Beaver is Hyde Scholarship recipient

Beaver is Hyde Scholarship recipient


Kay Sirianni, the girls varsity basketball coach at Southwestern Central School, remembers one particular road trip from the 2023-24 season quite fondly.

It was March 14, to be exact.

“I found myself on a yellow school bus, stuffed with luggage, coolers, snacks, pillows, two managers, two assistant coaches and twelve amazing athletes,” she said. “As we drove down Fairmount Avenue, we all waved excitedly to parents and community members who held signs of support. The fire trucks and police cars blared their sirens as we followed them for the first mile of our 355-mile trip to play in the girls basketball Final Four.

“One might ask, ‘How did you finally make it?’ My easy response would be, ‘Reece Beaver and eleven athletes who believed in her.’”


As anyone who observed Reece on the Southwestern campus during her middle school and high school years, it’s easy to understand why people have had faith in her.

She did it all.

Frank Hyde would have admired that.

The Post-Journal sports editor from 1945-1979, Hyde valued young people for their character, their achievement in academics and sports, their leadership, and their school and community involvement.

Reece checks all the boxes.

For that reason, she is this year’s recipient of the 40th annual Frank Hyde Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded to the outstanding college-bound athlete, male or female, from the OBSERVER/Post-Journal’s circulation areas in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

Reece’s school activities included — deep breath here: student council vice president; National Honor Society member; Students Against Drunk Driving member; volunteer religious education teacher; youth basketball coach; member of the high school Choraliers; lead in the school musical; and a member of the top 10 of her graduating class.

Athletically, Reece played varsity basketball team for six seasons, ending her career as Chautauqua County’s all-time leading scorer, male or female (2,463 points); was part of five Section VI basketball championships; earned multiple Player of the Year honors, including twice by the OBSERVER/Post-Journal and played vital roles in soccer, and track & field sectional championship teams.

“Reece Beaver has been a role model for all our student-athletes, in and out of the classroom, for the past four years,” said Adam Brown, SWCS social studies teacher, in his letter of recommendation. “She displays that gritty work ethic that you look for in a student, athlete and colleague. Her desire to be successful drives her to push herself to succeed in whatever she does. I believe that Reece is one of the very best students that Southwestern has ever produced.”

Reece plans to continue her academic and basketball pursuits at Daemen University where she will study business administration and pre-law.

“It has always been my dream to play basketball in college, all while pursuing my aspirations of becoming a lawyer,” she said. “With Daemen’s highly successful basketball program, along with their specialized school of business, I know this is a great fit for me.”

Sirianni is confident that Reece’s transition from high school to college will be a seamless one.

“I have coached basketball for 24 consecutive years at Southwestern and have never had a player like Reece,” Sirianni said. “Obviously, her accomplishments speak for themselves, but they don’t tell the full story. Often great players don’t always have great personalities. Reece, however, is just as kind as she is talented. At every practice and game, Reece smiled, joked and laughed. She organized team dinners, led team prayers and made team TikTok videos. She brought joy, happiness and confidence to the entire team.”

— — —

Reece, the daughter of Chad and Ashley Beaver of Lakewood, joins an accomplished list of Hyde Memorial Scholarship recipients. Past winners are: 1985, Steve Penhollow, Cassadaga Valley; 1986, Rich Crane, Sherman; 1987, Nancy Dornsife, Randolph; 1988, Mary Mansfield, Pine Valley; 1989, Jackson Rohm, Southwestern; 1990, Pam Crowell, Pine Valley; 1991, Cory Emory, Sherman; 1992, Ken Davenport, Falconer; 1993, Jennifer Tate, Falconer; 1994, Justin Johnson, Jamestown; 1995, Andy McMaster, Jamestown; 1996, Patrick Swanson, Sherman; 1997, Adam Beckerink, Frewsburg; 1998, Matthew Baideme, Westfield; 1999, Leigh Baumgart, Falconer; 2000, Craig Swanson, Jamestown; 2001, Trevor Cable, Frewsburg; 2002, Kathy Baum, Ripley; 2003, Ashley Kulju, Maple Grove; 2004, Rob Prinzi, Jamestown; 2005, Matt Mazgaj, Southwestern; 2006, Natalie Thorpe, Southwestern; 2007, Michael McGinnis, Falconer; 2008, Nicole Frederickson, Jamestown; 2009, Jennifer Andrews, Randolph; 2010, Mallory Deuink, Clymer; 2011, Joey Campion, Jamestown; 2012, Shannon Murphy, Falconer; 2013, Zachary Eklum, Jamestown; 2014, Jordan Powers, Southwestern; 2015, Zack Panebianco, Jamestown; 2016, Matthew Marsh, Jamestown; 2017, Wyatt Perry, Southwestern; 2018, Giuseppe Hoose, Southwestern; 2019, Allison Stockwell, Jamestown; 2020, Samantha Gilbert, Falconer; 2021, Cassidy Allen, Southwestern; 2022, Darien Swanson, Westfield; and 2023, Brayden Hayes, Sherman.

Scott Cooper, SWCS district principal, believes that Reece belongs in that select company.

“Reece is a friendly, caring and compassionate young lady,” Cooper said in his letter of recommendation. “She always strives to do the right thing, and her strong work ethic makes Reece a gifted young woman. She exemplifies ‘Trojan Kindness’ throughout our school community.”

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