Published on December 7th, 2014 | by Staples Soccer0
Michael Reid, Patrick Beusse Earn Block “S” Awards; Other Honors And 2015 Captains Announced At Banquet
Nearly 200 players, parents, siblings and friends honored the 2014 varsity, JV and freshman soccer teams tonight, at the 56th annual Staples boys soccer banquet.
The event — at the Norwalk Inn — included speeches by coaches and captains, introductions of all players, and several awards.
Head coach Dan Woog noted the evening’s dual themes. There was sadness that the varsity team was together for the last time, and anticipation looking ahead to 2015. “That’s the magic of Staples soccer,” he said, “and I’m glad everyone in this room is along for the ride.”
The 2 Block “S”s went to seniors Michael Reid and Patrick Beusse.
In a vote by teammates, Michael won the Most Valuable Player Award. Woog called the tri-captain “our field general, our soccer brain, our go-to guy.” Adding that “he made it look easy,” Woog noted that Michael played much of the year hurt. But, Woog said, he never complained, leading instead with poise and passion.
Patrick received the Coaches’ Award. Woog said, “From his 1st day as a freshman, he bled Staples blue. He has a burning desire to do whatever is in his power to make our program succeed. He loves Staples soccer, and his contributions to it have been inestimable.”
The Alumni Award — given for exemplification of “the values that have been the foundation of the Staples soccer program since its inception” — went to Gabe Pensak. Woog said, “He understands what it means to wear the Staples ‘S’ — to be linked together with older players, and those who follow. He was a true leader, on and off the field.”
The Dan Woog Dedication Award carries a scholarship of $5,000, thanks to the generosity of the Top of the Hill Team and Gudis Family Foundation. This year’s honoree was Denzel Robinson. TOTH board member Tom Beusse P’15 presented the award, noting Denzel’s rise from junior varsity player last year to key varsity starter in 2014.
The Jeff Lea Award — presented to an adult for “long, enthusiastic and meritorious service to the Staples boys soccer program — went to Marty Lisevick. Woog said of Staples’ longtime athletic director: “Very quietly, he ensures that our program runs smoothly and well. He is the consummate behind-the-scenes guy, making all of us look good.”
The evening included strong speeches by freshman tri-captains Ryan Fincher, Benji Malowitz and Tyler Wright and JV tri-captains Shane Fries, Max Hammer and Teddy Lawrence. Varsity tri-captains Patrick Beusse, Andrew Puchala and Michael Reid spoke lovingly and insightfully about the importance of Staples soccer in their lives. Coaches Kurt Dasbach, Tom Henske, Seth Sholes and Chris O’Dell also spoke powerfully.
Gabe Pensak announced that in honor of Staples’ excellent photographers Kim Lake and MaryGrace Gudis, the soccer program is helping Silvermine Arts Center fund a photography course for a deserving young student. Nate Argosh also spoke, announcing a donation in Dan Woog’s name to the Martin Luther King High School soccer program. And the captains’ parents announced that the 2014 team will be funding construction of a new equipment shed, to replace the current kickboard. The new structure will include all 12 state championships, and 27 FCIAC titles — just like the current one.
Two more important announcements were made. Andrew Puchala passed #15 — worn by Preston Hirten ’07, symbolizing tenacious play, passion for soccer and deep commitment to the Staples program — to Noah Schwaeber. Andrew made a heartfelt, loving speech about Preston and the importance of the #15 tradition.
Co-captains for 2014 are Kenji Goto and Noah Schwaeber. Woog said, “they will lead our program well.”
One other award was presented by Chris O’Dell. Ryan Fincher earned the Stephen Martin Award, presented annually to the freshman player who “best epitomizes Steve’s special spirit, by combining the desire to excel with the willingness to work and the eagerness to share.”
To see Jennifer Wick’s fantastic e-book of season-long newspaper clippings, click here.