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Women's hoops stars Beeman, Fratz headline Dapper Dan banquet; Area athletes to be honored Sunday

Apr. 27—CUMBERLAND — In a year when women's college basketball viewership is at an all-time high, it's fitting that the Dapper Dan banquet Top Award winner and guest speaker are a pair of women's hoops stars.

Sun Belt Player of the Year Abby Beeman, a 2,000-point scorer in college over her time at Marshall/Shepherd and in high school at Frankfort, will become the first collegiate women's athlete to capture the George Stevenson/Nick Perlozzo Top Award on Sunday.

The Top Award is given annually to the athlete who brings the most positive attention back to the area.

The guest speaker is University of Maryland assistant coach Kaitlynn Fratz, a rising star in coaching, who in her playing days was a 2,000-point scorer at Northern and helped lead California University of Pennsylvania to the 2015 Division II NCAA championship.

There will also be 28 awards given out to honor local athletes.

The 75th Dick Sterne Memorial Dapper Dan Sports Banquet is Sunday at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club Ballroom. The event begins at 4 p.m. Light refreshments and appetizers will be served beginning at 3.

Beeman, a Ridgeley, West Virginia, native, is just the fourth woman to ever win the Top Award and the third person from Mineral County.

Other past Mineral County winners include Grant Noel of Frankfort and later Virginia Tech football in 2001 and professional baseball player John Kruk of Keyser in 1988.

Beeman, the first woman in 24 years to capture the award, ended a two-year run of Daniel Diehl winning the Top Award. Diehl, an Allegany grad competing in his first year at N.C. State, was an honorable mention All-American.

Diehl stopped a four-year streak by Ty Johnson from 2016-19. Johnson, a Fort Hill grad, signed a one-year, $1,292,500 contract with the Buffalo Bills and is entering his sixth NFL season.

Beeman is no stranger to the Dapper Dan banquet as a two-time Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year, a feat matched by the guest speaker.

Fratz holds career school records for points, assists and steals. She broke the Garrett County record for points (2,103) and helped lead Northern Garrett to the 2011 state championship game.

After helping lead Cal U to the title game — for which she was awarded Most Outstanding Player of the 2015 D2 NCAA Tournament — Northern's all-time leading scorer spent two years as a graduate assistant at Valdosta State.

Fratz was hired by Maryland as the Director of Recruiting Operations for the 2017-18 season.

Maryland coach Brenda Frese promoted Fratz to a full-time assistant coach in 2019 after she served as an interim assistant during the 2018-19 season.

Just one year later, Fratz was named one of the Women's College Basketball Coaches Association's Thirty-under-30 honorees as an up-and-coming women's basketball coach.

At a time when the women's basketball game has grown to record heights, thanks in no small part to Caitlin Clark, the Dapper Dan is riding that wave too. This year's women's national title had more viewers than the men's for the first time ever.

Other award winners are as follows:

The Christ G. Charhus Memorial Award Dapper Dan Little League Manager of the Year will go to Sean Fradiska, the coach of the 2023 Dapper Dan Pirates.

The Child of the Year is Keller Apple, an 11-year-old South Penn fifth-grader who has been a patient at the Children's League since he was 15 months old due to a neonatal stroke.

Apple competes in the Children's Adaptive Sports League, where he participates in basketball, baseball, soccer, bowling, football and swimming.

The Sports Shoppe Award for Co-Volleyball Players of the Year will be presented to Mia DeCarlo of Mountain Ridge and Ady Taylor of Northern.

Mikey Allen (Fort Hill), now a football player at Southern Utah, is the Cumberland Times-News boys basketball Player of the Year, and Frostburg State signee Sydney Snyder of Mountain Ridge is the girls Player of the Year.

The Averey Bridges Memorial Award, given to the area's best softball player, goes to Allegany's Abi Britton, who will continue her softball career at Penn State.

Griffin Madden, an Allegany graduate who pitches for James Madison, is the 2023 John "Skip" Cook Memorial Award baseball Player of the Year.

The girls soccer award winners are Goalkeeper of the Year Shylah Taylor (Allegany), Defensive Player of the Year Lexi Simpson (Mountain Ridge), Offensive Player of the Year Avery Miller (Allegany) and Player of the Year Snyder.

Boys soccer awards will go to Calvary's Levi Carrington, the Dave Searles Memorial Award Goalkeeper of the Year; Allegany's Jace Patton, the Joe Rowan Memorial Award Defensive Player of the Year; Allegany's Mason Salvadge and Fort Hill's Liam Hamilton, the Dr. Raul Felipa Award Co-Offensive Players of the Year; and Allegany's Caedon Wallace, the Ebbie Finzel Memorial Award Player of the Year.

The football awards will be presented to John B. "Jack" Gilmore Memorial Award Lineman of the Year Will Bannon of Mountain Ridge, Pepsi-Cola Award Defensive Player of the Year Jaylan Atkinson of Fort Hill, Morton W. Peskin Sr. Memorial Award Co-Offensive Players of the Year Will Patterson of Mountain Ridge and Jabril Daniels of Fort Hill, and Cumberland Times-News Area Player of the Year Carter Hess.

Several state champions from Allegany County will also be honored.

MaeLeigh Plummer of Fort Hill was the 2024 indoor girls high jump state champion in Class 1A.

Hess, signed to Fordham for football, won the 2023 Class 1A discus title, 2024 indoor shot put crown and was the 2024 285-pound wrestling state champion.

Miller captured four Class 1A outdoor track and field state titles last spring in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter races and in the long jump.

Brandi Gochenauer of Allegany was the 2023 Class 1A outdoor shotput state champion.

The Mountain Ridge 4x800-meter relay team of Brendan Kline, Ackerly Mulcaster, Will Haberlein and Casey Culler was the 2023 1A title winner.

Mountain Ridge distance standout Mary Delaney, now competing at West Virginia University, won the 2023 Class 1A 800-meter, 1600-meter and 3200-meter state championships.

And Fort Hill's eighth football state championship team in 10 years and 10th overall will also be honored.

Alex Rychwalski is a sports reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @arychwal.