COLCHESTER, Vt. - Ten Saint Michael's College student-athletes were recognized with major awards on Friday at the Department of Athletics' 72nd Annual Block 'M' Awards Banquet in the Dion Family Student Center's Roy Room. Five departmental honors were handed out during the event, while Lindsay Hill Kurrle '93, the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor, delivered the keynote speech. Kurrle played field hockey and tennis at the College during her undergraduate years.
Men's golf senior Tucker Buteau (Gorham, Maine/Tilton School) and women's soccer senior Emily Durette (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) were winners of the George "Doc" Jacobs Award. The Diane C. Foster '77 Award was drawn by women's swimming & diving senior Patty Kohn (Weston, Conn./Greenwich) and men's Nordic skiing senior Mitch McDonald (Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake). Field hockey senior Maddy Dobecki (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) was chosen as the College's nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year, while men's Alpine skiing senior Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée Général Ferrié) and men's basketball senior Levi Holmes III (East Brunswick, N.J./Rutgers Prep) shared the College's Northeast-10 Conference Man of the Year accolade. Men's ice hockey senior Patrick Doherty (Tewksbury, Mass./Middlesex Black Bears), men's basketball senior Winston Jones II (Valley Stream, N.Y./Valley Stream Central) and women's lacrosse senior Annie Martin (Mattapoisett, Mass./Bishop Stang) were Victor V. LeMieux '35 Award honorees.
The George "Doc" Jacobs Award was first handed out in 1969, as it recognizes individuals who make a truly outstanding contribution to the athletics program, regardless of athletic ability. The accolade is named in honor of the legendary coach and athletic director, and the founder of the Block 'M' Awards ceremony.
Buteau is the only three-year captain in the history of the men's golf team, and reset his career-low scoring average each of those seasons, ending at 79.83 for his senior year. He broke 80 five times, including in four of his last six rounds. Buteau also contributed greatly away from the course. He was a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) board member, served on the Athletic Advisory Council, and played an integral role on the Athletic Communications game day staff. A Dean's List student who carries a 3.4 cumulative grade-point average as an English major, Buteau has served as a Latin tutor to his peers while qualifying for the Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll each of his first seven completed semesters. [video announcement]
Durette was a four-year starter for the women's soccer team, finishing with 57 starts in 66 outings. She netted a career-high three goals out of the midfield as a senior before being chosen to participate in the New England Women's Intercollegiate Soccer Association (NEWISA) Senior Bowl. The president of both the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Neuroscience Society at Saint Michael's, Durette carries a 3.43 GPA as a neuroscience major while qualifying six times for the Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll. She has also been involved through the Penguin Plunge, Hope Happens Here, MOVE, Special Olympics, Vermont Concussion Youth Task Force, EDD Memorial Fund, a Dominican Republic service trip, and Purple Knight Leadership Academy (PKLA). [video announcement]
The Diane C. Foster '77 Award is presented to student-athletes who exemplify, by their actions, true compassion, sacrifice and service to others. It was first awarded in 2001 to honor the memory of Foster, a former Saint Michael's student-athlete.
Kohn won 94 events and set three school records during her swimming & diving career, including capturing a career-high 30 victories as a senior captain. Kohn holds a 3.65 GPA as a biology major, with a triple minor in music, chemistry and psychology, while qualifying seven times for the Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll and twice for a Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) Academic Achievement Award. Kohn served as a critical link this season between her program and its new Team IMPACT teammate. The College's Honors Program vice president and a member of Beta Beta Beta, the biology national honor society, Kohn has been involved around campus with the Student Support Network, as a teaching assistant, and with the Purple Knight Leadership Academy (PKLA). [video announcement]
McDonald was a Nordic skiing captain who will graduate in just three years. A biochemistry major who holds a 3.881 GPA, he has been inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma (college athlete) and Delta Epsilon Sigma (Catholic) national honor societies while qualifying three times for the United States College Ski Coaches Association (USCSCA) National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team and once for a Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) Academic Achievement Award. McDonald made a significant impact on campus through the Student Support Network, Purple Knight Leadership Academy (PKLA), LEAP and, most of all, Campus Ministry. He led numerous retreats, served on the VITA Peer Ministry Team, and was a Connections leader and a Eucharistic Minister. [video announcement]
Founded in 1999, the NCAA Woman of the Year is an accolade that accounts for athletic excellence, outstanding academic performance, community service and demonstrated leadership. Each NCAA member institution is eligible to put forth a nominee for national and conference consideration.
Dobecki was a two-time Northeast-10 Conference All-Conference field hockey player and a 2018 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Senior All-Star Game pick. A captain during her senior year, Dobecki is a biology major with a 3.55 GPA, and has been inducted into the Sigma Xi (scientific research) and Theta Alpha Kappa (religion and theology) national honor societies. She was named NE10 Academic All-Conference this year and has qualified six times for the NE10 Commissioner's Honor Roll and three times for the NFHCA National Academic Squad. Dobecki also left her mark at Saint Michael's as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Hope Happens Here, and with the JED Campus Foundation. Last summer, Maddy earned a prestigious Vermont Genetics Network Summer Research Fellowship. [video announcement]
In an effort to also recognize top male student-athletes, the NE10 began sponsoring a Man of the Year program in 2013, and encourages each of its member institutions to honor an individual who represents their campus community through success in athletics, academics, community service and leadership. This year is the first time two Purple Knights are sharing the award.
A trilingual business administration major carrying a 3.435 GPA, Grand is the Alpine skiing program's second four-time NCAA Championship qualifier, but the only All-American, a feat he turned three times. A three-year captain, Grand earned his fourth consecutive Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) All-East honor as a senior before capping his career with a fourth-place slalom finish at NCAAs, in the process becoming the first Saint Michael's skier to earn a spot on the All-America first team. He was also the first Purple Knight to land on the EISA All-East first team in 23 years. Grand, who has been involved with the College's Global Experience Academic Residential (GEAR) Program, turned in 44 top-10 finishes in 56 career starts. He finished among the top six 12 times in 14 races as a senior before also representing the College at the prestigious U.S. Alpine Tech Championships in Waterville Valley, N.H., competing among U.S. Ski Team veterans. [video announcement]
Holmes is the only two-time Google Cloud NCAA Division II Academic All-America men's basketball player in College history, landing the honor each of the past two years. He carries a 3.54 GPA as a double major in economics and mathematics and was inducted into the Omicron Delta Epsilon (economics) and Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics) national honor societies while being named Northeast-10 Conference Academic All-Conference three times. In all, Holmes has claimed 17 national and conference academic awards. A two-time captain, Holmes will graduate with the best career three-point percentage (45.3%) and free throw percentage (87.0%) in program history, among five school records, and is third in three-pointers (278), fourth in points (1,784) and fifth in scoring average (17.7). He sits fourth in NE10 history in career three-point percentage and fifth in free throw success rate. Holmes was named NE10 All-Conference as a junior and senior while claiming an all-region accolade as a junior. [video announcement]
The Victor V. LeMieux '35 Award, which was established in 1964, is presented annually to the varsity athlete best displaying loyalty and leadership in their program, both on and off the field of competition.
Doherty overcame a mid-season injury to turn in a career year as an assistant captain for the men's ice hockey team, as the hardworking forward netted three goals with four assists while accumulating a plus-5 rating and blocking 11 shots despite missing eight games. Away from the rink, he made a major impact through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Student Support Network, and as co-chair of the College's chapter of Hope Happens Here, helping to establish new chapters around the Northeast-10 Conference and at Vermont high schools. A business administration major, Doherty has been recognized five times with conference academic awards, including qualifying for the NE10 Commissioner's Honor Roll on four occasions. [video announcement]
Jones was a four-year contributor on the men's basketball team, turning in career highs across the board as a senior starter, including averaging 7.2 points and 5.0 rebounds. Jones has been a strong, consistent and respected leader in the community regarding issues of racial equality and social justice, and was recently recognized with his program's Jerry Lanteri '76 Award while being chosen as the undergraduate student speaker at Sunday's 112th Commencement. Jones has also made a positive impact with many Greater Burlington-area kids through his work with the Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, King Street Center, Milton Unified Basketball, EDD Memorial Fund and the DREAM Program. He is a double major, pursuing degrees in elementary education and psychology. [video announcement]
Martin will graduate among the women's lacrosse program's all-time leaders in multiple statistical categories. The captain finished her career first in caused turnovers (93), second in draw controls (143) and tied for eighth in ground balls (124) while starting all 60 games, matching two more marks in contests and starts. She has also been a leader away from the field, serving as co-chair of the College's chapter of Hope Happens Here and playing an instrumental role in establishing new chapters, particularly among Vermont high schools. Martin serves as the College's representative on the Northeast-10 Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and with the Special Olympics Board, Founders Society and Student Support Network. Off campus, the economics major has worked locally with the Flyin' Ryan Hawks Foundation. [video announcement]