The Brookdale Athletics Department held its annual athletics banquet on Thursday, June 7th, in the Student Life Center. This is the first one since 2019 due to COVID-19, and everyone who attended was beyond thrilled to celebrate the successes of the student-athletes, coaches, and athletic administration once again!

Director of Athletics and Recreation, Katie Amundson, began her welcome speech by echoing the baseball student-athletes in the dugout at their home game against RCSJ-Cumberland after they went on a home run tear in the Region 19 Final Four – “We are Back!” It has been a few years since we hosted our awards night, and I am so happy to be here tonight and so proud of our team accomplishments, student-athletes, and coaches. We have had an exceptional year both academically and athletically, and I am grateful for the opportunity to relive it all tonight.”

Major Award Winners:

The 2022-23 Scholar-Athlete of the Year goes to a male and female student-athlete with the highest GPA. In the female category, the department awarded tri-sport participant Rebecca Arleth from women’s volleyball, cheerleading, and softball. Arleth continued her classroom domination through her sophomore campaigns and graduated with a degree in Physics with a perfect 4.00 GPA.

Men’s tennis standout Anton Kalajian, who finished the year with a 3.95 GPA, earned the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year distinction. Kalajian is a business administration major.

The 2022-2023 Female Athlete of the Year was given to Rebecca Arleth for her contribution, accolades, and spirit. Arleth earned second-team All-Region, and first-team All-GSAC distinctions in volleyball, was a crucial member and leader for the cheerleading team, and was a member of the Region XIX and GSAC champion softball team. Additionally, she was seeded at the No. 3 spot for the 2023 NJCAA Softball World Series.

Men’s basketball sophomore guard, Kevin Mateo, was announced as the 2022-2023 Male Athlete of the Year award. Mateo led the team as their point guard averaging 17.3 points per game, 5.2 assists, 2.8 steals, and shot 84.8% from the free throw line (12th in the nation). His collected accomplishments are 2022-23 GSAC Player of the Year, 2022-23 First-Team NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball All-America Selection, 2022-23 NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball Championship Most Valuable Player, 2022-23 NJCAA DIII Men’s Basketball National Champion, and 2023 NJCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. Also, Kevin was recently invited to play in the NJCAA All-Star game, which took place in Las Vegas, NV.

Athletic Director presenting award to a woman who is an employee at Brookdale.Beverlee Gross, Registration & Records Enrollment specialist, was awarded the 2023 Most Outstanding Brookdalian. Beverlee helps the Director work on NJCAA eligibility paperwork for our certified Jersey Blues student-athletes. She routinely exceeds all expectations and has gone above and beyond to ensure the submitted paperwork is completed promptly and accurately. Without this paperwork, our student-athletes would not be able to participate. She is hard-working, driven, highly organized, and efficient, and she takes the necessary time to ensure what she is doing is correct. Beverlee’s enthusiasm, dedication, reliability, and wealth of knowledge are beyond impressive and valuable.

The Unsung Hero Award embodies someone who is consistent. Someone you can always count on, and their effort is never in question. They are invested in our programs and are always there to lend a helping hand. Never giving less than they are capable of and, over the years, have never asked for anything in return. The award recognizes someone who has positively influenced a program or organization from behind the scenes with a positive attitude, a willingness to help in whatever capacity necessary, and a commitment to excellence.

Dylan Harrington goes above and beyond his head athletic trainer role. He is amazingly knowledgeable at his job, respected, well-liked by all, and a team player. Dylan is always willing to assist and jumps in at a moment’s notice to help. He ensures every student receives the proper treatment and follows up on the progress. He occasionally does this for the coaching staff and athletic administration when aches and pains become an issue. Dylan also takes the time to develop strength and conditioning programs for each sport and for individual student-athletes who are interested in training in the off-season. The athletic department is so grateful for Dylan and how important his role is for Brookdale Athletics and the Brookdale Community as a whole.

Head Coaches Paul Cisek, Rich Brunson, and Bo Scannapieco were honored with plaques recognizing pinnacle career wins this past year. Men’s basketball coach Paul Cisek reached his 600th Brookdale career win, women’s basketball coach, Rich Brunson, captured his 100th win, and softball’s, Bo Scannapieco hit his 1200th career win milestone!

Following the delicious buffet and amazing PowerPoint slide presentation of pictures throughout the year, the following special awards were presented in addition to the major awards.  Here for Photos.

The Individual Team Award Winners:

Men’s Cross Country Most Valuable Player Teddy Purdon
Coaches Award Josh Seba
Men’s Soccer Most Valuable Player Liam Mulvey
Coaches Award Frank Robustelli
Women’s Soccer Most Valuable Player Emma Bennett
Coaches Award Paige Coulahan
Women’s Volleyball Most Valuable Player Rebecca Valentin
Coaches Award Rebecca Arleth
Men’s Basketball Most Valuable Player Kevin Mateo
Coaches Award Andre Wells
Women’s Basketball Most Valuable Player Carissa Reyes
Coaches Award Rahkhia Mack
Cheerleading Most Valuable Player Michael Staples
Coaches Award Ailton Alanya
Baseball Most Valuable Player Marcus Johnson
Coaches Award Ryan Lasko
Softball Most Valuable Player Sydney Rawlings
Coaches Award Ana Marziano
Men’s Tennis Most Valuable Player Anton Kalajian
Coaches Award Vanderbilt Boyce III
Female Athlete of the Year Rebecca Arleth Women’s Volleyball, Cheer, Softball
Male Athlete of the Year Kevin Mateo Men’s Basketball
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year Anton Kalajian 3.95 GPA Men’s Tennis
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year Rebecca Arleth  4.0 GPA Women’s Volleyball, Cheer, Softball
Most Outstanding Brookdalian Beverlee Gross  Registration & Records – Enrollment Specialist
Jersey Blues Unsung Hero Award Dylan Harrington  Head Athletic Trainer
Paul Cisek Head Men’s Basketball Coach 600th Career Win
Rich Brunson Head Women’s Basketball Coach 100th Career Win
Bo Scannapieco Head Women’s Softball Coach 1200th Career Win