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VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: ATHENS' MACIK HEADLINES SUPER 7 AS 2021-22 GIRLS 'ATHLETE OF YEAR' (2022-06-22)

Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — A standout three-sport athlete, Athens senior Caydence Macik excelled on the softball field, basketball hardwoods, and soccer pitch, and is the 2021-22 Valley Sports Report Girls “Athlete of the Year.

Macik put together one of the best offensive seasons on the softball diamond in recent memory.

A strong-armed shortstop who batted lead-off for the majority of the season, Macik hit .578 (37 hits in 64 ABs) with 37 runs scored, eight doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 24 RBI, and nine stolen bases.

She walked 13 times, and had a .649 on-base percentage, a 1.078 slugging percentage, and a 1,727 OPS.

Macik, who will be playing softball and basketball at Mansfield University, was the VSR “Softball Player of the Year.

Macik, who graduates third on Athens’ all-time scoring list (1,283 points) and also grabbed more than 600 career rebounds, was an offensive force for the Lady Wildcats, despite being keyed on by opposing defenses. She averaged 16 points, 7 rebounds, three steals, and 1 assist per game, and shot 45 percent from the field.

She was the VSR “Offensive Player of the Year.

Physical and athletic with good size, Macik returned after a year away from the program and anchored the Lady Wildcat defense on the soccer pitch.

The focus for the year-end awards is on three-sport athletes, but there are some athletes recognized who thrive in two sports. Very rarely, someone will make the grade for just one sport.

The 2021-22 Super 7 Girls “Athletes of the Year"
Caydence Macik, senior, Athens: See above.

Kennedy Westbrook, junior, Waverly: Another outstanding three-sport athlete, Westbrook excelled on the hoop hardwoods, the soccer pitch, and on the track.

Westbrook, who can score from 3-point range or by taking the ball to the bucket, averaged 15.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. She also knocked down 33 3-pointers.

She was normally tasked with defending the opposition’s top backcourt player, and averaged 4.2 steals and 4 deflections per game.

Westbrook was the VSR “Basketball Player of the Year,” and “Defensive Player of the Year.”

On the soccer pitch, Westbrook was a versatile performer with a strong leg. She was a shut-down defender for the Lady Wolverines at stopper, but was able to move up field frequently, and saw some action in the offensive end — scoring 14 goals and dishing out eight assists on the season.

On the track, Westbrook was a member of Waverly’s 400-meter relay that qualified for States by winning the Section IV State Qualifier. She was also on the third-place 1,600-meter relay.

Individually, Westbrook placed third in the 200-meter dash at the Class C Championships. At the IACs, she was second in the 200- and 400-meter sprints. At the IAC South Large School Divisional meet, she won the 200-meter dash,.

Hannah Walker, senior, Athens: A dynamic athlete, Walker excelled on the soccer pitch and the track, and even made an impact in her first year on the swim team.

On the soccer pitch, Walker is a skilled all-around player, and a fierce and physical competitor who makes everyone around her better. She scored 18 goals and dished out 16 assists on the season.

She was the VSR “Soccer Player of the Year,” and will be playing soccer at Division I St. Bonaventure in the fall.

On the track, Walker finished second in the 300-meter hurdles at the District 4 Track & Field Championships, while finishing fourth in the 200-meter dash, and sixth in the 100-meter hurdles.

On her way to Districts, Walker won both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles at the NTL Championships. She placed fourth in the 200-meter dash, and was on the second-place 1,600-meter relay.

She was the VSR "Track & Field Athlete of the Year.”

During swim season, Walker qualified for the District 4 Championships in the 50-yard freestyle.

Emma Bronson, junior, Athens: Emma Bronson had a great year running, whether it was cross country or track & field, but also became a major contributor on the basketball team.

In the fall, Emma Bronson led the Lady Wildcats three times early in the season, and was the No. 2 runner upon returning from injury.

She finished fourth at the Owego Invite, 12th at McDaniel-Baxter Pre-State Invitational at Chenango Valley State, and 16th at prestigious McQuaid Invitational.

In the postseason, she was third at the NTL Coaches Invite, 14th at the District 4 Championships, and 115th at the PIAA Championships.

This spring, Emma Bronson placed third in the 1,600-meter run in a school-record time at the District 4 Championships. She was fifth in the 800-meter run.

At the NTL Championships, she placed second in the 1,600-meter run, third in 3,200-meter run, and fifth in the 800-meter run. She was also on the winning 3,200-meter relay.

On the hardwoods, Emma Bronson was a  top-notch defender and floor leader, averaging4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2 steals per game for the Lady Wildcats.

Julia Bellis, senior, Tioga: An ultra-athletic three-sport athlete, Bellis was a key contributor for the TIoga volleyball, basketball, and softball teams.

On the volleyball hardwoods, Bellis was a steady influence on the floor and a well-rounded player. She had 168 points, 196 digs, 158 kills, eight blocks, and three assists on the season.

Bellis will be playing volleyball at Division III Bridgewater College.

A four-year starter on the hoop hardwoods, Bellis capped her career by averaging 9.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2.1 assists per game. She also connected on 10 3-pointers.

On the softball diamond this spring, Bellis was the VSR “Defensive Player of the Year,” committing just one error in 99 defensive chances for a .990 fielding percentage. She hit .303 (20 hits in 66 ABs) with two doubles, one home run, 17 RBI, 20 runs scored, and five stolen bases.

Sara Bronson, freshman, Athens: The younger Bronson sister, Sara, made an immediate impact for the Lady Wildcat harriers and tracksters.

During cross country season, Bronson won the Tom Koons Valley Invite, finished third at Owego Invite, 11th at the McDaniel-Baxter Pre-State Invitational at Chenango Valley State Park, and was 12th at prestigious McQuaid Invitational.

She won the NTL Coaches Invite, finished ninth at the District 4 Championships, and was 99th at the PIAA Championships.

On the track this spring, Bronson finished second in the 3,200-meter run in a school record time at the District 4 Championships. She placed seventh in the 1,600-meter run.

At the NTL Championships, Sara Bronson won the 1,600-meter run, placed second in the 800- and 3,200-meter runs, and was on the winning 3,200-meter relay.

She was the VSR Cross Country “Newcomer of the Year,” and the “Newcomer of the Fall,“ as well as the Track & Field “Newcomer of the Year.” She was also the VSR Girls “Athlete of the Fall.”

During the winter season, she saw limited action the basketball hardwoods.

Harper Minaker, freshman, Waverly: Only a freshman, Minaker added indoor track to her resume this year, and excelled in all three seasons.

In the fall, she finished second at the Tom Koons Valley Invite, second at Crusader Classic, second at the Marathon Invitational, 15th at McDaniel-Baxter Pre-State Invitational at Chenango Valley State Park, and 23rd at the rugged McQuaid Invitational.

Minaker won the IAC Large School divisional meet, finished third at IAC Championships, seventh at the Section IV, Class C Championships, and 87th at the New York State Championships.

After a strong regular indoor track season, Minaker finished third in the 1,000-meter run, and seventh in the 600-meter run at the Section IV State Qualifier. She also ran on a second-place 1,600-meter relay.

This spring, Minaker won the Class C Championship gold in the 2,000-meter steeplechase in a school-record time. She was third in the steeplechase at the Section IV State Qualifier.

At the IAC Championships, Minaker won the 3,000-meter run, and was second in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. She also ran on the winning 3,200-meter relay team. At the IAC South Large School Divisional meet, Minaker placed second int he 1,500-meter run, and was on the winning 3,200-meter relay.

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IN PHOTO: Athens senior Caydence Macik.

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PAST WINNERS
"Female Athlete Of Year"
2009-10 - Kara McDuffee, Tioga
2010-11 - Kara McDuffee, Tioga
2011-12 - Sabrina Bowman, Waverly; and Christin Dunkling, Athens
2012-13 - Sabrina Bowman, Waverly
2013-14 - Elyse Skerpon, Sayre
2014-15 - Kiana Manuel, Waverly
2015-16 - Breana Gambrell, Athens
2016-17 - Breana Gambrell, Athens
2017-18 "”Breana Gambrell, Athens
2018-19 - Wendi Hammond and Alex Tomasso, Waverly
2019-20 - Sheridan Talada, Waverly
2020-21 - Gabby Picco and Sidney Tomasso, Waverly
2021-22 - Caydence Macik, Athens



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