After a season full of successes and growth, the club hosted its annual Awards Night at the Four Courts in Arlington. It was a chance for the whole club to get together, spend some time socializing, and take a few moments to recognize some outstanding members of the club!
The first trophy of the night was for hurling's player of the year. For the hurlers, there was a six-place tie for 2nd place, a credit to the amount of work that everyone on the field put in throughout the year. That said, there was a clear winner: Tony Morrisey was the hurling player of the year for 2021, though he wasn't there to receive his trophy, so I think it just ended up getting filled with beer that evening.
Staying with the small ball, the camogie team had a similarly tight round of voting for their player of the year, same credit to the hard work that everybody put in throughout the year. No tie for first place though: Mollie Grover was the camogie player of the year for 2021!
Next up were the footballers. Though no trophies were won at USGAA Nationals this year, the men's footballers did manage to get all the way through to the finals, and racked up a spate of wins throughout the year against Baltimore, Michael Collins, and others. There was a pretty strong consensus from the team this year as to who should be player of the year, and that was Seamus McCreesh.
Last but certainly not least were the ladies' footballers. The women had a strong season this year, competing against everyone from the local Baltimore squad to heading up to play teams in Pennsylvania and taking home their fair share of victories. The team's player of the year not only put in serious effort on the pitch, but also helped behind the scenes to get the club's inaugural youth season up and running. Taking the trophy home for for the ladies' footballers player of the year was Christina Petrocelli.
With player of the year trophies out of the way, the last remaining (democratically elected) award was for club person of the year. To run a club like the Gaels takes a lot of hard work behind the scenes, and this award goes to the person who takes on the lion's share of that burden. And in 2021, the award went to the man at the helm for the second year in a row, the fearless Paddy McCabe.
Though the four players of the year and the club person of the year were the only awards that were voted on and handed out this evening, there were a few more special mentions to be included on the night. First of these was a special shoutout to Becca Levetzow—who it should be noted was a close second in voting for club person of the year—for the hard work she's put in running the women's football team and helping the club throughout the year with a range of organizational tasks.
And last, but certainly not least, is the man who without a doubt is Club Person of the Year for the non-club member category. Gary Dize has shown up to virtually every competition we have had this year and has taken phenomenal photos each and every time. His generosity of his skills and his time have helped capture all the moments that we love so much playing these sports and being together as a club. A big thank you to Gary for all his hard work and great photos!
After all the awards had been shared, the club held a little raffle with some donated goods from GreenIsland Bakery, Irish Traditions, and other friends of the club. Many thanks to those sponsors who donated items to the raffle, and many thanks to Four Courts, who hosted us and provided some food for the evening! Here's to a successful 2021, and to an even more successful 2022!