Hauppauge High School senior Jake Nielsen and Riverhead High School senior Ava Lily Sumwalt were recently honored with the Butch Dellecave Award at a ceremony held at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook.
Named in memory of legendary educator, official, and coach Gaetano “Butch” Dellecave, the award is the product of a 22-year partnership between local school districts in Suffolk County and award organizers, including the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, the Butch Dellecave Foundation, and Newsday.
Athletic directors from all 66 Suffolk school districts are asked to nominate one male and one female from their high school senior class. Nominees must be students who not only are at the top of their game, but also score high in classroom performance and in their commitment to local community service.
Nielsen placed first in the New York State 50 freestyle swim this past season and was named Section XI Swimmer of the Year and Newsday Swimmer of the Year. He has served as a lifeguard for the Hauppauge Community Swim Program and as a classroom helper for kindergarteners with special needs. An honor-roll student at Hauppauge High School, he will transition to SUNY Geneseo and swim for Geneseo Blue Wave.
Sumwalt was a four-year varsity starter and team captain for field hockey and lacrosse and a four-year varsity starter for winter track. A member of the National Honor Society, she earned a 105.10 weighted GPA. Her community-service resume includes fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and speaking at elementary and middle schools about the importance of athletics. She will attend the University of Pittsburgh, where she will continue to play lacrosse.