Hauppauge’s Katie Murphy and West Islip’s Patrick Carter didn’t expect what was coming. That made their moments even more special.
Murphy and Carter were presented the 2017 Butch Dellecave Award, given to a male and female Suffolk student-athlete who shows excellence in athletics, academics and the community, at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook on Sunday.
“To be honest, I was shocked because there are so many great athletes who are here, so to be recognized in front of all of them is such a great honor,” Murphy said.
“I couldn’t put it into words,” Carter said. “I was totally awed, real ly. This is a great feeling. I never expected it, so it was awesome.”
Carter won two state diving championships and holds the Suffolk records for the six- and 11-dive competitions. He didn’t lose a dual-meet matchup going back to eighth grade and qualified for five state championships. “It’s a good way to end my senior year and to end all six years of high school sports,” he said. “It’s just a good memory and it shows how many good times I had in high school sports.”
Carter, who will continue diving at the United States Naval Academy, is a member of three honor societies.
“He set his goals and he’s always working really hard to achieve those goals,” said his mother, Dixie Carter. “I do believe that he has great things to come.”
Murphy kept going season after season. From cross country in the fall to basketball in the winter and lacrosse in the spring, she succeeded everywhere. She became the fifth Hauppauge basketball player to reach the 1,000-point milestone, finishing with 1,239.
The accolades have come in bunches for Murphy’s athletic achievements, but she’s also being recognized for how she carries herself and supports her teammates. She’s been awarded an unsung hero award and character award and has excelled in the classroom.
“It means a lot,” Murphy said. “You get what you put in.”
She’ll continue playing basketball at Adelphi University.
“She’s had such great teammates, such great coaches,” said her father, Brian Murphy. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
This year’s other female finalists were Courtney Kane (Bellport), Jillian Colucci (Port Jefferson), Lauren Harris (Sachem East) and Jamie Ortega (Centereach).
The other male finalists were Kyree Johnson (Huntington), Brian Morrell (Shoreham-Wading River), Andrew Stange (St. Anthony’s) and Brendan Ryan (Sachem East).
The award, in its 17th year, is presented by the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, the Butch Dellecave Foundation and Newsday. Each winner receives a $1,000 scholarship.
Butch Dellecave spent 30 years educating students in the Connetquot school district. He helped found the Suffolk Hall of Fame, and the community has come together to remember his legacy, which lives on in today’s student-athletes.
“It means a lot to be recognized in his honor,” Murphy said. “He’s such a great role model and inspiration for all of us, so to be recognized under his name is just great. He did a lot of things not only for athletics but also the community.”
His son, Guy Dellecave, said his father would be proud of the athletes being recognized in his name but that the occasion is for the students and their achievements.
“After 17 years, we have a list of 34 winners, and these two student-athletes belong on that list. We’re proud to have them on the list,” Dellecave said. “The legacy of the award continues to grow because of those nominees and those winners who come in front of us every year.”
Past winners have included Marcus Stroman (Patchogue-Medford, 2009), who pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays, and Olympic walker Maria Michta (Sachem, 2004).
It’s an elite group and a legacy to which Murphy and Carter now belong. “It’s a fantastic tradition,” Carter said. “I’ve read a lot about it online and all the years it’s been going back, and to keep this going for so long is a great thing to do. It really does inspire student-athletes and it’s a great feeling.”