April 25, 2010
University of Maine Fort Kent student-athletes Barrington Blake (St. Elizabeth, Jamaica) and Amber Garrison (Oroville, California) were named 2009-2010 Male and Female Athlete of the Year highlighting the 2010 UMFK Athletic Awards night Friday evening at a formal banquet on the Fort Kent, Maine campus. UMFK teams, individuals, coaches and support staff were recognized following inspirational words from out-going UMFK President Dr. Richard Cost and special guest speaker, 2010 Hall of Fame Inductee Bernard “Bunny” LaPlante (COF ’66) who is a native of Old Town, Maine.
2010 Female Athlete of the Year Garrison was a Sunrise Conference Volleyball first team selection as she helped lead the program to their second straight Sunrise Conference runner-up finish. She also started at the point guard position in women’s basketball helping lead the Lady Bengals to the Sunrise Conference title and their fifth trip to the NAIA II National Tournament in the last seven years. Garrison became one of the few female three-sport athletes in school history when she ran in the Sunrise Conference Women’s Cross Country Championships in the fall.
Blake, the Male Athlete of the Year, became the schools’ third NAIA All-American (Anderson ’09 & ‘10 – men’s soccer) as he was named to the third team alongside Andre Anderson (Manchester, Jamaica). Blake also was selected as a NAIA Academic All-American, Sunrise Conference Defensive Player of the Year and made the Sunrise Conference First Team. He anchored a defense which gave up just six goals all season and were ranked as high as fifth in the NAIA Top 25.
The top academic achievement award of the evening, the Terry Drown Scholastic Achievement Award presented by Kappa Delta Phi, was awarded to seniors Yair Gal (Asdod, Isreal) and Nicole Nowakowski (Meriden, CT). Gal helped lead the men’s basketball team to their first ever trip to the NAIA II National Tournament while Nowakowski was a member of the women’s soccer program making their second straight appearance at the NAIA National Tournament. Gal was also named a NAIA Academic All-American for the second straight year and was named the top scholar in Sunrise Conference Men’s Basketball for the third consecutive year.
UMFK Head Coaches gave out individual awards for top rookies, most improved player and a coaches award. They also recognized their seniors who competed for the final time as a UMFK student-athlete. It was an impressive year in UMFK Athletics as the men’s and women’s soccer and basketball teams all won Sunrise Conference Championships and competed in the NAIA National Tournament.