VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: WAVERLY'S HAMMOND, TOMASSO HEADLINE 'SUPER 7' — SHARE 2018-19 GIRLS 'ATHLETE OF THE YEAR' HONORS (2019-06-21)
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Two of the best three-sport athletes Waverly has produces, seniors Wendi Hammond and Alex Tomasso saw their careers intertwine for five years on the soccer pitch, and basketball hardwoods, but both made their biggest mark in separate sports in the spring.
It’s only fitting that Hammond and Tomasso share the 2018-19 Valley Sports Report Girls “Athlete of the Year” honors.
The Super 7 “Athlete of the Year” list is primarily dedicated to three-sport athletes, but one two-sport star did crack this year’s list, which is dominated by Waverly athletes.
Hammond was the VSR Softball “Player of the Year,” and was the Girls Basketball and Girls Soccer “Defensive Player of the Year,” while Tomasso was named the Girls Basketball “Player of the Year,” and the “Golfer of the Year.”
This spring, Hammond re-wrote the Waverly record books, both at the plate, and in the pitcher’s circle this spring, leading the Lady Wolverines to their first-ever Section IV title and earning the VSR Softball “Player of the Year.”
A first-team all-state pitcher last year, Hammond put up incredible numbers in the circle during her senior season. She posted an 18-3 record with a 0.57 ERA and a school-record 259 strikeouts in 123 2/3 innings, while walking just 15 and allowing only 47 hits. Batters hit just .129 against her on the season. She tossed a school-record four no-hitters and was also part of a combined no-hitter
Hammond hit .532 (33 hits in 62 ABs) with five doubles, two triples, a school-record 14 home runs, 37 RBI, a school-record 51 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. She walked 23 times for an on-base percentage of .670, to go along with a 1.355 slugging percentage, and a staggering OPS of 2.025.
Hammond was also named “Pitcher of the Year.”
A five-year starter on the soccer pitch, Hammond was the vocal leader of a Waverly defense that allowed just 10 goals in 18 games, and was named VSR’s Girls Soccer “Defensive Player of the Year.”
Hammond used speed, physicality and a high soccer IQ to help Waverly to three consecutive Section IV, Class B title games.
On the hardwoods, Hammond was extremely quick, tireless, and a high-energy defender. She averaged 4.1 steals and 2.2 deflections per game, and led a Waverly defense that allowed just 34.5 points per game. She was named the VSR Girls Basketball “Defensive Player of the Year.”
Hammond also had her best offensive season. She averaged 9 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Tomasso earned all-state honors in two sports, was the Valley “Principals’ Award” winner, which is given to the top three-sport athlete by the three Valley high school principals.
Tomasso finished off her brilliant career on the links with an accomplishment few will ever duplicate, qualifying for States for a sixth time. She was named the 2019 Valley Sports Report “Golfer of the Year” — the first female to win the award in the 10-year history of the Web site.
Tomasso led Waverly to a 20-0 regular-season mark — its fourth consecutive unbeaten season. She will graduate not having been on the losing end of a dual match since near the end of her 8th-grade season as the Lady Wolverine win streak is currently at 118 matches.
Tomasso also led Waverly to its fourth straight IAC title, and its fourth straight Section IV championship. She won low-medal honors at the IACs for the fourth time with a league-record round of 81, then finished third at the Section IV Championships.
Tomasso shot rounds of 85 and 87 to finish with a two-day total of 172 to finish 18th and earn all-state honors for the second time in her career.
On the hardwoods, Tomasso led the Lady Wolverines to the Section IV, Class B semifinals, led the Valley in scoring, and joined the 1,000-point club this season to earn VSR ”Player of the Year" honors.
Tomasso averaged 19.5 points and 3.6 rebounds, as well as 3.3 steals, and 2.4 deflections per game. She shot 45.8 percent from the field, including a 52.7 percent mark from inside the arc, and a 38.9 percent clip from behind the 3-point line, with 53 3-pointers.
Tomasso was a strong defender on a Waverly girls soccer team that allowed just 10 goals in 18 games on its way to its third consecutive Section IV, Class B championship game.
And, let us not forget that Tomasso and Hammond also both collected a Section IV title during the winter season. Tomasso teamed with her younger sister Sidney to win the Section IV girls doubles badminton title, and Hammond teamed with exchange student Natalie Urrejola to win the girls doubles ping pong title.
The remainder of the 2018-19 Girls “Super 7 Athletes of the Year” are:
Sheridan Talada, junior, Waverly: Talada qualified for States in cross country, and both indoor and outdoor track & field in 2018-19. She also broke a pair of school records.
Talada finished seventh at the Section IV, Class Cross Country Championships to earn her first trip to States, where she finished 78th.
Talada, who won the Tom Koons Valley Invite, finished 22nd at the IAC Championships. She also finished eighth at the Owego Invitational, 11th at both the Marathon and McDaniel-Baxter Invites, 20th at prestigious McQuaid Invitational, and 21st at the Bob Greene Invitational.
Talada was the VSR girls cross country "Runner of the Year."
During the winter, Talada was the sixth seed in the 3,000-meter run at the Section IV State Qualifier, but knocked 13 seconds off her seed time to break her own school record, which she had set the week before at the Small School Championships. She won the 3,000 in a time of 11:00.4.
At States, Talada finished 27th, again breaking her school record, this time with a mark of 10:55.37.
In the spring, Talada won a sixth-place state medal on Waverly’s 3,200-meter relay, and also set a school-record in the 2000-meter steeplechase at the Class B Championships.
Rachel Hutchison, senior, Athens: The rare two-sport athlete to make the “Super 7,” Hutchison did so for good reason.
In the fall, Hutchison established a new career goal-scoring record and helped Athens to its first District 4 title in nearly two decades. She was once again the VSR girls soccer "Player of the Year."
Hutchison scored 39 goals to finish her career with a school-record 107, and doled out 16 assists. She also tied the school record this season with seven goals in one game.
Hutchison broke the school record with a goal in the District 4 semifinals, then added two more goals in the title game, lifting the Lady Wildcats to their first crown since 2000.
Possessing blinding speed, tremendous foot work, and uncanny field awareness, Hutchison will take her skills to Division I St. Bonaventure in the fall.
This spring, Hutchison, who started running the 300-meter hurdles midway through her junior year, fell on the first hurdle at the state meet last year, but returned for her senior season on a mission.
She won the 300-meter hurdles nearly every time out this season, and was one of the Lady Wildcats’ top point-getters during the regular season, racking up first-place finishes in all the sprint events..
At the NTL Championships, Hutchison won the 300-meter hurdles, as well as the 100- and 200-meter sprints, and was on the winning 1,600-meter relay team.
At the District 4 Championships, she won the 300 hurdles and was on the state-qualifying 1,600-meter relay team. She finished third in the 200 dash and the 400-meter relay.
At the PIAA Track & Field Championships, Hutchison ran the second-fastest time in the preliminaries, then ran a school-record time of 44.69 seconds in the finals to win a gold medal. She also ran on the 10th-place 1,600-meter relay at States.
Hutchison was the VSR Girls “Track Athlete of the Year.”
Melina Ortiz, junior, Waverly: A standout on the soccer pitch, Ortiz also qualified for States in indoor and outdoor track this year.
Possessing blazing speed, tremendous foot skills and an off-the-charts soccer iQ, Ortiz has been an integral part of a Lady Wolverine team that has appeared in three consecutive Section IV, Class B title games.
Ortiz, who will be playing at Division I Siena College in 2020, scored 12 goals and dished out seven assists this fall.
A veteran of State competition during the indoor track season, Ortiz made her first trip to the New York State outdoor championships this spring. She finished eighth in the 400-meter dash.
Ortiz won the 400-meter dash at the State Qualifier, and finished fifth in the 200-meter dash. Ortiz also won the 400 at the Class B Championships, and was fifth in the 200. She was also part of the second-place 1,600-meter. and fourth-place 400-meter relay teams
At the IAC Championships, Ortiz won the 200, finished third in the 400, and was fourth in the long jump. She was also on the third-place 1,600-meter relay.
During the winter, Ortiz ran a season-best time of 43.59 seconds in the 300-meter dash to finish third at the State Qualifier. After the second-place finisher opted out, Ortiz was off to States again.
At States, Ortiz improved on her season-best time, finished 29th in 43.49 seconds.
Giovanna Rossi, junior, Tioga: Rossi excelled on the volleyball hardwoods and the softball diamond, and was a major contributor on the basketball hardwoods for Tioga as well.
An explosive leaper and powerful hitter, Rossi is the next in a long line of Lady Tiger volleyball standouts at the net. (No statistics available.)
A good defensive second baseman, Rossi hit .463 (25 hits in 54 ABs) with eight doubles, three triples, two home run, 32 RBI, 20 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases. She walked seven times for an on-base percentage of .525. She had a slugging percentage of .833 and an OPS of 1.358.
On the basketball floor, Rossi, long and athletic, was a force on the boards, and altered a lot of shots on the defensive end.
Olivia Ayres, sophomore, Tioga: An established field hockey all-star in the fall, Ayres was an all-star for Tioga on the basketball hardwoods and the softball diamond as well in her first varsity seasons.
Ayres led Tioga in scoring for the second straight year on the field hockey pitch, and can dominate games at times with her stick skills, speed and game IQ.
Over the winter, Ayres got better and better as the hoop season progressed, and as her confidence grew she became as dangerous as anyone in the area from behind the 3-point arc. She averaged 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 1.3 assists per game, and knocked down 36 3-pointers on the season.
This spring, Ayres, a strong fielder at shortstop and a very good slap-hitter, hit .441 (30 hits in 68 ABs) on the season with one double, nine RBI, 21 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases.
IN PHOTO: Waverly senior Wendi Hammond.
“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