Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Livermore and Hilliard receive Via player of the year honors


Nazareth's Erika Livermore and Liberty's Darrun Hilliard were selected as the Via players of the year at a banquet tonight at Freedom.

Nice affair as usual and they make a great effort to move it along swiftly. The whole banquet, which featured a lot of honorees, was over in about two hours and 30 minutes and that included the timed dinner period.

I personally would like to hear more about the all-star team selections and especially the player of the year choices rather than merely having people who, in some cases never saw them play, read names off a prepared page.

But that's just me.

People, I guess, should know all about Hilliard and Livermore by now.

Viabanquet 001 Excellent Hall of Fame speeches were delivered by presenters Mike Zambelli (for Rich Baksa) and Mike Kashner (for Charlie Marcon). Both Baksa and Marcon (seen in photo at the right) were solid as well at the podium.

And the scholarship winners were (who else?) Nazareth's Chuck Dibilio and Southern Lehigh's Hannah Doell.

Dibilio is almost too good to be true. I mean if there's anyone who captures the essence of the All-American boy, it's him. Is there anything this kid can't do? Honestly. He's accomplished so much that if you're another Nazareth student, you could be sick of him by now.

Except for one other thing -- he's too darn nice to dislike. You just can't do it.

Princeton is a quality place. But you know what, it's going to become better having Dibilio (seen in photo at left with Doell) around.

Viabanquet 004

But even with all of the kids and Hall of Famers being honored, my favorite part of the night was the wonderful tribute given by Scott Coval to Al Senavitis.

I am so glad that he was included in the program.

Just seeing Al's face on the big screen brightened the night because just seeing him lifted you up whether it was at game, hanging around DeSales or you bumped into him at a store.

This event supports Via, an organization dedicated to helping others and no one helped others more than Al through his four decades of work with the Special Olympics.

I was sitting with Junior Gencarelli, the former Liberty AD and a great friend of Al's.

After Coval's touching tribute, Gencarelli just shook his head and said: "I still can't believe he's gone."

Neither can I, but Al is one of those guys who will always live on in the hearts of the people who knew him and he seemed to know just about everybody. He will never be forgotten.

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