January 4, 2006
Brittany Sedberry - Sportsperson of the Year
By TOM WILLIAMS
The year 2005 was not what was expected by Ocean City High School senior Brittany
Stress fractures in her legs prevented her from competing in the outdoor track
season last spring as a junior. Then, after recovering from that injury with
careful training, her final high school cross country season in the fall was
ended prematurely by a respiratory infection.
This is not the way this dedicated runner wants to be remembered. And she is
training to make the forthcoming spring track season an appropriate conclusion to
her high school career.
But, as far as history is concerned, it really doesn't matter. Brittany has
already done more than enough to assure her a very special place in the history
of Ocean City High School sports.
As a freshman, she was a tiny runner who stormed onto the scene filled with
potential and determination. It didn't take long to materialize.
Her sophomore year produced a championship in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in
cross country, plus two state titles and a Meet of Champions win in outdoor track.
She repeated her Meet of Champions win in cross country as a junior and continued
to enhance her reputation nationally by qualifying for the Foot Locker
Brittany is the only CAL runner to win the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in cross
country - and she's done it twice. She is one of only three OCHS female athletes
to win in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in track.
The unfortunate physical problems that Sedberry encountered this year were beyond
her control. And that is the only reason why they stopped her. Because this young
woman has the dedication and focus of a championship athlete who can overcome any
challenge, except those beyond her control.
For many decades to come, her accomplishments will serve as an inspiration and
provide lofty goals for Ocean City runners and those from other Cape-Atlantic
Brittany will not be remembered for injury and illness. She will be remembered as
the finest runner and one of the most accomplished athletes in Ocean City High
For that reason, in her final months of high school, it is more than appropriate
that Brittany Sedberry be named Ocean City's 2005 SportsPerson of the Year.
Click here for a
complete list of Ocean City's Sportspersons of the Year.
As we put up our new calendars, it is always a good time to look back on the top
local sports stories of the previous year. As is our custom, here are the 10
sports stories that seemed to generate the most interest among Ocean City fans in
1. The Raider boys soccer team's trifecta - winning the state Group 3
championship for the fifth time, winning the South Jersey Coaches Tournament and
sharing the overall Cape-Atlantic League title with St. Augustine Prep.
2. A sixth state field hockey championship for the Raiders, who consider The
College of New Jersey their home away from home.
3. The injury during track season and illness at the end of cross country that
prevented Brittany Sedberry from adding more accomplishments to her resume.
4. Renee Tomlin stepping up and winning both the 800 & 1600 meter state titles in
track and qualifying for the Meet of Champions in cross country.
5. Overall CAL championships by the field hockey and boys cross country teams.
6. The thrilling overtime win over Woodrow Wilson and the march to the South
Jersey Group 3 Final by Phil Schaffer and the OCHS boys basketball team.
7. Coaching milestones by Trish LeFever (400 wins in field hockey), John Bruno
(200 in boys basketball) and Gary Degenhardt (100 in football).
8. The young OCHS girls swimming team reaching the South Jersey final in its very
first season as a separate team.
9. The upset by Atlantic City, ending Ocean City's 62-meet win streak in girls
10. The impressive football stats put together by OCHS seniors George Coccodrilli
in rushing, Jordan Torroni in passing, Mike Hinsley in receiving and on defense
and Alex Iannone on defense.
Read more of
Tom Williams' columns