The University of Maine at Farmington Athletics Department recently hosted its fifteenth annual Beaver Social banquet to celebrate the year and recognize select student-athletes who achieved the highest honors in athletics, academics, as well as those who were chosen by their peers for their enthusiasm and school spirit.
UMF Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President (SAAC), Rylie Turner, emceed the program, and UMF Interim President Eric Brown launched the event with welcoming remarks affirming the value of athletics involvement in student-development.
Director of Athletics, Fitness, and Recreation, Julie Davis, engaged the crowd with an annual, "Did you know?" Q& A to highlight a shared appreciation of athletic and academic accomplishments across all sport teams, individuals, and staff. She also highlighted the positive impact athletics makes on campus and in the community through numerous service activities performed. Award presentations followed.
The President's Cup is awarded to the team with the highest cumulative grade point average. The women's snowsports team won its first President's Cup with an average cumulative team GPA of 3.619.
The Beaver Pride Award recognizes a male and female student-athlete who embodies sportsmanship, school spirit, the drive for excellence, and most importantly, Beaver pride. These student-athletes are role models in the UMF community and are known for consistently making good choices. Student-athletes vote on this award. The male winner was Michael Pingree of the men's soccer team, and the female awardee was Lydia Roy of the women's soccer team.
The Senior Scholar-Athlete Award is awarded annually to the male and female senior student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average after the fall semester of the of their senior year. This year's female honoree was field hockey player, with a 3.98 GPA, Torrie Nightingale. The male honoree was, Michael Pingree, men's soccer, who sported a 3.95 GPA.
The Senior Athlete of the Year Award recognizes the top male and female senior athlete based on performance over their entire career at UMaine-Farmington. This award uses criteria such as, but not limited to, career statistical data, team awards, national and conference weekly honors, national and conference post-season achievements (both individual and as a contributor to a team's success), plus any national, regional and conference post-season honors (All-America, All-Region, All-Conference, etc.). The recipients must be in good standing with their teams and the department throughout their careers as well. This year's honorees were Milani Hicks of men's basketball and Whitney LeMay of the snowsports team.
In just two seasons, Hicks scored 797 points, pulled down 378 rebounds, dished 109 assists, made 100 steals and made 48 blocks. He scored a career-high against Thomas on Jan. 19th with 28 points, making 7 of 13 shots and hitting 12 of 14 from the line. Hicks has been named to the NAC All-Conference team back to back years along with being named to the NAC All-Academic Team.
LeMay has been a four-year competitor for the women's snowsports team. She has competed at the USCSA Nationals the past four years for the Beavers. She is a National Champion this year after taking first place in the women's snowboard giant slalom. She took second place in the women's snowboard slalom with a sixth place finish in the women's snowboard boardercross for a combined finish for second place at the USCSA National Championships. In 2018, LeMay was a 1st Team All-American in boardercross, 2nd Team All-American in slalom and 2nd Team All-American in giant slalom, in 2017, she took two First Team All-American with one in the snowboard cross and one in the giant slalom
As has been the tradition since the first event, all teams participated in a food drive to benefit the community via a local food pantry. Donations were tremendous and very much appreciated by the food pantry attendants, according to Student-Athlete Advisory Committee advisor, Cyndi Pratt.
UMF Athletics gave a special thanks to the significant sponsors of this year's event: University Credit Union and Sodexo Dining services, as well as the most significant alumni-driven supporter of UMF Athletics to date, Beaver Alums Supporting Student-Athletes (B.A.S.S.A).