The Delaware league announced the 14 recipients of this year’s Joseph P. Beck Senior Scholar Athlete winners on Thursday, Feb. 18.

The Joseph P. Beck award was established as a way to bring recognition to seniors who excel academically throughout their time in high school, regardless of their athletic achievements.

“To me, it’s the most prestigious award our league gives,” Delaware League secretary and treasurer Jim Adair said.

“Everyone knows the kid in the paper scoring 25 points or hitting home runs, but we’re looking for that well-rounded kid,” he added.

This year’s female recipients are: 

Ava Gockel, (Gilboa-Conesville)

Ellie Byrne, (Hunter Tannersville)

Catherine Jankowski, (Roxbury)

Lauryn Schmid, (South Kortright)

Michaela Lynch, (Stamford)

Grace Moran, (Windham-Ashland-Jewett)

This year’s male recipients are:

Joseph Ontl, (Charlotte Valley)

Kurt Vitin, (Hunter-Tannersville)

Eric Parker, (Jefferson)

Erik Langdon Potts, (Windham Ashland Hewett)

This year’s award nominees – certificates:

Kayla Mace, (Charlotte Valley)

Reese Chase, (Gilboa-Conesville)

Robert Peters, (Roxbury)

Michael Dianich, (South Kortright)

The award, which has been given for more than 20 years, is presented annually at the league championship basketball game held at SUNY Delhi, Addair said.

All Delaware League schools are eligible to nominate one female and one male athlete for the award, which is presented annually at the league’s championship basketball game at SUNY Delhi.

This year, there will be no official awards because the league voted to cancel its basketball season over COVID-19 concerns.

In 2005, the Delaware League renamed the award to honor Joseph P. Beck who “was a guiding force in establishing this award to honor senior scholar athletes,” Adair said via email. “It is truly a pleasure every year to remember Mr. Beck by presenting this award to worthy senior scholar athletes who embody his ideals both in and out of the classroom.”

“This award was kind of his baby ... when he passed on, the league decided to recognize him by naming it after him,” Adair told The Daily Star.

Beck, a long-time Delaware president, was an elementary, science teacher and softball coach at South Kortright, before holding administrative positions at Stamford and Gilboa-Conesville.

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