Panthers recognize 12 students with prestigious honors
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – A dozen Plymouth State University students have been recognized by the PSU Athletic Department as major awards recipients for the 2011-12 school year, honoring outstanding achievement in athletic competition and performances in the classroom and in the community.
The awards are presented annually and honor former coaches and educators who were pioneers in the development of physical education and athletics at Plymouth State.
PSU recognizes the top athletic performances each year with the Paul E. Arold Male Athlete of the Year and the Janet Nell Female Athlete of the Year Awards. 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. Additional awards are presented honoring Peter Cofran, Dorothy ‘Dot’ Diehl and Brad Wilby.
Senior wrestler Mike Willey (Tewksbury, Mass.) and junior ice hockey player Kyle Greco (Hillside, Ill.) are the co-recipients of the Paul E. Arold Men’s Athlete of the Year award. Willey captured his second straight New England Championship and earned All-America honors with an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, finishing the season with a 24-6 record, while Greco was named First Team All-Conference after leading the Panthers to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Championship, the first conference title in the 40-year history of the program, and its first berth in the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championships.
Sophomore shortstop Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H./North) is the recipient of the Janet Nell Women’s Athlete of the Year award. Jackson enjoyed a terrific season for the Panther softball squad, earning Honorable Mention All-New England and Little East Conference Rookie of the Year honors after setting a handful of school records and leading the team to an ECAC play-off berth, capping its best season in nine years.
Senior football wide receiver Josh Duford (Claremont, N.H./Stevens) is the recipient of the Van A. Hartman/Vernon Kelly Award as PSU’s top scholar-athlete. A childhood studies major, Duford led the team in every receiving category while earning numerous academic honors, including Capital One All-District and the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society.
Baseball player Justin Campo (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry), field hockey player Lauren Bergeron (New Hampton, N.H./Newfound) and lacrosse player Nora Regan (West Hartford, Conn./Northwest Catholic) are the recipients of the John C. Foley Senior Leadership Awards. All three made important contributions to their teams and excelled in the classroom while displaying the leadership that gets the most out of their teammates and earned the highest respect from their coaches.
Senior wrestler Rob Phillips (Brick, N.J./Brick) is the men’s recipient of the Brad Wilby Award for character and service. A four-year veteran and co-captain of this year’s team, Phillips earned All-New England honors while maintaining a Dean’s List grade point average and volunteering in the local community center.
Senior swimmer Nicole Brodeur (Claremont, N.H./Vermont Academy) and junior softball player Ali Keith (Northfield, N.H./Winnisquam) are the women’s recipients of the Brad Wilby Award. Brodeur has been the cornerstone of the Panther women’s swim team the past four years, capturing nine All-New England swimming honors while earning Dean’s List accolades in the classroom while volunteering in the community and serving as a mentor and tutor on campus. Keith posted a 3-1 record as a relief pitcher but more remarkably returned to school and the diamond this spring after battling Hodgkin's lymphoma for the past year and a half, forcing a leave of absence during the 2010-11 season.
Senior skier Katherine Goller (Williston, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) is the Dorothy ‘Dot' Diehl Award recipient for leadership for the advancement of women in sports and physical education. A Dean’s List student as Early Childhood Studies major, Goller was a four-year starter for PSU’s highly successful ski team, maintaining her responsibilities as co-captain this winter despite missing a good portion of the season with an injury.
Senior McKenzie Burke (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) is the recipient of the Peter S. Cofran Award for outstanding service and support for PSU Athletics. Burke was a reliable and valuable student worker in the Athletic Department and PE Center, serving a variety of roles and never missing a weekend of work in four years.
All of the award recipients will be honored in a formal ceremony at PSU this fall.
PSU Athletics – 2011-12 Award Recipient Profiles
Mike Willey, Wrestling (Sr., 149 lbs., Tewksbury, Mass.) (Co-Captain)
Captured the New England Championship at 149 pounds…..earned All-America honors with eighth-place finish at NCAA Division III Championships at La Crosse, Wisc… won prestigious Doug Parker Invitational at Springfield in November…. Took a 15-match winning streak and a 22-3 record to the nationals… finished with a season mark of 24-6 mark (47-9 the last two years)… PSU finished 5-13 in dual matches and tied for eighth at New England Championships.
Kyle Greco, Ice Hockey (Jr., Forward, Hillside, Illinois)
First Team All-MASCAC (Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference) … Semifinalist for the Concannon Award (given to the top American-born college hockey player in New England at the Division II/III level)… two-time MASCAC Player of the Week…. MASCAC All-Academic Team… Capital One Academic All-America Third Team and Capital One Academic All-District First Team (CoSIDA)… led team in goals (14), assists (22) and points (36)… led MASCAC in assists and ranked third in goals and points… tied for 3rd in nation with 5 game-winning goals (first in MASCAC)…led team to 17-7-3 overall record, 12-3-3 conference mark, the MASCAC regular season championship, the MASCAC Tournament championship (first conference title in 40-year history of program), and NCAA Tournament berth.
Bekah Jackson, Softball (So., SS, Nashua, N.H.)
Earned Honorable Mention All-New England at shortstop… Little East Conference Rookie of the Year and First Team All-LEC … set six single-season school records and ranked among the conference leaders in just about every offensive category….established PSU single-season standards for hits (62), runs scored (45), doubles (15), total bases (96), and at bats (144), and tied the mark for stolen bases (25). The records she broke for hits and runs had stood since 1994…. finished the season with a .431 batting average with a league-leading 15 doubles, five home runs, 32 RBI, and 25 stolen bases… helped the team to an overall record of 21-21 and a tie for fourth place in the conference with a 7-7 mark, its highest place since 2003.
Josh Duford, Football (Sr., WR, Claremont, N.H./Stevens)
Three-year veteran … Childhood Studies major… Led team in receptions, receiving yards, yards per catch, and receiving touchdowns; (PSU ran the ball on 468 of 582 plays); Named to National Football Foundation Academic Honor Roll…PSU Presidential Scholarship for academics; PSU President's List every semester; NEFC All-Academic Team (three years); PSU Ath. Director's Honor Roll (three years); Practicum Fieldwork at Plymouth Elementary 2010-11) and Campton Elementary (2011–present); Summer Camp Counselor for Camp Energy in Claremont, NH; Mentored at CYC After-School Program… From Coach Castonia: “Josh is what we look for in every student-athlete, a commitment to his school work, his team and his community. He has been a true leader on our team the past three years.”
Justin Campo, Baseball (Sr., UTIL, Londonderry, N.H.) (Co-captain)
Three-year veteran and co-captain as a senior… Accounting major… From Coach McManus: “Not a regular player BUT an outstanding leader. Was selected as a team captain and also voted (by the team) as the recipient of the Panther Award. He exemplifies everything that PSU Baseball stands for. His loyalty, integrity, work ethic and leadership by example is everything a coach can ask for. Prior to the season, he came to me and volunteered to “step aside” if I thought keeping another young player would be in the best interest of the team. One of the best decisions I ever made was not to allow him to do so. He had the most demanding academic schedule of all our student/athletes and still did not miss one game. He often got to practice very late, put his spikes on and took a couple of swings – then proceeded to help pick up and put things away – long after many of his teammates left. When he was able to get to practice on time, you’d find him there early, working with some of the younger players on their outfield skills. He always put the team first and did everything possible to improve the situation. In many respects – he was a young assistant coach. He without any doubt will make a very good coach in the future. I think his love and respect for the game has left an indelible imprint on the younger players. What more could a coach ask for?”
Lauren Bergeron, Field Hockey (Sr., New Hampton, N.H./Newfound) (Two-year Co-captain)
Four-year starter at midfield … graduated Summa Cum Laude as a Spanish major… never missed a game and started all but two in her career... earned First Team All- Little East Conference honors after tying for the LEC lead (9)….set the PSU career mark with 26 assists… Named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team for the second straight year…. three-time selection to the LEC All-Academic Team and the National Academic Squad by the National FH Coaches Association…. has been named to the PSU President's List every semester at PSU…… From Coach Lord: “Lauren is the epitome of the student-athlete at Plymouth State University! A motivated, energetic, compassionate leader and an outstanding student."
Nora Regan, Lacrosse (Sr., D, West Hartford, Conn.) (Two-year Co-Captain)
Three-year veteran … graduated Summa Cum Laude as an Accounting major … started every game in her career… started for PSU team that led the LEC in defense in 2012… helped team to LEC regular season title…From Coach Blanchette: “Nora has played an instrumental role for our team the last two years when she served as captain. She has shown outstanding leadership skills on and off the field. She was one of only two seniors this year on our team; Nora had to lead 11 freshmen (7 of which consistently played). It wasn't an easy task but because of Nora's leadership we were able to have one of the best seasons in program history. Nora has been honored with the Coaches Award (2012), the Defensive MVP Award (2011), Panther Award (2011) and the Rookie of the Year Award (2010). She excelled academically; she is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society and was named to the IWLCA National Academic Honor Roll in 2011 as well as named to the PSU Presidents List every semester at PSU. Nora also took on a major role in organizing a Support Your Troops game this year which helped raise over $4,500 for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Rob Phillips, Wrestling (Sr., 174 lbs., Brick, N.J.) (Co-captain)
Four-year veteran and co-captain as a senior… Physical Education major…earned All-New England honors with a fourth-place finish at 184 pounds at the New England Championships … finished season with a record of 28-10, leading the team in victories… also had a third-place finish at the prestigious Doug Parker Invitational at Springfield and a third-place finish at Southern Maine’s Ted Reese Invitational… named to NWCA Division III Scholar All-American Team (for having a GPA of 3.2 or higher and meeting other wrestling criteria)… From Coach Eldredge: “For the last three years Rob Phillips has been a staple for PSU wrestling. He was both a leader on and off the mat with a team-high gpa and as well as All-New England honors. Rob for the past two seasons has led all off-season work outs, study halls. As well as a small team study group and has been a model citizen volunteering at the community center down town in his spare time. “
Nicole Brodeur, Swimming/Diving (Sr., Fly/Free/IM, Claremont, N.H.)
PSU’s top swimmer the past four years… Marketing major… led the team in dual meet victories all four years… a 12-time finalist at the New England Championships… owns school records in the 500-yard freestyle and the 50- and100-yard butterfly… three-time selection to the LEC All-Academic Team… From Coach Switzer: “Since her freshman year, Nicole Brodeur has been a cornerstone of PSU Women’s Swimming and Diving. Focusing on freestyle and butterfly, Nicole has won over 80% of her individual contests, setting school records in three individual events and one relay. She was named to the All-New England Team. Her work ethic is outstanding. Nicole is a committed student. Her great passion for people is demonstrated by her volunteer work with children and the elderly. Through the Plymouth Academic Support Services Program, Nicole has mentored incoming freshmen with college transitions, and tutored and assisted many students in psychology.”
Ali Keith, Softball (Jr., P, Northfield, N.H./Winnisquam) (Co-captain)
Three-year veteran of team and co-captain this season….…. Criminal Justice major…reserve pitcher, making 17 appearances for Panthers in 2012 and finishing with a 3-1 record…From Coach Addison: “Our softball team had special returner this year. Ali had battled Hodgkin's lymphoma for the past 1 1/2 years. After taking a leave of absents during the 2010-11 season, Ali Keith returned this season to the softball diamond cancer free. It was a long road of frustration for Ali during this period. There were times when she could have no physical contact with her friends and family due to her illness. Most of all she missed being with her teammates and playing softball. During her recovery, Ali would skype us to take part in our meetings and she would visit every moment she could with her Mom. I have not met an individual who loves being part of a team more than Ali.”
Katherine Goller, Skiing (Sr., Willliston, Vt./Champlain Valley Union) (Co-Captain)
Four-year starter … Early Childhood Studies major … represented PSU at Eastern Regionals and USCSA Nationals her sophomore and junior seasons….missed most of senior season with injury…returned for final weekend to be PSU’s top finisher in slalom and second-best in giant slalom…From Coach Gannon: “Katherine was injured for a good portion of the season and although unable to compete or train, she maintained responsibility of keeping the women organized. Katherine was also a team leader throughout her four years at PSU. She demonstrates the highest level of commitment to making a team better for everyone.”
McKenzie Burke, Events/Facilities (Sr., Hingham, Mass./Hingham)
From Supervisor Courtney O’Clair: “McKenzie has been a four-year student worker. She started work for us the day before her freshman year and hasn’t missed a weekend in four years. McKenzie has done everything from working concessions, front desk, football recruiting weekends, to extra side jobs that extend beyond the student worker duties. She stepped up and made a video for ice hockey fans to help promote good sportsmanship. McKenzie is one of our most-liked all around student workers. We are truly going to miss her and all that she has done for PSU athletics. I could not recommend a better student worker!”
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