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Vetter, Orlowski named Ken-Ton Coaches of the year

KENMORE - It was the perfect capper to an already memorable year.

As the school year came to a close Carrie Vetter and Jeff Orlowski were able to walk into summer vacation with an extra smile on their faces as the two went named the 2012-13 Ken-Ton Coaches of the Year.

Vetter was named the Kenmore West Coach of the Year for her work with the Blue Devils varsity boys swim team.

While Orlowski, the Kenmore East Coach of the Year, was chosen because of the success he has seen with the joint Kenmore field and ice hockey programs during the school year.

Leading to the Blue Devils to a 12-2 record in the Niagara Frontier League, Vetter’s team went 14-2 overall as they restored some pride to a program that has seen some lean years as of late.

“Carrie had a great season with the West boys last winter,” said Banker. “The team was as good a team as we’ve had in maybe seven-10 years. She helped bring back some pride to a tradition-rich program.”

At the heart of the Blue Devils season was Vetter whose coaching philosophy natures her athletes, especially the very young ones, basic love of swimming and inspires them to get the most out of their talents

“That’s just been my motto. Instead of making it work I try to make it fun for the little ones,” said Vetter, who completed her fourth season as varsity coach. “So, by the time they get to be varsity swimmers they’re doing it because they like it. And not just because it’s just something to do.”

Orlowski was not only honored for the success his teams saw on the playing field but for his part in helping the field and ice hockey teams of Ken-East and Ken-West merge successfully.

“Jeff has done a masterful job in merging both girl’s hockey programs,” Banker said. “That isn’t necessarily an easy task on or off the field or ice. To oversee that and still be successful is impressive to me. Knowing all that goes into merging with your rival.

In its first season as a joint club the Kenmore “Devil-Dogs” field hockey team made it to the Section VI semifinals

before falling to Clarence.

The Kenmore ice hockey team repeated as sectional champions and became the first public school girls team to make it to the state tournament.

Saying that both teams bonded as family and didn’t allow the East-West rivalry serve as a distraction for either team, Orlowski said it was the efforts of the girls on both teams that should be honored.

“I had some really good kids,” Orlowski said. “Not just good athletes, but good kids who were willing to work together to make this happen.”

Both ice and field hockey teams earned scholar athlete awards. Orlowski also thanked his assistant coaches Ashley Terrance (field), John Dollendorf, Matt Miller and Tiffany Yoder for their help.

Orlowski praised girls like Morgann OBrochta, Adriana King and Alyssa Dollendorf for being key players that helped bring the field hockey team together as one.

Cornerstone Awards were also handed out on the night.

Paul Catalano was selected as the Kenmore East Cornerstone winner for his tireless dedication to the Lady Bulldogs softball and basketball programs.

The Ken-West Cornerstone Award was given to the Town of Tonawanda paramedics unit for its 29 years of service to the district.

Banker said the Cornerstone is a meaningful award because he recognizes those important people behind the scenes who work with and help shape the youth of Ken-Ton.

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