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UMFK honors student athletes at banquet

April 25, 2003

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One hundred student athletes, their family members, coaches, faculty, and staff of the University of Maine at Fort Kent, gathered to honor the outstanding members of the athletic teams at an awards banquet held recently in Nowland Hall on the UMFK campus.

Jim Graffam, director of athletics, hosted and emceed the annual event. Graffam extended greetings on behalf of the university and welcomed the group gathered for the occasion.

Richard Cost, president of UMFK and John Martin, executive assistant to the president also addressed the audience.

Graffam introduced the UMFK coaches who presented highlights of their respective season and presented individual awards to the student athletes receiving recognition from the seven athletic teams.

Eric Werntgen, head coach for the women's soccer and women's basketball team presented awards to the men's cross country, women's soccer and women's basketball teams. Runners receiving awards were Samuel Sjostedt, of Stockholm, Maine, who was awarded most valuable runner, Clinton King of Jay, Maine, most improved runner and William Barnum of Woodland, Maine received the coach's award.

Women soccer awards went to Jessica Gagnon of Fort Kent, who received most valuable offensive player, Megan Foreman of Fort Kent, received the most valuable defensive player, Kristine Cyr of St. David received the rookie of the year award, Amber Nadeau of Fort Kent received the most improved player award and Amy Lagasse of Van Buren received the coach's award.

Award winners in women's basketball were Heidi Fisher of Centerville, New Brunswick, who received the most valuable player award, Whitney Zettergren of Presque Isle received the best defensive player award, Jessica Noyes of Topsham, Maine received rookie of the year, Megan Dow of Dover-Foxcroft, received most improved player and Joy Gervais of Frenchville, received the coach's award.

Graffam, head men's basketball coach, presented awards to the members of the men's basketball team. Andrew Clavette of Madawaska received the most valuable player award, Bartas Samaitis of Vilnius, Lithuania received rookie of the year, Tregenza Henry of St. Kitts, West Indies received a best defender award, Chris Platia of North Valley Stream, New York was awarded most improved player, and Robert 'Bob' Thompson of Everett, Washington received the coach's award. Special awards were presented to assistant coaches Chris Miller of Caribou and Stafford Bente of London, Great Britain.

Awards were also presented by Graffam to members of the golf team. James Page of Fort Kent received the award for most valuable player, Jessie Keegan of Presque Isle received the rookie of the year award, and Stafford Bente of London, Great Britain received the coach's award.

Coach Michael Lavertu presented the awards to the skiers on his team. Chuck Gagne of Fort Kent received the award for most improved skier, Jesse Jalbert of Fort Kent was awarded rookie of the year, Chad Marquis was awarded most valuable participant and Paula Pelletier of Eagle Lake received the coach's award.

Melik Khoury, head coach for men's soccer presented the Sunrise Conference Energy awards to those recipients. Awards were presented to Alekhine Veloso of Oporto, Puerto Rico, Charles Bard of Fort Kent, Derrick Cooper of Madawaska, Evan Watson of Sturgis, South Dakota and Ramero Rodriguez of Montevideo, Uruguay.

Khoury also presented the Sunrise Scholar Athlete awards to Gintaras Lenkutis of Velnius, Lithuania and Chad Bouchard of Frenchville. All Conference awards were presented to Juan Murphy of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Josh Roy of Frenchville.

Scholar athlete awards were also presented to distinguished student athletes for their scholarly work and achievement in their sport. Stafford Bente, golf and basketball; Joy Gervais, women's basketball, Chad Bouchard, men's soccer, Jessica Gagnon, women's soccer, Rebecca Flanagan of Milo, Maine and Clinton King, cross country and Michael Lavertu, ski team. A total of twenty UMFK athletes had a 3.0 or higher grade point average.

Coaches during the 2002-2003 season were Eric Werntgen, women's basketball and women's soccer; Jim Graffam, men's basketball; Melik Khoury, men's soccer; Cliff Chasse, men's golf; Michael Lavertu, ski team; and Jamerson Crowley, cross country.