WESTLAKE - As the 45th-annual Phil Bova came to an end on Friday, June 22, in the friendly confines of the Westlake Recreation Center, it wasn’t just the campers and counselors who were recognized for their commitment and contribution. In an acknowledgement that Bova makes a part of every camp, he awarded four individuals with his “Men of the Year” and “Women of the Year” awards.
This year’s men of the year were Mark “Munch” Bishop and Mike Laub, with Anne Kolencik and Leslie Favre Krogman named women of the year.
His fifth year of giving out the awards, Bova said that he wanted to be sure to acknowledge those that have been helpful to the camp as a whole.
“I wanted to reach out and thank all the people that helped promote the camp before the first whistle,” Bova said.
Bishop has spent over 38 years as a Cleveland radio personality, most notably spending time with ESPN Cleveland, before transitioning to Fox Sports 1350 in Akron where he currently works.
Laub is the superintendent for Avon Local Schools, and will be entering his seventh year in that position. He was also a former camper at the Bova Baseball Camp, and talked about how important the camp and athletics as a whole are to young children.
“I’m certainly very appreciative of the recognition, Laub said. “It was a very nice honor for him to give me that award. He’s somebody that I have a lot of respect for.
“For me, I think athletics is another classroom. The baseball field is a classroom. What we’re teaching are some of the skills that perhaps you don’t have an opportunity to teach in the classroom. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about. Learning how to be a good teammate.”
Krogman has spent 14 years as the coordinator of the Lakewood Community Recreation and Education department.
Kolencik is the current communication and sponsors director for sportswear and uniforms for the Westlake Baseball League. Working with the baseball league, Kolencik said Bova and she have developed a close working relationship, and said she’s honored to have been recognized.
“Phil’s so thoughtful because I know there’s so many people he works with that goes into making Phil Bova Camp possible,” Kolencik said. “I’m very proud to be a part of the village that gets to be able to support Phil Bova. Phil’s a Cleveland-based kid himself. You know the Bova name. Phil is just a really outgoing, charming guy.”
Along with the men and women of the year, Bova also gave out his annual camper awards. Each age range — 7 to 8, 9 to 10 and 12 to 14 — awarded campers with Best Bunter, Best Thrower, Best Hitter and the Ron Coreno Best Camper award.
In the 7- and 8-year-old group Noah Garvey from Hinkley won Best Bunter, Charlie Brunner from Avon won both Best Thrower and Best Hitter and Audrey Schneid from North Olmsted won the Ron Coreno Best Camper for that age group.
In the 9- and 10-year old group Leo D’Angelo from Westlake won Best Bunter, Ryan Miller from Bay Village won Best Thrower, Cole Artman from Westlake won Best Hitter and Kody Schneid won the Ron Coreno Best Camper for that age group.
Finally, in the 12- through 14-year-old group, Brady Tancak-Pestiek from Parma won Best Bunter, Hunter Mayville from Parma Heights won Best Thrower, Max Summers from North Olmsted won Best Hitter and Sam Elwell from Olmsted Falls won the Ron Coreno Best Camper award.