a Sectional Championship,” Mrs. Bermes said to a round of thunderous applause. While the Regional game found the Wildcats season coming to an end, there was much to be celebrated even before the game took place. “Coach Clouse is now the winningest coach in Hanover basketball history with 75 wins,” she said.
Mrs. Bermes spent a moment introducing two new coaches; Coach Vukobratovich and Coach Sobkowicz who have taken over the wrestling program at Hanover. Both coaches are Hanover graduates and friends since childhood.
As she has done in the past, Mrs. Bermes asked all of the seniors in the audience to rise and again the applause was enthusiastic. “Seniors, you have given us four good years and represented Hanover well. I want to wish you well and hopefully you are playing a spring sport for us,” said Bermes.
On both sides of the auditorium Senior athletes stood to be recognized.
“You often hear me say that our athletes are students first and athletes second and that is why we recognize the team with the highest average grade point average,” said Bermes. For the winter, team acknowledgment went to the girls’ basketball team with a 3.35 GPA.
Cheer Coach, Angel Hoover, took the podium to acknowledge her cheerleaders. “We were very glad to be a part of the boys’ basketball sectional win,” said Coach Hoover. “It is something the girls will always remember.” Coach Hoover also expressed appreciation to the families who accommodated the frequent changes in schedule and asked the girls to applaud their parents for the time and effort they put in
Coach Angel Hoover
Most Valuable Player went to Gabby Ramos and Rachel Peabody. Payten Smith was named most improved. Rachel Fleszewski was awarded the Mental Attitude winner, Ashley Owens was recognized for her Sportsmanship and Julia Schuldes was the Rookie of the Year.
“It is great to be here working with my lifelong friend and to be able to give back to the sport that gave us so much, the community that gave us so much and the program that gave us so much,” said new Wrestling Coach Roger Vukobratovich before introducing his Co-Coach Kyle Sobkowicz and Assistant Coach Shawn Hoover.
Coach Roger Vukobratovich
“We have been through a transitional period over the last few years, but I believe we’re on the upswing now,” said Vukobratovich. “I consider a season a success when we’re better on the last day of the season than on the first day of the season, and we are,” he added. Highlighting the successes of the season, Vukobratovich pointed out that “This is the first time ever in history we have had a girl compete at a regional event. We had a wrestler place or win at every tournament we competed in.”
Awards presented included: Most Valuable Player and Mental Attitude awards went to, Ryan Breedlove who also competed at the regional level. Anthoney Tuley was named Most Improved, Johnny Willams received the Sportsmanship award, while his Mom, Elsa Willams was recognized for her contributions in support of the team and the wrestlers. Skylar Iverson received the Rookie of the Year award. “She is an inspiration for everyone stepping on to the mat for the first time,” noted Coach Vukobratovich.
Girls’ Basketball Coach Luis Roldan acknowledged the contributions of parents who provided team dinners and helped bond the team players. “I knew this team would be different this year with only two seniors, and one of them suffering a season ending injury early.” Nonetheless the losses experienced over the course of the season were all games with a 7 point or less margin. “We either win, or we learn, is what I told my girls said Coach Roldan. “With 98% of our team coming back next year I’d like to think we’ve learned a lot and I hope to turn those 7 key losses into wins next season,” he added.
Coach Luis Roldan
Awards were presented to the following players: MVP, Amanda Schreiber, Most Improved, Neveah Govert, Mental Attitude, Kaylee Huyser, Sportsmanship, Madison Fanta and Rookie of the Year, Julia Blue.
Coach Clouse took to the stage with his Sectional Champion Wildcat Basketball team. Coach Clouse reviewed the record of all three basketball teams.
Coach Clouse with Luke Barach
The “C” team finished the season with a 7 and 8 record, the JV team finished with a 10 and 10 season, with both teams suffering an abundance of injuries. On the night of the awards the Varsity season stood at 17 wins and 8 losses and a Sectional Championship. “17 wins is the 2nd most in school history,” noted Clouse. While the team fell just short of the season record of 20 wins by the 1986 team, and the Regional game saw a Wildcat loss, the pride in the team and the individually recognized players by Coach Clouse was a moment that will always be treasured by the players and families.
Taking home individual recognition awards were: Most Valuable Player and Sportsmanship went to Luke Barach, Most Improved went to Joey Glidewell, Mental Attitude, Dominic Lucido and Rookie of the Year, Kameron Ludwig.
Kelly Bermes returned to the podium to present the All Conference and Academic All-Conference awards. Below are those recognized in the order of their recognition.
Boys’ Basketball players Luke Barach and Dominic Lucido received 1st team All-Conference awards, as did Girls’ Basketball team member Amanda Schreiber. 2nd team All-Conference recognition went to three student athletes. Joey Glidewell-Boys’ Basketball, Neveah Govert, Girls’ Basketball and Ryan Breedlove, Wrestling. Receiving All Conference Honorable Mentions’ were Kameron Ludwig – Boys’ Basketball, Julia Blue – Girls’ Basketball and Skylar Iverson – Wrestling. Two seniors received Academic All-Conference recognition which requires a 3.5 or better GPA, an SAT score of 1100 or better or ACT score of 22 or better and a ranking in the top 25% of their class. Both recognitions went to members of the Girls’ Basketball team; Madison Fanta and Kaylee Huyser.
The evening ended with Hanover Central Athletic Booster Club President, Mary Joan Dickson reminding everyone present that Hanover sports are funded entirely through donations and fundraising efforts. The 9th annual Chicken Dinner/Silent Auction will be held on Friday April 12, 2019 at 6:30 to 11:00 p.m. The popular event will take place at the After Four Club at 13109 Wicker Avenue. Tickets are $20 and $25 at the door. There are great live auction items, silent auction items and raffles. All money raised from this yearly fundraiser goes to the support of our student athletes at Hanover Central High School and Hanover Central Middle School.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF OUR WINTER ATHLETES.