An awards banquet to honor senior athletes from Weehawken High School, and to honor Angel Quiñones, a recent inductee into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame, was held June 12 at the Weehawken Elks Lodge. A total of 49 honorees received awards at the ceremony for sports and activities including football, basketball, soccer, bowling, cheerleading, and marching band.
The annual event was sponsored by the Weehawken Board of Education. Winners were selected by a panel of 13 coaches, the high school principal, and Richard Terpak, athletics director at the school.
Female top winners
This year’s top winners included Pilar Romano, 17, who won the Ernest J. Demontreux award for Outstanding Female Athlete. Romano took part in soccer, basketball, softball, and color guard with the marching band during her high school years.
“I always played since I was little, I’m so used to it,” said Romano. “I’m probably going to try out for softball in college.” She thanked her dad Frank, her brother Jose, and her softball and basketball coach during her early years, Chris Vernon.
The female NJSIAA Sportsmanship Award, for those who showed good character and sportsmanship during all four years of high school, was given to Jesenia Lopez, who played soccer and softball.
She said her motivation for waking up every day and coming to practice was “Just the fact that I got to play. I love playing sports. It’s been something I’ve always done.”
Lopez said she wanted to thank her father, Jose Lopez. “He’s always been there for me,” she said. She also thanked coach Terpak. “He’s been there almost all four years,” she said. “He’s been a good coach and a friend.”
Male top winners
Angelo Corredor received the Lester H. Purvere Award for Outstanding Male Athlete. Corredor played football, basketball, and baseball. He said that working hard is what got him to win the award. This past year, he made first team on the league for basketball and football. His favorite sport is football.
A total of 49 honorees received awards at the ceremony.
Jeremy Abreu won the NJSIAA Sportsmanship Award. He played football and baseball, but doesn’t have plans to pursue a career in sports. Instead, he will attend Rutgers to study civil engineering.
Abreu was asked to describe a moment during his athletic career that demonstrated character worthy of the award.
“Last year, we went to the state tournament, the finals for baseball,” Abreu said. “It was the first time we won 18 games. Losing the state tournament was really hard, but shaking everyone’s hand at the end of the game showed some courage.” He added that he wanted to thank his parents for raising him, his team mates, and his coaches.
Kareem Elangbawy, the salutatorian of the class, won three awards during the ceremony. He won the ETSNJSIAA Award, the NJSIAA Scholar Athlete Award, and the Board of Education Achievement Award due to his excellent grades and his participation in sports. He played soccer and basketball. Though his favorite is soccer, he says he is better at basketball.
Elangbawy wanted to thank his two coaches and his father.
“He always told me exercise was good,” said Elangbawy. His knack for sports first began when he was 9 years old and played in the park, always envisioning that he would play in a soccer team in high school.
Hall of Fame
Wrestling star Angel Quiñones, 41, was inducted into the Weehawken High School Athletics Hall of Fame during the same ceremony. He is from the class of 1986 and obtained a record 23 victories with only four losses. He won the district competition, the regional competition despite a painful knee injury during the event, and went on to the state championship, although the knee injury prevented him from competing .
His father, a power lifter with an interest in wrestling, encouraged him to pursue the sport. His interest in wrestling emerged during an altercation with a student at the high school, when another student and wrestler saw the ability Quiñones possessed and invited him to try out for the team.
When asked how he felt about winning, Quiñones said, “It took me as a big surprise. There are so many great athletes in Weehawken High School.”
Melissa Rappaport may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org