Olympian & European Pro Basketball Player
Born in England, but raised in Montour Falls, Stef Collins emerged as the most decorated women’s basketball player in local history. A graduate of Odessa-Montour high school, Collins led the Lady Indians to a New York State Championship in 2001. That same year, Collins was named New York State Player of The Year and First Team All-State averaging a staggering 30 points a game. A quick, sharp-shooting guard, Collins’ 2,204 career points was a then Section IV record in 2001.
Collins went on to earn the Atlantic 10 Rookie of The Year at St. Bonaventure besting all-freshman with 11.1 points per game in her first year of college basketball. Despite a knee injury, Collins returned to score 1,421 career points, best for 10th in school history, and racked up 288 career three-pointers made, best for 3rd in school history, before graduating from the Bonnies in 2006. Collins was the leading scorer in three of her four seasons at St. Bonaventure. In her junior season, Collins was an A-10 Third Team All-Conference and All-Academic Team selection. She was then an A-10 Honorable Mention pick in her final season.
In 2006-07, Collins began a professional career in England playing for two different teams. First, with the Rhondda Rebels in 2006-07 and has since been a member of the Cardiff Met Archers in the Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL). In 2012, Collins made history by becoming a player on the first Olympic women’s basketball team for Great Britain in the London games. Now a player and coach for the English national team, Collins recently won a silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. Collins also earned a spot on the All-British League team by scoring 11.7 points per game and shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc in 2018.
A true pioneer in local and Great Britain basketball, The Twin Tiers Sports Awards is honored to welcome back the great Stef Collins as a special guest speaker.
Navy Men's Lacrosse Coach
A proud Horseheads native, Rick Sowell has created one of the most remarkable lacrosse careers in Twin Tiers history. A 1981 graduate of Horseheads high school, Sowell played on the very first lacrosse team for the Blue Raiders in 1979 under legendary coach, Tom Moffitt. Sowell then went on to a stellar collegiate career as a player at Washington College (Md) in the mid 1980’s. In 1985, Sowell was named the NCAA DIII midfielder of the year and team MVP while leading Washington to its second national championship game appearance.
After earning First-Team All-American honors at Washington College, Sowell played professionally for the Baltimore Thunder in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL), earning all-pro three times in his career. Sowell’s first coaching position was in 1986 as his alma mater. From 1990-98, Sowell worked as an assistant for Georgetown University before becoming the head coach at Dartmouth from 1999-2003. Sowell lead The Big Green from worst in the IVY League to first, capturing the school’s first IVY title since 1965, earning an 11-3 record in 2003.
After a short stint at St. John’s University, Sowell spent five seasons as the head coach of Stony Brook compiling a 47-26 record. Sowell was named America East Coach of The Year in 2010 and 2011, guiding the Seawolves to back-to-back conference championships. In 2010, Sowell was an assistant coach for Team USA Lacrosse in the World Championships in England, a team that won gold. Later in 2011, Sowell was named the head coach at Navy and is now in his seventh season for the Midshipmen.
Sowell also earned Patriot League Coach of The Year twice in 2015 and 2016. A leader of strong competitors and people, Sowell has coached several All-American, top conference and professional players. With a special career that’s spanned over 30 years, the Twin Tiers Sports Awards welcomes Rick Sowell as a featured guest speaker.
Elmira Coaching Legend
A proven leader in the Twin Tiers for nearly four decades in coaching, Bill Limoncelli’s storied career is unmatched. A graduate of Elmira Notre Dame high school in 1963, Limoncelli then excelled in baseball and played four years at the University of Dayton for the Flyers. Upon graduating with a degree in physical education, Limoncelli emerged as one of the most memorable coaches in local history with the Boston Red Sox organization.
For 18 years, Limoncelli served as an infield instructor and eventually worked his way up to become the manager of the Elmira Pioneers from 1986-88, the Class A affiliate of the Red Sox. “Lem” coached several future Major League Baseball (MLB) stars in Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, pitching aces Curt Schilling, “Oil Can” Boyd and many more.
Coach Lem began his varsity coaching career in Northville, New York as a basketball and baseball coach while also working as the school’s athletic director. After a two-year stint, Limoncelli returned home to lead the Elmira Free Academy Blue Devils varsity basketball team for nine years. Lem’s teams went on to win several championships before he embarked on a college coaching career at Elmira College as an assistant for the men’s basketball team.
One of Limoncelli’s proudest accomplishments is being the only coach in Elmira history to win 100 games at both EFA and Elmira Southside in basketball. After coaching The Green Hornets of Southside for 16 seasons, Limoncelli went on to coach men’s basketball at Corning Community College for 10 years. In 36 years of coaching basketball and also golf, Limoncelli has amassed 541 career wins. He is a member of five different Halls of Fame and Limoncelli was voted coach of the year on four different occasions.
A local icon, and memorable personality that always commanded respect, The Twin Tiers Sports Awards is proud to welcome Bill Limoncelli as a special guest speaker.