Holy Cross Varsity Club Announces Yearly Award Winners

May 5, 2007

WORCESTER, Mass. - The Holy Cross Varsity Club announced its yearly awards at its 52nd annual dinner, held on Saturday, May 5, at the Hogan Campus Center. Leading the way was senior Patricia Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) of the women's lacrosse team, who was selected as the 2006-2007 Crusader of the Year. In addition to presenting its annual student-athlete awards, the club also inducted seven new members into the Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame inductees were: James Daley (Class of 1930, track & field), Jim Nairus (Class of 1991, basketball), Steve Raquet (Class of 1984, football), Don Riedl (Class of 1963, baseball), Ali (Roberts) Hawk (Class of 1999, field hockey), Bob Fouracre (honorary) and Park Smith (Class of 1954, honorary).


Senior midfielder Patricia Sutton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), a member of the women's lacrosse team, has been selected as the 2006-2007 Crusader of the Year. The 2006 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, Sutton led Holy Cross to its second straight Patriot League title season, with the Crusaders advancing to the NCAA Tournament next week. A three-time first team All-Patriot League selection, she currently leads the team and the conference in scoring with 73 points on 55 goals and 18 assists. In addition, Sutton's averages of 3.1 goals per game and 4.1 points per game stand 17th and 22nd in the nation, respectively. Over the course of her four year career at Holy Cross, Sutton has totaled 213 goals and 76 assists for 289 total points. Earlier this year, she became the Crusaders' all-time leader in both career goals and career points.

Senior midfielder Tara Welch (New Boston, N.H.) is the recipient of the John A. Meegan Athletic Achievement Award. The 2006 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, Welch led the Crusaders to an overall record of 14-6 this season, while finishing as the runner-up in the conference. A two-time first team All-Patriot League selection, she led the team and the league in scoring with 42 points on 19 goals and four assists. In addition, Welch's averages of 0.95 goals per game and 2.05 points per game stood 10th and 19th in the nation, respectively. Over the course of her four year career at Holy Cross, Welch totaled 59 goals and 18 assists for 136 total points. Last fall, she became the Crusaders' all-time leader in both career goals and career points.

Senior forward James Sixsmith (Alexandria, Va.), a member of the men's ice hockey team, received the John P. Cooney Memorial Award, which is presented to a senior letterwinner who has performed beyond all expectations with courage, loyalty and dedication. One of the smallest players in Division I at only 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, Sixsmith received the USCHO National Sportsmanship Award this season. He also led the team in scoring this year with 47 points on 17 goals and 30 assists, and was named first team All-Atlantic Hockey. Over the course of his four-year career as a Crusader, he totaled 152 points on 48 goals and 104 assists. Off the ice, Sixsmith was a member of the Holy Cross Athletic Council, while participating in the Walk to Cure Cancer, the DEAFinitely hockey clinic, and visits to local schools.

Senior wide receiver Matt Fanning (Marlborough, Mass.), a member of the football team, has been selected as the recipient of the Daniel Allen Sportsmanship Award. The Allen Award was established in 2005, and is presented to the Holy Cross varsity athlete who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship that coach Allen exhibited throughout his life. After not playing in any games during his freshman and sophomore years and fighting through a number of injuries, Fanning saw his first action as a junior but totaled just one reception for six yards. Then as a senior, he developed into one of the top offensive threats on the team, recording 35 receptions for 475 yards and four touchdowns, while returning 20 punts for 207 yards. In addition, Fanning was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, took part in Holy Cross Cares Day, and served as a volunteer baseball coach at Grafton High School.

The Richard J. Maloney Award, presented annually to the men's basketball team's most valuable player, was shared by the Crusaders' co-captains, senior guard Keith Simmons (Kingston, N.Y.) and senior guard Torey Thomas (White Plains, N.Y.). The Patriot League Player of the Year and a first team all-conference selection, Simmons led the team and the league in scoring this season with an average of 16.9 points per game. He also led the team with 5.8 rebounds per game and was second on the squad with 2.3 steals per game, marks which ranked fifth and second in the conference, respectively. Simmons finished his career first on the school career list for games played (126), second for three-point field goals made (194), fifth for steals (191) and ninth for points scored (1,654). Thomas was named first team All-Patriot League after ranking second on the team and seventh in the league in scoring with an average of 13.7 points per game, in addition to leading the conference with an average of 2.8 steals per game. He also ranked first on the team in assists (4.8 assists per game) and third in rebounding (4.7 rebounds per game), marks which placed him second and 11th in the conference, respectively. Thomas finished his career ranked second all-time at Holy Cross in steals (268) and games played (125), fifth in assists (468) and 10th in three-point field goals made (108), while scoring 1,201 career points.

Senior guard Brittany Keil (Sparta, N.J.) has been awarded the Samantha Vellaccio Award, which is presented annually to the varsity women's basketball player who best exemplifies the mission of Holy Cross both on and off the court. A tri-captain of this year's team, Keil averaged 8.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game, while leading the Crusaders to the Patriot League Tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Championship. Over the course of her four-year career, she totaled 1,000 points, 637 rebounds, 245 assists and 125 steals. In addition, Keil was named the 2006 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and was a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection. Off the court, Keil played a large role in Holy Cross' involvement with the Mercy Centre, a private day school located in Worcester that services students aged 6-22 with special needs.

Junior catcher Brendan Akashian (Lowell, Mass.) and senior pitcher Scott Hampe (Dedham, Mass.) have received the Hop Riopel Award as the baseball team's most valuable players. Akashian led the team with a .330 batting average, five home runs and 29 runs batted in, while starting all 35 of the team's games. He also posted a .520 on-base percentage, and set a school single season record for times hit-by-pitch (23). Hampe led the pitching staff, going 4-3 with a 2.96 earned run average and 31 strikeouts in 48-2/3 innings. On April 7, he threw Holy Cross' first no-hitter in 45 years with a 4-0 shutout of Lehigh. The Ray Dobens Award, presented to the most improved baseball player, has gone to senior outfielder Matt Perron (Auburn, Mass.). After batting just .200 in 25 games played last year, Perron developed into one of the Crusaders' top players this season. He started all 35 games in 2007, batting .305 with two homers, 19 runs batted in and 21 runs scored.

Five football players were presented with the Davitt Awards, as the top backs and linemen on both sides of the ball. The Davitt Awards were instituted by Jim Davitt of Holyoke, Mass. (Class of 1913), in memory of his brother, Rev. William Davitt (Class of 1907), who played football and ran track while at Holy Cross, and was the last United States officer to lose his life in World War I. This year's winners were junior cornerback Casey Gough (Hinsdale, Ill.), junior wide receiver Ryan Maher (Boca Raton, Fla.), senior linebacker Chris Nielsen (Center Line, Mich.), senior defensive lineman John Markus Pinard (Bellevue, Wash.) and senior offensive lineman Andrew Schoepfer (Waterford, Conn.).


James Daley was a standout sprinter on the Crusader men's track & field team from 1927-1930. During his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, Daley won three straight IC4A titles in the 70-yard dash without ever losing even one heat in the competition. He also held the national intercollegiate record in the 70-yard dash at the time of his graduation. During his senior season at the NYAC Games, held at Madison Square Garden, Daley defeated George Simpson of Ohio State, who had been heralded as the "world's fastest human." In addition, Daley won the National Senior title in the 60-yard dash during his junior year, and served as the captain of the team in 1928-1929.

Jim Nairus was a three-year starter on the Holy Cross men's basketball team, helping lead the team to an overall record of 69-48 (.590) over the course of his career, with the Crusaders advancing to the National Invitation Tournament in 1990. During his senior year, he led the team in both scoring (18.4 points per game) and rebounding (7.8 rebounds per game), and was named first team All-Patriot League and to the Patriot League All-Tournament team. Nairus was also a second team All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference selection as a junior, when he averaged 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest. He finished his career with 1,234 points and still ranks as Holy Cross' 20th all-time leading scorer, in addition to ranking second in school history in career three-point field goal percentage (48.1 percent, 116 of 241). In addition to his accomplishments on the court, Nairus was a two-time Academic All-American, in addition to being named the 1991 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the 1991 Crusader of the Year.

Steve Raquet was a standout defensive lineman on the Holy Cross football team from 1980-1983, helping lead the Crusaders to an overall record of 26-18-1 (.589) during his four-year career, and a trip to the 1983 NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs. During his senior season, he was named a first team All-American, first team All-New England and first team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference, after totaling 87 tackles, nine quarterback sacks, six pass breakups and three fumble recoveries. Raquet also received the Davitt Award as the team's top defensive lineman as a freshman, when he posted 80 tackles and 10 sacks. Over the course of his career, Raquet totaled 281 tackles, 19 sacks, 15 pass breakups, eight fumble recoveries and three interceptions. He held the school record for career sacks at the time of his graduation, and still stands fourth on the all-time Holy Cross list. Raquet went on to play professionally with the Montreal Concordes in the Canadian Football League.

Don Riedl was one of the top pitchers on the Crusader baseball team from 1961-1963, leading Holy Cross to back-to-back appearances in the College World Series in 1962 and 1963. He posted a career record of 18-5 during his collegiate career, including a perfect 7-0 mark during his junior season. Riedl remains the last Holy Cross pitcher to win a game in the College World Series, when he defeated Colorado State 4-3 on June 11, 1962. He also posted victories in the NCAA District I Playoffs against Bridgeport in 1962 and Boston College in 1963, to propel the Crusaders into College World Series. In addition, Riedl threw a no-hitter against Dartmouth on April 26, 1962, and tossed a one-hitter against Amherst College on May 5, 1961.

Ali (Roberts) Hawk was a four-year letterwinner for the Crusaders from 1995-1998, leading Holy Cross to pair of Patriot League titles during her junior and senior seasons. Hawk led the conference in scoring as a senior with 42 points on 19 goals and four assists, to earn Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year honors. She was also the Patriot League's leading scorer during her junior year, when she totaled 14 goals and 10 assists for 38 points. Hawk was a first team All-Patriot League and second team All-New England selection in 1998, after earning second team All-Patriot League and first team All-New England honors in 1997. She finished her career with 100 total points on 40 goals and 20 assists, and still ranks sixth all-time at Holy Cross in both goals and points. Hawk was selected to play in 1998 North-South Senior All-Star Game, and was also honored for her work off the field as the 1998 Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Bob Fouracre has covered Holy Cross since 1970 as a television and radio broadcaster. He began as the play-by-play man for WSMW-TV 27, where he announced men's basketball and football games from 1970-1981. Fouracre continued to call Crusader men's basketball games for WXNE-TV 25 from 1982-1985, before moving to radio in 1986. Since 1986, he has covered the Holy Cross football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams on WTAG 580 AM, WVEI 1440 AM and WNEB 1230 AM. In addition, Fouracre served as the producer and television host of the Holy Cross Football Show from 1986-1999, and the Holy Cross men's and women's basketball coach's shows from 1995-1999. During his career, Fouracre has worked with a number of distinguished Holy Cross graduates, including Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Togo Palazzi, Ronnie Perry, Tom Kelleher, Mel Massucco and Gordie Lockbaum.

Park Smith, a member of the Crusader baseball team during his undergraduate days, has been one of the most generous supporters of Holy Cross athletics in recent years, with his donations funding both a wellness center and a soccer stadium. In 1997, the Carol & Park B. Smith Wellness Center opened as a two-story addition to the Hart Center. The state-of-the-art, 15,000 square-foot facility provides more than four times the space that the college previously had for exercise and training, with enough room for both varsity athletes and other members of the Holy Cross community. In 2006, the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium was dedicated as the new home of the Crusader men's and women's soccer teams. The 1,320-seat facility has a natural grass playing surface with a permanent grandstand and lights. In addition to his support of athletics, Smith has made many other contributions to Holy Cross, including a leadership gift to fund Carol & Park B. Smith Hall, the home of the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture.

Crusader of the Year: Patricia Sutton.
John A. Meegan Athletic Achievement Award: Tara Welch.
John P. Cooney Memorial Award: James Sixsmith.
Daniel Allen Sportsmanship Award: Matt Fanning.
Richard J. Maloney Award: Keith Simmons, Torey Thomas.
Samantha Vellaccio Award: Brittany Keil.
Hop Riopel Award: Brendan Akashian, Scott Hampe.
Ray Dobens Award: Matt Perron.
Davitt Awards: Casey Gough, Ryan Maher, Chris Nielsen, John Markus Pinard, Andrew Schoepfer.
Hall of Fame Inductees: James Daley (Class of 1930, track & field); Jim Nairus (Class of 1991, basketball); Steve Raquet (Class of 1984, football); Don Riedl (Class of 1963, baseball); Ali (Roberts) Hawk (Class of 1999, field hockey); Bob Fouracre (honorary); Park Smith (Class of 1954, honorary).