Lee picks up her third Athlete of Year award

It’s Katherine Lee for three.

A Shoreham-Wading River High School girl had never received an Athlete of the Year award more than once from the Riverhead News-Review before Lee came around.

Lee first received the honor in 2015. Last year the cross-county and track and field standout became the first SWR girl to duplicate the feat. On Thursday the junior made it a three-peat when she was once again honored along with the other top female and male athletes from six high schools by Times Review Media Group.

Lee became the third athlete in the Riverhead News-Review’s coverage area to win the award three times, joining elite company in Meg Tuthill of Bishop McGann-Mercy (2014, 2015, 2016) and Ellen Dougherty of Riverhead (2002, 2004, 2005). Should Lee win the award yet again next year, she will become the second athlete to do so four times in the 33-year history of the awards. Greenport’s Ryan Creighton (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) is the only four-time winner.

The other winners recognized by the Riverhead News-Review are all first-time winners.

For the fourth time in 13 years, co-winners were selected for the SWR male athlete of the year: seniors Chris Gray (football, lacrosse) and Brian Morrell (baseball).

The Riverhead winners were junior Kim Ligon (field hockey, basketball, softball) and senior Eric Cunha (cross country, winter track, spring track). Two seniors represented Bishop McGann-Mercy: Siobhan Merrill (soccer, winter track, lacrosse) and Sean Tuthill (golf, basketball, baseball).

Just because a high school athlete wins an Athlete of the Year award one year doesn’t mean she will win it the following year. And just because she didn’t win it last year doesn’t mean she will not win it this year.

Madison Tabor should know that better than most people. For the second time in three years, the Greenport senior was named an Athlete of the Year by The Suffolk Times.

Tabor, who played field hockey and basketball, had received the honor two years ago as a junior. Last year the award went to Toni Esposito. This year it was Tabor’s time again. She became the sixth Greenport girl to win the award twice. Two Greenport girls had received the award three times — Kim Volinski (2005, 2006, 2007) and Elaine Milovich (2001, 2002, 2003).

The other recipients in The Suffolk Times’ coverage area are first-time winners, including Mattituck’s two state champion wrestlers, seniors James Hoeg and Tanner Zagarino, who were named co-winners. It is the first time that the Mattituck male athlete award has been shared.

Also winning from The Suffolk Times’ coverage area were: Greenport senior Jake Skrezec (football, wrestling, baseball), Mattituck senior Melanie Pfennig (cross country, winter track, spring track), Southold junior Haley Brigham (soccer, winter track, spring track) and Southold senior Dylan Clausen (soccer, baseball).

The awards were presented by Times Review Media Group, which publishes the Riverhead News-Review and The Suffolk Times, at the company’s headquarters in Mattituck.

Photo caption: The athletes honored (from left): Chris Gray, Brian Morrell and Katherine Lee of Shoreham-Wading River; Sean Tuthill and Siobhan Merrill of Bishop McGann-Mercy and Eric Cunha and Kim Ligon of Riverhead. (Credit: Kelly Zegers)

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