2012-2013 Major Award Winners

President’s Award- Presented to the student whose hard work, determination, hustle and attitude have enabled them to make valuable contributions to their team, the athletic department and the college.

President's Award- Gordie Pine2012-2013 Male President Award Winner- Gordie Pine
Gordie was a captain of the football team and leader both on and off the field. In his last game in a Viking uniform, Gordie returned two fumbles for touchdowns, earning him both Conference and National Defensive Player of the Week Honors. He also went on to earn All-Region and 2nd Team All-Conference honors. Gordie is the type of player that you would like to have 11 of on the field. He epitomizes the words effort, teamwork, and sacrifice. His hard work and determination will help make him be successful in anything he does. Gordie is what you look for on the field, in the classroom and in life, and defined what the standard of a captain should be.

President's Award2012-2013 Female President Award Winner- Jenna Brophy
Jenna finished the regular season with a perfect 7-0 record, en route to a Region III Singles Championship. In fact, she never even dropped one set up until Nationals. Other coaches would joke about Jenna being a “human backboard” as she seemed to get to every ball and returned everything. Opponents struggled to hit with her and often became frustrated taking them out of their game. Jenna earned All-Conference honors and had a strong showing at the National Tournament, falling to the eventual National Champion. Her success carried over to the classroom as well, as she posted a 4.0 GPA in her first college semester. She is currently enrolled in the Respiratory Care program here at Hudson Valley. On top of all of those accomplishments, Jenna also received the SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete Award, which recognizes a combination of academic excellence and outstanding athletic achievement at the Division I, III, and NJCAA levels. There were only 66 recipients in the entire nation for the award this year.

Willie A. Hammett Award for Excellence in Student Service- Presented to a person on our campus that has shown a willingness to go above and beyond to assist students in fulfilling their potential.

Willia A. Hammett Award2012-2013 Willie A. Hammett Award Winner- Dr. Russell Wenacur
Dr. Wenacur spends a tremendous amount of time and dedication to our athletic department, but more specifically to our student-athletes. He provides medical care for our student-athletes and performs all pre-participation physical exams for each student-athlete. Dr. Wenacur also performs duties for the entire college such as; Performing routine sick calls at the college health office, performing emergency consultations with St. Mary’s and Samaritan Hospitals when necessary, and he is the current College Privacy Officer. We are so grateful to have Dr. Wenacur available to us, knowing we are getting the highest quality of care to our student-athletes.

Otto Guenther Memorial Award- Presented to a male and female student-athlete who demonstrates the best combination of academic and athletic success.

Otto Guenther Award

2012-2013 Female Otto Guenther Award Winner- Megan Rzeszuto
Megan recorded the high average on the women’s team this season as a freshman. She was able to capture three doubles titles and was the All-Events Champion at the Schenectady Invitational with a six-game 1062 total and a high-game of 210. Megan earned All-Conference honors and had a strong showing at the National Tournament, finishing fourth in the All-Events standings, earning her All-American status. In addition to her outstanding athletic accomplishment, Megan has been able to carry a 3.0 GPA the past two semesters. She is a Criminal Justice major and will be back to earn her degree and finish out her last season with the bowling team.

2012-2013 Male Otto Guenther Award Winner- Austin Miller
Austin had a strong freshman campaign for the men’s cross country team. He placed third at the Conference Championships, sixth at the Regional Championships and eleventh at the National Championships, earning him All-Conference, All-Region and All-American honors. Aside from cross country, Austin has seen success in the class room as well. An Engineering Science major, he managed to record a 3.71 GPA in his first college semester. Austin will return next year to finish up with the Engineering Science program and will be the top returning runner next season for the men.

Paul F. Bishop Coach of the Year Award- Presented to the coach who exhibits the highest level of sportsmanship, leadership, professionalism and ethics, and who demonstrates the highest level of commitment to his/her sport, the athletic department and, most importantly, to the student-athletes.

Paul Bishop Coach of the Year Award2012-2013 Paul F. Bishop Coach of the Year Award Winner- Denise Potenza
In just her second season, Coach Potenza has turned the tennis program around. She took over a 2-5 program in 2011, and this past year recorded a perfect 7-0 regular season record, winning the Mountain Valley Conference Championship for the first since 1998. Five of the six All-Conference selections this season were from our tennis team. The team finished second at the Regional Tournament, which included 3 Region III Singles Champions and three doubles finalists, which earned them a trip to the National Tournament in Flushing, NY- site of the US Open. The team managed to finish 7th place despite being down a player in both singles and doubles. Just last year, Coach Potenza was inducted into the Watervliet High School Hall of Fame for her contributions as a standout tennis star. Next season, the team returns five players including two region champs, leaving the team in good position to have another successful season.

Thomas Cahill Memorial Award- Presented to the most outstanding male athlete.

Thomas Cahill Memorial Award2012-2013 Thomas Cahill Memorial Award Winner- Andy Kozak
Andy was the school’s first ever Rawlings Gold Glove award winner last season in which he also earned All-Conference honors. This season, he earned Region III Player of the Week when he hit 16-26 during an eight-game stretch. Andy finished the regular season as the #1 hitter in the Nation with a .537 average. He finishes 9th in Vikings history with 94 hits and 3rd in stolen bases with 39. Andy has sign his letter of intent to attend Erskine College on an Athletic Baseball Scholarship.

Lester Higbee Memorial Award- Presented to the most outstanding female athlete.

Lester Higbee Memorial Award2012-2013 Lester Higbee Memorial Award Winner- Raeshelle Frasier
Raeshelle wasn’t your traditional sophomore, as she took some time off after playing a season at Schenectady County Community College. One of the more intriguing stories of the year, Raeshelle was featured on Channel 6 with Kelly O’Donnell detailing her story of how she ended up on the Hudson Valley women’s basketball team. After getting her grades back on track, she came out and had a record-setting season. Raeshelle broke the single-season Viking rebounding record of 353, held by Elizabeth Ferenczy, by recording 396 rebounds in four fewer games played. Raeshelle earned Region III Player of the Week honors in November when she averaged 23 points and 19.5 rebounds during the week. She led the Nation in rebounding throughout the entire year, with 16.5 per game. One of the more dominant players to come through the program, Raeshelle earned 1st Team All-Conference and All-Region honors.

John L. Buono Award for Citizenship- Presented to a member of our community who has demonstrated a commitment to our College and our student-athletes.

John L. Buono Award2012-2013 John L. Buono Award for Citizenship Winner- Mr. Phil Brown, Department Chair of the Physical Education Department
Mr. Brown has held many other positions throughout the college since he first started here, 44 years ago in 1969 as an instructor. Within in the college he’s held positions such as: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Associate Professor and Department Chair, and Professor and Department Chair.

In athletics alone, Mr. Brown held positions as: Assistant Track Coach, Football Trainer, Assistant Director of Athletics, Softball Coach, Cross Country Coach, Women’s Bowling Coach, Boxing Coach which won the Golden Gloves, Coordinator of Athletics, and started the North Greenbush Youth Tennis Program.

He was inducted into the Hudson Valley Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995. Some of his accomplishments were:

  • Guiding the 1974 softball team to a Region III Co-Championship

  • His cross country team was a Region III powerhouse from 1974 to 1977, never finishing lower than third in the Region. Five of his runners earned All-Region honors.

  • Coached the women’s bowling team in 1978 and reactivated the men’s bowling team in 1980.

  • His bowling teams were Mountain Valley Conference Champs from 1982 to 1987 and won the Region III Championship in 1986. That team went on to finish second in the Nation, and three of the six bowlers were named All-Americans.

  • He also served as assistant athletic director and as a Department Chair for the college’s Physical Education program.

Some other accomplishments of Mr. Brown:

  • He was a 2003 recipient for the President’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service

  • He also received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2004

Mr. Phil Brown & President Matonak