The All-Western New York Coaches softball first team featured a lot of gifted individuals who shined on the diamond and will be playing collegiately.
There also are athletes who made competing in multiple sports look rather easy. But only one played multiple sports in the same season and made it look like a piece of cake.
Emilee Hanlon from Dunkirk plays shortstop in softball and is a high jumper and long jumper for the track and field team. The four-sport athlete is going to a big-time school in Tennessee to play softball.
"To have any athlete be able to play that many sports and also excel … is very impressive," said Mike Sarratori, Dunkirk's athletic director. "The whole city and school is proud."
"I think she definitely set the standard high for all of our female athletes," added Dunkirk softball coach Michelle Gilmour. "Everyone wants to be Emilee Hanlon."
But there's only one Emilee Hanlon, and she had quite the spring.
Hanlon batted .419 with 33 runs scored, 18 stolen bases and 18 RBIs. Fifteen of her 31 hits went for extra bases, including eight doubles and four triples, as she helped the Marauders reach the Section VI Class B-1 semifinals.
On the track, she won the Section VI Division II high jump and long jump titles and placed third in a star-studded 200-meter dash. She placed third in high jump and seventh in long jump at the New York State Track and Field Championship meet.
During the winter, she won the state indoor title in the high jump.
Hanlon, who also plays soccer, had track scholarship offers too. However, she wanted to play softball, according to Sarratori.
Hanlon appears to have chosen a program that values her type of athleticism.
"Tennessee is known for its small ball and, that's what Emilee specializes in," Gilmour said. "She's very coachable and any coach would want that."
Gilmour said Hanlon was a fantastic leader. Despite softball and track placing lots of demands on Hanlon's time, she put in all the work in practice in both sports, Gilmour said.
Having an athlete from a tiny city going to a Southeastern Conference school on scholarship is a big deal in Dunkirk.
"It's a positive for our school but it also taught our students that if you have goals and dreams and work hard, those goals and dreams they can come true," Gilmour said."
Smooth as Stone
While Hanlon is a special athlete, so too is Akron's Abby Stone.
Stone completed her Tigers athletic career by earning her fourth consecutive All-Western New York first-team honor.
This is the second sport in which Stone has earned All-WNY first-team honors four times. The other is field hockey.
Stone completes her six-year softball career with a .553 average, 115 hits, 110 runs, 130 RBIs, 18 homers and a slugging percentage of 1.072.
College roll call
Here are where the rest of the seniors on the first team plan to play collegiately.
Orchard Park's Kayla Raymond and Lily Wozniak will go from being teammates to rivals with Raymond heading to Niagara and Wozniak to Canisius. Three-time All-WNY pitcher Anilese Kelly of West Seneca East is going to Kent State. Iroquois' Brooke Plonka is heading to Dartmouth, Olean's Alyssa Ramarge to St. Bonaventure, Williamsville North's Miranda Fish to Castleton University (Vermont) and Lancaster's Olivia Kincanon to University at Buffalo. Kincanon teammate Madisyn Pepke plans to attend St. John Fisher.
Although Rachel Steffan of Williamsville East is a junior, she's already announced she will attend Fordham. Steffan also earned All-WNY first team honors in volleyball last fall.
NYSPHSAA: Chautauqua Lake.
Far West Regional: Iroquois (Class A), Olean (Class B), Chautauqua Lake (Class C), North Collins (Class D).
Section VI: Lancaster (Class AA), Iroquois (Class A), Williamsville East (Class A-1), Eden (Class B-2).
Monsignor Martin: Nardin.