2015-16 Athletics Award Winners

The following individual awards were given at our annual Athletics Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, May 10.

2015 - 16 Major Award Winners

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 F. Bishop Coach of the Year- Mike Long Paul F. Bishop Coach of the Year - Mike Long

His Hudson Valley team had a breakthrough season in 2015 - 2016 and established themselves again as one of the premier teams in the Mountain Valley Conference and in Region 3. After enduring two “rebuilding” seasons in which the team’s record was not indicative of Coach Long’s abilities, the team posted 20 wins this year. His peers recognized Coach Long as Region 3 Coach of the Year and Mountain Valley Conference Coach of the year.

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

Rafael, aka “Ralfy”, arrived at Hudson Valley from Franklin K. Lane High School in Woodhaven, NY. He is an individual studies major who has maintained a 3.0 GPA. In his two seasons as starting quarterback for the football program, his accomplishments include a post - season berth in the Salt City Bowl and a two - year combined regular season record of 14 - 3. A multi - faceted asset to the athletic department, he also was a reliable and diligent student worker at our soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball and softball home athletic contests. Ralfy is a tremendous ambassador for the athletic program and the institution, and was recognized as a National Football Foundation scholar athlete recipient in the Spring of 2016. On and off the football field, he epitomized leadership at the institution. Head football coach Mike Muehling stated, “Rafael is a very fine man with a positive attitude that is completely infectious. His work ethic allowed him to accomplish and perform above and beyond his physical abilities.” This fall Rafael plans on attending the University of New Mexico to pursue his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and participate as a member of the football program.
Female Otto Guenther Memorial Award- Erica Shudt Female Otto Guenther Memorial Award - Erica Shudt

Erica, a sophomore psychology major from Melrose, NY, was a team leader and started 24 games for the team this season. Maintaining a 3.70 GPA during her time at Hudson Valley, she was recognized on behalf of the college as a recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. Currently studying in the Liberal Arts and Science: Humanitaies and Social Science program, Erica is Vice President of the Psychology Club and captain of the women’s basketball team. A member of Phi Theta Kappa, the academic honor society, she was also named to the President’s List. Head women’s basketball coach Rich Gilooly stated, “Erica was invaluable in our program this season. A captain who led by example, she was asked to transition to several different positions on the court and she did so effortlessly.” Erica, a two year member of the women’s basketball program, also helped lead the team to the post - season regional tournament during the 2014 - 2015 season.

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

A goalie from Troy, NY, Josh earned All Region and 2nd - Team NJCAA All - American honors. This season he recorded an 8 - 3 - 1 for the Vikings, including three shutouts. Josh finished 3rd in the Region with a .831 save percentage and 0.96 goals against average. Head coach Travis Cooke stated, “Josh is one of the best players in the program's history. He earned the respect of all of the coaches in the Region with his recognition to the All - American Team, which was much deserved. His integrity not only as a player, but overall as a student athlete, has been great for the program. It has truly been an honor to have a player and a person of his quality associated with Hudson Valley.” An individual studies major, Josh will be attending the College of Saint Rose next year on an academic and athletic scholarship to pursue his bachelor’s degree and continue his soccer career.

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

Hannah, a sophomore from Colonie, is a liberal arts major. She was a second year player for the Vikings this season, having led the team to a 3rd place finish Nationally in 2015. Hannah will be remembered as one of the most prolific hitters in the history of the program, and ranked in the top 25 in the Nation in slugging percentage and home runs. Her timely hits and reliable fielding helped balance the team offensively and defensively. She exits the program as an All - Conference and All - Region performer, and also helped the program earn its second ever Region 3 title and first since 2002. Head softball coach Chris Mazzeo stated, “Hannah is one of the most talented softball players I have ever coached. She has elevated the status of the program over the last two years. She worked very hard and her consistent play will be greatly missed. Hannah’s love and passion for softball is infectious and makes her a joy to coach.” “Moch”, as she is known by her teammates, is presently considering several four - year institutions to pursue her bachelor’s degree and continue her softball career.

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.
Male President's Award- Connor McDonough Male President's Award - Connor McDonough

Connor is the type of student - athlete that you would take 10 of on your team, as he is the epitome of a team player and leader. He started in outfield for the team this year and batted .377 in helping the program to its best start in school history. A defensive leader and offensive threat, Connor was known for his excellent defense and key hits. Head baseball coach Alexander Jurcyzinski stated, “I could not put into words what a pleasure it has been to coach Connor. He is an extremely talented baseball player and an even finer young man. Connor represents exactly what a student - athlete should be – he is completely deserving of this award.” Excellence on the playing field runs in the McDonough family as Connor’s sister Molly, also a HVCC graduate, won the Lester Higbee Award for Most Outstanding Female Athlete in 2011 when she led the nation in hitting as a member of the Vikings softball program. An electrical construction major from Lansingburgh, Connor will pursue a career in his profession upon graduation or transfer to a four year institution to continue his academic and athletic endeavors. 
Female President's Award- Emily Mitchell Female President's Award - Emily Mitchell

A sophomore dental hygiene major from Greenville, Emily maintained a 3.60 GPA, while being a key member of both the women’s soccer and women’s basketball programs at Hudson Valley Community College. Emily played in 25 games for the women’s basketball program this season, stepping into the role of point guard and defensive leader. She was a member of the 2015 women’s basketball team that competed in the Region 3 Tournament. On the soccer field, Emily was a part of 32 games over the past two years and led the team to the post season in both years she competed. Known as “Mitch” by her teammates, she was always the first at practice and the last to leave. When asked about Emily, head women’s soccer coach Jay Pokines stated, “Emily is a dedicated person both to her goals that she sets for herself and to her teammates and family. Her leadership skills as a freshman impressed us enough to name her one of the captains for her sophomore year at Hudson Valley. She always had a positive attitude and a compassionate heart for her teammates when we were down. Emily was always willing to learn, pushed herself to the next level by asking questions and giving that little extra during practice to better herself and her teammates.”

John L. Buono Award for Citizenship - recognizes a member of the community who has demonstrated a commitment to our college and its student-athletes.
John L. Buono Award for Citizenship- Mr. Bill Fagan John L. Buono Award for Citizenship - Mr. Bill Fagan

This year’s recipient is a 1973 graduate of Hudson Valley Community College and was a member of the championship HVCC boxing team coached by Phil Brown in 1972. According to then coach Phil Brown, "He was one of the top Capital District lightweight boxers in the early 70's. He had excellent boxing skills and was in top physical condition for all of his matches. His attitude, strong work ethic, and strong leadership skills inspired his team mates to work hard to achieve success.” He has been a member of the college’s Board of Trustees since 2009, the college’s Faculty Student Association Board of Directors since September 2010 and served as a member of the Foundation Board from 1994 - 2015. He is also a proud husband and father. A strong proponent of excellence, he is known for his support of our students, particularly our student - athletes, and is regularly in attendance at home athletic contests. He has had a direct impact on our student - athletes as he had a very prominent role in the outdoor athletic complex transitioning from a concept to a reality for the college. 

2015 - 16 Team MVPs  
Men’s Soccer MVP- Jordan Ganance Men’s Soccer MVP - Jordan Ganance

Jordan was a central defender who was a primary reason for the success of the team this season. His physical strength and speed made him one of the best defenders in the league. He was named All - Region and had the task of defending the top player for the opposing team in every game. His defensive impact was not visible on the stat sheet, however it was evident to everyone watching or coaching games. He started 31 games in his career as a Viking and will be attending SUNY Brockport next year.
Women’s Soccer MVP- Renee Casey Women’s Soccer MVP - Renee Casey

The mainstay of the team’s prolific defense, Renee played in 16 games for the team this season, earning All - Region and All - Conference honors. Although Renee will be missed in the women’s soccer program, she will still be a part of the Hudson Valley community as she returns next fall to complete her nursing degree.
Football MVP- Jaylen McIntyre Football MVP - Jaylen McIntyre

A freshman product of local CBA high school, Jaylen led the team in scoring for all non - kicking positions. He also finished in the Top 25 in the nation in rushes per game, yards per rush and yards per game. His 112.6 yards per game were 4th best in the entire nation. A leader whose actions spoke louder than his words, Jaylen will be missed next year. He is presently considering several offers from four - year institutions to continue his academic and athletic endeavors.
Volleyball MVP- Emma Soltis Volleyball MVP - Emma Soltis

Emma finished her second year as captain of the women's volleyball team, and in the process earned a spot on the Mountain Valley All - Conference Team. Emma started and played every position on the court this season, leading the team in digs and finishing second in service aces, serving percentage, set assists and kills. She also led the team in playing time logging nearly 26 hours on the court this year.  
Men’s Cross Country MVP- Connor Terrell Men’s Cross Country MVP - Connor Terrell

Connor was an outstanding asset to the Men's Cross Country team as the top runner, improving from race to race. Connor was able to successfully manage his academics with athletics, as he maintained over a 3.5 GPA and will be back for his final season next year. 
Women’s Cross Country MVP- Sarah Carter Women’s Cross Country MVP - Sarah Carter

A physical education major, Sarah brought so many beneficial qualities to the program this season. As a student athlete, she always remained positive and determined in both academics and athletics. Sarah battled an injury this year, worked hard to recuperate, and returned with great strength. Sarah will be the top returning female runner next season. 
Women’s Tennis MVP- Katie Mai Women’s Tennis MVP - Katie Mai

In her first year with the program, Katie ended the regular season with a 9 - 0 record, en route to a No. 2 Singles Regional Championship. Katie and her doubles partner, Danielle, were also the No. 1 Doubles Consolation Round Finalists at the National Tournament. Katie looks to take over the No. 1 Singles spot next season for the Vikings. 
Men’s Bowling MVP- Clifford Miller Men’s Bowling MVP - Clifford Miller

Clifford led the team with a 194 average on the season and finished 12th overall in the Mountain Valley Conference. His dedication to the team and his academics helped him emerge as a strong leader and he will be a tremendous asset with the Viking Bowling program next season.
Women’s Bowling MVP- Haley Scott Women’s Bowling MV P - Haley Scott

Haley exhibited a tremendous work ethic and was a true team player. Regardless of score or outcome, she maintained a positive attitude. Haley will be transferring to The College of Saint Rose to continue her studies this fall and we wish her the best of luck.
Men’s Basketball MVP- Jordan Nelson Men’s Basketball MVP - Jordan Nelson

Jordan was the catalyst for at the point position the whole year, especially over the last nine games of the season which he averaged 17.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.7 steals per game. Jordan was a statistical leader in multiple categories for the team this season. He was 3rd in field goal percentage at 43%, 2nd in 3 point FG% at 33, tied for 3rd in FT% at 65 percent, and 1st in points per game, assists, steals and minutes played per game. His top performance came against Columbia - Greene Community College when he scored 31 points on 15 for 20 shooting, adding 6 rebounds, 10 assists, and 4 steals.
Women’s Basketball MVP- Deirdre Werner Women’s Basketball MVP - Deirdre Werner

Arriving at Hudson Valley from Tamarac high school, Deirdre played in 25 games for the Vikings this season, leading the team in scoring by averaging 12.1 points and also adding 5.5 rebounds per game. Her passion and intensity set a tone for the team as the season went on and helped the team to continue to compete and overcome adversity. Deirdre led by example and was a steady, reliable performer for the team this season. She will be returning to complete her nursing degree next year.
Ice Hockey MVP- Brandon Doherty Ice Hockey MVP - Brandon Doherty 

A criminal justice major, Brandon played in all 20 games this year, amassing 18 points on the season. He ranked in the Top 25 in the Nation in points and assists, which led to his All - Region recognition. His leadership and maturity will be missed in ice hockey program next year.
Lacrosse MVP- Nate Ryan Lacrosse MVP - Nate Ryan

Nate, a business administration major, started all 10 games this year for the Vikings. He led the team in points with 23 and assists with 11. More impressive than his performance on the field was his leadership off the field. When asked to change positions half way through the season, he remained a positive influence on the team, continually buying into the system and giving 100% in everything he did.
Women’s Golf MVP- Hannah Phelan Women’s Golf MVP - Hannah Phelan

Hannah was a first - year golfer who excelled on the golf course. She was one of the most talented incoming golfers to join the program over the past five years. She led the team in all of the meets she competed in this season, and will be one of the top women’s golfers in the Region next season.
Softball MVP- Mercedes Martell Softball MVP - Mercedes Martell

An early childhood education major from Earlton, NY, Mercedes was a strong and silent leader for the team. This season, she averaged .424 at the plate and also had 28 stolen bases. A two - year starter for the Vikings, she helped lead the team to a third place nationally in the 2015 season. 
Baseball MVP- Darren Conte Baseball MVP - Darren Conte

Darren repeats as MVP of the baseball program for the second consecutive year. He finished the regular season with a .506 batting average, with a team - leading 32 RBIs. His .506 average placed him 6th overall in the Nation.