BUZZARDS BAY, Mass – Wednesday evening, the Mass Maritime department of athletics hosted its annual Senior Awards Banquet in the Bay State Conference Center on the Campus of Massachusetts Maritime Academy. With close to 50 graduating student-athletes, head and assistant coaches, as well as administration in attendance, it was a packed house for a fun filled evening.
The night began with an introduction from Sports Information Director, Joe Malkin, and a welcome address by Vice President of Student Services, Captain Edward Rozak. Following the welcomes and introductions, three awards were handed out prior to dinner.
The first award presented was the Buccaneer Appreciation Award. This award was established to recognize an institutional staff member, past and/or present, for their efforts in advancing the services and programs at Mass Maritime. This year's recipient of the Buc Appreciation Award is Dan Crowley. Dan has been a mainstay in the Sports Information Department within athletics for many years. In the past couple of years he has bridges gaps in the department and has been a major asset, especially throughout the 2018-2019 school year. Dan helps with game scoring, story writing, he composed the entire 2018 Buccaneer Football Book and so much more.
The second set of awards handed out were the Buccaneer Merit Awards. These awards are presented to student-athletes who have combined athletic achievement with service to the institution. This year, with such an incredible senior class, there were nine recipients of this award. Westen Dennett of track & field, Michael Dolan of men's lacrosse, Jill Ethier of women's cross country, Rachel Gardner of women's soccer and softball, Brittany Munson of women's soccer, Timothy O'Neill from crew, Frank Reeg from Sailing, Nick Van Ness from men's soccer and Chris Winbourne from football.
Right before dinner we honored one senior student-athlete who excelled greatly in the classroom throughout his four years at the Academy with the Academic Dean's Award. Westen Dennett of track & field was presented with this award by Acting Dean of Academic Affairs, Captain Michael Cuff for posting a 3.82 GPA cumulatively over his four years at Maritime. Dennett was a member of the 2018 MASCAC All-Academic Team and will undoubtedly be a member of the 2019 MASCAC All-Academic Team which will come out in June.
Once the award was presented, the room took some time to enjoy a phenomenal dinner provided to the attendees by Chartwells Dining Services. We would like to once again extend a very big thank you to Chartwells for providing us with the Senior Banquet meal as well as all of the team break up banquet meals and all of the other services they so graciously provide for our students, faculty and staff members throughout the year.
Following dinner the awards kept coming. The night started back up with the Robert E. Corradi SAAC Service Award. This award is presented to a member of the senior class who has provided valuable contributions and service to the Buccaneer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee during their time at the Academy. In 2015, Buccaneer SAAC unanimously voted to name this award after the longest tenured Athletics Director in Mass Maritime History, Robert E. Corradi. This year, the award was presented to someone who has more than served her time with SAAC. Emily Goodwin is the Buccaneer SAAC President, Vice President of MASCAC SAAC, a member of the NCAA Division III National SAAC and a member of the NCAA Committee of Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct. Emily has been a part of so many projects with SAAC to give back to the community that she was the clear choice to receive this award.
Next was the Athletics Director's Academic Achievement Awards. Given to senior student-athletes who have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 of higher in their chosen major. This year, Athletics Director, Mike Kelley, honored 22 Buccaneers from six different majors with this award. Those recipients are listed below:
Cyrus Bastarache (International Maritime Business)
Hannah Benton (Marine Safety & Environmental Protection)
Evan Bowen (Marine Transportation)
Andrew Cook (Marine Engineering)
Andrew Decarteret (Marine Engineering)
Marley Dembitzki (Marine Transportation)
Westen Dennett (Energy Systems Engineering)
Michael Dolan (International Maritime Business)
Jill Ethier (International Maritime Business)
Braden Foster (Marine Transportation)
Andrew Franks (Marine Engineering)
Brendan Kelley (Marine Transportation)
Brian Kwedor (Marine Engineering)
Ethan Logan (Marine Transportation)
Brooke Miles (Marine Safety & Environmental Protection)
Connor Murphy (Energy Systems Engineering)
Kenneth Parnell (Marine Engineering)
Zach Podedworny (Emergency Management)
Matthew Schaefer (Marine Transportation)
Madison Taylor (Marine Safety & Environmental Protection)
James Tranter (Marine Safety & Environmental Protection)
Megan Young (Marine Safety & Environemental Protection)
Following the Academic Achievement Awards, the MMA Foundation and Board of Trustees Awards were presented. Two awards presented to student-athletes who exemplify the true spirit and philosophy of Division III athletics. First, the Board of Trustees award which was established in 1999 and is presented annually on behalf of the MMA Board of Trustees. This award was presented by Captain Ed Rozak to volleyball's Jen Roy who had a great career as a Buccaneer with 398 kills, 82 blocks and 709.5 points. The Foundation Award was establiches in 1997 and is presented annually on behalf of the MMA Foundation. This year's award was presented by Vice President of External Affairs, Captain Elizabeth Simmons-Stevenson to women's lacrosse captain Erica Overstreet. Erica finished her career with 41 goals, 19 assists and 57 ground balls as a midfielder. Both of these young women exemplify the characteristics of Division III athletics: Discover, Develop and Dedicate.
The final awards announced for the evening were the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Alumni Association Male and Female Athletes of the year.
The 2018-2019 Male Athlete of the year was presented to Football and baseball four-year starter Paul Sances. On the football field, Paul served as a wide receiver, catching a 121 passes, with a career high and team leading 48 catcher in 2019, for 1,820 yards, with a career high 699 yards in 2019, and 12 career touchdowns. His freshman year he played as a defensive back, racking up 26 tackles and making a team-leading five interceptions. On the baseball field, he led the Bucs in 2019 in hits (36), runs (21) and walks (14). In his career he totaled 85 hits, 19 doubles, 61 runs scored and 37 RBI. His grit and versatility on both fields allowed him to excel as he did.
The Female Athlete of the Year was presented to women's soccer four-year starter, who didn't miss a game in her career, Madison Taylor. Madison had an incredible four-year Buccaneer career. Capping it off with MASCAC 2nd Team All-Conference Honors this past fall. She played in 60 of a possible 60 games on the soccer pitch, scoring 41 goals, adding eight assists and scoring seven game winners. In her junior year she scored a career high 18 goals. With 41 goals, she leaves the Academy as the all-time leading scorer in Buccaneer women's soccer history.
The evening was closed out by Director of Athletics Mike Kelley who delivered a speech to the class of 2019 and wished them all well in their future endeavors, reminding them that they will always be a Buccaneer and to always remember their Buccaneer Pride.
Congratulations to the Class of 2019! #GoBucs