Howard and Warren Kleet love their community. The brothers own Kleet Lumber on Park Avenue in Huntington. They care about the young people who live here so they decided to honor two of the leading seniors in Huntington High School’s Class of 2018.
The Kleet brothers funded a pair of $500 scholarships and earmarked them for exceptional students who combine academic and athletic excellence with doses of leadership and community service and all the other ingredients needed to be regarded as a good classmate and teammate.
The Kleet Scholar Athlete Awards were presented by Huntington Booster Club President Timothy Pillion at the 50th annual Blue Devils senior athletic awards banquet in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium. Tyler Gerbavsits and Isabella Annunziata were chosen from a group of very strong candidates for the scholarships.
The Kleet brothers grew up in Huntington and the pair has retained an affection for the area’s youth. The two scholarships they fund demonstrate their desire to recognize and reward all-around excellence.
Tyler Gerbavsits is headed to St. John’s University, which recruited him to play on its NCAA Division I golf team. He plans to study business.
Mr. Gerbavsits reached the state high school golf championships as a sophomore and senior. If not for a breathtaking act of sportsmanship, he would have advanced to the New York finals as a junior, too.
“Tyler refused to call a penalty on his playing opponent during a playoff to earn a berth in the state tournament,” Huntington golf coach Michael Marinello said. “When his opponents’ ball marker had inadvertently moved, Tyler simply pointed to the spot where the ball last came to rest. This act of sportsmanship cost him an opportunity to participate in the state tournament, but won him the respect of coaches and fellow Suffolk golf athletes.”
Mr. Gerbavsits said the key to his success has been a strong work ethic and determination in academics and athletics. A member of the National Honor Society, he was named a Distinguished Senior after compiling a minimum academic grade average of 90 in every semester of high school. He completed a credit-bearing internship with Director of Athletics Georgia D. McCarthy.
“Tyler has always played a pure game of golf, not only demonstrating a desire to win, but character and sportsmanship, which allows him to be proud regardless of the outcome.”
Isabella Annunziata plans to attend Penn State University where she intends to study nursing. Well known for her organizational skills, she was one of the top seniors in the Class of 2018 with a long list of academic and athletic achievements.
“Isabella is an incredible woman,” Huntington girls’ lacrosse coach Kim Gilroy said. “She was a dedicated player and team captain. Isabella leads by example and she has been instrumental in the change in culture within our team over the past two seasons. Her leadership has been critical in helping the younger players on the team develop and contribute to the overall success of our team.”
A Distinguished Senior, Ms. Annunziata was deeply involved in Huntington’s Relay For Life initiative. She also engaged in a credit bearing internship with math teacher Michael Graziano.
“As a team captain, Isabella’s enthusiasm and positivity are never ending,” Ms. Gilroy said. “Throughout practices and game her spirit kept the team’s vibe lifted. Her impact on our program will be felt for years to come.”