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PSU Athletics announces annual award recipients

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Nine of the top student-athletes at Plymouth State University have been honored with the announcement of the athletic department's annual awards for 2007-08.

            PSU recognizes the top athletic performances each year with the Paul E. Arold Male Athlete of the Year Award and the Janet Nell Female Athlete of the Year Award.  The top scholar-athlete receives the Van A. Hartman/Vernon Kelly Award, and the top seniors are selected for the John C. Foley Leadership Awards.  The annual awards all honor former coaches and educators who were pioneers in the development of athletics at Plymouth State, and are voted on by the current head coaches.

            Two additional awards were introduced this year.  The Peter S. Cofran Award recognizes the student who provides outstanding support and service to PSU Athletics, and the Brad Wilby Awards recognize leadership and strength of character, as voted on by the student-athletes themselves.

            Senior football running back Jeff Mack (Milford, N.H./Milford) is the Paul E. Arold Male Athlete of the Year.  Mack earned All-East Region and All-New England honors after rushing for 1,353 yards and 14 touchdowns and leading the team to a 9-1 record and the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl championship.

            Senior skiing star Melissa Caflisch (Clymer, N.Y./Northwood School) is the Janet Nell Female Athlete of the Year.  Caflisch completed an outstanding ski racing season in 2008, earning three All-America honors at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association's National Championships, placing third in slalom, 10th in giant slalom and sixth in the combined alpine in a field of over 100 skiers.

            Senior field hockey co-captain Rachel Kirschner (Burlington, Conn./Lewis S. Mills) is the Van A. Hartman/Vernon Kelly Award recipient.  A Childhood Studies major and the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average, Kirschner was a four-year veteran and three-year starter on the field hockey team and helped organize several community service projects.

            Senior men's lacrosse co-captain Adam Krinsky (Concord, N.H./Concord), senior baseball co-captain John Pogorzelski (Hillsborough, N.J.) and senior softball co-captain Lori Pettengill (Holderness, N.H./Plymouth Regional) are the recipients of the John C. Foley Leadership Awards.  All three were strong contributors to their team's success on the fields, but contributed even more with their leadership, serving as co-captains of their teams for two or more seasons.

            Senior Katie Barany (Middlesex, Vt./U-32) was named the first recipient of the Peter S. Cofran Award.  In addition to a four-year career as a field hockey player, Barany was a strong student and provided outstanding support and service working at home athletic events during her off-season and covering several shifts as an athletic facilities supervisor.

            Senior field hockey co-captain Katie Randall (Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth) and junior men's soccer co-captain Gareth Stephens (Yeovil, England/Westfield) are the first recipients of the Brad Wilby Awards, recognizing a male and a female student-athlete who demonstrate leadership, strength of character and service to others, both on and off the field.

            All of the award recipients will be honored in a formal ceremony at PSU this fall.  Complete profiles of the student-athletes follow.

PSU Athletics - 2007-08 Award Recipient Profiles

Jeff Mack, Football (Sr., Running Back, Milford, N.H.)

Named All-East Region Third Team by D3football.com.... Named to the Division II/III All-New England Team by the New England Football Writers....New England Football Conference Boyd Division First Team All-Star.... Finished second in the NEFC in rushing with 1,353 yards on 242 carries (5.6 avg.), and second in the league in scoring with 14 touchdowns.... named to the NEFC weekly honor roll four times in 2007, and became just the ninth back in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.....The 1,353 yards is the third-highest single-season performance in school history...led PSU  to a 9-1 overall record, its first winning season since 2001, and second place in the NEFC Boyd Division (6-1)....was named MVP of the ECAC North Atlantic Bowl, leading the team to a victory over Bridgewater State.

Melissa Caflisch, Skiing   (Sr., Clymer, N.Y.) (Co-captain)

Completed outstanding season and career for PSU Ski team...Earned three All-America honors at US Collegiate Ski Assoc. National Championships, placing third in slalom, 10th in giant slalom and sixth in combined (among over 100 skiers)...at the Eastern Regional Championships, she placed fifth in GS, sixth in slalom, and seventh in combined (among 69 skiers)...finished regular season in second place (among 80 skiers)...in 10 regular season races, she finished in top 10 eight times and top four five times...led PSU to a fifth place in the regular season, a tie for fourth at the Eastern Regionals, and a third place at the National Championships...also a member of the PSU women's lacrosse team but missed the season with an injury.

Rachel Kirschner, Field Hockey   (Sr., Burlington, Conn./Lewis S. Mills) (Co-captain)

Childhood Studies major....Four-year veteran and three-year starter....finished fourth on the team in scoring in 2007 (5 goals, 2 assts)...team finished 11-9 and made ECAC Tournament. ...PSU FH Coaches Award in 2006 and Panther Award in 2007...PSU President's List every semester...Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society... Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society... participated in several community service projects...Coach Bonnie Lord comments:  "Rachel Kirschner epitomizes the overall package as a student-athlete. Dedicated and committed to her academics was unanimously voted as a captain for the 2007 team. Not only did Rachel work with her teammates on the field but was always available to assist them in their academics. A true role model for young aspiring student-athletes Rachel was always the camper's favorite coach and player and many followed her throughout her seasons! Rachel's work ethic in the classroom and on the field is exemplary - but it is her positive attitude and kindness fueled by abundant energy for all that she does that sets her apart from others. Rachel has been an outstanding representative of PSU throughout her career!"

Adam Krinsky, Lacrosse (Sr., Concord, N.H.) (Two-year Co-captain)

Named All-Little East Conference Second Team in 2008, his fourth straight All-LEC honor...led the team in scoring (22 goals, 40 assists, 62 points)... tied for LEC lead in assists, and ranked fifth in total points... recorded 100th career assist on April 17 and 200th career point on April 22....finishes career as one of PSU's career offensive leaders, ranking fourth all-time in assists (121) and points (220) and eighth in goals (99)...helped PSU to a 12-7 record, matching the school record for wins in a season... led team to first LEC championship game in school history, and to its second straight ECAC post-season berth....coordinated team fund-raising events as well as community service events...oversees teammates and helps monitor their academic success...2.69 GPA as a Marketing major.... Coach Andrew Brauch comments: "Adam's leadership both on and off the field have allowed the team to have successful seasons and led to the program's first ECAC Championship."

John Pogorzelski, Baseball (Sr., Hillsborough, N.J.) (Three-year Co-captain)

Four-year veteran on baseball team...started 29 games at catcher in 2008, batting .260 with five doubles, one home run and 16 RBI...started 30 games as a junior and batted .294... active in SAAC...3.11 GPA ...Mathematics major... History minor ... Coach Dennis McManus comments:  "In my 24 years of coaching baseball John is the only one to have been selected as captain three consecutive years. He has been a leader both on and off the field. He has helped organize many "off field" activities and in particular has been directly involved with "hunger and homelessness" week in each of the last 3 years. The success of the baseball team's efforts in the community is a direct result of the hard work of "Pogo" and his teammates." 

Lori Pettengill, Softball (Sr., Holderness, N.H./Plymouth Regional) (Two-year Co-captain)

Three-year starter at shortstop for PSU softball team... key component of team that finished 25-15 this season and went to the ECAC Tournament, posting the second-most wins in a season in school history...received team's Panther Award in 2006... 3.60 GPA as a Criminal Justice major with a psychology minor... Coach Bruce Addison comments:  "For four years, Lori Pettengill brought character, determination, passion and a true team spirit to PSU softball. She was named captain by her peers after her sophomore year. Lori's legacy will not be remembered for her abilities on the softball field, it will be remembered for how she led her team and the examples she set."


Katie Barany, Events/Facilities worker   (Sr., Middlesex, Vt.)

Nominated by Events/Facilities Coordinator Courtney O'Clair.... "Katie Barany has given outstanding support to this department this entire year. She has worked every weekend in the main office, (closing Saturday nights, an 8 hour shift on Sunday) including her time while she was in-season as well as student teaching and dancing for the performing arts department. Not only did she work the front desk but she has also worked all home events, from videoing games, to selling tickets, and working concessions. Katie also worked every single NHIAA event this year. She would also come down every Friday night during the winter and help set up for the events that were to take place over the weekend. On Sunday mornings she never said no to going around cleaning up trash and the bathrooms after our Saturday events. Katie B. works very hard for us, never missed a shift all year. She has represented PSU athletics in such a positive manner!"

Katie Randall, Field Hockey   (Sr., Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth H.S.)  (Co-captain)

Nominated by head field hockey coach Bonnie Lord:  "Katie was the starting goalkeeper for PSU for four years. She served as a captain of the 2007 team and helped lead the team to the LEC and ECAC semifinals. Katie is respected by her teammates for her work ethic, her determination, and her passion for the game. She leads with confidence and compassion and has improved tremendously on her communication skills.  An Education major, Katie has achieved National All-Academic status and in 2007 her team joined her as a National All-Academic Team.  Katie is always the first to offer academic assistance to her teammates. Katie began her career with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and currently serves as President. The scenario of ‘those who have much to do always seem to do more' rings true with Katie. Katie has been irreplaceable as a goalkeeping coach in our youth Summer Field Hockey Camps for the past three years. Katie has a true dedication to Plymouth State University and has served as a tour guide for the Admissions Department since her sophomore year. Katie Randall would be a true representative of Brad's dedication, determination and desire for PSU and our Athletic Program.

Gareth Stephens, Men's Soccer     (Sr., Yeovil, England/Westfield)  (Co-captain)

Nominated by head men's soccer coach Rob Wright:  "Gareth is a perfect candidate for an award that honors Brad.  Like Brad, he has been a two-year captain of the men's soccer team, but in addition will complete his third year this coming fall.  On the field, Gaz lead's by example both in work rate and passion. In a difficult 2007 season, he had to play the entire year in an unfamiliar position while still remaining positive and leading a young team through difficult times.  He even put in a starring performance at Keene scoring two goals in the team's 4-1 victory.  Off of the field, Gaz helped conduct coaching clinics for the Plymouth middle school, has represented men's soccer on SAAC, has worked as the ‘Diversity Fellow' on campus, has worked for the athletic department running events, and is the first person to step up and help with meeting recruits and their families, meeting alumni, talking to potential foreign recruits, or with talking with members of the team to help them resolve both personal and soccer related problems.

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