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Fork’s winning wasn’t a miracle

When he was about 10, a miracle changed Patrick Cavanagh’s life.

Actually, it was a &uot;Miracle.&uot; As in &uot;Miracle on Ice,&uot; the United States’ 4-3 win over Russia in the semifinals of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.

&uot;I hadn’t been very interested in hockey,&uot; admitted the Long Island native at the King’s Fork High Fall Sports Banquet Thursday evening, &uot;but after that, it was all I wanted to do.&uot;

Cavanagh gave up what he figured would have been a sure football scholarship to college, moved to Hamilton, Ontario in his junior year and won a spot on a Junior Hockey League team. Two years later, in 1989, he was playing for Norfolk’s Hampton Roads Admirals in the East Coast Hockey League, with whom he’d eventually win a league title. For seven years, he’d play for St. Louis and Tampa Bay before retiring in 1996. In 2003, he purchased the Chesapeake skating complex Chilled Ponds and turned into one of the area’s most well-known of its kind.

&uot;You can only do as good as you can do,&uot; Cavanagh said. &uot;One of the things that gave me relief was that I only had to give 100 percent and not worry about my competitors. Do everything you can do to be your best, and know that you have done your best.&uot;

Over the past few months, members of the football, field hockey, golf, cross-country and girls volleyball teams had the chance to do so (Fork didn’t have a boys volleyball team).

&uot;All of you are important,&uot; said volleyball coach Sarah Whitfield, whose team won its first three victories in school history this season. &uot;All of you showed me some things. You surpassed my expectations, and I look forward to next year.

&uot;I based this one on who was out there and who excelled,&uot; Whitfield said of the Most Improved winner. &uot;Someone who was out there all the time, whom I literally saw grow in confidence.&uot;

That would be Nicole Jones. Whitney Holland got the Sportsmanship award, Keosha Riddick the Coach’s Award, Leigh Ann Sexton the Heart and Hustle honor for dedication and Rachel Bailor, the first King’s Fork student to get a Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Year honor, the Most Valuable Player.

The Bulldog football team also got three wins for the first time ever, culminating in a 50-42 defeat of local rival Lakeland, in which senior Dan Miller gained 250 yards to push his season total to a school record of 1,181 yards, scoring 17 touchdowns. Miller was given a game ball by the coaches.

Kyle Smith received the Sportsmanship award, and Francisco Clifford was named Most Improved. Kevin Pittman, who played offense, defense and special teams was the Ironman, and Josh Brown got an award for scoring the team’s highest grade point average, a 4.0. Kodi Edmonds got the Big Maroon award for hustling, and Jonathan Stevenson got the Coach’s Award.

After just one win last season, the Bulldog cross-country team went perfect in Suffolk and also defeated Indian River (they split with Deep Creek, with the Bulldogs winning). Meghan Carter was the Most Improved, Chris Savedge the Most Outstanding runner and Justin Golden the Sportsmanship winner.

Whitney Witt, the only Lady Bulldog to make the All-Southeastern District First field hockey team, was named the Most Valuable Player, with Kathryn Babineau getting the Sportsmanship award and Mary Rose (who along with Babineau and Brandi Novak made the All-District Honorable Mention team) got the Coach’s Award. Shane Doherty got the Coach’s award in golf, with David Brown getting the lowest average (78.2) honor and Jennifer Morgan winning the sponsorship award. Brown and Doherty represented Fork in Eastern Regional competition.

jason.norman@suffolknewsherald.com