February 2024

MaryLi Nielsen

MaryLi Nielsen

MaryLi Nielsen has been named as the Female Athlete of the Month for February as a member of the Varsity Girls Alpine Ski Team.  The third-year sophomore has spent her entire skiing career as a member of the varsity team.  When asked what it takes to earn this award, she said: “Determination, confidence, training and lots of practice.  Along with the support of my team and friends.”  This network of support has led to some great success over the past few seasons, included a Section V crown in the 2022-23 winter season.  Also, skiing from a young age is really paying off as a strong competitor for the Dansville/Wayland-Cohocton ski team.  In his nomination, Coach Murray included her individual statistics which included five top-three finishes in 7 races, two of which were wins.  When asked what he has seen from MaryLi throughout the course of the season, he remarked: “MaryLi is very determined to get better.” 

From practice to race day, MaryLi has a consistent approach to working hard herself and encouraging her teammates to push themselves.  When asked what makes her proud of be an athlete at Wayland-Cohocton, she said: “My teammates support and friendship and how much effort my teammates put into their races.”  To be successful, skiing demands self-confidence, the appropriate gear, perseverance, and training.  She would like to thank her mom, a family friend that taught her how to ski, her instructor at Bristol Mountain and Coach Murray.  

Nickname: Small Fry
Favorite Athlete: Mikaela Shiffrin
Favorite Song: Sia – Unstoppable
Favorite Food: Mei-fun
Pre-Race Superstition: Lifting up feet when going over railroad tracks for good luck

Charles Feinman

Charles Feinman

Charles ‘Matthew’ Feinman has been named as the Male Athlete of the Month for February as a member of the Varsity Boys Basketball team.  The senior captain has been playing basketball for eight years with the last two at the varsity level.  When asked what it takes to earn this award, he stated: “It takes the drive to never take a day off, never give up and always be a leader.”  Coach Davis leaned heavily on this leadership throughout the season.  In nominating Matthew, he remarked:

“Matthew Feinman is the ultimate team player, he pushes everyone else to do their best and offers constant encouragement around the group, especially when he was sidelined earlier in the year. This showed a ton about his character as he was always willing to help and encourage the rest of the squad when you could tell he just wanted to be out there. He has become the energizer of the group and always provides a spark in practice or a game to get the team motivated. He never wants to take a play off and dives on the ground for loose balls, hustles down the court after a turnover, and is always the first person to pick their teammate up after a mistake.”

In the last six games of the season, Matthew averaged 17.6 points, including a 22 point performance in Naples.  He also was named an LCAA Exceptional Senior and was able to play one last game at his home court on March 15th where he scored 5 points.  He would like to thank his parents and siblings for all their support and a good dose of constructive criticism from his brother.  Also, Coach Owens and Coach Wager along with all his other coaches for always pushing him to be at his best.  When asked what makes him proud to be an athlete at Wayland-Cohocton, he said: “Knowing that my mom and three siblings were also athletes at Wayland or Cohocton, living up to their standard, and honoring the school.”

Favorite Food: Waffles or pizza
Superstitions: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and taped ankles
Fondest Sports Moments: Team bonds and Soccer Sectional Finals appearance in 2022
Favorite Athletes: Michael Jordan or Steph Curry

January 2024

Skylar Richardson - January

Skylar Richardson

Skylar Richardson has been named as the Female Athlete of the Month for January as a member of the Varsity Girls Indoor Track and Field team. The sophomore is in the midst of her first year as an indoor track athlete and is loving every minute of it. When asked what it takes to earn this award, she remarked: “Dedication and genuine enjoyment in putting in the work.” Finding joy in the journey of a season is what separates Skylar from the rest of the pack. Her goal-oriented approach to athletics is met with a determination and optimistic outlook day in and day out. When asked what it takes to be successful in indoor track, she stated:

“Powering through the hard moments and discomfort with positivity. You just have to find the Zen moment where you actually enjoy the running and aren't focusing on the number of laps or speed. You have to believe in yourself and realize that part of your results come from within.”

Coach Martin has been impressed with our naturally Skylar has picked up a new sport. In her nomination, Coach remarked: “Skylar is a very coachable young lady and has taken the time on her own to watch YouTube videos on long and triple jump. She is always asking what she could do differently to get better and what she needs to work on.” Throughout the season, she has seem improvement and personal best times week in and week out. She’s come a long way and long jump distances are surpassing anyone on her team despite being a first-year track athlete. She would like to thank her coaches, Coach Martin and Coach Rizzieri. Also, her parents for their support. Lastly, her friends and teammates that continue to hype her up and pushing her throughout the season.

Favorite Food: Subway
Favorite Song: Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Rihanna – Run This Town
Pre-Game Ritual: Take a nap
Motivating Thoughts: Believe in yourself!

Henry Caskey - January

Henry Caskey

Henry Caskey has been named as the Male Athlete of the Month for January as a member of the Varsity Boys Indoor Track and Field team. Now in his second year at the varsity level, the sophomore is settling into his role as a thrower in the field events. Practice and hard work have paved the way to some impressive improvements and personal best results in the weight throw and shotput. In nominating Henry, Coach Martin stated:

“Henry is such a kind and considerate young man who is always seeking out extra help or asking if he can stay later to work on shot put and weight throw.”

His easy-going attitude and coachability has been a refreshing addition to our boys indoor team, a team that has been building a culture of high standards and determined athletes. Henry wanted to make sure to thank his coaches: Coach Martin, Coach Knapp, and Coach Rizzieri. Also, he is thankful and appreciative of his parents for their support and encouragement. At the time of his nomination, Henry has improved on last year’s personal best efforts by five and six feet in shot and weight throw, respectively. Coach Martin pointed out his mechanics are much sharper and fluid thus far this season. When asked what makes him proud to be a Wayland-Cohocton athlete, he mentioned being able to experience the outcome of hard work. It’s certainly paying off!

Favorite Song – I Remember Everything – Zach Bryan
Favorite Athlete – Josh Allen
Fondest Sports Memory – Winning Counties his freshman year
Favorite Food – Chicken Alfredo

December 2023

Lilyin Mellick

Lilyin Mellick

Lilyin Mellick has been named as the Female Athlete of the Month for December as a member of the Varsity Girls Basketball team.  Lily, now a junior, has been playing basketball for seven years, the last two being at the varsity level.  Her hard work on and off the court has resulted in a team leader and reliable teammate.  In the month of December, she averaged just over 10 points a game and nearly 8 rebounds per game which leads both categories for the Lady Eagles.  When asked what it takes to be successful in the sport of basketball, Lily stated:

“Having a positive mindset, having a goal for each game you play, and realizing that only you can take you to your full potential.  No one else is going to do it for you.”

Coach Balinsky has often turned to Lily to guide the team.  He commented on her impact by remarking: “Her character speaks for itself.  She’s a team captain and a proven leader.”  Lily would also earn LCAA Player of the Week honors in the middle of December.  When asked what makes her proud to be a Wayland-Cohocton athlete, she said: “Even though our winning streak isn’t always the highest, we are a family and that makes the sport worth playing.”  This sense of togetherness has forged a fierce competitor and caring teammate that puts others in a position to be successful. 

Lily has a long list of people to thank.  This includes Brooke Lander for her inspiration and kindness each and every season; Hannah Fairbrother for taking her under her wing as a younger player in the softball program; Her mom for her consistent presence at each game and words or wisdom when she needed the guidance; Lastly, Mr. Toland for taking her to a leadership conference in Geneseo that has a had a lasting impact on her development as a student-athlete and influence at Wayland-Cohocton.

Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Athlete: Steph Curry or Aaron Judge
Hype Song: Justin Timberlake – Mirrors
Superstitions: One white sock, one black sock

Anthony Schirmer

Anthony Schirmer

Anthony Schirmer has been named as the Male Athlete of the Month for December as a member of the Varsity Boys Basketball team.  The junior guard has been playing basketball for 10 years with the last two being a member of the varsity team.  When asked what it takes to earn this award, Tony responded: “Hard work and determination.”  This work ethic and mindset has propelled him to be a team leader in scoring and is showing signs of improve day in and day out.  Coach Davis discussed his character and impact in stating:

“Tony is doing a great job as a second year player on Varsity.  You can see his improved confidence as well as shot selection in a variety of games this season. Tony has been our leading scorer in five of our ten games so far this season averaging 8.9 a game while crashing the boards well averaging 3 a game. He has also knocked down some key shots as well as taken a bigger role this season as a starter or two have been down every game. He continues to work hard in practice and improve every day.”

Getting better is what it’s all about and Tony understands the process of putting in the work.  As a selfless player, he regularly puts his teammates first and is proud to help the basketball team and school anyway that he can. 

Nickname: Big Tone
People to thank: His parents for their continued support each and every season
Favorite Athlete: Lebron James
Favorite Food: Chicken

November 2023

Hope Ammarell

Hope Ammarell

Hope Ammarell has been named as the Female Athlete of the Month for November as a member of the Varsity Girls Cross Country team. The sophomore joined the Cross Country program as a freshman and has really developed into a hardworking, motivating runner for the Eagles.  When asked what it takes to successful in her sport, Hope recognizes that one’s mindset is a key factor in overcoming adversity and rising to the challenge.  In commenting on her character and coachability, Coach Martin remarked:

“Hope has her sights set on very specific goals and is putting in the work to reach them.  She is encouraging other teammates to be sure they are also working hard to meet their goals.”

These goals have led her to several victories and first place finishes in the 2023 Cross Country season.  No victory was greater than her crossing the finish line first overall at the 2023 Section V Class C Girls Championship on November 4th.  This lead the team to earn a sectional title for the girls cross country program and a trip to the NYS Championships in Verona NY.  When asked who she wanted to thank, Hope replied: “My coaches, Curtin and Derek, my sister, and the weights in the gym.”  She proudly represents Wayland-Cohocton and our community in her approach to athletics and care for others; Something that clearly evident all season long.

Fondest Memory: Finding the monkey on the side of the road
Pre-Game Ritual: “The Chant”
Favorite Hype Song: Zac Efron – “Get’cha Head in the Game”

Connor Mead

Connor Mead

Connor Mead has been named as the Male Athlete of the Month for November as a member of the Varsity Boys Cross Country team. The senior has wrapped up his second year as a member of the cross-country program.  Known by his teammates and coaches as the “Freight Train” at times, Connor has had a lot of success using his mind to overcome the challenges that cross country poses.  When asked what it takes to be successful in his sport, he remarked: “A good, positive attitude and to think it’s only three miles.”   When combined with his discipline and tenacity required to be recognized for this award, Connor has put together a season full of personal best times and triumphs. 

Throughout the course of the season, Coach Curtin was impressed with how well he progressed from week to week.  In deciding to nominate Connor, Coach Curtin pointed out that he consistently finished near or at the top in each race this season.  Also, he was our only male runner to finish in under 19 minutes.

When asked what makes him proud to be an athlete at Wayland-Cohocton, Connor replied:

“Working with people that support you and push you to do better.  Coach Curtin deserves a massive thanks for helping me achieve my goals.”

Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Athlete: Carlos Sainz Jr.
Fondest Memories: Long group runs

October 2023

Claire Donlon Oct. 2023

Claire Donlon

Claire Donlon has been named as the Female Athlete of the Month for October as a member of the Varsity Girls Swimming and Diving team.  The 5th year senior is rounding out her high school career on a high note as the Section V Class C Diving Champion on October 28th.  Her total score of 401.15 was not only good enough to beat out the best divers in Section V, it shattered the Wayland-Cohocton record for 11 dives in girls swimming and diving.  When asked what it takes to be successful in the sport of diving, she stated:

“Just throw the dive.  99% of the time, you’ll be fine.  It’s just water.  Don’t let the voice in your head stop you from what you CAN do.”

This mindset with an unwavering competitive spirit, commitment, and dedication to her craft has resulted in a very fitting ending to her high school diving career.  But this isn’t where the bus stops for Claire. On November 8th, she participated in National Division 1 Signing Day, declaring to Siena College to join their collegiate diving team.  A proud moment for not only her family but her coaches as well.  When asked about her character and coachability, Coach Kreppel remarked: “Claire has a positive attitude, encourages and supports her teammates; She never complains about sets and gives 100% every time she is at practice.”

Claire would like to thank her parents, teammates, coaches, Mr. Toland and the WCCS staff for their support over the years.  This support from all sources is what makes her proud to be an athlete at Wayland-Cohocton. 

Favorite Food: Chicken Alfredo
Favorite Athlete: Jordan Poyer
Favorite Hype Song: Macklemore – Can’t Hold Us

Markus Brehm Oct. 2023

Markus Brehm

Markus Brehm has been named as the Male Athlete of the Month for October as a member of the Varsity Boys Soccer team.  The senior is wrapping up his 4th year competing at the varsity level.  At the time of his nomination from Coach Owens, Markus netted a team leading 15 goals and had 3 assists on the season.  Coach Owens attributes much of the team’s success in how well Markus has played this season.  The Eagles got out to a 6-2-2 record and settled into 5th place in seeding going into the Class B Sectional Tournament.  When asked what it takes to earn this award, Markus noted hard work, visualizing the game, and being smart, agile and fast when the ball is at your foot. 

When asked about Markus and his impact on the season, Coach Owens stated: “Markus helps will the team to victory in big moments when the team needs a big goal or a big stop.  Markus is always showing up making big plays.”

He’s the kind of player that wants the ball and puts the team on his back when his number is called.  When asked what makes him proud to be an athlete at Wayland-Cohocton, he shed light on his teammates that continually pushed him to worker harder for all to benefit from and thanks his mom for all her support. 

Favorite Athlete: Ken Griffey Jr.
Favorite Hype Music: Katie Perry
Favorite Food: Popsicles
Superstitions: His lips are sealed

September 2023

Reese Ferguson - Sept. 2023

Reese Ferguson

Reese Ferguson has been named as the Female Athlete of the Month for September as a member of the Varsity Volleyball team.  The senior outside hitter is competing in her 4th year at the varsity level for the Eagles.  Her fondest memories over the years has been playing both with her older and younger sisters.  In nominating Reese, Coach Jerome noted her leadership style as a quiet worker that leads by example.  Coach stated: “She is very competitive and puts her all into playing.  She is a coach’s dream to coach!”  

Through September, Reese has showcased her abilities as a team leader in several categories including digs, kills and serving percentage. When asked what it takes to be successful in volleyball, she remarked: “You have to be willing to put in the work inside and outside of practice.”  This willingness has set her up for success and she continues to bring the best out of her teammates each and every match. 

When asked who she wants to thank, Reese stated: “I would like to thank my mom and sister for the many hours of practice outside of school and I would also like to thank the coaches, Jerome, Lauren, and Freeman, who took the time to help me improve.”  She also expressed how much she loves the game of volleyball and being a part of her team. 

Favorite Song: Andy Mineo - Coming in Hot
Favorite Food: Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Favorite Athlete: Harper Murray
Nicknames: Reese’s Puff, Fergie, Reese the Beast

Josh Delafield - Sept. 2023

Josh Delafield

Josh Delafield has been named as the Male Athlete of the Month for September as a member of the Varsity Boys Cross Country team.  The sophomore is now is his second year running at the varsity level having also run at the modified level as a middle school student.  When asked what it took to earn this award, Josh stated: 

“Earning this award took a lot of work during workouts, a lot of running during the off season and on my own.  Earning this award also took a lot of determination and perseverance.” 

Coach Curtin has taken notice to his level of focus in training so far this season.  She remarked: “The jump in position and drop in time have really motivated Josh to try harder and want to be better and focus on what the coaches are telling him about his training.”  Feedback from his coaches and a willing attitude to work hard has resulted in personal best finishing times to drop below the 20-minute mark to 19 minutes and 15 seconds. 

Josh is proud to be an athlete at Wayland-Cohocton and the supportive network of fellow athletes and coaches that convey a helping and caring bond.  He wants to thank his parents for cheering him on at meets and coaches for all his success.

Favorite Food: Chicken Fingers
Favorite Athlete: Evans Chebet
Nickname: Deli Meat