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ALJ Student Athletes Veronica Zatko and Vin Banek Receive UCIAC Award

The Alternative Press Staff

Friday, May 16, 2014 • 9:09am

GARWOOD, NJ – Arthur L. Johnson senior student athletes Veronica Zatko and Vin Banek received the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Scholar Athlete Award for their achievements on and off the playing fields at a dinner held at the Westwood in Garwood on Wednesday evening.

The awards are presented to a male and female student athlete from each high school in Union County.  The students are recognized for their athletic success and the countless hours they devote to their academic studies. 

Honoree Veronica Zatko participated in field hockey and softball while an ALJ student.  She helped both Lady Crusader programs capture conference titles and compete in county and sectional state titles through her participation in the sports.  Zatko will continue her education at The University of Rhode Island.

Honoree Vin Banek had a stellar ALJ career on the football, basketball, and lacrosse teams.  As a senior, Banek was named captain of all three squads.  He also earned the title of Valedictorian for the Class of 2014.  Banek will continue his education and football career at Bentley University.

ALJ Athletic Director Gus Kalikas praised the award recipients, “Vin and Veronica have been an integral part of the success of our athletic programs at Arthur L. Johnson High School, allowing us to have success on the fields in multiple sports programs.  More importantly, they have been model student athletes that did things the right way both on the fields and in the classroom. They are truly deserving of being named our recipients of the UCIAC’s Scholar Athlete Awards, and we wish them well as they embark on their college careers.”

The UCIAC, under the direction of Tom Lewis, continues the tradition of the Student Athlete Dinner founded by the former president of the Union County Athletic Conference, the late Frank J. Cicarell.  Cicarell was a teacher, coach, administrator and Board of Education member who was a driving force in the development of Union County student athletics programs and tournaments. The organization has grown in size and impact over the years, granting hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money to Union County student athletes.

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