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State Leaders Honor Penn Yan’s Tette for Track & Field Accomplishments


State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano visited Penn Yan Academy on Monday night to pay tribute to James “J.D.” Tette for winning the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Class C Cross Country state championship last November.

During the Academy’s annual athletic awards ceremony, Palmesano presented Tette with a Legislative Resolution he and state Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,-Big Flats) sponsored recognizing Tette’s victory last fall in the Class C Boys Cross Country state championship at Vernon Verona Sherrill High School.

This past weekend, Tette placed third for Steeplechase in the New York State Division Two Track and Field State Championship held at Cicero-North Syracuse. With his finish, JD qualified for the New Balance Nationals next weekend in Philadelphia.

In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said, “The Penn Yan school district has a proud history of athletic excellence, competition, and achievement. We appreciate this opportunity to congratulate and pay tribute to one of Penn Yan Academy’s greatest champions, J.D. Tette. It’s an opportunity to recognize and honor the dedication, excellence, hard work, and success of a remarkable student-athlete who helps our school communities stand out. J.D. represents an inspiring story and a source of enormous pride to the entire Penn Yan school community, as well as to his family and friends, the community at large, and our entire region.”

The O’Mara-Palmesano resolution recognized Head Coach Rick Smith and Tette, noting that Tette is the Academy’s first-ever cross-country state champion. The senior has amassed 13 varsity letters across his career in cross country, and indoor and outdoor track and field. He will attend SUNY Geneseo this fall and compete on the college’s cross country, and track and field teams.

The O’Mara-Palmesano resolution reads, in part, “Proudly donning his school’s colors of blue and orange, family, friends, and the community at large loyally and enthusiastically supported James Tette throughout his athletic journey as he ended his season with this astounding accomplishment.”

Penn Yan Central School District Superintendent Howard Dennis said, “Penn Yan has many talented athletes, bright students, and students that are just good people overall. J.D. ranks on the top of all of those categories. J.D. has worked hard, keeps a smile on his face, and represents all that is good about Penn Yan and being a Mustang. I have no doubt that he will be successful in his next steps in life. Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments J.D.”

Director of Athletics Jonathan MacKerchar said, “J.D. is by far the most decorated individual athlete in the history of Penn Yan athletics. He has the kindness and character to go along with a remarkable work ethic which will allow him to be successful in whatever future endeavors he pursues.”

Coach Rick Smith said, “J.D. has been with us since seventh grade. Over the years, he has proven to be an important member of the team – not only because of his athleticism, but also for his leadership, sportsmanship, and work ethic. He’s brought a positive attitude to practice each day. I wish the best for J.D. in his future endeavors and he will be missed.”

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