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MAYVILLE – Athletes from Panama Central School were among those honored Wednesday night by the Chautauqua County Legislature for their outstanding work on and off the field.
Panama Central School Superintendent Bert Lictus told WNYNewsNow that he is extremely proud of all of his students.
“I’m really excited. It is nice to be able to showcase the number of good things going on at Panama,” said Lictus. “This group of kids at our high school this year are performing at the state level in virtually everything that we do.”
Lictus explained that with Panama being such a small school district, it is very significant to compete at the state level across the board.
“We’re not only a Class D school, we are a small Class D school,” said Lictus. “To compete at the state level in everything is just fantastic.”
Lictus said the State Champion Clymer, Sherman, Panama Wolfpack football partnership should serve as a testament to what hard work in high school athletics can achieve.
He said he is looking forward to the new young talent rising though the ranks.
“Our quarterback is a junior, our receivers are juniors; we’ve got a core coming back in football that should make us competitive,” said Lictus. “As far as the other sports, we’ve got a lot of underclassmen that look up to these young student athletes and it gives them something to shoot for.”
The Jamestown Red Raider Marching band was also honored after winning its third Large School State Title in four years at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse in October.
Band Director Megan Murray spoke on behalf of the group. She said she is so thankful and proud of her students.
“I know how important it is for these kids to be recognized for all of their hard work,” said Murray. “There are wonderful students in Jamestown who work tirelessly at a common goal and that is what you have here.
“This is about not even a quarter of our group, we wish we could have more here, but we appreciate the recognition. We will certainly do our best to continue to bring honor to this county because it is so special that we keep this tradition going.”
Also honored for his many years of service Wednesday night was Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace.
“I just want to say it has been an absolute honor to serve the people of Chautauqua County,” said Gerace. “I want to commended all those that have taken elected offices. It is something that is not easy to do and not always appreciated by the people that you are serving, but I appreciate everything that you do and have done to make this a great place to live and raise families.”
“Thank you and God bless you,” said Gerace following the presentation.
The Sheriff was defeated by Republican Challenger Jim Quattrone in this past fall’s election.