The Worcester State University Athletics Department hosted their annual senior awards banquet in the Blue Lounge of the Student Center. The event is customarily held on the final day of classes to recognize the achievements of the senior class.
Bob Bruso (Auburn, MA) and Tyler Russell (Princeton, MA) were both honored with the "Robert Devlin" Senior Male Athlete Awards for their outstanding four-year contributions to their respective teams.
Bruso, a seven-time career medalist and three-time All-NEIGA honoree, was a third-team GCAA All-American as a junior last year. Russell was the 2010 Co-Bogan Division Defensive Player of the Year as he led Division III in solo tackles (92) while finishing the season second overall in total tackles (167) and average stops (16.7). Both have aspirations to compete at the next level.
The "Robert Devlin" Senior Female Athlete Awards were given to Michaella Mahoney (Shrewsbury, MA) and Alexis George (Worcester, MA/Holy Name).
Mahoney, a three-year starter, ace and clean-up hitter for the softball team, was recently named this year's MASCAC Softball Player of the Year. She helped the softball team claim a share of the regular season softball title with Westfield State.
George, an All-MASCAC First-Team honoree in 2008-07, finished her career as the 16th player women's basketball player to score over 1,000 points. George was instrumental in helping the squad reach the MASCAC Tournament finals last year and the conference tournament semifinals during in 2009 and this past season.
The senior Lancer Award, which honors a male and a female student-athlete exemplifying dedication to their program, leadership qualities and good sportsmanship that may or may not have translated into superior statistics and accolades, was handed out to Dave Douillette (Bridgewater, MA), Karla Rotondi (Tewksbury, MA) and Kara Rogato (N. Andover, MA).
Douilette was a team-captain on the men's basketball team and was their most consistent player down the stretch as he posted team-highs of 13.1 PPG and 8.1 RPG. Douillette was an All-MASCAC recipient in his final semester as he also earned a nod to the D3hoops.com All-Northeast Region team.
Rotondi, a two-time field hockey captain and a captain on this years lacrosse team, was a leader for both squads in competition. Rotondi was known by her teammates and by her opponents, as a catalyst on the field who made things happen in the midfield.
Rogato, a four-year starter on the women's soccer team at center-back, will be tough to replace. Rogato, a first-team All-MASCAC honoree this past season, helped lead the Lancers to the NCAA Sweet 16 as a freshman, to an unbeaten record in conference play in 2009 and to their fifth NCAA Tournament apperance this past year.
The Senior "Peg Nugent" Award winners were Johno Hinkell (North Adams, MA) and Megan Feehan (Lunenburg, MA). The "Peg Nugent" Award is in honor of the long-time senior women's administrator who was responsible for expanding the role of women in the athletics department. It is handed out to a senior male and female athlete who are outstanding in athletic competition and in the classroom.
Hinkell carries a 3.41 GPA in Community Health. Hinkell is a two-time All-MASCAC first-team catcher who posted four-year totals of a .314 batting average with 15 homers, 66 RBIs, 74 runs and 19 steals before his season was cut short due to an arm/shoulder injury.
Feehan, who has a 3.79 GPA, was a two-year captain on the field hockey pitch. Playing in a possible 79 out of 80 games in her four-years, Feehan showed her versatility playing forward, midfield and back by finishing her career with 18 points (7 goals - four assists) and three defensive saves.
The freshman athlete awards were passed out to Gaby Gonet (Agawam, MA), Megan Brown (Darmouth, MA) and Andrew Johnson (Thompson, CT).
Gonet was a second-team All-MASCAC women's soccer recipent who tied for the team lead in points with four goals and three assists. Gonet helped lead this years team to its fifth MASCAC Championship and to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Gonet also reset the schools pole vault record three times this past outdoor track season.
Brown was Worcester State's lone member on the All-MASCAC Volleyball team as she was placed on the first-team and named the conferences Rookie of the Year. Brown led the team in kills and digs.
Johnson earned All-MASCAC/Alliance indoor and outdoor honors in the high jump, who was lauded by head coach Al Halper for improving his height in the event from high school by leaping four inches higher. Johnson, the MASCAC indoor high jump champion, will try to earn All-New England honors at this weekends Division III New England Championships.
Below, 14 seniors in attendence were honored for their outstanding achievements in the classroom on the All-MASCAC Academic team. To be named to the All-Academic Team, one must either have a cumulative or have a semester grade point average of 3.2 in their semester of competition.