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UMFK Bengal Athletes receive recognition

April 22, 2005


The University of Maine at Fort Kent held its annual athletic awards ceremony Saturday, April 16, at Nowland Hall cafeteria.

More than 30 athletes competing on different sports teams were honored during the afternoon program.

Eric Werntgen, assistant athletic director and men's basketball coach, made opening remarks and welcomed the audience of over 80 parents, friends, UMFK staff and student athletes.

Werntgen thanked staff members who help make sports so successful at UMFK.

UMFK President Richard Cost opened his remarks by saying that this is a great event held on a super day. "Athletics complement our academic programs at UMFK in many ways," said Cost. "Participation in sports provides an important setting for students to learn about teamwork, personal responsibility and leadership," stated the president.

"This has been a great year for athletics at UMFK. You added another conference championship and another banner in men's soccer while retaining the potato barrel once again," said Cost.

President Cost introduced Chad Marquis of Fort Kent student and ski coach as a new University of Maine System Trustee, cited the work by acting athletic director, John Murphy, and the fine work by all the coaches in the various sports. Cost also recognized trainer Sara-Kay Pettinger and Brad Ritz, faculty athletic representative.

Cost thanked the athletes for all they do on the playing field, on campus and in the classroom. And thanked the parents for their support. The future outlook for athletics at UMFK is very bright.

Eric Werngten introduced the coaches who handed out the awards to their respective team members.

Most valuable player awards were presented to Nicole Sirois, of Fort Kent for women's soccer, Donatas Sumyla of Vilnius, Lithuania for men's soccer, Dana Lemon of Richmond, Virginia for women's basketball and Bartas Samaitis of Vilnius, Lithuania and Derrick Cooper of Madawaska for men's basketball.

Offensive player of the year awards for soccer went to Maria Williams of Bath and Donatas Sumyla of Vilnius, Lithuania.

Defensive player of the year awards for soccer was presented to Nicole Sirois and Charlie Bard both of Fort Kent and Derrick Cooper of Madawaska.

Most improved player awards were given to Kara Jackson of Anaheim, California for women's soccer, Sean Platt of Keen Valley, New York for men's soccer, Jess Gagnon of Fort Kent for women's basketball and Shawn Caron of Fort Kent for men's basketball.

"Rookie of the Year" awards went to Maria Williams of Bath for women's soccer; Rob Rochester of Kittery for men's soccer; Maryann Welsh of Brooklyn, New York for women's basketball and Billy Russo of Farmington for men's basketball.

Coaches' awards were presented to Whitney Zettergren of Presque Isle for women's soccer, Nick Thibodeau of St. Francis for men's soccer, Melissa Hare of Curventon, NB for women's basketball and Kerron Simpson of Bridgeport, Connecticut for men's basketball.

Scholar athlete awards for athletes with a 3.5 grade point average or above went to Sara Quint of Hodgdon for women's soccer; Nick Thibodeau of St. Francis for men's soccer; Melissa Hare of Curventon, NB for women's basketball; Shawn Caron of Fort Kent for men's basketball and Heather Hickey of Swanville for alpine skiing.

Alpine skiing awards went to Kyle Theriault of Caribou skier of the year and to Jamie Rodriquez-Marco of Madrid, Spain most improved skier.

Seniors on the different teams were each presented with a clock. Two seniors recognized for their high scoring totals in basketball were Heidi Fisher of Centreville, NB (1,096 points) and Bartas Samaitis of Vilnius, Lithuania (1,350 points). Each received a special basketball.

Coaches who gave re-caps, recognitions and awards were Werntgen for men's basketball, Lucus Levesque for women's soccer and women's basketball, and Chad Marquis for alpine skiing. Senior co-captains Derrick Cooper of Madawaska and Charles Bard of Fort Kent gave the highlights and awards for men's soccer