Worcester, Mass. (May 13) -- The Assumption College Department of Athletics recently held the First "Houndies" Student-Athlete Awards Night, honoring the top student-athletes and accomplishments from the 2015-2016 athletic season. The event was held in Laska Gym with nearly 700 student-athletes and special guests in attendance and featured women's basketball head coach Kerry Phayre and football head coach Bob Chesney as emcees for the evening.
Prior to the beginning of the show, there was a Red Carpet area in the lobby of Laska Gym, where each awards finalist, along with the two emcees, were interviewed by field hockey junior Meghan Sullivan (Worcester, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) and football sophomore Sam Blake (East Longmeadow, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson Academy).
Full Photo Gallery (photos by Gil Talbot)
Kicking off the evening was the awarding of the Steve "Merc" Morris `72 Memorial Awards, which are given annually to the top four-year senior student-athletes at Assumption. Earning the awards in 2016 were senior swimmer Victoria Weber (Augusta, Maine/Cony) and senior ice hockey forward Brandon Bete (Greenfield, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon). Weber helped lead her team to their third straight Northeast-10 Conference Championship, while Bete was the Northeast-10 Player of the Year after leading his team to the Northeast-10 Tournament semifinals.
Receiving the Rev. Alfred Berthiaume, A.A. `32 Memorial Awards for going "above and beyond" was ice hockey senior Tyler Stillings (Wilmington, Mass./Brooks) and women's basketball senior captain Kelly Conley (Ellington, Conn./Ellington). Stillings was instrumental in the ice hockey team's involvement with the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI) as the Hounds raised over $2,500 to support the fight against mental illness. Conley was a two-year captain who scored nearly 1,000 career points and was heavily involved in the women's basketball program's volunteer work with the Chandler School in Worcester.
Full Video of Finalists and Acceptance Speeches
- Female Steve "Merc" Morris `72 Memorial Award Presentation
- Male Steve "Merc" Morris `72 Memorial Award Presentation
- Female Rev. Alfred Berthiaume, A.A. `32 Memorial Award Presentation
- Male Rev. Alfred Berthiaume, A.A. `32 Memorial Award Presentation
- Rev. Joseph Pelletier, A.A. `32 Memorial Award Presentation
- Female Breakthrough Athlete of the Year Award Presentation
- Male Breakthrough Athlete of the Year Award Presentation
- Francis J. Grimaldi `70 Memorial Award Presentation
- Female Rev. Armand Desautels, A.A. Memorial Award Presentation
- Male Rev. Armand Desautels, A.A. Memorial Award Presentation
- Female Andrew Laska "Athlete of the Year" Award Presentation
- Male Andrew Laska "Athlete of the Year" Award Presentation
- Jim Mullen '78 Spirit Award Presentation
- 2015-2016 "Best Moment" Award Presentation
- Assumption College Coaches and Staff "Checking Out Twitter!"
Dr. Catherine WoodBrooks, the vice-president for student affairs, received the Rev. Joseph Pelletier, A.A. `32 Memorial Award for her dedication to the Department of Athletics. Dr. WoodBrooks oversaw athletics for the past 14 years and as part of the presentation, a video was shown talking about her endless commitment to athletics and College's 24 intercollegiate athletic programs. Accepting the award on her behalf was her husband, Mark Brooks.
Earning "Breakthrough Athlete of the Year" honors were football freshman Deonte Harris (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley) and women's lacrosse freshman Kailyn Hart (Cohoes, N.Y./Shaker). Harris was the Northeast-10 Conference Rookie of the Year and a Second Team All-American, while Hart was named to the Northeast-10 All-Rookie Team after finishing as the team's leading scorer in 2016.
The Francis J. Grimaldi `70 Memorial Award for spirit and courage was presented to track and field student-athlete Alyssa Neslusan (Dover, N.H./Dover) - pictured left. Neslusan beat stage 2 lymphoma during her Assumption career and came back to compete as a senior. She was presented with her award by track and field and cross country head coach Stacie Wentz.
Earning the Rev. Armand Desautels, A.A. Memorial Awards were senior golfer Tim Carroll (Portsmouth, R.I./Portsmouth) and women's basketball senior Kelly Conley as the award is given to the "premier senior student-athletes" combining athletic and academic excellence. Carroll, a golf senior captain who helped lead his team to the NCAA Regional this season, is a computer science and economics major with a 3.70 GPA. Conley is a two-time Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference honoree and a biology major who holds a 3.84 grade point average.
The Andrew Laska "Athlete of the Year" Award is given to "the most dominant male and female athlete" of the 2015-2016 season. Earning the awards were field hockey senior Kiley Colucci (Gloucester, R.I./St. Mary Academy) and football sophomore kicker Cole Tracy (Camarillo, Calif./Newbury Park). Colucci earned NFHCA First Team All-American honors, was a First Team Northeast-10 All-Conference honoree and finished her career as the program's all-time leading point scorer with 98 points. Tracy was a Northeast-10 First Team All-Conference selection, a D2Football.com Second Team All-American and a finalist for the Fred Mitchell Award as the nation's top kicker after leading the country with 117 points.
The biggest ovation of the night was reserved for the final award, which was the establishment of the Jim Mullen `78 Spirit Award, given to an individual who epitomizes the spirit of Assumption College Athletics. The first recipient was Jim Mullen `78, the current Assumption assistant director of athletics for operations who is retiring at the end of May. Presenting the award to him was Nick Smith, director of athletics.
Picking up the "Best Moment of the Year" honor was the football team for capturing the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Championship. The other finalists were field hockey winning in overtime on Senior Day to clinch a share of the Northeast-10 title, the women's soccer team advancing to the Northeast-10 semifinals on penalty kicks and the women's swimming team winning its third straight Northeast-10 Championship.
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