Resort Sports Award Winners Recognized

Resort Sports Award Winners Recognized
Mid-Atlantic Recreation and Parks Sports Alliance’s Good Sports Award winners for Ocean City were, front from left, Jason Konyar, Gabe Geiser and Graham Geiser. In back are Recreation Managers Travis Davey and Eddie Pinto. Submitted Photo

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department this week feted the winners of the regional Good Sports Coach of the Year and Co-Players of the Year with a special ceremony at City Hall on Monday.

Each year, the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department nominates candidates for the regional Mid-Atlantic Recreation and Parks Sports Alliance (MARPSA) for Coach of the Year and Player of the Year honors. MARPSA is a collection of recreation and parks agencies from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Ocean City’s department names its own players and coaches with the Al Hondo Handy Sportsmanship Awards. This year, the department honored Jason Konyar as Coach of the Year and brothers Gabe and Graham Geiser as co-Players of the Year. They were then nominated for the larger MARPSA awards and each was names award winners by the regional sports alliance. Recreation Manager Travis Davey introduced the award winners on Monday.

“Sportsmanship is very important to what we do at the recreation department,” he said. “Ocean City is part of the Mid-Atlantic Recreation and Parks Sports Alliance and the organization has the honor of naming the Good Sports Coach of the Year and the Good Sports Player of the Year.”

Davey explained Konyar’s impressive credentials for the Coach of the Year award.

“Coach Konyar has been a teacher in Worcester County for 16 years at Snow Hill,” he said. “During the summer, he works for the Beach Patrol and he’s coming back for his 23rd year this summer. In addition to all of that, he volunteers for us as a basketball coach.”

Davey said Konyar brings a wealth of experience and energy to Ocean City’s recreation department in his role as a coach and a mentor.

“As a former college player and a coach at Stephen Decatur, Jason shares his love and knowledge of the game with his players,” he said. “He encourages and motivates his team with patience and achieves our goals of player development and fun. We’re lucky to have Jason as part of our program.”

As for the MARPSA Player of the Year award, Ocean City’s recreation and parks department nominated brothers Gabe and Graham Geiser as co-recipients of the award.

“We typically nominate just one player to win this award every year,” Davey said. “This year, we have two very deserving winners and they are both recognized as Good Sports Players of the Year.”

Davey explained how active the brothers are at the town’s recreation department.

“Both participated in our indoor soccer league this winter, showing good sportsmanship and teamwork throughout the season,” he said. “The younger kids play in the morning and the older kids play in the evening. Even though they played games at night, they both showed up at 8:30 a.m. every morning to help with the younger division, volunteering as a scorekeeper or jumping in as a coach. We couldn’t run this program without them.”

Davey explained both Gabe and Graham are varsity soccer and varsity lacrosse players at Decatur. In fact, the Decatur boys’ varsity team’s regional playoff game scheduled for Monday was postponed until Tuesday, allowing Gabe and Graham to be present for Monday’s award presentations. Davey said both brothers are on the honor roll and both are recipients of the Presidential Service Award for completing 100 hours of community service.

Del. Wayne Hartman was on hand to present a proclamation from the Maryland General Assembly for each of the award recipients. Hartman praised Konyar for his wide range of community service from being a teacher to being a lifeguard and coach.

“It’s an honor to be here to present these awards tonight,” he said. “We appreciate what you do during the day, but not only that, you come out in the evening and coach.”

Pat Schrawder was on hand representing Sen. Mary Beth Carozza, who was with the governor at a bill-signing ceremony in Annapolis on Monday. Schrawder read a governor’s citation for the award winners into the record and said Carozza was disappointed she missed the ceremony.

“She really hated to miss this one,” she said. “Her family goes back with the recreation and parks department for a long time. Her dad coached eighth-grade basketball and Mary Beth was on the team. Her dad coached way back when the gym was here in this building.”

As for the Geiser brothers winning the Player of the Year awards, Hartman said the future looked bright for both recipients.

“I don’t know your ages, but you have an awesome resume already,” he said. “Keep up the good work. Thanks to the parents for doing a great job with these two.”

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.