ORHAM, Maine – Seventy senior student-athletes will be recognized by the University of Southern Maine Department of Athletics for their significant contributions and outstanding playing careers as members of the Huskies' 22 NCAA Division III intercollegiate teams Sunday, April 30 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland, Maine. This annual event brings together USM Athletics' staff, the departing members of the student-athlete community and their families in celebration of in the unique achievement of successfully completing their challenging and rewarding careers as a University of Southern Maine student-athlete.
"As a University we are very proud of our student-athletes, and their tremendous success in competition and in the classroom," said long-time Director of Athletics Al Bean. "Student-Athletes at the University of Southern Maine are known and recognized for their integrity and achievement in the playing arena, their valuable contributions to our campus communities and beyond, and their outstanding academic success. Our Honors Night celebration is one of my favorite events to attend. This great tradition allows us to thank our student-athletes for their time, hard-work, and commitment as Husky student-athletes, and for representing the University with distinction."
As part of the evening's celebration, student-athletes, friends and family along with members of the Athletic Department and University administration will enjoy a dinner put on by the Italian Heritage Center catering services, and departing seniors will receive a commemorative plaque featuring an action photo from their playing career. Wishing to extend their thanks and gratitude, University President Glenn Cummings, and Vice President of Enrollment and Student Life Nancy Griffin will be on hand as guest speakers.
During the evening, Huskies' Athletics will also recognize several student-athletes for their outstanding academic, athletic and community service contributions, and will announce the recipients of this year's department awards: the Paula D. Hodgdon Leadership Award and the Roland Wirths Memorial Award.
Senior Daniel Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine), USM's first wrestling national champion, will be presented with his National Championship ring, while seniors Molly Gibeault(Brooklyn, Conn./Woodstock Academy) and Neka Dias (San Antonio, Texas) will be honored for becoming the Huskies' third and fourth women's NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field All-Americans.
The winners of the Paula D. Hodgdon Leadership Award and the Roland Wirths Memorial Award will also be announced during the evening. The Hodgdon Leadership Award is presented annually to the female student-athlete who exemplifies the qualities of the former USM Field Hockey Coach/faculty member who was a pioneer in women's athletics: the recipient is a valuable member to their team, displays loyalty, leadership, dedication, and commitment. The 2017 Hodgdon Leadership Award nominees are seniors Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic's Academy) of the softball team, Michaela Demers (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Memorial) and Amanda Kasbohm (York, Maine) of the field hockey team, Lauren Lessard (Lewiston, Maine/Kents Hill) of the lacrosse team, and Hana McNally (Burlington City, N.J./Holy Cross) of the soccer team.
The Wirths Award has been presented annually since 1980 in honor of the former Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram sportswriter who was a strong supporter of USM Athletics. The award is given to a student-athlete who best exemplifies the characteristics of Wirths and his writing. Wirths often wrote about the overachiever, the person small in stature who made a big difference. He was interested in stories of the heart, people who made a real difference, and the inspirational leader. The 2017 Wirths' nominees are Matt Bender (Walpole, Mass.) of the baseball team, Roger Charest(Auburn, Maine/Edward Little) of the cross country and track & field teams, Samantha Crosman (South Berwick, Maine/Marshwood) of the field hockey and softball teams, Daniel Del Gallo (Gardiner, Maine) of the wrestling team, Fred Knight (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) of basketball, Lauren Lessard (Lewiston, Maine/Kents Hill) of the lacrosse team, and Leanne Reichert (Portland, Maine) of the field hockey team. READ MORE