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The Believe to Achieve Awards recognize meritorious contribution to the Central New York Sports Community. Believe to Achieve was founded by Gary Bugenhagen, Syracuse Sports Corporation member and former Syracuse University football player. The presentation of these awards marks the hard work and commitment of individuals and teams whose contributions to Central New York are immeasurable.

2016 Winter Awards

Individual Female Athlete Award

Kaitlyn Neal, Fayetteville-Manlius – Indoor Track/Cross-Country

Neal’s significant achievements from the past season included Cross Country National Championship and Indoor Track Sectional Championship, breaking the section 3 3000m record with a time of 9:40, winning states in the 3k with a time of 9:28 and coming in 3rd at states in the 4x800m relay. Neal’s Advice for Younger Athletes: “Believe in yourself and always strive to become better than you already are. Discipline is key. Work hard every day and your goals will take care of themselves.”

Hal McGrath Individual Male Athlete Award

Casey Sawyer – Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA Swimming

Coach Award

Sue Ludwig – Westhill Varsity Girls Basketball

OHSL Class B League Champions, Section III Champions, Regional Champions and State Finalists were some of Sue’s significant achievements from this past season; which also included a 24-2 overall record and a 495-87 career record (that passed the Section III record this year for the most wins in girls hoops). Ludwig’s Favorite Memories of the Past Season: “Being part of a team that was selfless, committed to each other, and willing to work to achieve to our level of potential and beyond.” Ludwig’s Advice for Younger Athletes: “There is no substitute for hard work. Success occurs when your dreams and work ethic get bigger than your excuses.”

Reed Hawke Excellence in Sportsmanship Award

Jennifer Creno – Women’s Bowling

Jennifer Creno’s career in bowling began the day she was born. Her mother, Rosa Moro and late father, Joseph Creno were both advocates of the sport and since that day she has been destined to follow in their footsteps. Creno has 10 perfect 300 games to her credit, as well as three 800 series and two Syracuse Queens Championships. Her most recent tournament championship was the 2016 Post Standard Women’s Masters (she was runner-up in 2008 and 2015). Jen was named CNY Female Bowler of the year in 2015. Creno competes locally, statewide and nationally and continues to be an advocate for the sport of bowling. Creno’s Advice for Younger Athletes: “One success or failure does not define you. Always remain humble and gracious, and as long as you never give up, everything you could hope to achieve will come in time.”

Barbara Henderson Female Team Award

Jamesville-DeWitt Girls Basketball

Winning the first ever state title for the girls’ basketball program at Jamesville-DeWitt (which is also the first ever state title for any girls’ team at J-D) was the highlight from this past season. The big obstacle they had to overcome was the State Championship Game. They had the experience of playing in the championship game the previous two seasons but felt they were never able to play near their best in that game. The pressure of the moment seemed to get the best of them but this season, they were finally able to overcome that hurdle.

Jamesville-DeWitt Girls Basketball

Joe LaGuardia Male Team

Skaneateles Boys Hockey Team

Significant achievements from the Skaneateles Varsity Hockey Team’s past season included being league champions, sectional champions and state finalists. Their favorite memories of the past season were winning the sectional championship, going back to the New York State finals (first time in Buffalo) and getting to meet some NHL players while there. LaGuardia’s Seasonal Themes/Life Skills: 1. “Stay even-keeled, don’t get too high or too low, allow yourself to let the last mistake go. We would always say when you come off the ice relax, release, reload.” 2. “Don’t let anyone outwork you.” 3. “Enjoy the ride and live in the moment.”

Skaneateles Boys Hockey Team


Jeff Mickle

Sports Development Director