HAMBURG, N.Y. – The Hilbert College Athletics Department proudly honored their 2014-15 student-athletes at its annual Athletic Awards Reception April 27. Following the Swan Auditorium ceremony, a casual reception was held in the West Herr Atrium Monday night to continue the celebration and kick-off the final week of classes.
Chris Holoman, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs welcoming remarks opened the evening of celebration and Hilbert’s John Czarnecki, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, served as the evening’s primary presenter and emcee.
The evening consisted of a series of presentations which profiled Hilbert’s student-athlete academic achievements and senior athlete award presentations. Ryan Brewster, selected as this year’s senior speaker, addressed his fellow student-athletes prior to the distribution of team awards. At the conclusion of the evening, the McGrath Award winners were introduced and their names will be forever enshrined in the athletic department’s Academic Wall of Achievement.
Ten of Hilbert’s 13 NCAA Division III teams are members of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC). Men’s lacrosse and men’s volleyball are members of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) and the women’s lacrosse program, in its third season of existence, currently completes as an independent program. The NEAC league has always announced their Academic All-Conference members at the conclusion of the full academic year and for the first time, beginning this year, the AMCC league has chosen to follow suit.
Without any Academic All-Conference members to announce, Kelly Starchok, the department’s NCAA Compliance and Student Services Coordinator, honored those student-athletes who achieved a perfect 4.0 either in the spring 2014 or the fall 2014 semesters: freshman Rebecca Bailey, junior Harlie Decker, junior Benjamin Knights, junior Kelly Mandell, sophomore Kelly Mergenhagen, sophomore Daniel Pulaski and junior Erin Smith.
Starchok also shared the National Student-Athlete Honor Society members who were first presented for induction on April 17th at the college-wide Honor Society Ceremony. The 2015 Chi Alpha Sigma New York Theta Chapter associates who carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or higher and who exhibit good moral character are considered for inclusion in their junior or senior year. These 19 newest members were awarded a certificate and a medal of honor: junior Barrett Armstrong, junior Andrew Cartaginese, senior Daniel Christmann, junior Harlie Decker, junior Matt Goraj, junior Jaelyn Gotham, junior Kayla Guidi, junior Crystal Hailey, senior Tara Jones, junior Benjamin Knights, junior Ashley Kurucz, senior Eric Labedz, junior Kelly Mandell, junior James Moscato, junior Kylie Reinholz, junior Korey Schwab, junior Tyler Shaw, junior Erin Smith and junior Sara Wagner.
The ceremony continued into the presentation of each team’s individual award winners. John Czarnecki read a brief summary of each team’s season before announcing the Most Improved, Most Valuable and Coaches Award recipients who were greeted by their program’s head coach. Click (here) to see a complete list of the 2014-15 winners.
Once the bulk of the evening presentations were distributed, Jenah Labuski (Horseheads, NY) and Tyler Coniglio (Tonawanda, NY) were announced as the 2015 McGrath Award winners (photo). This prestigious award is provided by Francis and Marie McGrath, two generous benefactors of Hilbert College who stipulated the award be given to one male and one female graduating student-athlete who has demonstrated exemplary achievement both academically and athletically while at Hilbert College. Labuski is graduating this May with a degree in English after representing the Hawks on the hardwood. Labuski earned with a 3.74 grade point average while leading the women’s basketball team to two consecutive AMCC Team Peak Performer awards. Congilio graduated in December 2014 after four solid seasons on the pitch for the men’s soccer team. He carried a 3.68 grade point average to secure his degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigation.
One final award was present to senior Mark Morris before the evening ceremony concluded. Coach Panik honored one of his most diligent and dependable four-year work study students with a special Game Management Perseverance Award.
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