McErlean, Harrigan lead PAHS award winners

Photo by Barry Taglieber
Phoenixville presented the Crown Trophy Award as outstanding senior athletes to Ian Harrigan, left, for boys and Shannan McErlean, right, for girls.
Photo by Barry Taglieber Phoenixville presented the Crown Trophy Award as outstanding senior athletes to Ian Harrigan, left, for boys and Shannan McErlean, right, for girls.

PHOENIXVILLE - Shannan McErlean and Ian Harrigan received the Crown Trophy Award as outstanding senior female and male athletes of the year during the Phoenixville Area High School Athletic Banquet May 15 at the senior high school.

The recipients are voted upon by Phoenixville coaches. The award comes in the form of a crystal pyramid trophy.

McErlean starred in field hockey, swimming and lacrosse for the Phantoms while Harrigan was a standout in soccer, as a placekicker and punter in football and basketball.

McErlean also received the Virginia Groff Award for field hockey as well as the Foresta Award for lacrosse in voting by teammates. She was also one of four recipients of the Boosters Club Scholarship Award. The cash award, worth $1,250 to each recipient, also went to Ryan Pannella, Tyler Timmins and Rachel Boone. McErlean also won the Varsity Club Scholarship Award for a female. Football quarterback, swimmer and baseball catcher Chris Demey was the boys’ recipient.


“It was kind of surprising and kind of nice,” said McErlean, who will be attending the University of South Carolina, where she will play club lacrosse. “It means a lot to me. We had such a great group of teammates. I think everybody deserved it. We had asuch a great group and it was fun.

“I made my best friends through sports playing with all those girls. We had a strong group, and it is sad to see the season end. The banquet was great. It is a beautiful finish. It is a great way to end for all of the hard work we did for 12 years. It really means a lot and is special.”

Harrigan used his exceptional kicking ability in soccer to also excel as a kicker in football to the point where he became a first team All-PAC-10 all-star in voting by the league coaches. He was also a solid contributor on the basketball court during the winter months.

“I have been playing soccer for four years (at PAHS) and football since my sophomore year,” said Harrigan, who will be attending Elizabethtown College and will pursue soccer. “(Football) Coach (Bill) Furlong and all my friends helped me with it. My teammates were there for me on and off the field. They have always been there for me.”

Soccer players becoming football kickers has become a long-standing tradition at Phoenixville and other area schools. Prior to Harrigan, John McInally served as the Phantoms’ kicker.

“John McInally was the kicker my freshman year,” said Harrigan. “He worked with me and got me to try it. I remember my first kick wasn’t took good. I hit the center. But I got better.”

Soccer has been his primary sport since a young age.

“I have been playing soccer since I was a real young kid,” said Harrigan. “I started when I was 8 years old and I am still playing it now. That has helped me.”

Phoenixville Mayor and boys tennis coach Leo Scoda presented the Athletic Service Award to Abdul Ford-Bey for his more than 40 years of service to numerous sports both at the school and in the community.

Girls volleyball went from three players to 30 in its first season at PAHS as a club sport. Next year it will be a regular PAC-10 team for girls volleyball. The two senior award recipients were Chelsea Gadecki and Danielle Vallino.

Marcus Howell received the Key Club Award for boys basketball from coach Randy Reber. A co-captain, Howell helped the Phantoms qualify for the Final Four playoffs in four years. Howell was the team’s leader in points, assists and steals and finished second in rebounds. A first team all-star selection, Howell was the second top vote-getter among PAC-10 players. He will be continuing his education and athletic career at Kutztown University.

Erin McElwee and Devonne Moore shared the girls swimming award from first-year head coach Dan Weinstein after both girls performed at states in Class AA on a relay as well as individuals.

Jordan Valenteen earned the wrestling honor from coach Joe Youngblood after closing out his career with an 85-46 overall record as a two-time district qualifier. He led the team in victories with 24 as a senior despite torn knee cartilage. He also topped the squad in pins.

Track star Tyler Timmins, a hurdler and runner for longtime coach Jack Kraynak, won four awards. He won the George Howard Memorial Award for spring boys track as well as the Ronald Louis Streets Memorial Scholarship Award of $1,000, PAHS Scholar Athlete for a boy and one of the Booster Scholarships. He will be attending Duke University.

Distance runner Amy Kowalick won the Rev. Raymond Reighn Memorial Award for girls cross country, PAHS Award for girls winter track and Steve Ruby Award for girls track, sponsored by Phoenixville Federal Bank & Trust.

Throwing events standout Corey Ferko won the James R. Lloyd Jr. Memorial Award after finishing fourth in the shot put at the PAC-10 Championships. Ferko overcame two surgeries and a concussion from football to continue on as a student-athlete in track & field.

Softball star pitcher Rachel Boone won the Donald E. Harrop M.D. Award as well as the Scholar Athlete for a girl and a Booster Scholarship. Elizabeth Werner won the Vincent W. Ciacci, M.D. Award.

Ryan Pannella was a fitting recipient of the Neal Olkewicz Award and the Rick Kraynak Award. Pannella was a star inside linebacker and the awards are named after two former Phantom star linebackers who went on to play professionally in the National Football League.

The Andre Thornton Award went to field hockey star Alison Meszaros. The Lonny Moore Award went to softball and field hockey star Meghan Loughery.

The United States Marine Corps Award went to football star Ryan Yenchick with Annamarie Rubino, a basketball and lacrosse player, taking home the girls’ honor.

The Citizen Athlete Award belongd to Stacey Miles and Julie McNabb, two girls tennis players who used their annual season-opening Phoenixville Invitational Tournament as their senior project. The tourney benefits the Cancer Patients Assistance Fund at Phoenixville Hospital.

The Vernon A. Replogle Award to the top sophomores went to Zachary Gallow for boys and Bailey Quinn for girls. Gallow played football and baseball for the Phantoms while Quinn played field hockey, basketball and softball.