Varsity Awards Night: A Unifying Tradition

The+many+awards+for+fall+varsity+athletes.

NICHOLAS NGUYEN '23

The many awards for fall varsity athletes.

ROBYN NEMETH '23

Families have traditions, from eating dinner together to attending cultural gatherings. Some of these traditions are similar across families, but others are specific to the individual family, like picking apricots on the first day of spring. 

Like these families, sports teams have traditions too, like Senior Night and Pink Out, which are shared by all sports. Other traditions are team-specific. The girls soccer team shares a meal at Edison Diner before the first round of states. The girls volleyball team encourages team-bonding with an annual pasta party. The football team repeats the words, “discipline, dedication, teamwork,” to dissolve every team huddle. 

At the end of every season, the sports teams conclude with one final tradition: Varsity Awards Night. An encapsulating tradition, Varsity Awards Night unites all of the sports by physically bringing them together in the auditorium. This past fall season welcomed members of the cheerleading, cross country, gymnastics, football, boys and girls soccer, girls tennis, and girls volleyball teams for the awards night on December 7, 2022.

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  • Akshay Vadul ‘23 receiving the Robert Coward Award by principal Mr. Charles Ross on December 7th, 2022.

  • Mathew Yascko ‘23 receiving the Robert Coward Award by principal Mr. Charles Ross on December 7th, 2022.

  • Principal Mr. Charles Ross receiving a football resembling another year of football winning States Sectionals from the Athletic Director Mr. David Sandaal.

  • Mr. Wesley Smith memorable as well as lengthy speech at the annual Fall Varsity Awards Night on December 7th, 2022.

  • Hailey Zampella ‘23 receiving the Robert Coward Award by principal Mr. Charles Ross on December 7th, 2022.

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The awards night celebrated the endeavors, achievements, and leadership of Edison High athletes, and several awards were given out. In addition to team awards, several students received athletic department awards:

  • Robert Coward Award – Mathew Yascko ‘23, Football 
  • Robert Coward Award – Akshay Vadul ‘23, Cross Country 
  • Robert Coward Award – Haley Zampella ‘23, Gymnastics 
  • Frank N. Cangelosi Award – Matthew Bueno ‘23, Football 
  • Frank N. Cangelosi Award – Robyn Nemeth ‘23, Girls Volleyball 
  • Robert Peterson Award – Sudays Ahmed ‘23, Boys Soccer 
  • Frank Redd Award – Mia Salazar ‘23, Girls Soccer 

Athletes are encouraged to support other sports by watching their games, but with their overlapping schedules, it can be virtually impossible. Therefore, the awards night serves as an opportunity for recognition and connection across fields, courts, and tracks. In addition, it allows the athletes to reflect on their season and take pride in their own and their peers’ accomplishments.

It allows people to get together with your team and just establish accomplishments but overall the accomplishments you guys have done together”

— Mia Salazar ‘23

To the numerous athletes that share this sentiment, the awards night is a tradition of recognition. 

“It’s a tradition that I get to walk with my teammates and take awards, and I get to be recognized for my achievements during the season,” said cross country team member Nikhil Badlani ‘23. 

“It celebrates EHS’ students and their achievements and encourages them to pursue their athletic career more,” said Jessica Le ‘24, a cross country team member.

“I like that it acknowledges athletes’ efforts outside of academic achievement,” said Vedik Upadhyay ‘24, a member of the boys soccer team.

Many athletes shared this appreciation for recognition, but even more so the opportunity to see their teammates once again. 

“It’s a nice reminder of what we did over the season. I miss the people so it’s good to see everyone. It’s a nice reunion. I don’t see a lot of my teammates during the school day, so it’s nice to see them,” said girls volleyball team member Gabriela Engholm ‘23. 

“It’s more of the fact I’m with all my friends and my teammates and everything and it’s just the accomplishments that we achieved,” said football player Anish Bellary ‘23. 

Therefore, to some people, the event is more a tradition of reunion. As the athletes are used to motivating their teammates and watching them prosper on the court, they have already recognized each other’s talent, so they find more delight in their company and their friendship.

Nevertheless, the awards night is a celebration, whether that be for celebrating athletes’ awards or celebrating the chance to reunite with friends.

“It allows people to get together with your team and just establish accomplishments but overall the accomplishments you guys have done together,” said Salazar.