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Athletes, coaches earn ‘Believe to Achieve’ accolades

F-M's Ryan, CBA, J-D softball all honored

Reed Hawke presents Nick Ryan, of Fayetteville-Manlius, with the Individual Male Athlete Award at the ‘Believe To Achieve Awards’ Thursday at Alliance Bank Stadium. As a junior, Ryan won state cross country and outdoor track and field championships during the 2011-12 school year.

Reed Hawke presents Nick Ryan, of Fayetteville-Manlius, with the Individual Male Athlete Award at the ‘Believe To Achieve Awards’ Thursday at Alliance Bank Stadium. As a junior, Ryan won state cross country and outdoor track and field championships during the 2011-12 school year. Scott Schild

— A memorable spring high school sports season, full of high accomplishment by local teams and athletes, has led to multiple ‘Believe to Achieve’ awards from the Syracuse Sports Corporation.

These honors, handed out Thursday in a ceremony at Alliance Bank Stadium, went to Fayetteville-Manlius track and field star Nick Ryan, Christian Brothers Academy’s softball team and Jamesville-DeWitt softball coach Phil DeAugustine.

Ryan, who earned the Individual Male Athlete Award, won the state Class AA individual cross country championship last fall at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill and helped F-M to the team state title, too. Then he placed fifth among individuals at the Nike Nationals in Oregon in December.

To top that, in the spring Ryan, who is entering his senior year at F-M as one of the nation’s top-ranked cross country runners, won two more state titles at Cicero-North Syracuse, breaking a Section III record in the mile (4:05.24) and also taking the 3,200-meter run in 9:03.81.

CBA’s softball team picked up the Female Team Award. In June, the Brothers, led by pitching ace Jordan Sheridan, earned its first-ever Section III championship, rising from a no. 11 seed with a string of upsets, capped by beating Altmar-Parish-Williamstown 9-3 in the sectional final at Hopkins Road Park in Liverpool.

The team’s impact is also felt off the field. Sheridan has teamed up with the Samaritan Center to raise money for every strikeout she recorded this season. In the last two years, that effort has netted $15,200 ($11,500 of it this year) for the Center, which feed homeless and needy citizens in Syracuse.

Staying on the softball diamond, Phil DeAugustine, long-time head coach at Jamesville-DeWitt, was recognized with the Reed Hawke Excellence In Sportsmanship Award.

DeAugustine’s Red Rams had a dazzling 2012 post-season. Though it only finished second in the Onondaga High School League’s Freedom division, J-D made up for it in the sectional Class A playoffs, avenging two regular-season defeats (and a 2011 playoff loss) to Phoenix in the semifinals before ousting top seed Oneida in the finals.

A stunning regional followed where J-D, down 3-0 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, somehow rallied to beat South Glens Falls 4-3. Advancing to the state final four in Queensbury, the Red Rams knocked off another unbeaten team, Hamburg, 2-1 before a tough loss to Sayville 5-4 in the championship game.

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