NEC Athletes Wrap Up Year
On Wednesday, April 30 over 225 student-athletes were honored at the NEC Athletic Department’s Annual Awards Night held at Pat’s Peak. Athletic Director Lori Runksmeier started the evening recognizing the accomplishments of many of our varsity programs. In addition to recognizing the student-athletes’ success on the field over 35 athletes were recognized for their commitment in the classroom.
Marion Royes a member of the cross country team, was named the department’s Female Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year and a member of the The Commonwealth Coast (TCCC) All-Academic Team. Basketball student-athlete Ryan Jazirir was named the department’s Male Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year in addition to making the TCCC All Academic Team.
All 13 sports had an opportunity to recap their season and honor their team’s most valuable player and coach’s award recipients. First-year ice hockey and softball standout Rachel While was named the department’s Female Rookie of the Year. First-year ice hockey player Johan Granath picked up the Rookie of the Year honor on the men’s side. Junior ice hockey player Danielle Taylor picked up NEC’s Female Defensive Player of the Year honors. Taylor helped anchor the Pilgrim defense this season leading them to a 15-11-1 overall record and an appearance in the ECAC East Championship. Men’s Ice Hockey defenseman Trevor Tuner was named NEC’s Male Defensive Athlete of the Year. Turner was named to the ECAC East First Team and to the ECAC East All-Start Team for his performance throughout the 2007-08 season.
The final awards of the evening were the Male and Female Student Athlete Advisory Committee Athlete of the Year awards. This award is chosen by the student-athletes to recognize the athlete they feel not only performs well in their sport, but represents the department well, is involved in the community, shows leadership and has success in the classroom. This year’s SAAC Female Athlete of the year was senior field hockey and softball student-athlete Amanda Lester. Lester picked up several honors for her performance on the field hockey field this season including, TCCC Player of the Year and NFHCA First Team All-American. On the softball diamond Lester was named to the TCCC First Team finishing the season with a .346 batting average and led the team in doubles with 10 and was second on the team in runs batted in finishing the season with 20. This year’s SAAC Male Athlete of the Year was senior basketball player Ryan Jaziri. Jaziri finished his career as the all-time leading scorer in NEC history and picked up TCCC Second Team honors. Jaziri led the Pilgrims in almost every offensive statistics including points per game averaging 24.3 and assists finishing with 54.