WARWICK-Go to the head of the class. That's what S.S. Seward's Melissa Oliphant did this past softball season, according to a poll released by the New York State Sportswriters Association. That poll selected Oliphant as the Class D Player of the Year. A junior last year, she fielded, batted, and pitched, and was a prime reason her team made it to the finals of the Section 9 Class D, a close 2-0 loss to eventual Class D Champions Chapel Field. The versatile Spartan star, who alternates with fellow junior Theresa Space on the mound and at shortstop, led her team with a .453 batting average, which included five home runs. Space was also picked for the first team. On the mound Oliphant mixed several pitches with excellent control, striking out 102 batters through the course of the year. As shortstop Oliphant possesses an equally accurate and strong arm. Apparently, it was her versatility that earned her the Player of the Year Award. That versatility goes beyond softball, as she is also the starting goalkeeper for the Lady Spartan soccer team and is the first-string point guard/forward for the basketball team. A true team player she's quick to attribute all of her success to her coaches and fellow teammates. It will be interesting to see what 2005-06 has in store for Oliphant as she continues her three-sport career.