ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — For the 10th consecutive year, the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center hosted student athletes from member schools of the Super Essex Conference along with their families and coaches for a celebration of the qualities that made Yogi Berra a national treasure. The 39 recipients of the 2022 Yogi Berra Museum Best Teammate Award exemplify the strength of character, sportsmanship and supportive spirit that, though often unheralded, are vital to a team’s success.
Among the honorees were West Orange High School’s Sebastian DeSimone, who is on the cross-country and track-and-field teams, and Seton Hall Prep’s Dylan Negron, who is on the swim team.
Columbia High School’s Nashley Guerrier was an honoree. He is a member of the track-and-field team.
Glen Ridge High School’s Alex Jordan was an honoree. Jordan was a member of the boys soccer and tennis teams.
“The Best Teammate Award allows us to formally recognize young people who are embodying the positive ideals that Yogi lived by his entire life, both on and off the field,” said Eve Schaenen, the museum’s executive director. “This year is particularly special for us, as it marks the tenth anniversary of our giving this award. And because of COVID, it’s the first time we’re hosting the ceremony in person since 2019. We are very grateful to Investors Foundation for their ongoing support, and to wonderful partners at the SEC for helping us make this experience possible for these 39 exceptional student athletes.”
The winners, selected by their respective athletic departments, enjoyed a celebratory banquet before hearing from guest speaker Dale Berra, former Major League player and the youngest son of Hall of Famer Yogi Berra. Berra addressed the 2022 Best Teammate Award recipients in his remarks. “Some teammates are born leaders,” he said. “They’re just made that way. But those people are very rare. For the rest of us mere mortals, we have to work at it. You put in the work. And if you put in the work, it will serve you now and in the future.”
The 2022 Yogi Berra Museum Best Teammate Award recipients are:
- Arts: Taylor Johnson.
- Barringer: Mariah Charles.
- Belleville: Lorenzo Tafuri.
- Bloomfield: Gianna Faura.
- Caldwell: Kelly Bambrick.
- Cedar Grove: Louis Cicala.
- Central: Shy-Nee Huggins-Huntley.
- Columbia: Nashley Guerrier.
- Eagle Academy: Mlotshwa Mafu.
- East Orange: Jessica Felix.
- East Side: Carol Goncalves.
- Essex County Donald M. Payne Sr. Tech: Jerry Mendez.
- Essex County West Caldwell Tech: Stephanie Mendoza.
- Glen Ridge: Alex Jordan.
- Immaculate Conception: Tyonna Bailey.
- Irvington: Cynthia Kyerewaa.
- Livingston: Jordan Mason.
- Millburn: Paige McBoyle.
- Montclair: Kiya Lawson.
- Montclair Kimberley: Maria Caggiano.
- Mount St. Dominic: Michala O’Neill.
- Newark Academy: Milanis Rivas.
- Newark Collegiate: Amara Kelleh.
- Newark Lab: Samiyah Jenkins.
- Newark Tech: Jordyn Mallette.
- North Star: Jasmine Perryman.
- Nutley: Jill Juat.
- Orange: Toni Simon.
- Science Park: Mariana Caetano.
- Seton Hall Prep: Dylan Negron.
- Shabazz: Keyona Bailey.
- St. Vincent Academy: Joely Rojas.
- Technology: Olivia Barbas.
- University: Dupri Cromer.
- Verona: Sean Mulligan.
- Weequahic: Elijah Motley.
- West Essex: Michael Rizzo.
- West Orange: Sebastian DeSimone.
- West Side: Emmanuel Agboola.
Photos Courtesy of Eve Schaenen.