If this was truly High Tech High School’s final year of athletic competition, then it was certainly one for the memory books, because for the first time in the 20-year history of the Hudson Reporter All-Area spring teams, the same school has walked away with the Most Valuable Player honors in both baseball and softball.
High Tech can lay claim to having the MVP in both sports. One is a newcomer to the elite status; the other is a perennial selection.
Erica Colon cemented her place as one of the premier softball performers in the history of Hudson County softball. The High Tech senior was named to the All-Area team for a fourth straight year, a status that only 11 young ladies had reached before her.
Colon set a new standard that will be very hard to duplicate. She was named the Pitcher of the Year for a fourth straight year as well, and added her third straight Hudson Reporter Most Valuable Player honor to her already burgeoning resume, becoming the first player to ever earn the MVP honor for three straight years.
Colon won 20 games for a fourth straight year, giving her 86 career wins and more than 1,000 strikeouts. She led the Lasercats to the Hudson County Tournament championship in the tourney’s first year and will head to Central Connecticut State in the fall as perhaps the most decorated softball player in Hudson County history.
If Colon isn’t the best ever, she’s certainly right there among the top five all-time.
Colon is one of an amazing 13 players who make a return trip to the Hudson Reporter All-Area Softball team.
It may be the largest collection of returning honorees ever.
Fellow standout pitcher Carla Arismendi of North Bergen earns All-Area for a third straight year, joining teammate Jazmin Palma. Arismendi was also named the Player of the Year.
Bruin teammate Ashley Heredia made the All-Area team last year and teammate Tiffany Garzon earned All-Area honors in 2008 and again this season.
Others to earn All-Area for a second straight year include Secaucus’ terrific twosome, Andrea Innis and Shannon Waters; Yaritza Santiago and Ashley Barron of Hoboken (with Barron going from shortstop last year to catcher this season); Stephanie Bolger and Erica Rolek of St. Dominic Academy and Natalia Estremera of McNair Academic.
The Hudson Reporter Coach of the Year for 2010 is Cheryl Bott of Secaucus, who took her team to the Hudson County Tournament finale in the first season of the new tourney. Bott, who has been an excellent basketball and softball coach in her career, guided the Patriots to a 20-8 record this season.
The Hudson Reporter’s All-Area Baseball team features five players who earned All-Area honors a year ago as well.
One of those five, Marist’s fine catcher Eddie Sorondo, earned All-Area for a third straight season.
Other repeat honorees are Anel Sotolongo of North Bergen, Angel Paulino of St. Mary’s and Kevin Luna of Union City. Sotolongo was tabbed as the Player of the Year.
The last repeat honoree is the Hudson Reporter Most Valuable Player of the Year, namely High Tech senior shortstop/pitcher Jose Arismendi.
Arismendi, who is headed to Stevens Tech in the fall and is the cousin of softball standout Carla Arismendi of North Bergen, batted .495 with five homers and 33 RBI for the 22-4 Lasercats, who advanced to the state sectional finals for the first time ever. On the mound, Arismendi was a perfect 8-0 with a 2.04 earned run average.
Secaucus’ Zac Schlemm was named the Hudson Reporter Pitcher of the Year.
The Coach of the Year is Chipper Benway of Union City, who guided the Soaring Eagles to a 19-win season in his first year as head coach.
So if this was High Tech’s last season of athletic competition, then the school certainly went out in grand fashion. – Jim Hague Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.