Renowned Lake George coach to be honored

LAKE GEORGE - One of the winningest and most respected coaches in the region will be honored during a cruise to be held in several weeks.

Lake George Central's Athletic Director Cathy Stanilka, known for a commitment to excellence and for inspiring athletes throughout her lengthy career, will be honored by the Lake George Scholarship Association during its annual Showboat Cruise set for May 14.

Stanilka has announced her intention to retire in June.

Scholarship Association president James Mathis noted Monday that Stanilka, teacher and coach at Lake George for 29 years, has been a valuable and popular teacher and an outstanding coach.

"She has earned the respect of school officials, fellow teachers, students, and parents," he said.

Stanilka is known through the community for not only having high expectations of her students and their performance, but inspiring them through her encouraging, charismatic style.

She also knows how to win sports matchups, having amassed a record that few have accomplished over their careers. All these characteristics have prompted awards including regional Coach of the Year no less than six times.

Her softball and volleyball teams at Lake George have won state championships - 1992 for softball and 2001 for volleyball. Her career wins in volleyball is 594 matches, and in softball it is 329 games, a number that's increasing week by week. Also, her volleyball teams have won 12 regional championships - a remarkable number.

For the past six years, Stanilka has served as Athletic Director of Lake George High, during a time when the sports programs have not only excelled but increased in scope. Last year, the school launched a new wrestling program that has already tallied notable accomplishments.

Contacted Monday, Stanilka deferred credit for her success to the students, parents, other coaches and administrators.

"I'm fortunate to have had great student athletes and strong parental and administrative support," she said. "Our students spend a lot of time on fundamentals, and many of them get sent to sports camps. Also, I've had great Junior Varsity and Modified coaches."

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