Area's top female athletes took different paths to success

Carianne Fairbairn, Alisa Fersch and Jessica Srp honored for athletic achievements

Following are profiles of the top female athletes at Andes, Margaretville and Roxbury schools for the 2007-08 academic year.

Andes coach Jeff Rhone really got to know Carrianne Fairbairn during the 2007-2008 school year. Rhone, who coaches girls’ basketball and track, named Fairbairn as a co-captain on both his squads. “It was a privilege to watch Carrianne grow-up and mature this year,” noted Rhone. Carrianne evolved not only as an athlete but as a person,” praised Rhone. Fairbairn’s personal strides were a major reason she was selected as the 2008 Andes Female Athlete of the Year.
According to Rhone, Fairbairn stepped beyond herself this. “One of the things that really impressed me this year happened during the preseason of our basketball year,” explained Rhone. I was meeting with my captains explaining the need for them to be leaders, the need for them to serve the younger players and to act as a link between their needs and me.” According to Rhone, Fairbairn met his expectations with flying colors.
On the playing fields, Fairbairn used her size and speed to her advantage. A center midfielder on the soccer team, Fairbairn was the anchor of the defense. On the hardwoods, Fairbairn cranked up her intensity, especially when aggressively pursuing rebounds.
Fairbairn was a mainstay of the fledgling track team. Rhone’s biggest praise of the star happened at a track meet in Cherry Valley. Rhone was concerned when Fairbairn had asthma issues in the middle of her distance race. The senior runner had forgotten her inhaler, and her coach implored her to drop out of the race. Fairbairn refused and continued to run, stuck it out and finished with a solid performance. “In previous years, Carrianne never really pushed herself. This year as she matured, she began to reach deeper and found she could perform at elevated levels,” Rhone explained.
Strong leadership, a positive attitude, and increased playing intensity made Carrianne Fairbairn a favorite on the basketball court and playing fields at Andes this year earning Fairbairn the title 2008 Female Athlete of the Year.

Margaretville Central School served up an ace when they named Jessica Srp as the 2008 Female Athlete of the Year. Srp, a four-time Delaware League doubles champion in tennis was also a ferocious inside basketball player on the hardwoods.
“Jess is a fabulous natural athlete,” noted Blue Devils’ tennis coach Marjorie Miller. Miller explained that her co-captain started playing tennis as a youngster and has acquired a strong set of basic skills. “Jess is a good singles player, but she is most comfortable playing in a doubles or team setting,” Miller added.
The interesting fact about Srp’s doubles championship run is the fact that the Margaretville senior has had three different doubles partners during her four-year run. Srp teamed with sophomore Michelle O’Rielly during the last two seasons.
When asked to access Srp’s tennis game Miller attributed some of her success to her great natural ground strokes. The Margaretville mentor also commended Srp for her ability to set up her body for strong return strokes.
In the winter, Srp made a name for herself in the paint of the basketball team. “Jess is a virtual rebounding machine,” praised Blue Devils’ basketball coach Kyle Holden when he recalled her play on the hardwoods this winter. “Jess has tremendous spring and is a great leaper,” explained Holden. Standing only five feet, six inches, Srp pulled down eight rebounds per game and reached a season high 16 rebounds in a single contest.
Srp’s basketball prowess was not limited to rebounding. The senior forward was a threat to score from inside the paint and an intense defensive stopper for Margaretville. Inch of inch, pound for pound, Srp held her own against much taller competitors on the basketball court this winter.
Holden praised Srp’s leadership pointing out his senior leads by example. “Jess has a motor that never stops. She’s one of the best practice players I’ve ever coached,” added Holden. “Jess is always positive. She enjoyed the game and it showed in the way she played.”
Consistent, steady play on the tennis courts and a healthy dose of intensity on the basketball hardwoods make Jessica Srp the 2008 Margaretville Female Athlete of the Year.

Alisa Fersch’s athletic resume is heaped with praise for an incredible work ethic. Anyone who coached the Roxbury senior or watched her play has nothing but positive things to say about Fersch’s leadership skills and the manner in which she conducts herself on the basketball and tennis courts or playing field for the Rockets.
“Alisa is the most even-keeled person I’ve ever coached,” marveled Rockets’ basketball coach Vinnie Snyder. “Alisa maintains her composure and brings a positive, pleasant presence to the gym every day. She’s quiet and strong and smart,” Snyder finished.
A great wrist snap made Fersch and outside shooting threat for the Rockets. But, as one of the Roxbury’s taller players, Snyder was forced to use Fersch from both inside and out.
“If Alisa had played for a team with some strong inside players, she would have been a great swing player,” predicted Snyder.
Fersch’s coaches cite great gains in confidence and maturity over her final year in school. The Roxbury senior was the Delaware League’s girls’ singles champion this spring. Consistent and steady, Fersch positions herself well on the court and is patient enough to allow her opponents tot get anxious and make mistakes that can beat themselves.
A forward on the Roxbury front line in soccer, Fersch played on the varsity team for four seasons. Fersch was recognized for her hard work, positive attitude, and strategic shooting touch.
Again and again, Fersch was described as a model student-athlete with the personal characteristic every employer looks for when hiring personnel. Solid and steady on the job, it was Fersch’s work ethic and positive attitude that helped make her the 2008 Roxbury Female Athlete of the Year.