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Wissman, Recorder salute fall All-Stars at GCC gala

  • Dave Wissman speaks to the athletes gathered for the Fall 2018 Recorder All-Stars banquet on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at Greenfield Community College. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Dave Wissman speaks to the athletes gathered for the Fall 2018 Recorder All-Stars banquet Sunday at Greenfield Community College. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Dave Wissman speaks to the athletes gathered for the Fall 2018 Recorder All-Stars banquet on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at Greenfield Community College. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Athletes selected for the Fall 2018 Recorder All-Stars pose for a group photo on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at Greenfield Community College. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Athletes selected for the Fall 2018 Recorder All-Stars pose for a group photo on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at Greenfield Community College. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Recorder staff sports writer Jason Butynski speaks to the athletes gathered for the Fall 2018 Recorder All-Stars banquet on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at Greenfield Community College. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE

  • Recorder Editor George Forcier speaks to the athletes gathered for the Fall 2018 Recorder All-Stars banquet on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at Greenfield Community College. RECORDER STAFF/DAN LITTLE



Recorder Staff
Sunday, January 21, 2018

GREENFIELD — Raegan Hickey recorded 52 points to lead Greenfield High School field hockey this past fall. Aaron Landry rushed for 1,355 yards and 19 touchdowns to help Frontier Regional School play in the WMass Division VII championship game. Meghan Davis ran to a second-place finish at the WMass Division II meet and was ninth at the state meet to lead the Mohawk Trail Regional High School girls’ cross-country team. Ella Deane piled up 650 assists this season to eclipse 1,000 helpers for her career and help lead Frontier girls’ volleyball to WMass and state titles.

Those were just a few of the storylines cited Sunday at Greenfield Community College during the Recorder’s Fall All-Star banquet in the Cohn Family Dining Commons.

More than 150 people packed the hall to enjoy brunch and watch as players representing each school from every team in the Recorder area picked up awards and were recognized for their achievements.

Players were selected by Recorder sports staff with input from coaches throughout Franklin County.

As those in attendance enjoyed brunch. Recorder publisher Michael Riffanburg introduced guest speaker Dave Wissman, the defensive line coach at UMass. Wissman, a three-sport star at Mohawk Trail Regional High School in the early 1980s, related some wisdom that he said he has bestowed on players during his time coaching.

“There are no guarantees in life,” Wissman said, adding that adversity is part of life, and how you deal with it, speaks to your character.

He also told the story of how he joined the coaching staff at Frontier. He was out shopping at Foster’s Supermarket in Greenfield one night in 1997 and was unable to get out of the store without being offered a job by Dick Howe, the longtime coach at Frontier. Wissman initially said he was not interested, but persistence paid off for Howe, and when Wissman arrived home about an hour later, Howe called him and asked if he had time to think about the offer. Wissman eventually signed on to coach and he now says that experience has been one of the most memorable of his career.

After Wissman’s speech, Recorder sportswriters Jason Butynski and Jeff Lajoie joined Wissman on stage to hand out awards to each of the honorees. After that, it was time to announced the Players of the Year. Frontier did well, with six recipients: Natalie Denkiewicz (girls’ soccer), Zach Hamilton (boys’ soccer), Mikey Corduff (golf), Ella Deane (girls’ volleyball), Carsten Carey (boys’ cross country) and Aaron Landry (football) were named Player of the Year. Hickey of Greenfield earned the field hockey crown, and Davis from Mohawk was the girls’ cross-country winner.

For more information on each athlete and for all the winners see today’s special All-Star supplement.