NEWTON, Mass. -- Last Thursday night, the Mount Ida College athletic department closed the 2014-15 seasons with the first annual Mighty Awards, where they took a look back at the best moments of the year and honored the performance of individuals from each of the 16 varsity teams.
The Mighty Awards are a revamped ceremony that replaces the annual awards banquet from past years. The event, which was open only to student-athletes, coaches and college administration, featured a red carpet gathering outside of Holbrook Hall, special new “Mighty” awards trophies and special guest emcee, from Boston’s best ranked sports radio talk show, Fred Toucher.
During the night, student-athletes, coaches and administration took a look back at the 2014-15 athletics seasons through videos and slideshows, honored the Most Valuable Players and Most Improved Players from each team, and presented department-wide awards in categories including Male and Female Athlete of the Year, and the ECAC Merit Award.
The highlight of the night was the presentation of the first ever Mighty Awards, developed to recognize individual and team achievements such as Best Comeback Athlete, Best Moment, Best Team and Best Game. These awards were nominated by coaches and voted on by the Mount Ida College Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Cross country senior Emily Bernotas (Sunderland, Mass.) earned the Mount Ida Scholar-Athlete Award, given to the most outstanding academic achievement by a student-athlete. Bernotas, a three year runner for the Mustangs, completed the rigorous Veterinary Technology program, all while maintaining the highest GPA of all student-athletes.
For the second straight year, senior Amanda Bowen (Randolph, Vt.) was named the Female Athlete of the Year. Bowen finished her career with 202 goals, 64 assists and 266 points which are all tops in school history. Junior linebacker Dom Spaulding (West Hartford, Conn.) was recognized as the Male Athlete of the Year. Spaulding, one of the most dominant players to ever wear a Mount Ida uniform was recognized by the ECFC, the region, and the nation as a 2nd team All-American.
Junior Josh Ivanovs (Millville, N.J.) and sophomore Katlyn Jesse (Marshfield, Mass.) were named the recipients of the ECAC Merit Award. The annual award honors one male and one female student-athlete who combine excellence on the fields of competition with performance in the classroom, and service to the institution and the community. Ivanovs made a name for himself as a member of the men’s soccer team while also being President of Student Government. Jesse was recognized as the Vice President for SAAC along with a strong season on the hardwood, averaging 11.0 points per game.
Senior football player Andrew Miller (Allentown, Pa.) and freshman lacrosse keeper Sydney Fredette (Hudson, Mass.) were honored with the Mount Ida sportsmanship awards. Fredette was recognized for helping an injured runner during the GNAC championships in which she stopped running, knowing she would be disqualified, in order to help the injured runner up to her feet.
Miller has been a member of the football program for the last four years and was voted captain senior year. Miller has always been a big supporter of all Mount Ida sports and is one of the most well respected student-athletes on campus. Due to his support and respect for all teams on campus, Miller was voted as President of SAAC and has worked tirelessly in helping improve the student-athlete life at Mount Ida.
Men’s lacrosse Head Coach Andrew Fink was named Mount Ida College Coach of the Year. Fink led his team to an 11-5 (7-1 GNAC) record and a berth in the GNAC title game. Fink and the Mustangs earned their title shot with a 6-5 semi-final win over conference rival Norwich.
Seven Mighty Awards were handed out this year by the Mount Ida Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President Andrew Miller and Vice President Katlyn Jesse. Members of each team of the 16 varsity sports voted on nominations for best individual performance, best moment, best game, best record breaking performance, breakthrough athlete of the year, comeback player of the year and most outstanding team.
Spaulding was recognized by SAAC with this year’s Best Individual Performance. Spaulding had 8 tackles for a loss in a 22-0 win against Becker College while also recording three sacks, and on that day Mount Ida set a team record with nine sacks in a single game.
The award for Best Moment went to freshman men’s basketball player Joey DeFillippi (Bristol, Conn.). DeFillipi’s half court buzzer beater broke a tie game and sent Mount Ida to 72-69 road victory over conference foe Suffolk University while also improving their playoff positioning.
The men’s lacrosse team was honored with the Mighty Award for Best Game in which they defeated the Cadets of Norwich University 5-4 in triple overtime fashion. Peter Hardy (Tyngsboro, Mass.) recorded the game winner in the third OT.
Sophomore center Angelique Martinez (Taunton, Mass.) won the Mighty for Best Record Breaking Performance. Martinez recorded a program high 36 points while also setting the school mark in a single game with 17 made field goals against local opponent Pine Manor College.
Linebacker Sean Chinova (Watertown, Conn.), a sophomore, led the ECFC with 112 tackles and was tied for 24th in the country in tackles per game. Due to his extraordinary play on the gridiron, Chinova was selected as the Breakthrough Athlete of the Year.
Kelcey Koolman (Bedford, N.H.), a junior who last season broke her leg returned this season to lead her team in digs (425) and service aces (58). Koolman was recognized by her peers as this year’s Comeback Player of the Year.
The seventh and final Mighty Award of the year, Most Outstanding Team, went to the men’s soccer program and Head Coach Joseph Campbell. The MOT award combines excellent achievement on the field, the classroom, and in the community.
This year’s Mighty Awards were a great success and were enjoyed by all administration, coaches and most importantly the student-athletes. We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2nd annual Mighty Awards next year.