The Worcester State University athletics department hosted their 25th Annual Senior Awards Banquet at the May Street Building on Tuesday, May 6. The event is held at the end of every academic year to distinguish the achievements on and off the field of the senior class.
Before dinner, individual clocks were handed out by President Barry Maloney and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Rosie Naughton, to every senior in attendance. Head women’s basketball coach and Associate Athletic Director Karen Tessmer also recognize the academic accomplishments of the class.
Assistant to the Athletic Director for Academic Services, Kelly Downs, finished off the pre-meal ceremony by announcing the inaugural Chi Alpha Sigma Student-Athlete Honor Society.
Whitson, the MASCAC Player of the Year and Second-team ECAC New England All-Star pick, led the conference in goals (14) and points (33) as he was instrumental in pacing the Lancers to its fifth MASCAC Regular Season title with an unbeaten record.
Jobst, who was also honored by the league’s coaches as MASCAC Player of the Year while also being lauded with All-New England accolades by the NBCA, D3hoops.com and the ECAC, averaged 16.5 points and 13.4 rebounds in 26 games. Jobst led the Blue and Gold to the conference tournament semifinals and was nationally ranked in both rebounding and double-doubles.
Christy Deininger (N. Attleboro, MA) earned the “Robert Devlin” Senior Female Athlete for her four year contributions to the women’s track and field team as one of the best sprinters and hurdlers in the region.
During both the indoor and outdoor season, Deinigner has been honored on numerous occasions with All-Division III New England, Open New England and All-ECAC accolades for her efforts while she has also made four trips to the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships – including three during the outdoor season.
Andrew Johnson (Thompson, CT) and Tim Laramee (Shrewsbury, MA) shared this year’s Male “Lancer” Award while Vicki O’Brien (Canton, MA) and Katherine Bitters (Greenfield, MA) were co-winners of the female plaques. The award is given to a male and a female student-athlete who exemplifies dedication to their program, leadership qualities and good sportsmanship.
Johnson, a standout high jumper on the men’s track and field squad, was honored for leading his team the example he set as one of the leaders on the club. Laramee, a three-year starter on the offensive line, earned the distinction for his contributions serving as the Co-President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
O’Brien, a two-year captain on both the women’s volleyball and women’s lacrosse teams, was a vocal leader on and off the field for her teams. Bitters, a senior captain of a young field hockey squad, served as a role model and she was active as the other Co-President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The Senior “Peg Nugent” winners were Jobst as the Male honoree while Meaghan Burns (W. Brookfield, MA) was distinguished as the female winner.
The “Peg Nugent” Award is named in honor of the former long-time senior women’s administrator who was responsible for expanding the role of women in the Worcester State athletics department. It is handed out to the senior male and female athletes who are outstanding in athletic competition and in the classroom.
Jobst, the banquets first-ever double senior award winner, carries a 3.91 grade point average in Criminal Justice with a double minor in Philosophy and Law. In addition to being garnered with a NBCA Honors Court distinction as a junior, he became WSU’s second First-team Co-SIDA Academic All-American honoree this past winter.
Burns, a standout guard on the women’s basketball team, sports a 3.82 GPA in Nursing. She was a Co-SIDA Academic District I recipient in January, has been a four-time MASCAC All-Academic team recipient and been recognized in “Who’s Who In American Colleges and Universities.”
While being involved in numerous community service activities throughout her career at WSU, Burns has also been a two-time All-MASCAC selection who ended her career 11th on the All-Time scoring list with 1,136 points. Due in large part to her play on defense, Burns has helped the women’s basketball team earn four consecutive trips to the MASCAC Tournament and three appearances in the league semifinals.
Derek Cole (Billerica, MA) and John Hanna (Dudley, MA) were recipients of the “Rich Korzec” Athletic Service Award. The plaque is named in honor of former men’s golf coach and Assistant Director of Facilities, who passed away in the spring of 2012. Rich was known for always going above and beyond the call of duty to serve anyone on or off campus.
Cole was a dedicated work-study student who did whatever he was asked for home events all the while balancing a hectic student-athlete schedule on the baseball team. Hanna earned the plaque for his efforts in assisting the sports information director with whatever needed to be done during game day duties, in the office and other roles related to home events coverage.
Brooks made an impact in his first year as the starting center on the men’s basketball team. He averaged 7.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks en route to MASCAC Rookie of the Year accolades. Brooks also had the third-highest field goal percentage in the conference (.506) and he set the freshman record for blocks in one season (54).
Salsibury was recognized for her efforts in coming in as the clubs lead-off hitter and starting catcher. The All-MASCAC honoree led the club in batting with the fifth-best clip in the conference (.372) and she was one score shy of tying the rookie record for runs scored in a season with 28. She helped propel the softball team to a tie for second place and to the conference tournament semifinals.
As an All-MASCAC midfielder, Sutherland was key for the women’s lacrosse team on offense and defense. She logged the second highest assist total on the team (22) and had the sixth-most draw controls in the league (57). Sutherland helped the club tie the program record for wins in a season while also making appearance in the MACAC Tournament title game and the ECAC Division III New England championship contest.