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PSU Athletics announces annual department awards

PLYMOUTH, N.H. ? Eight of the top student-athletes at Plymouth State University have been honored with the announcement of the athletic department?s annual awards for 2003-04. PSU recognizes the top performances each year with the Paul E. Arold Varsity Club 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 men?s soccer goalkeeper Brad Wilby (Haddonfield, N.J.) is the Paul E. Arold Varsity Club Male Athlete of the Year. Wilby was named First Team All-New England after posting 10 shutouts and leading PSU to a share of the Little East Conference regular season title and to the semifinals of the ECAC New England Tournament. Senior soccer and lacrosse star Katie Sheridan (West Sayville, N.Y.) is the Janet Nell Female Athlete of the Year. Sheridan pulled a remarkable double, earning the Little East Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award in soccer and the LEC Offensive Player of the Year Award in lacrosse. She led the Panthers to an ECAC berth in soccer and to the NCAA Regional Finals in lacrosse, and finished as the fifth all-time scoring leader in Division III women?s lacrosse history. Senior soccer and lacrosse standout Cathy Berei (Trenton, N.J.) and junior lacrosse co-captain Steve Skinner (Hingham, Mass.) are the Van A. Hartman/Vernon Kelly Award recipients. A four-year starter in both sports, Berei was named to the Academic All-District Teams for both soccer and lacrosse. A physical education major, she receives the award for the second straight year. Skinner, a biology major with the highest grade point average of all PSU student-athletes, was a First Team All-Little East Conference selection and two-year co-captain. Senior football player Jason Bordas (Elmore, Vt.) and senior basketball player Mike Loughlin (Manchester, N.H./West) are the male recipients of the John C. Foley Leadership Awards. Bordas was the starting tailback and two-year co-captain who overcame injuries and remained a team leader through tough times and will graduate with a Masters degree from PSU. Loughlin was a co-captain and starting guard on the Panther men?s basketball team that enjoyed the best season in school history with a 24-6 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Senior field hockey and skiing star Whitney Swaffield (Wolfeboro, N.H.) and senior basketball player Courtney O?Clair (Stow, Mass.) are the female recipients of the John C. Foley Leadership Awards. Swaffield was First Team All-Little East Conference in field hockey and First Team All-America in skiing while serving two years as co-captain of both teams. O?Clair overcame injuries and served as team leader and co-captain of the women?s basketball team this season. PSU Athletics ? 2003-04 Award Winner Profiles Brad Wilby, Soccer (Sr., Haddonfield, N.J.) Named First Team All-New England (NSCAA) and Second Team All-Little East Conference? selected to play in Senior All-Star game?surrendered only 12 goals in 19 games, recording 10 shutouts and an impressive 0.63 goals against average? was LEC Defensive Player of the Week three times and ECAC Goalie of the Week three times?.finished his career with 24 shutouts, fifth most in school history? helped lead the Panthers to a 12-4-3 overall record, and a share of the LEC regular season title with a 5-1-1 mark?.PSU was upset in the LEC semifinals?The Panthers received an ECAC Tournament berth, advanced past Salve Regina in the first round when Wilby stopped three out of four penalty kicks, and were then eliminated in the semifinals in overtime by Keene State. Katie Sheridan, Lacrosse (Sr., West Sayville, N.Y.) First Team All-America (InsideLacrosse.com)?Second Team All-New England (IWLCA)? Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Year and All-LEC First Team (3rd straight year for both)?led PSU and the LEC in scoring (79 goals, 32 assists, 11 points) and ranked fifth in the nation (6.17 points/game)?set PSU records for assists and points in a season, and goals (270), assists (93) and points (363) in a career?finished fifth on the all-time Division III list for goals, and seventh on the all-time list for points?led PSU to victories in its first 17 games, its third straight LEC regular season and tournament championships, an NCAA Tournament berth, a first-round bye, a second-round victory (1st in school history) and a 17-1 final record.? team co-captain. Katie Sheridan, Soccer (Sr., West Sayville, N.Y.) Second Team All-New England (NSCAA) and Third Team All-New England (NEWISA)? Little East Conference Defensive Player of the Year and All-LEC First Team?anchored a Panther defense that gave up only 23 goals in 18 games and posted nine shutouts? a major contributor to the offense, sharing team-high honors with seven goals and finishing second with 15 points. Sheridan helped the Panthers record their first wining season in three years, finishing 10-7-1 overall and 5-2-0 in the Little East. PSU advanced to the ECAC New England Tournament? team co-captain. Steve Skinner, Lacrosse (Jr., Hingham, Mass.) Team co-captain since his sophomore season?named Academic All-District 1 by the College Sports Information Directors of America?Named First Team All-Little East Conference in 2004?tied for the team lead in scoring (25 goals, 12 assists, 37 points), and ranked fourth in the conference in points and sixth in goals? PSU finished fourth in the LEC, lost in the LEC semifinals, and finished with a 6-7 record, the most wins in three years. Cathy Berei, Lacrosse/Soccer (Sr., Trenton, N.J.) Four-year starter in both soccer and lacrosse?has earned All-Conference honors in both sports during her career?won the Van Hartman-Vernon Kelly Award in 2002-03?also won the Beatrice Hodgdon Award for academics from the HPER Department? named Academic All-District by the College Sports Information Directors of America in both soccer and lacrosse?went to Melbourne, Australia in Dec. 2003 for an International Conference on Teaching Sport and P.E. for Understanding. Jason Bordas, Football (Sr., Elmore, Vt.) Team co-captain and starting running back?four-year veteran?named to Freedom Football Conference Weekly Honor Roll in November 2003?.Freedom Football Conference All-Academic Team?nominated for Academic All-America?received team?s Panther Award? positive role model during two difficult seasons?has worked to overcome injuries?will graduate with MBA. Mike Loughlin, Basketball (Sr., Manchester, N.H./West) Team co-captain and starting guard?four-year veteran and two-year starter? received team?s Durand Award for dedication to the program? nominated for Academic All-America?has helped team to one NCAA and two ECAC berths. Courtney O?Clair, Basketball (Sr., Stow, Mass.) Four-year veteran and co-captain as a senior?missed first two seasons recovering from serious head injuries? served as student assistant coach her sophomore season?strong, positive attitude without starting a game in her career?won Panther Award as a senior ?ambassador for PSU Athletic Department?has worked in several offices in athletics ??OC exhibits all the qualities we look for in this award,? according to Coach Lauren Lavigne. ?What she doesn?t have in statistics and awards, she more than makes up for in how she leads her teammates, and represents PSU. She never started, but she practiced harder every day, and more importantly, her number one concerns were her teammates, her school, and this program. She made all of those around her better.? Whitney Swaffield, Skiing (Sr., Wolfeboro, N.H.) Earned All-America Academic Honor from USCSA?nominated for CoSIDA Academic All-America ?.Finished runner-up in combined alpine at Eastern Regional Championship, winning the giant slalom and placing fifth in slalom ?earned three All-America honors at USCSA National Championships, placing 13th in slalom, 6th in giant slalom, and 5th in the combined? three-year team captain and Panther Award winner?.also designed the covers for all of PSU?s Athletic publications the past two years. ?Whitney is an incredible leader, with a positive attitude, fantastic morals, ethics and sportsmanship qualities,? according to Coach Kim Bownes. ?Her rapport with both her teammates and her coaches is the finest I have ever witnessed in my 17 years as a coach at PSU.? Whitney Swaffield, Field Hockey (Sr., Wolfeboro, N.H.) Named First Team All-Little East Conference at defender?Two-year team-captain?Started every game in four years except four this season (broken foot)?anchored defense that posted six shutouts ?also played midfield and finished sixth on the team in scoring?PSU finished with a 12-7 overall record, and an 8-2 LEC mark. The Panthers made their fourth straight post-season berth with a visit to the ECAC New England Tournament. -- 30 --