|RMU Honors Student-Athletes at All-Sports Banquet|
Moon Township, Pa. - The Robert Morris University Department of Athletics honored its student-athletes for the 2011-12 school year Sunday at its 18th annual All-Sports Banquet, held at the Charles L. Sewall Center.
Led by master of ceremonies Chris Shovlin, the radio play-by-play voice of Colonial athletics for the last 25 years, Robert Morris presented most valuable player plaques to each of its 23 intercollegiate sports, while eight individuals and one team were also honored, respectively, with the Presidential Scholar-Athlete Award, Most Outstanding Senior Female and Most Outstanding Senior Male Awards, the RMU Athletic Department Appreciation Award, the Susan K. Hofacre Student Fan of the Year Award and the fourth annual Female and Male Strength & Conditioning Student-Athlete of the Year.
Garnering the Presidential Scholar-Athlete Award, presented by Robert Morris University president Dr. Greg Dell'Omo, was senior Alexa Bryson (Greensburg, Pa. / Latrobe Area) of the softball team and senior Kiel Matisz (Stoney Creek, Ontario / Saltfleet) of the men's lacrosse squad.
Bryson owns a cumulative grade point average of 3.85 as an early childhood education major and is a two-time All-Northeast Conference Second Team selection. Matisz, meanwhile, owns a cumulative GPA of 3.74 as a double major of economics and marketing and is the first student-athlete in school history to be named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. A two-time All-NEC selection, Matisz leads RMU in points this season with 56.
The Robert Morris women's tennis team earned the Team GPA award, presented by Robert Morris Assistant Direct of Athletics Ryan Fleischer. The Colonials posted a 3.63 team GPA during the 2010-11 academic year, the highest of RMU's 23 Division I programs.
Taking home the RMU Athletic Department Appreciation Award, handed out by RMU Associate Athletic Director Sean Simmons, was the RMU Center for Student Success.
Awarded annually to an individual or individuals from outside the athletic department that displays exemplary service, the trio of Tracy Gorrell, Nicole Hammond and Cassandra Oden consistently help student-athletes at Robert Morris to help them achieve their potential away from competition. They are also present at many athletic events throughout the course of a season and are ardent supporters of Robert Morris athletics.
Earning the 2012 Susan K. Hofacre Fan of the Year is Lee Kunkel. The president of the Colonial Crazies, a student run organization that is present at many athletic events throughout the year, Kunkel is a native of York, Pa., and a communication major.
Director of Athletics Craig Coleman, M.D., who awarded Kunkel with his award, also passed out the honor of Oustanding Senior Female to Hannah Veith (Columbus, Ohio / Worthington) of the volleyball squad and the Outstanding Senior Male to Shadrae King (McKeesport, Pa. / McKeesport) of the football team.
The winners of the fourth annual Strength & Conditioning Student-Athletes of the Year, presented to a male and a female by RMU head strength & conditioning coach Todd Hamer, were awarded to three different individuals. Junior Ben Ridgeley (Ebensburg, Pa. / Central Cambria) of the football team earned the male honor, while the female award was shared by Veith and senior Colleen O'Donnell (Portland, Ore. / St. Mary's Academy) of the women's lacrosse team.
A total of 27 student-athletes were honored with MVP plaques at the 2012 All-Sports Banquet. To view the complete list of award winners, please click here or use the link associated with this article.