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June 25, 2007

PSU Athletics announces annual department 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 2006-07.

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-athletes in each gender receive the Van A. Hartman/Vernon Kelly Awards, and the top seniors are selected for the John C. Foley Leadership Awards. The awards all honor former coaches and educators who were pioneers in the development of athletics at Plymouth State.

Senior two-sport star Tim Butler (Concord, Mass.) and senior football offensive lineman Joe Fellini (Walpole, Mass.) are the Paul E. Arold Male Athletes of the Year. Butler earned All-New England Football Conference honors as a linebacker last fall and All-Little East Conference honors as a lacrosse defenseman this spring; Fellini was the New England Football Conference Boyd Division Offensive Lineman of the Year and Honorable Mention All-East Region by Don Hansen's Football Gazette.

Senior two-sport star Kelsey MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) is the Janet Nell Female Athlete of the Year. MacDonald earned her second straight All-Little East Conference selection in soccer last fall, and was named a Little East Conference Player of the Year in lacrosse for the third straight season this spring.

Senior baseball player Jamie Aceto (Cumberland, R.I.), senior football linebacker Ryan Puck (Fair Haven, N.J.), and senior tennis player Erica Huckins (Holderness, N.H.) are the Van A. Hartman/Vernon Kelly Award recipients. A starting first baseman with a .321 batting average, Aceto received a host of academic awards, graduating as the top overall student in the Criminal Justice department; A three-year starter on defense, Puck finished with 144 career tackles and was inducted into the inaugural class of the National Football Foundation's National Honor Society as a physical education major; and Huckins, a co-captain and key starter on PSU's Little East Conference championship team and NCAA Tournament qualifier, graduated as the top overall student in the Social Work department.

Senior football player Dan Fallon (Manchester, N.H./Central), senior men's ice hockey player Mykul Haun (Alameda, Cal.) and senior field hockey and women's lacrosse player Amanda Spadafora (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) are the recipients of the John C. Foley Leadership Awards. All three were strong contributors to their team's success on the fields and ice, but contributed even more with their leadership, serving as co-captains of their teams.

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

Tim Butler, Football/Lacrosse (Sr., Concord, Mass.)
Named All-Conference this year in two sports...Named All-New England Football Conference (Boyd Division) Second Team at linebacker....Finished third on the team with 40 tackles (30 solo), while also collecting a sack, a pass break-up and a forced fumble....had one interception, which he returned 29 yards for a touchdown in a win over UMass Dartmouth....helped football team to a 4-5 overall record, 4-3 in conference play....named All-Little East Conference Second Team in men's lacrosse in 2007 after earning First Team honors in 2006.... A three-year starter on defense, he anchored a solid Panther defense that ranked second in the league in fewest goals allowed.... regularly marked the opponent's top attackman, helping shut down the best scorers in the league, while collecting 20 ground balls....selected as an alternate to the prestigious NEILA East-West Senior All-Star game, but missed the game due to a previously planned trip to Australia....helped Panther lacrosse team to an 11-6 overall record, a 3-3 LEC mark, and the ECAC Division III New England title.

Joe Fellini, Football (Sr., Walpole, Mass.) (Co-captain)
Honorable Mention All-East Region by Don Hansen's Football Gazette... Named to the New England Football Writers Division II/III All-New England Team.... Named New England Football Conference Boyd Division Offensive Lineman of the Year and NEFC First Team All-Star at offensive tackle.... A 6'0", 263-pound right tackle, he was the anchor of PSU's powerful offensive line... led a Panther offense that was one of five of the 16 teams in the NEFC to average more than 200 rushing yards per game (201.2)...was one of the primary reasons that PSU ran the ball of 442 of its 598 plays from scrimmage this season... A four-year starter and two-year captain, Fellini provided leadership during difficult times for the PSU football team.....three-time recipient of the team's Currier Award, presented for outstanding dedication, desire and hustle...helped PSU to a 4-5 overall record, 4-3 in conference play.

Kelsey MacDonald, Soccer/Lacrosse (Sr., Oak Bluffs, Mass.)
Named All-Conference this year in two sports... Little East Conference Women's Lax Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season (was also LEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2005)... third straight All-LEC First Team selection... Most Valuable Player of the ECAC New England Tournament as she helped lead PSU to the title...finished in the top five nationally in Division III in three major lacrosse statistical categories [second in draw controls (5.37 per game); third in ground balls (5.47 per game); and fifth in caused turnovers (3.53 per game)]....named LEC Defensive Player of the Week three times out of six weeks this season...finished second on the team and fourth in the LEC in goals per game (2.68) and points per game (3.63) and 10th in assists per game (0.95).... finishes her career fourth on PSU's all-time scoring list with 156 goals, 56 assists, 212 points (only fourth player in school history with 200 points)....led team to 14-5 overall record, a 5-1 LEC mark (runner-up) and the ECAC New England Championship... won lacrosse team's Panther Award....Named LEC Second Team All-Star in women's soccer for the second straight year as a midfielder... has started every game the past two seasons.....Her only goal was the game-winner in a 1-0 win over UMass Boston.... received the team's Miss Hustle Award for the second year in a row... PSU finished with a 7-8-2 overall record (a three-game improvement over last season), a 3-4-0 LEC mark, and was knocked out of the LEC Tournament in the first round.

Jamie Aceto, Baseball (Sr., Cumberland, R.I.) (Co-captain)
Criminal Justice major...Spanish minor....PSU Criminal Justice Student of the Year... made the PSU President's List six times in eight semesters....made Dean's List the other two semesters.... member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society... received several awards for achievement in the criminal justice dept..... named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team (College Division)...received team's Panther Award....four-year veteran on baseball team... started 24 games at first base for the Panthers this spring and finished fourth on the team with a .321 batting average.... had four doubles and 11 runs batted in and registered a .412 on-base percentage and a .979 fielding percentage...."Jamie is also very active in community service, working with hunger and homelessness at the Pemi Youth Center; he's a great all-around kid," said coach Dennis McManus.

Ryan Puck, Football (Sr., Fair Haven, N.J.)
Physical Education Major... Dean's List student...was inducted into the inaugural class of the National Football Foundation's National Honor Society... also works with a charity that brings toys to children in hospitals.....received the team's Panther Award the past two years... four-year veteran and three-year starter for PSU football, playing linebacker the past two seasons... tied for sixth on the team last year with 32 tackles, recording 2.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a pass break-up. He finished his career with 144 tackles (111 solo), eight tackles-for-loss, five pass break-ups, one interception and two forced fumbles.... "Ryan is an unselfish player who switched positions twice to help the team, and also plays on every special team. He is the two-year recipient of our Panther Award because he epitomizes what we want in a Plymouth State football player," said Coach Paul Castonia.

Erica Huckins, Tennis (Sr., Holderness, N.H.) (Co-captain)
Social Work Major...carried a Gonfalon at PSU graduation as the top senior in the Social Work department...PSU President's List two times and Dean's List two times...member of Phi Alpha (National Social Workers' Honor Society)...first in her family to graduate from college...organized and supervised community service activities for middle and high school students for her practicum...four-year member of the team and three-year starter...Posted 11-3 record this year at #3 singles, winning the Little East Conference title...finished 7-6 at #1 doubles...career singles record of 30-14, mostly at #2 and #3....three-year #1 doubles player for PSU with career record of 20-18...won LEC singles titles in 2004 (#2) and 2006 (#3)...helped team to the Little East Championship and appearance in the NCAA National Championships in 2007....played #1 singles and #1 doubles for PSU in the NCAA Championships... starter for LEC Championship team in 2004 and LEC runner-up team in 2005...Coach Barbara Rawlsky-Willett says: "Erica is a quiet leader; she leads by example. She's a hard worker in both practice and in matches, she's an excellent student, and she maintains outstanding sportsmanship and conduct - on and off the court."

Dan Fallon, Football (Sr., Manchester, N.H.) (Two-year Co-captain)
Four-year starter at strong safety for PSU...never missed a game or practice in four years... provided leadership during difficult times for the PSU football team... a team leader on the field, in the locker room and in the classroom (Physical Education/Teacher Certification major)....led the team in tackles his first three years, and finished second last season....named First Team All-NEFC (Boyd Division) as a senior.... Pre-Season and Post-Season All-America Honorable Mention in 2006 by Don Hansen's Football Gazette...was the 2003 Freedom Football Conference Rookie of the Year....2005 and 2006 recipient of PSU Football's Madore Award, given for determination and competitiveness... 2004 recipient of PSU Football's Hamilton Award, given for displaying spirit, desire and enthusiasm.

Mykul Haun, Ice Hockey (Sr., Alameda, Cal.)
Three-year regular for the PSU hockey team... missed one full season with an injury...played forward most of his career but moved to defense this year to help the team...a team leader on the ice and in the classroom... reliable to coaches for tasks like organizing workouts or fundraisers, errands on campus, driving team vans, and providing campus tours....Says Coach Brett Tryder: "It is amazing how many parents commented about what a gentleman he is and how much they enjoyed the tour. He is such a team leader in so many ways: on the ice, in the classroom, or helping struggling teammates with their difficult classes. Mykul's workout regiment and enthusiasm has been contagious on our team. His priorities are straight and he puts pressure on his teammates to live the same way. It may be a long time before we see a more deserving candidate for this award."

Amanda Spadafora, Lacrosse/Field Hockey (Sr., Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) (Two-year Co-captain)
Four-year starter and two-year captain on the lacrosse team, and two-year veteran on the field hockey team...Health Education major and Business Administration minor....helped organize lacrosse team to assist in home event management....two-time All-Conference selection in lacrosse, helping lead the team to four straight post-season appearances under three different head coaches....also earned All-Conference honors in field hockey her senior season....Says lacrosse coach Abi Jackson: "She is the most unselfish and level-headed athlete I've ever coached. She really understands what it means to be a teammate and what she has to do to be a good teammate, even if it's something that may make her unpopular. She's the best."

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