DANBURY, CT - On Tuesday, the Western Connecticut State University Athletics department held its annual Athletics Awards Banquet at the O'Neill Center. WestConn Director of Athletics and Recreational Services, Lori Mazza presented the following major awards following presentations to all the Colonials' seniors and Chi Alpha Sigma nominees.
Prior to the major awards presentation, the WestConn Media Services provided a fantastic highlights video for the crowd to enjoy. SEE THE VIDEO HERE
The 2019 Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, Andrew Schimanski, comes from Torrington, CT and is a Political Science major and has a 4.0 grade-point average.
Schimanski is the definition of a student-athlete. As a current member of the football team, he is an offensive lineman and plays on various special teams. Off the field, he is equally committed in the classroom and sets a great example as a teammate and leader.
As a member of the Honors Program, Schimanski is currently participating in the International Student Exchange Program this semester in Germany.
Schimanski volunteered in various community service projects while at Western Connecticut including the Danbury Faxon Marathon, SAAC-led Field Day with the Western Connecticut Academy of International Studies Elementary Magnet school and Career-Day set up. He also volunteers off campus with the Torrington High School football team with summer practices and weight training.
Accepting on behalf of Andrew, as he still is in Germany, was his mother, Christy Arnott.
The 2019 Female Scholar Athlete of Year is Alexandra DeLuca who is a Bethel, CT native and is majoring Nursing. She too has a perfect 4.0 GPA.
As a member of the soccer team, she was a midfielder that played in 19 games. Her most memorable moment was the game-winning goal she scored over Southern Maine in conference play.
DeLuca has been able to balance not only the demands of our soccer team, but the demands Nursing program which include clinical rotations at the Danbury Hospital and Hancock Hall.
One of her nursing professors stated, "She consistently demonstrates commitment to her academic success. She is punctual, attentive, and an active participant in the classroom. She has achieved excellent grades and she is a pleasure to have in the classroom."
DeLuca's work mirrors her classroom efforts as a technician helping patients with exercises and lifestyle changes, and helping the community with their overall health and wellbeing at Greenwood Physical Therapy in Bethel.
She has also given back to the community by aiding at the Ability Beyond Disability to help empower individuals to live a full life, as well as helped at the Brotherhood in Action, which is a non-profit organization to help provide food and shelter to their community.
DeLuca has earned the respect of her teammates and coaches through her hard work and drive to push herself on the field and in the classroom. .
The Rookie of the Year Award is presented annually to the male and female freshman athlete who contributed the most to his/her team and whose performance indicates future contributions. Additionally, nominees must have maintained acceptable academic performance.
This years' other nominees for the Male Rookie of the Year were: Zach Edwards (baseball), Drew Worden (swimming and diving), Ahmod Privott (basketball), Will Daniels (football) and Lucas Araujo (soccer).
The 2019 male rookie of the year is Donald Schaumloffel.
Don is a freshman from Wantagh, NY and is majoring is Health Promotion Studies.
As a newcomer, he started 16 games at attack for the men's lacrosse program.
Schaumloffel finished third on the team in total points (60) and third on the team in assists (22), and was named both the Little East Conference Rookie of the Week and Offensive Player of the Week on two different occasions this season. He was the only freshmen in the conference to be named Offensive Player of the Week, and he did it twice. He led all freshmen in the conference in total points and goals.
In the 2019 season, he is currently ranked first in the nation among all Division III lacrosse players in shooting percentage at 58.5%.
The 2019 Female Rookie of the Year is Kaleigh Panek.
The Shelton, CT native is majoring in Health Promotion Studies.
As a member of the women's soccer team, she was named the Little East Conference Rookie of the Year and received Little East All-Conference Second Team honors.
She helped lead the team back to the NCAA Tournament, winning the regular season and the LEC Tournament. Kaleigh scored five goals in eight conference games, and 14 overall this season.
Panek won the Most Valuable Player of the LEC Tournament by scoring three of the four goals in the semifinals and championship matches of the LEC Final Four, which was hosted by Western Connecticut.
She was honored with the United Soccer Coaches Division III Player of the Week after the LEC Tournament.
The other nominees for the Female Rookie of the Year were: Hannah Maghini (basketball), Abbi Debs (volleyball), Molly Henry (swimming and diving), Jordan Fitzsimons (softball), Olivia Moore (field hockey).
The Athlete of the Year award recognizes one male and one female athlete for their outstanding performances in the athletic arena. In addition, nominees must have maintained acceptable academic performance.
This year's 2019 Male athlete of the year is Chauncey Allers.
This dual sport athlete came to WestConn via Wilton, CT, and is majoring in Justice and Law Administration.
He finished a distinguished soccer career this year and led the Colonials to their second-consecutive Little East Conference Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
This past fall, Allers became the men's soccer program's all-time goals scored and points leader and finished his soccer career on the field with 59 goals and 131 points.
This season alone, he led the team in goals with 24 and points with a total of 57. He was second on the team with nine assists.
Allers' 24 goals scored was ranked third in the country and was third in total points and eighth in points per game in all of Division III.
Allers was named Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight year as well as being named to the league's All-Conference First Team.
Last fall, he was honored on the United Coaches of America All New England Team and appeared in the New England Intercollegiate Soccer League Senior All-Star game.
During the spring, Chauncey was an integral member of the WestConn men's tennis team, normally playing at #1 doubles with Matt Carino and competing at either second or third singles and earning all-conference honors.
The other nominees for Male Athlete of the Year were: Kyle MacLean (baseball), Ryan Reuling (lacrosse), Aaron Samuel (basketball), Austin Calamita (football) and Matt Carino (tennis).
Women's Lacrosse senior Lauren Bradshaw was named Female Athlete of the Year.
Bradshaw is a native from Bethel, CT and is majoring in Finance.
She is a two-time team captain for the women's lacrosse team. In 2019, Bradshaw was ranked 11th in the country for assists, 19th for points, 20th for assists per game and 20th in the country for ground balls per game.
This spring, Bradshaw entered the 100-Club in the following categories: goals, assists, caused turnovers, and draw controls. In addition, she entered the 200-Club in points and ground balls.
She played the most minutes in program history, starting in all 70 games throughout her career. Bradshaw now holds the all-time career assist record at WestConn with 118 assists and all-time free-position goals with 43. She graduates fourth in all-time career points, second in school history for all-time caused turnovers and after the most successful season of her career, Bradshaw was awarded Little East Conference Midfielder of the Year and received First Team All-Conference recognition. She was recognized as Player of the Week four times throughout the 2019 season - twice on the offensive side and twice on the defensive side. Bradshaw has been nominated for the IWLCA Senior All-Star Team (which selects 44 of the best D3 in the country), IWLCA First-Team All-Region, and IWLCA First-Team All-American.
Bradshaw lead the team to a 14-5 overall record and 5-2 conference record, which is the most wins in program history. Her accolades transition into the classroom - as she is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, IWLCA Academic Team and was recently awarded the Finance Department Award, which honors the individual with the highest GPA along with her community involvement.
The other nominees for this year's Female Athlete of the Year Award were: Genesis Torres (basketball), Kamari King (volleyball), Olivia Sosnoski (swimming and diving), Jasmine Grey (soccer), Sara Tenke (softball), Neve Manion (field hockey), Lauren Bradshaw (lacrosse) and Emma Chapman (tennis).
The Colonial of the Year award was established to a recognize student-athlete each year who exhibits the following attributes; dedication to their sport, positive attitude, athletic ability, citizenship, character, Leadership, and sportsmanship. They are expected to contribute to their sport, to the classroom experience, and to the greater community at large.
The 2019 Colonial of the Year Award winner is Mikayla Aubry a native of Fresno, CA and is a Nursing major.
Aubry made an immediate impact in WestConn's volleyball program. She started almost every match during her career and has steadily been the backbone of its blocking defense. This season, she surpassed the 100 block-assist and 150 total blocks career marks. Mikayla appeared in 109 matches during her career often fighting through injuries. She was the epitome of team player. During her early years, she listened and learned from her more experienced team members and for the last two years, became a mentor and teacher for younger players.
Academically, Aubry will graduate from the Honors Program. During her time in the nursing program, she has been a member of the Student Nurses Association and worked as a Clinical Nursing Assistant on the Telemetry Unit at Danbury Hospital.
This past year, her impact was felt overseas. In conjunction with the Nursing program, Mikayla studied abroad in Greece, covering special topics in global nursing, participating in an international presentation for nursing students. This inspiring trip motivated Mikayla to help create a fundraiser for the Greece Public Hospital Pediatric Unit.
While a little closer to home, her influence has affected WestConn. Last year, Mikayla created a mentorship program for nursing students that has become part of the nursing program experience. This year she was awarded the Jane C. Thompson Nursing Award for exceptional leadership in the nursing program.
Aubry made her presence felt throughout the entire community. She has served as Vice President of the Recreation Council, worked as a Recreation Supervisor and founded the Staff Appreciation Committee for the Rec Department. She also served as a panelist on Accepted Student's Day and previously worked as an afternoon and summer teacher in an area Montessori school. Mikayla is a member of the Healthcare Committee for Danbury Area Refugee assistance.
Highlighting her impact this year, Aubry co-founded WestConn's "It's On Us" chapter. It is a social movement to raise awareness and fight against sexual assault on college campuses which was capped off with creating a video for WestConn which includes some of its own student-athletes.
She has already accepted a position at the Valley Children's Hospital in Madera, CA.
The 2019 Colonial of the Year nominees are: Adam Wilson (baseball), Tashai Price (women's basketball), Christian Sparacino (men's lacrosse), Mikayla Aubry (volleyball), Chauncey Allers (men's soccer and tennis), Luke Forsberg (men's swimming and diving), Hope Johnsky (women's swimming and diving), Lucy Daniels (women's soccer), Erica Bower (softball), Shannon Lynch (field hockey), Geary McLoed (men's basketball), Kevin Maxen (football), Molly Gallagher (women's lacrosse), Carole Allers (women's tennis) and Matt Carino (men's tennis).