Athletes Honored During Virtual Award Week

May 12, 2020
By: Curtis Fraser

The Worcester State University Athletic Department moved its annual awards ceremony online last week, hosting Virtual Awards Week.

The ceremony usually signals the unofficial end of the athletics season, and was originally scheduled for Monday, May 4, at John P. Brissette Court in the Wellness Center. Instead, awards were announced throughout the week on WSULancers.com and the athletic department’s social media channels.

The week began with a video message from President Barry M. Maloney and Director of Athletics Michael Mudd on Monday morning. On Monday afternoon, the first awards were handed out, as men’s basketball’s Sam Dion and women’s track & field’s Maureen Grady and Avonia Herbert were named Rookies of the Year.

On Tuesday, 78 seniors were honored individually in the morning, and in the afternoon, the Lancer Awards were presented. Given annually to a male and female student-athlete who exemplifies dedication to their program, leadership, and sportsmanship, this year’s award recipients were Josh Reinstein of the men’s ice hockey team, Jason Truax of the men’s basketball team, and Lauren Taylor of the women’s tennis team.

Wednesday opened with the Margaret “Peg” Nugent Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented annually to a male and female student-athlete for their outstanding performance both in the classroom as well as in athletic competition. Olivia Antonelli of the field hockey and women’s golf teams, Catherine Sweeney of women’s basketball, and Kenan Kolanda of baseball were named the winners. Sam Allen of the baseball team earned the Blue & Gold Perseverance Award on Wednesday as well for returning from two shoulder surgeries to hit two home runs in his first and last collegiate start before the season was cancelled.

On Thursday, Tyler Dion of the men’s basketball team and Rachel Hopkins of the field hockey and women’s lacrosse were named the Most Outstanding Student-Athletes of the Year, while football player Anthony Casparriello was named the Rich Korzec Athletic Service Award winner for his work on the staff of the sports information department.

The final award of the week was the Robert Devlin Senior Athlete Award, presented to a male and female student-athlete for outstanding athletic performance over their entire career. Antonelli earned the honor on the women’s side for her second award of the week, with men’s track & field thrower Eddy Acuna receiving the award on the men’s side.

The week concluded with a season in review video, which was originally scheduled to premier at the awards banquet.

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