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PSU Athletics announces annual department award recipients

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Seven of the top student-athletes at Plymouth State University have been honored with the announcement of the athletic department's annual awards for 2005-06.

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.

Freshman alpine skier Josh Bedard (Laconia, N.H.) is the Paul E. Arold Male Athlete of the Year. Bedard capped an outstanding season in 2006 with a national championship performance in the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association giant slalom race in March at Sugarlof.

Senior field hockey star Lilly Silva (Lowell, Mass.) is the Janet Nell Female Athlete of the Year. Silva was named All-Region as well as Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Year and finishes her career as PSU's all-time scoring leader.

Junior ice hockey standout Goose LaCroix (Moretown, Vt.) and senior tennis player Sarah Cole (North Waterboro, Maine) are the Van A. Hartman/Vernon Kelly Award recipients. An all-conference forward and the league champion in the Stars-of-the-Game Award, LaCroix is a President's List student as a Business Administration major and has received the Outstanding Student in Business Award. Cole, who won the Little East Conference #5 singles title in 2005 and finished the season with a 13-2 record, graduated in three-and-a-half years as a psychology major with the highest grade point average of PSU's 400-plus student-athletes.

Senior men's basketball player Mike Sullivan (Brookline, N.H.), senior volleyball star Kelly Landry (Nashua, N.H.) and senior tennis player Whitney O'Leary (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) are the recipients of the John C. Foley Leadership Awards. All three were strong contributors to their team's success on the court, but contributed even more with their leadership off the court, 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.   Josh Bedard, Alpine Skiing (Fr., Laconia, N.H.)

Captured the 2006 U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association National Championship in the giant slalom...came from 5th place after first run to claim PSU's first men's national title since 1985..... placed 6th (out of approx. 80 skiers) in the individual alpine combined at the Eastern Regional Championships, finishing 7th in the slalom and 5th in the GS.... Ranked 10th in the conference (out of approx. 80 racers) in the regular season... In 10 regular season races, he finished in the top 11 six times, with one slalom victory ... PSU finished 1st in the Division during the regular season (10 teams), tied for 1st at the Eastern Regionals (15 teams) and tied for 8th at the National Championships (19 teams).   Lilly Silva, Field Hockey (Sr., Lowell, Mass.) (Co-Captain)

Named All-Region First Team (New England West Region) by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association...Third Team All-America by the website womensfieldhockey.com....Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Year and All-LEC First Team...selected to prestigious North/South Senior All-Star Classic... Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Week three times ... shared the LEC lead in goals (19), led the conference in game-winning goals (6) and finished second in total points (45)...PSU's all-time scoring leader in goals (66) and points (155) and ranks second on the career assist list (23)....PSU finished with a 13-6 overall record and a 9-2 mark in the Little East (co-champions)....The Panthers were knocked out of the LEC and ECAC Tournaments in the semifinals.   Goose LaCroix, Ice Hockey (Jr., Moretown, Vt.)

Business Administration major...named All-ECAC Northeast Conference Second Team All-Star....Named to ECAC Northeast All-Star team by New England Hockey Writers Association... named "Special Tees Player of the Year," for receiving one of the three Stars-of-the-Game award more often than any player in the league.... the only player in the league to be named Player of the Week more than once this season...led the league in goals scored in conference games....helped PSU to 3rd place (among 12 teams) in the conference, the semifinals of the conference tournament, and a 16-9-1 overall record....named to ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team....member of Delta Mu Delta (Business Honor Society).... President's List and Dean's List student...received Outstanding Student in Business Award....named captain for 2006-07....."Goose had an outstanding season in the classroom and on the ice. He's respected around the league. He has been a great role model for our team," said Coach Brett Tryder.   Sarah Cole, Tennis (Sr., North Waterboro, Maine)

Psychology Major....three-year member of the team and co-captain in 2004-05...played #5 singles for PSU this year, finishing with a 13-2 record and winning the Little East Conference #5 singles title...also played #3 doubles and posted an 11-3 record.... starter for LEC Championship team in 2004 and LEC Runner-up team in 2005...awarded PSU Tennis' Lydia Briggs Award in 2005....finished her degree in three-and-a-half years...member of Psi Chi (Psychology Honor Society)... Anatomy and Physiology Teachers Assistant Fellowship....numerous times on PSU President's List.... "Sarah has approached her major and her tennis with the same outstanding work ethic. She is a great example of a tennis student-athlete," said Coach Barb Rawlsky Willett.   Mike Sullivan, Basketball (Sr., Brookline, N.H.) (Co-captain)

Four-year veteran who became a starter this season.....played in 60 career games, starting 27 (all this season) ...two-time recipient of PSU Men's Basketball's Hardest Worker in Practice Award...also received team awards - Durand Award (Dedication to the Program), Panther Pride Award and Panther Award....represented PSU student-athletes at department functions (Hogan Award to President Wharton, Panther Award Banquet)....involved in Reading Program with local elementary school students....coaches youth basketball...."Mike Sullivan is a true leader in every sense of the word. He works hard, carries himself with class, and is an outstanding representative of Plymouth State Athletics," said Coach John Scheinman.   Kelly Landry, Volleyball (Sr., Nashua, N.H.) (Co-captain)

Four-year starter and two-year co-captain....named First Team All-Little East Conference the past four years, and Offensive Player of the Year in 2004...named to New England Women's Volleyball Association Senior All-Star Classic....holds eight school records for kills, aces, attempts and digs...Second PSU player in history with 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs.... led team to first Little East Conference Championship in 2004 and NCAA berth.... student-worker in athletic department... represented PSU student-athletes at department functions (Hogan Award to President Wharton, Panther Award Banquet).   Whitney O'Leary, Tennis (Sr., Sagamore Beach, Mass.) (Co-captain)

Four-year starter and two-year co-captain....PSU's No. 1 singles and doubles player the past two years...two-time Panther Award recipient.... led team to first Little East Conference Championship in 2004 and runner-up in 2005.... sacrificed individual record for benefit of team by playing #1 singles and #1 doubles....career mark of 21-22 in singles and 15-24 in doubles....Headed up team fundraiser that helped purchase a wheelchair for a handicapped student-athlete at Plymouth Regional H.S., and helped coach him...."Whitney has been an outstanding leader for the women's tennis team. She is truly a wonderful, caring young woman," said Coach Barb Rawlsky Willett.

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