Area Legislators Pay Tribute to Avoca-Prattsburgh State Champions

Senate-Assembly Resolution presented to team at Wednesday’s Athletics Ceremony

Avoca, N.Y., June 14--State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats), Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning) and Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (R,C-Caledonia) attended this week’s Avoca-Prattsburgh High School Athletics Ceremony to pay tribute to the Class D High School Boys Varsity Basketball state champions.

O’Mara, Palmesano, and Byrnes honored the team at Wednesday night’s Athletics Ceremony in the Avoca Auditorium where they presented an official Legislative Resolution (J1024/K462) to this year’s Section V Class D champions.

The team completed its 25-2 season by capturing the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Class D title on Sunday, March 19, 2023 in Glens Falls. It marked the team’s second consecutive Class D state championship.

Since the merger of the Avoca and Prattsburgh’s boys basketball teams in 2020, the Titans have compiled a remarkable 62-2 overall record.

In a joint statement, O’Mara, Palmesano and Byrnes said, “The Avoca-Prattsburgh boys varsity basketball state champions have been on an amazing, nearly undefeated run over the past three years, topped off by these back-to-back state championships. It does not get better for high school athletes. The team has brought excitement, extraordinary joy, and deep pride to their school, their families and friends, the community at large, and our entire region. We are equally proud to recognize their commitment, excellence, effort, teamwork, and unforgettable success!”

Cody Delles, Director of Athletics, said, “Thank you so much to Assemblyman Palmesano, Assemblywoman Byrnes, and Senator Tom O'Mara for taking time out of their night, and away from their families, to recognize our Boys Varsity Basketball team at our Athletic Awards Ceremony. After reaching the ultimate pinnacle of success last year by being crowned state champions, it was unfathomable that there was any greater honor...until the sneakers were squeaking this winter. It became quickly apparent that our team was headed towards success once again, and they matched last year's goal by securing a second consecutive state title. I give the highest praise to this group of boys and their coaching staff; it's easy to falter on the high expectations that were set last year, but this group never wavered from their goals. Well done, coaches and student-athletes of the Avoca-Prattsburgh Boys Varsity Basketball Team!”

Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Brian Putnam said, “This group is the most hardworking and talented group of young men I have ever worked with.Their unselfishness and dedication to the team is what really sets them apart from other teams.They had one common goal again this year and each Titan was willing to play whatever role was needed to attain that goal, never letting individual accomplishments be more important than the goal of a second state title.”

Avoca Central School Superintendent Stephen Saxton said, “Our basketball program has had tremendous success due to the great student-athletes that we have and the support that surrounds them--from their teachers, coaches, community, basketball fans from the region, and most importantly their parents. Our many thanks to all who support the Titans!!!”

Prattsburgh Central School Superintendent Kory Bay said, “Not many teams win one state title; two in a row is unprecedented. The Avoca-Prattsburgh varsity boys’ basketball team is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with hard work, dedication, and most importantly, unselfishness. This group of student-athletes is the most unselfish group that I have ever been around. None of them care who got the accolades, they just wanted the ultimate TEAM success of a state title. Our team of coaches, led by head coach Brian Putnam, have taught not only basketball skills, but skills necessary for these young men to have success in life after basketball. All of these student-athletes are tremendous basketball players, but they are even better people and will no doubt see success in everything they do. I consider myself lucky to have been on the ride with them!”

The legislators presented copies of their Resolution to Head Coach Brian Putnam and Assistant Coaches Zac Devoe, Steve Hopkins, and Andy Ratchford, and to team members Sawyer DeVoe, Evan Campbell, Macoy Putnam, Jaeden Crowder, Haden Abbott, Josiah Stilson, Chris Abbott, James Forte, Jamel Crowder, Connor Hammond, Dayton Putman, Jamison Reagan, Daniel Stilson, and Collin Hammond.

The joint Senate-Assembly resolution sponsored by O’Mara, Palmesano, and Byrnes reads, in part, “Individual and team championships are highly sought after in high school sports; this Legislative Body commends rare athletic achievements and pays special recognition to those who pursue such excellence and become examples for the youth of this great Empire State.”