Student Athletes Honored at Awards and Recognition Ceremony
SUNY Plattsburgh's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation had its
annual Student-Athlete Recognition & Awards Ceremony at E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium
in Hawkins Hall on Monday, May 7.
The evening began with a welcome by second-year director of athletics Mike Howard, while SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling provided opening remarks before Howard moved onto the special recognition part of the program. Howard presented head softball coach Stephanie Conroy with a plaque her 200th career win and then honored head men's soccer coach Chris Waterbury's career in advance of his retirement from coaching this summer.
Next came the academic awards portion of the program. Plattsburgh State announced its newest class of Chi Alpha Sigma inductees, which included:
Sean Hayes, Men's Lacrosse
Nicco Narbutas, Men's Lacrosse
Brooke Wolejko, Women's Ice Hockey
Sarah Haight, Women's Soccer
Ryan Whalen, Baseball
Matt Jenkins, Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
William Lindau, Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
Nick Della Ratta, Men's Lacrosse
Alec Tocco, Men's Lacrosse
C.J. Barbontin-Jimenez, Men's Soccer
Taka Fukushima, Men's Soccer
Bella DePasquale, Women's Basketball
Hannah Despres, Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
Jessie Smillie, Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
Kassi Abbott, Women's Ice Hockey
Jennifer Groat, Softball
Jennifer Sarcone, Softball
Nichole Gibson, Women's Soccer
Second-year Chi Alpha Sigma honorees were then recognized, and that group included:
Elver Maldonado, Men's Soccer
Lindsey Davenport, Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
Lindsey Prutsman, Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
Lizzy Viola, Women's Ice Hockey
Amanda Tantillo, Softball
Madeline Saccocio, Women's Soccer
Ashlee Estes, Women's Track and Field
Richard D. Semmler Award
Next came the prestigious Richard D. Semmler Award, which is given to the male and female seniors with the highest cumulative grade-point averages through the fall semester of their senior year. The Semmler Award is named in honor of Richard D. Semmler, one of the College's top philanthropists and a 1968 SUNY Plattsburgh graduate. The Semmler Award recipients included:
Lindsey Prutsman, Women's Cross Country/Track and Field (4.0 GPA, Psychology major)
Sean Hayes, Men's Lacrosse (3.75 GPA, Childhood Education Grades 1-6 major)
Senior Achievement Awards
The Senior Achievement Awards were handed out next, with one going to a female and another going to a male. The Senior Achievement Award is given annually to a senior or junior who has completed academic requirements and plans to graduate in May. Athletic accomplishment from the entire career is considered.
Kayla Meneghin, Women's Ice Hockey
Meneghin will undoubtedly go down as one of the most impactful student-athletes ever to play her sport at Plattsburgh State. She finished her tenure as a Cardinal as a three-time CCM/American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-American and a one-time Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) West Player of the Year, and she was named the Most Valuable Player at the Northeast Women's Hockey League (NEWHL) Tournament this past season. Meneghin finished her career fourth in NCAA Division III history in points with 188 and ranked fifth all-time in career assists with 102. Though her offensive résumé is beyond reproach, perhaps the most underrated aspect of her game to the casual fan came with her contributions to several stingy penalty-kill units during her time as a Cardinal. She played a critical role in three national championships and four conference titles, and she helped build her program to what it has become.
Ryan Hubbard, Men's Lacrosse
Hubbard helped his program reach unprecedented heights during his four years at Plattsburgh State, as he led the team to the SUNYAC championship game in three of the past four seasons, including the program's first-ever conference title last year. He was named SUNYAC Men's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Year last season in addition to being selected as an All-American. Though his postseason honors are plentiful, perhaps his most meaningful recognition was being named the SUNYAC Tournament MVP last year, tallying four points to help Plattsburgh State defeat Cortland, 10-6, in the championship game in the Cardinals' first-ever win over the Red Dragons. In the program's career record book, he ranks third in goals with 164 and fourth in points with 206.
Athletes of the Year
The final awards of the evening came with the Athletes of the Year, of which there were Co-Athletes of the Year on both the female and male sides. The Athletes of the Year can come from any class year, and only accomplishments from this year could be included in a nomination.
Melissa Sheeran, Women's Ice Hockey
One of the top players in Division III women's ice hockey, Sheeran earns Plattsburgh State's Athlete of the Year honor for the third consecutive year. She capped off an impressive career with her greatest individual honor yet: the 2017-18 Laura Hurd Award, which is given annually to the top player in NCAA Division III women's ice hockey. Sheeran was named a First-Team All-American in addition to being selected as the Northeast Women's Hockey League (NEWHL) Player of the Year. She earned selection on the All-USCHO First Team and was a First-Team All-NEWHL pick. Among the national leaders, she ranked third in assists per game (1.00) and tied for eighth in points per game (1.63). She also finished 18th nationally in goals per game (0.63). Sheeran helped her team capture the inaugural NEWHL championship, and she helped captain the team toward an appearance in the national semifinals for the seventh consecutive season.
Jonathan Patron, Men's Basketball
Rejoining the team at the winter break, Patron served as the centerpiece for a team that captured a SUNYAC championship, advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament and reeled off a program-record 21 consecutive wins. He was named an All-American by three different organizations in addition to being named the Regional Player of the Year by two different organizations. He captured SUNYAC Men's Basketball Player of the Year honors in addition to being named the Most Valuable Player at the SUNYAC Tournament. He tied for 13th in NCAA Division III in scoring with 23.7 points per game, and he achieved that by shooting 55.7 percent from the floor and 74.8 percent from the free-throw line. He played best when the lights were brightest, averaging 29.6 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game in the team's five playoff games this year.