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Student-athlete advisory committee (saac)
The SAAC was developed to give student-athletes a voice within the NYSPHSAA. Over the course of the school year, the committee will discuss topics relevant to high school student-athletes and develop ways to maintain a positive athletic experience.
Each committee member is expected to exemplify leadership while providing feedback of NYSPHSAA special programs including, but not limited to, Scholar-Athlete, Sportsmanship, Life of an Athlete, Student Leadership, and Community Service. Two student-athletes from each of the 11 sections are selected each year and serve a one year term. Juniors have the option to serve a two-year term. 

 

2016-2017 SAAC Members

 

Section

 

Bio

I

 

Kiera Jackson

Kiera is currently a junior at New Rochelle High School and is a member of the cross country, indoor track/field, and lacrosse teams. Aside from sports and a rigorous academic schedule, Kiera also participates in an art program and debate club. In the future, Kiera hopes to attend a college and study engineering, while also participating in club and intramural sports. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Kiera said, “I hope that being a part of SAAC can help improve the athletic community in my school, as well as the athletic communities throughout the state.”

I

 

Matt Lucido

Matt is currently a junior at Clarkstown High School South and has been a member of the varsity basketball team since his freshman year and varsity baseball since his sophomore year. Matt has served as Class President for the past two years and is also a member of the Italian Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Matt said, “I believe it is important for student-athletes to maintain a balance between their academic workload and participation in athletics. Through this committee, I hope to brainstorm ideas to help student-athlete maintain that balance.”

2

 

Cameron Bleibtrey

Cameron is a junior at Queensbury High School and has been playing basketball since 7th grade. Cameron spends his free time as a counselor for co-ed youth basketball camps. He loves to help young athletes and is currently in the process of becoming a Big Brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Cameron hopes to pursue a career in coaching basketball at the collegiate level. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Cameron said, “I hope to assist in promoting sportsmanship throughout Section 2 and help improve the overall experience of all student athletes in New York State.” 

2

 

Eric Jess

Eric is a senior at Saratoga Springs High School and has been a member of the ice hockey team for the past three years. This year, Eric was named captain for the upcoming season. He is also a member of Saratoga's varsity rowing team. Eric aspires to play club hockey and pursue a major in chemical engineering in college. Eric is proud to represent Saratoga and Section 2 as a member of NYSPHSAA SAAC. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Eric said, “I want to contribute ideas for improving the quality and overall experience of high school athletics.”

III

 

Jacob Geitner

Jake is currently a junior at G. Ray Bodley High School (Fulton) and is a captain for his baseball and soccer teams. Unfortunately, Jake has been sidelined the past two soccer seasons with two different breaks to his right leg. Despite the setback, Jake continues to support both of his teams. In the summer, Jake travels to national tournaments with his local baseball team, the Fulton Force, as the team’s catcher. He also takes part in his school’s Ski Club during the winter and enjoys skiing throughout the winter season. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Jake said, “I hope to expand my leadership skills to be a better leader on and off the field. I also want to be a strong representative of the ideals of Section III.”

III

 

Kathleen Starr

Kathleen is a junior at Cortland Jr/Sr High School and has been a member of the tennis, basketball, and lacrosse teams since her freshmen year. She is also involved in Student Council, as a committee chair, Link Crew, as a mentor, National Honor Society, and is the Vice President of her class.  When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Kathleen said, “I am very excited to be a part of SAAC and would like to make student-athletes more aware of all the association has to offer.”

IV

 

Hannah Morley

Hannah Morley is a senior at Delaware Academy and is a member of the soccer, basketball, and outdoor track/field teams. Hannah has also given her time to activities that she feels passionately about including; Olweyus (an anti bullying program) and AVP (Alternatives to Violence), where she serves as a student leader and facilitator. Hannah is also the President of the Varsity Club and the student leader of the Catskill Area School Study Student Leadership Council. One of Hannah’s proudest accomplishments was being chosen to represent Delhi at the American Legion Auxiliary Empire Girls State, where she was elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor from over 350 highly qualified young women from throughout the state. In her free time, Hannah is active in her church and enjoys reading, socializing with her friends and spending time with her dogs.

IV

 

Julie Nemcek

Julie is a senior at Windsor Central High School and is a member of the tennis, indoor track/field, and outdoor track/field teams. Outside of athletics, Julie is the Executive President of Windsor’s student government, a second-grade student mentor, and a student board member on the New York State Council on Leadership and Student Activities. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Julie said, “Through this committee, I want to ensure every athlete is safe and has the opportunity for involvement and fun during practice and competition. My goal is to provide access to school doctors and trainers, to teach the signs of overtraining, and to avoid poor equipment and unsafe conditions.”

V

 

Alana Kornaker

Alana is a junior at Wayne Central High School and has been a member of the varsity basketball and softball teams since her freshman year. In addition to athletics, she is also very involved in her school community. Alana is Class President and is working towards receiving an International Baccalaureate diploma upon graduation from high school. Additionally, she is a member of the National Honor Society, the Future Business Leaders of America, as well as the Math Team; all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Her hobbies include adventuring the outdoors, cooking, and working out. In college, she intends on majoring in International Relations and aspires to change the world someday.

V

 

Conor Haims

Connor is a senior at Pittsford Mendon High School and is a member of varsity hockey and lacrosse teams. Connor will be continuing academic and athletic career at Le Moyne College, where he will be a member of the men’s lacrosse team. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Connor said, “I joined the committee to share my experiences and hopefully make a difference for other New York State student-athletes.”

VI

 

Marissa Birzon

Marissa is a senior at Williamsville East High School and has been a member of the varsity soccer team since 8th grade. Marissa was named captain in 10th grade and has been one ever since. She is continuing her soccer career at The Ohio State University next Fall. Marissa is also a member of many clubs at her school including; the National Honor Society, Link Crew, Stand Up Stand Out, Co-Chairs, and Peer Educators. Outside of school, Marissa volunteers for a program called TOP Soccer, where she teaches children with disabilities how to play soccer. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Marissa said, “I want to help generate more ideas and come together as a state, rather than 11 separate sections.”

VI

 

Michael Steffan

Mike is a senior at Williamsville East High School and has been a member of the varsity ice hockey team since his freshman year and the varsity baseball team since his sophomore year. He was also the captain of both teams his junior and senior year. Mike will be continuing his academic and baseball career at Canisius College (Division I). Mike is also a part of many clubs at his school including; Link Crew, Co-Chairs, Stand Up Stand Out, and National Honors Society. He also plays on a travel baseball team. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Mike said, “I wanted to be a part of the SAAC to generate ideas with other student-athletes from around the state, then try and implement the ideas in my school and section.”

VII

 

Paul Fine-Lease

Paul is a junior at Willsboro Central School and is a member of the soccer, ice hockey, and golf teams. Paul is also a captain of the soccer team and has also been the President of the National Junior Honor Society for the past two years. Paul is also involved in Student Council and CFES, as he was the Treasurer and Secretary. In his spare time, Paul mentors struggling elementary students. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Paul said, “I feel it is important to have insight from active participants of high school sports. It is important to me that I share my ideas with others to help better communities around New York State.”

VII

 

Matvey Longware

Mat is a senior this year at Willsboro Central School. Mat says athletics has been a big part of his life and has helped him become more involved in his school. Mat is also the President of the Willsboro National Honor Society, a member of the Student Council, and is active in the drama and music departments. All the activities he is involved in have significantly impacted his life, especially music, in which he performed at Carnegie Hall in February of 2016. Mat hopes to continue his academic and extracurricular activities in college next year. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Mat said, “I feel there needs to be closer connections between the student-athletes and the administration. I am also excited to be able to talk with other students across the state, who know better than anyone what it is like to play a sport in high school, and the stresses/demands involved both on and off the court or field.”

VIII

 

Kerrin Montgomery

Kerrin is a senior at Lynbrook High School and has been a member of the volleyball, basketball and lacrosse teams since her freshmen year. She is also a member of the National Honor Society. In her spare time, Kerrin dedicates herself to coaching youth lacrosse and basketball. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Kerrin said, “I want to help create a better relationship between student-athletes and their athletic departments. I also hope the committee will help improve the athletes’ resources to address conflicts that arise during each season.”

VIII

 

Anna Rodriguez

Anna is a senior at South Side High School this year and has been running varsity indoor and outdoor track & field since her freshman year. She was also captain of her JV soccer team as a sophomore and is a member of her school’s Athletes Helping Athletes Program. Outside of athletics, Anna is a member of the Chamber Singers and Model UN club. Academically, she is in National, Spanish, Math, Science, and Music Honor Societies and is a recognized National Hispanic Scholar. She has also spent two summers interning in NYU’s Medical Center research lab and hopes to pursue a career in STEM in the future.

IX

Linzy Dineen

Linzy Dineen is a senior at Wallkill Senior High School. Linzy is a leading member of the varsity soccer, basketball, and track programs and has plans to continue her athletic career at the collegiate level. In each season throughout her high school career, Linzy has received the MHAL Scholar-Athlete Award. Her dedication expands beyond athletics through her position as Class President (2017), membership in the National Honor Society, and multiple community service endeavors. Linzy is excited and grateful for the opportunity to be part of the NYSPHSAA SAAC. 

 

IX

 

Olivia Kowatch

Olivia is a senior at Kingston High School. She is captain of the varsity field hockey team and is also a member of the lacrosse team. In addition, Olivia is a member of National Honor Society and Vice President of the Spanish Honor Society. In her free time, Olivia enjoys running and volunteering for youth sporting events and activities. Olivia plans on majoring in Education in college. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Olivia said, “I want to ensure sportsmanship remains a priority interscholastic athletics.” 

X

 

Claire Donaldson

Claire is a junior at Lisbon Central School. Claire has been a member of the varsity softball and soccer teams since 8th grade and was named the captain of the soccer team. Claire is involved in National Honor Society and the Interact Community Service club. She is also the Treasurer of her class and the Athletic Advisory Committee at her high school. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Claire said, “I hope to be a voice for student-athletes throughout New York and make their experience as positive and rewarding as possible.” 

X

 

Alexandra Steele

Alex is a junior at Heuvelton Central School and is a member of the soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams. Alex understands the importance of sportsmanship towards other players, officials, teammates, and coaches. As a result, she has been a recipient of the NYSPHSAA Sportsmanship Award at state championships two years in a row. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Alex said, “I want to help tackle the issues that affect student-athletes throughout New York State.” 

XI

 

Jensen Corabi

Jensen is a senior at Half Hollow Hills High School West and is a member of the soccer and lacrosse teams. Jensen tries hard to epitomize respect on and off the field and also commits himself to his academics. Jensen will continue his role as a student-athlete at Tufts University next year as a men’s lacrosse player. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Jensen said, “I want to help the association reach its goals and serve as an example for student-athletes throughout the state.” 

 

XI

 

Paige Volkmann

Paige is senior this year at Center Moriches High School and will be attending Binghamton University next fall to play lacrosse. When Paige is not playing lacrosse, she enjoys sailing, baking, sports, and loves to learn new things. Paige is also the first chair clarinet player in her high school band and participates in jazz band as well. Paige plans to study mathematics in college and hopes to continue make a difference both on and off the field. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Paige said, “I have played sports my entire life, so when I received the opportunity to be a part of the NYSPHSAA SAAC I immediately jumped at it. Giving back to the sports community is a very important thing to me.”

SAAC Leader

 

Declan Graham

Declan is a second-year member of SAAC and is currently a senior at H. Frank Carey High School. Declan is a member of the cross country, indoor track/field, and outdoor track/field teams. In addition to athletics, Declan is the Vice President of his class and the head acolyte at his church. He also represented Section VIII and NYSPHSAA at the New England Student Leadership Conference (NESLC) in 2015. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Declan said, “It would give me an opportunity to develop my leadership skills and help me be a role model for my peers.”

 

SAAC Leader

 

Casey Michele

Casey is a second-year member of SAAC and is currently a senior at East Rochester High School. Casey is a member of the golf, soccer, and basketball teams, and maintains a 3.75 GPA. He is also a captain on all the teams. Casey also holds leadership positions including; Class President and President of the National Honor Society.  In the summer of 2015, Casey represented Section V and NYSPHSAA at the (NESLC) New England Student Leadership Conference.  He also volunteers his time with East Rochester's Unified Sports basketball team.  After high school, he plans to pursue a degree in Business Management/ Entrepreneurship.

SAAC Leader

Kristen Norray

Kristen is a second-year member of SAAC and is currently a senior at Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School. Kristen has been a member of the soccer, basketball and track teams since 7th grade and is a captain on her soccer and basketball teams. She is also the Treasurer for the Class of 2017. In her free time, Kristen enjoys being involved in musicals and helping at youth soccer and basketball programs, by teaching young athletes the fundamentals of their sport. In college, Kristen plans to study architecture.  When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Kristen said, “I want to help improve the lives of student athletes.”