The conclusion of the academic year signals a salute to those special individuals who left more than a mark on the Northeast Conference over the past 10 months.
Presented by Provident Bank, the NEC is proud to recognize the finalists for its Student-Athlete of the Year awards. The pools of ten men and ten women finalists produced the two conference-wide winners (FDU’s Evan McDonald [men] and Wagner’s Pascalle Tego [women]).
The honor recognizes individual excellence in both the academic and athletic realms as well as leadership and contributions to one’s community. Weighing one’s leadership ability, athletic prowess, academic achievement and community service, the NEC Student-Athlete of the Year award was formerly known as the NEC SAAC Student-Athlete of the Year award. One student-athlete was honored annually from 2003 to 2014, before the award was renamed and the decision was made to recognize one male and one female student-athlete per academic year.
The 2018-19 academic year marks the fifth consecutive year that the awards program is following the amended format.
2018-19 NEC Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year Finalists (presented by Provident Bank)
2018-19 NEC Men’s Student-Athlete of the Year Finalists (presented by Provident Bank)
In addition to stacking trophies, the Blue Devils hit the books hard in hard-hittin’ New Britain.
Central Connecticut is home to three of the NEC’s six Scholar-Athlete award winners from the 2018 fall season.
Angie Rafter (women’s cross country), Charlotte Maurer (women’s soccer) and Madelyn Kaprelya (volleyball) all brought some hardware back to Hardware City.
In addition to their academic exploits, the trio of Blue Devils helped their respective teams to plenty of athletic success this past fall.
Rafter led CCSU to its first NEC women’s XC team title since the turn of the millennium. Maurer and her mates carried a 17-game unbeaten streak into the 2018 NCAA Women’s College Cup Tournament. Kaprelya was a key contributor to a CCSU volleyball unit that posted a second-place finish in the NEC regular season standings.
The other Scholar-Athlete award recipients represented Wagner, Fairleigh Dickinson and Robert Morris.
FDU’s Ahu Obhakhan (men’s soccer) and RMU’s Adam Wollet (football) were repeat Scholar-Athlete winners while also earning Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Jon Besselink brought the men’s cross country award to Grymes Hill after posting a fifth-place finish at the 2018 NEC Championships.
All six honorees carried a cumulative grade-point average no lower than 3.50.
See all six 2018 Fall NEC Scholar-Athletes of the Year below…
They just want an opportunity and a number of fortunate NEC football alumni are getting one this spring.
Six athletes with all-NEC credentials have accepted invitations to attend NFL Rookie Camps on a tryout basis.
They are as follows:
Malik Duncan, Saint Francis DB (Steelers)
Delondo Boyd, Saint Francis DB (Bears)
Ben Huss, Duquesne OG (Jaguars)
Matt Sewall, Bryant WR/KR (Texans)
Andy Smigiera, Robert Morris DB (Seahawks/Cardinals)
Randall Laguerre, Central Connecticut LB (Eagles)
Amongst the aforementioned six men, Huss and Duncan earned STATS FCS All-America honors this past winter. Huss competed in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January.
Meanwhile, Wagner two starting offensive tackles from the 2017 season will compete in NFL camps after signing rookie contracts. After being selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by Baltimore, Greg Senat inked a deal with the Ravens prior to the start of their mini camp. Meanwhile, all-NEC tackle Matt Diaz was one of 22 players to sign UDFA contracts with the Tennessee Titans.
The Northeast Conference recognized those teams that best competed with dignity and respect during the 2017-18 winter sports season.
For the 10th year running, the league handed out a Team Sportsmanship Award in the sports of men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s swimming & diving, men’s indoor track & field, women’s indoor track & field and women’s bowling.
Bryant (MBB / SWIM) and St. Francis Brooklyn (WBB / WITF) were double winners. SFBK won the women’s basketball honor for the fifth time in six seasons while Caldwell captured a third consecutive women’s bowling award.
Since the NEC Team Sportsmanship program was instituted in 2008, Saint Francis U has won a conference-best 35 awards.
The NEC’s Team Sportsmanship Award winners were chosen through a vote of team captains and coaches from throughout the conference.
A LOOK AT THE WINNERS
It’s the seventh time in 10 seasons that the NEC’s top individual bowling award belongs to a Fairleigh Dickinson player.
FDU senior Karsyn Lukosius captured the 2018 NEC Bowler of the Year award to go along with a selection to the All-NEC First Team.
The league unveiled its three major award winners along with two All-NEC Teams and an All-Rookie Team on Friday, March 23 at Howell Lanes in Howell, NJ.
Meet the #NECelite from the 2017-18 NEC bowling regular season…