Published on December 6th, 2015 | by Staples Soccer0
Kenji Goto, Brenden Price Earn Block “S” Awards; Other Honors, 2016 Captains Announced
Nearly 200 players, parents, siblings and friends honored the 2015 varsity, JV and freshman soccer teams tonight, at the 58th 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 2016.
The 2 Block “S”s went to seniors Kenji Goto and Brenden Price.
In a vote by teammates, Kenji won the Most Valuable Player Award. Woog cited the co-captain for his key defensive role. No matter what happened, Woog said, the team could rely on the passionate center back to be there for them.
Brenden received the Most Improved Player Award. Woog praised the goalkeeper for always working hard, maintaining a positive attitude, and continuing to progress throughout his 4 years with the program.
The Alumni Award — given for exemplification of “the values that have been the foundation of the Staples soccer program since its inception” — went to Andres Marmelo and Jack Zeldes. Woog said that both seniors understand what it means to wear the Staples “S” — to be linked together with older players, and those who follow.
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 Daniel Brill. Mark Gudis P’11, ’16 presented the award, noting Daniel’s many contributions to his team and his community, on and off the field.
The Jeff Lea Award — presented to an adult for “long, enthusiastic and meritorious service to the Staples boys soccer program — went to 3 longtime Staples coaches: Kurt Dasbach, Tom Henske and Chris O’Dell. Though all have different personalities, styles and roles, all 3 have been vital contributors to Staples soccer for many years.
The evening included strong speeches by freshman co-captains Nick Ambrose and Gabe Baltierra, and reserve co-captains Thomas Heisler and Danny Jersey. Varsity co-captains Kenji Goto and Noah Schwaeber spoke insightfully about their experiences in the Staples program. Coaches Kurt Dasbach, Nicky Hoberman and Chris O’Dell also spoke powerfully.
Two more important announcements were made. Noah Schwaeber passed #15 — worn by Preston Hirten ’07, symbolizing tenacious play, passion for soccer and deep commitment to the Staples program — to Josh Berman. Noah made a heartfelt speech about Preston and the importance of the #15 tradition.
The 2016 team will be led by quad-captains: Josh Berman, Spencer Daniels, Ziggy Hallgarten and Daniel Reid. It is only the 2nd time in history — and the 1st since the state championship year of 2009 — that the Wreckers have had 4 captains. Woog said, “they will lead our program well.”
One other award was presented by Chris O’Dell. Gabe Baltierra 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.”