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Worcester County athletes, students, coaches honored

The Worcester County Board of Education honored accomplished students, athletes and coaches from the system’s three high schools at an open meeting on April 16.

Worcester BOE-sports

The Worcester County Board of Education recognized students, athletes and coaches, including the Stephen Decatur High School Unified Strength and Conditioning team, at its April 16 meeting.
Tara Fischer/ Bayside Gazette

By Tara Fischer, Staff Writer 

The Worcester County Board of Education honored accomplished students, athletes and coaches from the system’s three high schools at an open meeting on April 16.

Coordinator of Instruction Jess McInerney recognized Stephen Decatur High School senior Abigail Vadella as Worcester County’s nomination for the Maryland General Assembly Student Page Program.  

The program is designed to expose students to government and politics in high school. According to McInerney, the young pages interact with state legislators, witness the chamber in session, and complete additional civic duties. 

“Abigail excels in AP and advanced courses at Stephen Decatur High School, and she is a leader in multiple national honor societies across content areas,” the instruction coordinator said. 

Vadella, who worked in Congressman Andy Harris’s office as the youngest United States Congressional intern, will attend the University of Pennsylvania to study philosophy, politics, and economics. McInerney said the high school senior is gearing up for a career in government. 

Worcester County Public Schools Athletic Director Sam Slacum also attended the April 16 meeting to recognize Stephen Decatur High School, Pocomoke High School, and Snow Hill High School student-athletes. 

“These students have excelled on the courts and in the pool this winter and have had some wonderful achievements,” he said. “…All these athletes sustain high academic standards to maintain their eligibility. Most of them are looking to move on to college. These are some of our best and brightest in the county.” 

SDHS swim coach Kristina Watts honored individual Bayside Conference Champions Daniel Karcheuski, who excelled in the breaststroke race, and Chase Ponton, who was victorious in the backstroke event. Also recognized were Mason Castanares and Vincent Schicchi, who won two relays along with the solo leaders.

The board commended Decatur’s wrestlers, who won their fifth consecutive state title against Damascus High School 52-22 on Feb. 10. While the whole varsity team was present at the board of education meeting, individual champions Elijah Collick, Gavin Solito, and the first-ever girls’ state title holder AJ Johnson were individually honored. 

“This is a great accomplishment by these young men and women,” head coach Josh August said. 

The SDHS basketball team also attended the April 16 meeting. The board of education honored Bayside Player of the Year Davin Chandler and First Team All-Bayside South Athletes Careen Bolden and Brycen Coleman. Johnson was named the Bayside Conference Coach of the Year. 

“We might not be state champions, but we are two-time regional champs,” the head coach said, addressing the players. “None of this recognition would be possible without you guys putting in the work and putting up with me. The coaches push you because we believe in you. Coaching the level of student-athletes at Decatur is a privilege.” 

The newly established SDHS Unified Strength and Conditioning team was also recognized by the board, along with coaches Lindsay Owens and Shannon Bone. The competitors secured a state title on Feb. 21 at the Special Olympics Maryland 2024 Interscholastic Unified Sports Strength and Conditioning State Invitation. 

PHS Assistant Principal Joseph Stigler and the swim coaches honored athletes, Gavin Grace and Samantha Lambertson. SHHS basketball coach Shawn Johnson commended player Jayden Hudson. Track and field runners Logan Hurney and Allie Suarezapecheche were also recognized. 

The next Worcester County Board of Education meeting is scheduled for May 21 in the Newark central office. An open session will convene at 12:30 p.m. 

This story appears in the May 2, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.