Seniors Honored At Annual Athletics Awards Banquet
The Worcester State University Athletics Department hosted their annual senior awards banquet on Tuesday, May 1. The event is customarily held on the final day of classes to recognize the achievements on and off the field of the senior class.
Tony Tokarz (Holden, MA) was honored as the “Bob Devlin” Senior Male Athlete for his contributions to the football team.
As a First-Team All-NEFC quarterback, Tokarz was instrumental in helping lead the football team to their first winning season since 2004 as he finished his career second in touchdowns, fourth in passing yards and his rushing yardage total is the most all-time for a signal caller.
Clifford, a two-time All-New England (NEWISA) selection and this year’s MASCAC Player of the Year, helped lead the women’s soccer team to the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2010 and the ECAC Division III New England crown in 2011.
Charette, who has been honored on the All-MASCAC team in each of her last three seasons, aided the women’s basketball squad to four consecutive conference semifinals appearances and she wrapped up her career ninth on the all-time scoring list with 1,178 points.
Nick Asterito (Philadelphia, PA) and DJ Martin (Nipmuc, MA) both shared this year’s Male “Lancer” Award while Sarah Rafferty (Uxbridge, MA) was the lone female winner. The award is given to a male and female student-athlete who exemplifies dedication to their program, leadership qualifies and good sportsmanship.
Asterito wrapped up his year as a forward on the ice hockey team 25th on the All-Time scoring list with 83 points – 31 goals and 52 assists. As a two-year captain he also helped lead the charge in the squad’s first postseason win in 35 years.
Martin, a second-team All-NEFC honoree as a center, was one of the football team’s leaders on the offensive line for the last three seasons while he was also a member of SAAC.
Rafferty has been apart of eight championship teams – including three with the women’s soccer team and five with the women’s indoor and outdoor track & field team. As a two-year captain on the track team, Rafferty has been an All-MASCAC/Alliance honoree in the sprinting events and relays and she is currently on the 4x100 meter relay team that has the seventh-fastest time in Division III.
The Senior "Peg Nugent" Award male winners were Tim D’Orazio (Jamieson, PA) and Adam Peloquin (Spencer, MA/David Prouty) while Nikki Scott (Berlin, MA) and Mara Kralian (N. Grafton, MA) were the female honorees.
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 the senior male and female athlete’s who are outstanding in athletic competition and in the classroom.
D’Orazio led the ice hockey team in goals with nine and he finished fourth in points (15) while he struggled through adversity in breaking his leg in his freshman year and numerous other injuries to play in 46 out of a possible 53 games. D’Orazio, who also played on the golf team that captured third at the MASCAC Championships this past spring, will graduate with a 3.38 GPA in Business.
Peloquin, a First-Team guard for the football team, was apart of an offensive line that finished the regular season second in the 16-team conference in scoring offense and rushing offense while the rushing average was sixth in New England. Peloquin will walk across the stage with a 3.63 GPA in Mathematics.
Scott, who carried an undergraduate GPA of 3.92 in Business, completed her final season of eligibility while serving as a graduate assistant for the business department. Scott was a standout back who helped the team lead the MASCAC in goals allowed and goals against average in their run this season and she was named the institutions sixth CO-SIDA Academic All-American this past fall.
Kralian will also receive her diploma in Business as she has a GPA of 3.80. Kralian is a seven-time All-Division III New England honoree in the sprinting, relay and long jump while she also received US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic accolades twice for her efforts.
Jim Sarkisian (Auburn, MA) and Molly Hein (Hudson, NH/Alvirne) were both distinguished with Athletic Service Awards for their contributions off the field of play. Sarkisian, who competes on the men’s golf team, was an intern in the athletics department as he played a key role in helping both the home events coordinator and sports information director this past academic year.
Hein, who was a forward on the women’s basketball team, received her award for her leadership role as President of SAAC. She also organized numerous community service projects that have included renovating the Chandler Magnet School, a clean-up project during the squad’s trip to Hawaii and coordinating SAAC’s efforts in hosting the Special Olympics in March.
Jasper made a big impact on both the women’s volleyball court and on the track and field team. As an All-MASCAC second-team honoree, Jasper put up the sixth-highest kill total since stats were first recorded in 2003 and she helped lead the team to their second conference tournament championship game.
While being a member of a league indoor and outdoor MASCAC championship team, Jasper also broke a 22-year school record in the shot put and earned an All-Division III New England certificate with seventh-place in the shot put and third in the heptathlon.
Gunter was a key contributor on the men’s basketball team as he helped lead the team both offensively and defensively. He would finish his season second in the balloting for MASCAC Rookie of the Year.
Stanley was a standout forward in his first year on the ice hockey team. He was second on the team in scoring with 18 points - including seven goals and 11 assists – which was the third-highest total among MASCAC rookies.