WATERTOWN — Doug Black, coach of the General Brown football team, addressed the 50 All North first teamers and their families in attendance for the sixth annual Watertown Daily Times All North Banquet held at the Hilton Garden Inn on Tuesday.
In his seven-minute speech he touched on a few points but harped on the following: find something you’re passionate about, do your best with what you’re given, set goals in order to follow your dreams, be willing to work hard and build meaningful relationships.
“Hard work works, I can’t say that enough,” Black said. “Here is something for all you young people to understand, successful people in this world, they work hard.”
The majority of the athletes honored are multiple sport athletes, donning their school’s colors in the fall, winter and spring. Chad Bach of Lowville and Amanda McElheran of Immaculate Heart Central embodied Black’s speech more than most and were named the Times All North Athletes of the Year.
The two athletes are at different stages of their respective careers. McElheran just finished up her senior year at IHC, a place she spent her whole high school career. She stayed busy by representing the Cavaliers in soccer, basketball and lacrosse and will continue playing lacrosse next season as a member of the Division I University at Albany Great Danes. As for soccer and basketball, this past fall and winter were her final days playing those sports.
As a result, she left more on the field than usual.
“I really felt that this year, in all my sports, I really left everything on the floor since it was my last year,” McElheran said. “I really think I showed up my best in this last year.”
During her senior soccer season, McElheran made 169 saves in goal, a save percentage of .885 and in lacrosse scored 59 goals as midfielder. She was also named as an honorable mention in basketball.
“Losing was a little tougher, because those were my last games,” McElheran said. “When the seasons wrapped up it was really different saying that there is no summer or no sports any more, there is no more being able to say, ‘oh there will be next year.’ It was definitely different but at the same time I’m glad to be moving on.”
Her counterpart, Chad Bach isn’t quite in the same situation — he still has one more year left at Lowville to continue dominating competition.
As a junior, the football/basketball/lacrosse standout made the Times All North first team in football and lacrosse.
As a quarterback, Bach rushed for 1,129 yards and recorded 26 total touchdowns for a Lowville team that made it to the Section 3 Class C semifinals. In lacrosse, he recorded 40 goals and 65 assists as a midfield for the Red Raiders.
While he was not a first teamer in basketball, Bach finished played an integral role on team that made it to the New York State Class B finals.
“I kind of just built on what I had last year,” Bach said. “I had a decent year last year and over the summer I put in a lot of work in all sports really and it paid off.”
Bach fortunate enough to be surrounded by incredibly talented teammates — Alex Thomas and Aidan Macaulay also earned first team recognition. That level of competition elevated his game.
“Without our good teams, I wouldn’t have any of these individual awards probably,” Bach said. “The teammates help me out so much, I would have no success without them.”
Doug Black closed out his speech by explaining the importance of building relationships.
“Work on developing [relationships], work on keeping those strong,” he said. “Because those are the things that are going to travel with you throughout your life. And they really are some of the greatest rewards that you are going to have in your life.”
Ten General Brown athletes were honored at the Watertown All North banquet, and Black took this opportunity to recognize the six who had played for him
He asked Bryce Johnson, Dominic Lutz, Matt McManaman, Kyle Nichols, Carson Pickeral and Tyler Scordo to stand.
“You guys all lost a bet because you couldn’t guess what I was going to say to you,” he said to the players standing. “I love you, I’m proud of you and stay humble.”