COLCHESTER, Vt. - Ten Saint Michael's College students and one head coach were recognized with major awards on Thursday evening at the Athletic Department's 69th Annual Block 'M' Awards Dinner in the Ross Sports Center. Each of the 21 programs also honored their Coaches Award winners.
Seniors Katie Boduch (Dover, N.H./Dover) and Brody Jarvis (South Deerfield, Mass./Frontier Regional School), women's swimming & diving senior Theresa Barsanti (Saratoga, Calif./Saint Lawrence Academy) and men's golf senior Nathaniel Young (Burlington, Vt./South Burlington) all earned the George "Doc" Jacobs Award. The Diane C. Foster '77 Award was drawn by men's swimming & diving senior Chad Phalon (Wantage, N.J./Pope John XXIII Regional) and women's ice hockey senior Kaly Spilhaus (Bourne, Mass./Groton School). Women's basketball senior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) was chosen as the College's nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year, while men's lacrosse senior Brian Devilly (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) earned the College's nomination for Northeast-10 Conference Man of the Year. Women's ice hockey and lacrosse senior Emily Loebs (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional) and men's soccer senior Tino Tomasi (Williston, Vt./Holderness School) were Victor V. LeMieux '35 Award honorees. Alpine skiing head coach Gus MacLeod '02 earned Purple Knight Coach of the Year.
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 Dinner.
Barsanti capped her four-year swimming & diving career as a captain this past winter. She proactively created great professional development experiences and enhanced programming in Athletics in every facet, from event management to NCAA compliance to administration. She completed internships in Athletic Operations and Compliance at Saint Michael's, and also completed compliance internships at the University of Vermont and Northeastern University. He was honored by being chosen to participate in the NCAA's Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis last summer. A political science major, she is considering law school and a career in sports law or compliance.
While Boduch was not a varsity student-athlete, she made a great difference for the Department of Athletics over the last three years as a leader with the Ross Sports Center and Tarrant Recreation Center student operations staff. Described as "a top-notch student staff member with an impressive work ethic, organizational skills and can-do attitude" by her supervisor, she trained staff, managed daily operations of all areas of the facility, staffed varsity contests, and always took difficult assignments. She was innovative in creating very helpful modifications to daily operation systems. A double major in art and art education, she maintains a 3.829 grade-point average and membership in the Kappa Delta Pi and Delta Epsilon Sigma honor societies.
Jarvis also was not a member of a varsity team, but he made a difference in the quality of the department's offerings and the experience of the student-athletes. He unselfishly served as night supervisor for the Ross/Tarrant facility and covered varsity events over the last four years. His work was outstanding, and he was described by his supervisor as "the student every supervisor dreams of having the opportunity to work with. His dedication, attention to detail and quality of work are impeccable." He was also the Mobilization Of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) Core Team Leader for Correctional Volleyball for four years, and will graduate with honors with a degree in biochemistry.
Young was a three-year member of the men's golf team and twice served as captain. In addition to all of his efforts in three years with the College's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), he also played a critically important role for the varsity athletic programs, covering key responsibilities for Athletic Communications and event management in a wide number of events and in the administrative office. A member of the Phi Alpha Theta honor society, he will graduate with a double major in history and secondary education.
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.
Phalon was a swimming & diving captain and made a remarkable difference through extensive service to others. He served as a swim coach and student liaison to Special Olympics Vermont - successfully advocating for a new, functioning lift to be installed for the Ross Sports Center pool - and also performed an internship with the organization where he worked on planning for events like the Winter Games, the R-Word Campaign and Penguin Plunge. He served extensively on the leadership team for SAAC as treasurer and co-president for the past two years, leading initiatives for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and American Cancer Society. He was selected to represent the College at the 2015 APPLE Conference, promoting student-athlete wellness and prevention of substance abuse. Even during his study-abroad experience, he served as a volunteer for the Autism and Downs Association of Italy.
Spilhaus was an ice hockey captain her senior year and coordinated her team's substantial community service activities. She also gave back to others as the public affairs manager and student body liaison for the College's Chapter of the Student Veterans of America, assisting peers in the office of Career and Personal Counseling, and by volunteering to coach and teach young children through the Chittenden South Burlington (CSB) Youth Hockey organization and "Try Hockey For Free" days. Spilhaus holds membership in both the Phi Beta Kappa and Chi Alpha Sigma honor societies, maintaining a 3.88 GPA as a double major in English and global studies, a major she designed.
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.
A two-year captain and a two-time NE-10 All-Conference honoree on the basketball court, Burud was described by her coach as a person who "epitomizes what it means to be a student-athlete at Saint Michael's." She completed her career ranked eighth in program history in scoring (1,233) and seventh in rebounding (749). Also an all-star in the classroom, she maintains a 3.802 GPA as a business major, and holds membership in three honor societies. Burud has also been substantially involved in community service, volunteering with the Visiting Nurses Association, Sisters in Sport, Special Olympics, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and several other SAAC-related initiatives, as well as helping organize the Hoops For Congo 3-on-3 Tournament.
In an effort to also recognize top male student-athletes, the NE-10 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.
Devilly was a lacrosse captain and standout on defense, and his level of play was recognized with New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) All-New England honors in 2015. A perennial member of the NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll, he was involved in leadership opportunities with Orientation, SAAC and the Purple Knight Leadership Academy. He was also substantially involved with MOVE, and made extended service trips to Baltimore and to Kolkata, India, to work with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity.
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.
Loebs was a four-year letter-winner in two sports, captaining both the women's ice hockey and lacrosse teams as a senior. She was described as someone who "completely dedicated herself to affecting positive change and bettering the student-athlete experience at Saint Michael's." A New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East All-Academic and NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll qualifier, she held numerous prominent leadership roles: co-president of SAAC, SAAC representative to the NE-10, Athletic Advisory Council student representative, Athletic Hall of Fame student representative, Athletic Director Search Committee student representative, peer tutor and Senior Gift Committee member. She was also involved in several community service initiatives, and will be spending a week this summer running more than 300 miles from Maine to New York to raise funds for the Christine B. Foundation as part of the Eastern Trek for Cancer.
Tomasi inspired his team with the way he overcame adversity, and served it well as team captain. Described perfectly as "a person who defines selflessness and what it means to be a servant leader," his list of leadership roles is extensive: SAAC, APPLE Conference student representative, Saint Michael's Student Ambassador, Pre-Orientation Weekend (POW) leader, Resident Assistant, Purple Knight Leadership Academy, peer tutor, teaching assistant, and Athletics event staff leader. His substantial community service efforts also show strong leadership, whether it's in coaching youth sports in local towns and with the Boys & Girls Club of Burlington, mentoring and counseling with Woodside Juvenile Detention Center and Counseling Connection, or his considerable efforts in support of Green Mountain Nursing Home, Holy Family Church, Camp For Me, Lund Family Center, and the Ghana-Sight Unseen for Akropong Foundation.
The Purple Knight Coach of the Year award has been handed out since 2002, with MacLeod also earning the accolade in 2013. He was described by colleagues as "truly exceptional," "extremely dedicated to the development and education of his student-athletes" and "an outstanding colleague." He led his team through a very successful campaign, culminating in a historic achievement for his program, as three of his student-athletes qualified for the NCAA Championship for the first time. Those three helped the team finish in 15th place at nationals, the College's highest placement in 28 years, and one of his student-athletes - first-year Guillaume Grand - earned All-America honors for a top-10 finish, a historic first for the skiing programs at Saint Michael's.
Coaches Award Winners
Baseball - Senior Curt Echo (Shelburne, Vt./Champlain Valley Union)
Men's Basketball - Senior Greg Grippo (Edison, N.J./Rutgers Prep)
Women's Basketball - Senior Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School)
Men's Cross Country - Junior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett)
Women's Cross Country - Senior Brianna McKinley (Moultonborough, N.H./Moultonborough Academy)
Field Hockey - Senior Mackenzie Hudson (Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton)
Men's Golf - Senior Nathaniel Young (Burlington, Vt./South Burlington)
Men's Ice Hockey - Senior Michael Comitini (Hudson, Quebec/Cornwall Colts)
Women's Ice Hockey - Sophomore Amanda Donahoe (Wakefield, Mass./Saint Mary's)
Men's Lacrosse - Senior Daegan Goodman (Montpelier, Vt./Montpelier)
Women's Lacrosse - Senior Annie Henderson (Hancock, N.H./Northfield Mount Hermon/Saint Lawrence)
Alpine Skiing - First-year Guillaume Grand (La Plagne, France/Lycée Général Ferrié)
Nordic Skiing - Senior Samuel Fogg (Rutland, Vt./Rutland)
Men's Soccer - Senior Tino Tomasi (Williston, Vt./Holderness School)
Women's Soccer - Senior Abby Rajotte (Abington, Mass./Notre Dame Academy)
Softball - Senior Jenna Maksian (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury)
Men's Swimming & Diving - Junior Ryan Butler (Waltham, Mass./Waltham)
Women's Swimming & Diving - Sophomore Genevieve Gigandet (Groveland, Mass./Central Catholic)
Men's Tennis - Senior Sam Laves (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Brady)
Women's Tennis - Senior Erica Bundrick (Mattituck, N.Y./Mattituck)
Women's Volleyball - Senior Kelsey Flaherty (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane)