Holy Cross Varsity Club Announces Yearly Award Winners
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross Varsity Club announced its yearly awards at its 55th annual dinner, held on Saturday, May 8, at the Hogan Campus Center. Leading the way was senior Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio) of the football team, who was selected as the 2009-2010 Crusader of the Year. In addition to presenting its annual student-athlete awards, the club also inducted six new members into the Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame inductees were: Lee Hendrickson (Class of 1992, soccer), Tom Kelleher (Class of 1988, football), Lynn Liberatore (Class of 1995, cross country, track & field), Patrick Rissmiller (Class of 2002, ice hockey), John Vrionis (Class of 1968, football, lacrosse) and Dr. James Walsh (Class of 1952, honorary).
Senior quarterback Dominic Randolph (Amelia, Ohio), a member of the football team, has been selected as the 2009-2010 Crusader of the Year. In 2009, Randolph was chosen as the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year and the Harry Agganis Award winner, in addition to being named a second team All-American by the Associated Press and a third team All-American by the Sports Network. He completed 310 of 485 passes last season for 3,776 yards and 34 touchdowns. Randolph also led the team in rushing last year, carrying the ball 113 times for 480 yards and seven scores. He led the nation in total offense, while ranking second in points responsible for, third in completions, fourth in passing yards and 13th in pass efficiency. Over the course of his career as a Crusader, Randolph completed 1,131 of 1,786 passes for 13,455 yards and 117 scores, while amassing 14,240 yards of total offense. He owns the Holy Cross and Patriot League career records for yards of total offense, passing yards, touchdown passes, completions and pass attempts. Off the field, Randolph was instrumental in the football team’s involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Massachusetts / Metrowest, and received the 2009 Dr. H. Martin Deranian Award for demonstrating outstanding loyalty and dedication to the program.
Senior Tiffany Reid (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) from the women’s track and field team is the recipient of the John A. Meegan Athletic Achievement Award. Reid has set new school records in the 55-meter dash (7.27 seconds), 60-meter dash (7.65 seconds), 100-meter dash (11.84 seconds), 200-meter dash (24.26 seconds) and 300-meter dash (41.03 seconds). She also ran a leg on school record-setting relay teams in the 4x100-meters (47.66 seconds), 4x200-meters (1:42.82), 4x400-meters (3:48.97) and sprint medley (4:06.66). Reid claimed Patriot League titles in five different events over the course of her career, winning the 60-meter dash at the 2010 indoor championship, the 100-meter dash at the 2010 outdoor championship and the 200-meter dash at the 2009 outdoor championship, 2010 indoor championship and 2010 outdoor championship. A nine-time All-Patriot League selection and the Athlete of the Meet at the 2010 Patriot League indoor championship, Reid also won the 200-meter dash at the 2008 New England outdoor championship, and has been selected to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll in each of the last two years.
Senior lefthanded pitcher Matt Shapiro (Raynham, Mass.), a member of the baseball 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. As a sophomore, Shapiro was named the 2008 Patriot League Pitcher of the Year, posting a 4-2 record with a 5.10 earned run average, three complete games and 33 strikeouts. The following October, he was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma, and needed to undergo chemotherapy. During the 2009 season, Shapiro received his chemotherapy treatments on Mondays, and still managed to pitch for the Crusaders on the weekend. He finished the 2009 campaign with a 3-4 record, a 6.40 earned run average, two complete games and 41 strikeouts. With his cancer now in remission, Shapiro has posted a 4-2 mark this season, with a 5.36 earned run average, two complete games and 36 strikeouts. He currently owns a 11-8 record over the course of his collegiate career with a 5.74 earned run average, seven complete games and 113 strikeouts.
Senior Mara Piltin (Medford, N.J.), a member of the women’s rowing 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. Piltin has been a member of both the varsity eight and the second varsity eight over the last four years, serving as team captain this season. In 2008, she was part of the varsity eight boat that earned a third-place finish at the Patriot League Championship. Piltin also rowed for the second varsity eight in 2009 and 2010, and was on the boats that finished second in the New England Championship and third in the Patriot League Championship both years. A biology major who plans on attending medical school, Piltin has been named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll three times and the dean’s list twice. She has also been a member of SAAC, the Community Service Corps and Students Advocating a Greener Enviorment.
The Richard J. Maloney Award, presented annually to the men’s basketball player who best exemplifies Mr. Maloney’s spirit and energy as a loyal contributor to the program, went to senior center Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.). One of the Crusaders’ captains this season, Meister ranked second on the team with an average of 5.6 rebounds per game, in addition to averaging 5.5 points per contest, hitting 53.1 percent (76 of 143) of his field goal attempts and blocking a team-high 21 shots. A 2009 All-Patriot League Tournament selection, Meister finished his collegiate career with 562 points, 521 rebounds, 79 blocked shots and a 51.5 field goal percentage (241 of 468).
Senior guard Briana McFadden (Wheaton, Md.) 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. McFadden was named second team All-Patriot League this season, after being a first team all-conference selection in both 2008 and 2009. She led the team with an average of 12.7 points per game this year, in addition to tallying 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest. The 2008 Patriot League Player of the Year, McFadden finished her collegiate career ranked first all-time at Holy Cross in games played (125) and minutes played (4,363); second in free throws made (496), three-point field goals made (183) and three-point field goals attempted (579); third in free throw attempts (637); and sixth in points scored (1,575). Off the court, she played a large role in the Crusaders’ involvement with the Mercy Centre, a private day school located in Worcester that services students aged 6-22 with special needs.
Junior outfielder Nick Ciardiello (Edison, N.J.), senior third baseman Matt Perry (Sudbury, Mass.) and senior second baseman John Sills (Milton, Mass.) all shared the Hop Riopel Award as the baseball team’s most valuable players. Ciardiello has a .388 batting average this season with 20 doubles, 10 home runs and 56 runs batted in. He has broken the Holy Cross single-season records for both doubles and runs batted in, while tying the single-season mark for home runs. Over the course of his collegiate career, Ciardiello is now batting .306 with 28 doubles, 16 home runs and 86 runs batted in. Perry is hitting .406 this year with 49 runs scored15 doubles, four home runs and 32 runs batted in. For his entire Holy Cross career, he owns a .362 batting average with 210 hits, 130 runs scored, 51 doubles, 13 home runs and 96 runs batted in. Perry has broken the school career records for at-bats (580), hits, runs scored, doubles and total bases (304). Sills has a .318 batting average this season with 32 runs scored, 30 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. He has also drawn 21 walks this year, and owns a .406 on-base percentage. Over the course of his collegiate career, Sills is hitting .263 with 92 runs scored, 18 doubles, seven home runs, 83 runs batted in and 29 stolen bases.
The Ray Dobens Award, presented to the most improved baseball player, has gone to senior righthanded pitcher Ryan George (Seekonk, Mass.). After entering the 2010 season with a career earned run average of 6.94, George has been one of the team’s top pitchers this season. He has posted a 3-4 record with a 3.13 earned run average, six saves and 41 strikeouts in 37-1/3 innings pitched. George has set a school single-season record with his six saves, while his 19 appearances are the fifth-most ever at Holy Cross in a single season. Over the course of his collegiate career, he owns an 8-14 record with a 5.86 earned run average, a school-record 13 saves and 128 strikeouts in a school-record 64 appearances.
Six 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 senior linebacker Anthony Campbell (New Albany, Ohio), junior strong safety Anthony DiMichele (McKees Rocks, Pa.), junior wide receiver Bill Edger (Hainesport, N.J.), senior offensive tackle Aaron Jones (Springfield, Ohio), senior defensive end Nicholas MacDonald (Lackawanna, N.Y.) and senior offensive guard Chris Poole (Scituate, Mass.).
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Lee Hendrickson was one of the top offensive players in the history of the Holy Cross women’s soccer program. As a freshman in 1987, she set Holy Cross single-season records with 47 points and 20 goals, in addition to posting seven assists. Hendrickson scored three goals in a game three different times during her freshman campaign, tying the school single-game record at the time. In her sophomore campaign, she led the team with 10 goals and six assists for 26 points. After missing the 1989 and 1990 seasons due to injury, Hendrickson returned to the pitch for her senior season in 1991 to score six goals and record two assists for the Crusaders. Almost 20 years after playing her last game, she still holds the Holy Cross career records for points (87) and goals (36), while ranking fifth all-time in assists (15).
Tom Kelleher starred at running back for the Crusaders, playing on some of the top squads in school history. As a junior in 1986, he ranked second on the team with 737 yards and five touchdowns on 184 carries. Kelleher also caught 24 passes for 221 yards and a score during his junior year, as Holy Cross posted an overall record of 10-1 and finished the season ranked No. 5 in the nation. He then led the team in rushing during his senior year in 1987, carrying the ball 134 times for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns, while posting 22 receptions for 219 yards and two scores. Kelleher helped lead the Crusaders to a perfect 11-0 mark in 1987 and a No. 1 ranking in the final national poll. A first team All-New England selection as a senior, he finished his career with 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns on 352 carries. Kelleher was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1988, and also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989. In addition, he has spent the last 10 years as the color analyst on radio broadcasts for Holy Cross football games.
Lynn Liberatore was a standout member of the women’s cross country and track teams during her time at Holy Cross. On the outdoor track team, she won the Patriot League title in the 10,000-meter run during her sophomore (37:50.08), junior (37:12.63) and senior years (36:55.20), improving her time each season. Liberatore also won the Patriot League indoor title in the 5,000-meter run as a senior (17:58.80), and placed fourth (18:15.0) at the Patriot League cross country championship during her senior campaign. Named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for indoor track in 1994 and outdoor track in 1995, Liberatore earned All-Patriot League honors five times in cross country (once), indoor track (twice) and outdoor track (twice). She was also selected to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll three times in both cross country and track, and earned Crusader of the Year honors in 1995.
Patrick Rissmiller totaled 53 goals and 90 assists for 143 points as a four-year member of the Crusader men’s ice hockey team. He helped Holy Cross to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship as a freshman, when he led the team with 28 assists. By his senior year, Rissmiller earned MAAC Offensive Player of the Year honors in addition to being a first team All-MAAC selection, as he led the team in scoring with 46 points on 16 goals and 30 assists. His 30 assists during the 2001-2002 campaign still rank as the most by a Crusader since the program moved to the Division I level. Following his collegiate career, Rissmiller has gone on to play professional hockey for the last eight years, becoming only the second Holy Cross graduate to play in the National Hockey League. He has played in 182 games with the San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers, and is currently a member of the Grand Rapids Griffins in the American Hockey League.
John Vrionis was a letterwinner on both the football and men’s lacrosse teams during his time at Holy Cross. On the gridiron, he won two letters while catching 39 career passes for 570 yards and seven touchdowns. Vrionis’ top year came during his senior season, when he led the team with 511 receiving yards and 42 points scored. He was also a member of teams which scored victories over Boston College (32-26 in 1966) and Yale (26-14 in 1967, the Bulldogs’ only loss of the season). In lacrosse, Vrionis led the team in scoring as a senior with 47 points on 36 goals and 11 assists. He scored eight goals against Worcester Polytechnic Institute on April 13, 1968, to set a school single-game record which still stands. Vrionis was also selected to play in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association North-South College All-Star Game following the conclusion of his senior season.
Dr. James Walsh has served as the team physician for Holy Cross athletics for more than 30 years. He has overseen physical exams for all athletes, and has made himself available to the coaches for any medical needs Crusader teams have during their seasons. Walsh began his association with the athletic department in 1978 as director of sports medicine, and currently serves as a medical advisor to the athletic training staff. He still plays an active role in the medical treatment of all the school’s athletes, concentrating on the football and men’s basketball teams. Walsh, who earned his medical degree from Georgetown in 1956, was also a member of the United States Army, being stationed in Korea from 1957-1959.
2010 HOLY CROSS VARSITY CLUB HALL OF FAME DINNER AWARD WINNERS
Crusader of the Year: Dominic
John A. Meegan Athletic Achievement Award: Tiffany Reid.
John P. Cooney Memorial Award: Matt Shapiro.
Daniel Allen Sportsmanship Award: Mara Piltin.
Richard J. Maloney Award: Eric Meister.
Samantha Vellaccio Award: Briana McFadden.
Hop Riopel Award: Nick Ciardiello, Matt Perry, John Sills.
Ray Dobens Award: Ryan George.
Davitt Awards: Anthony Campbell, Anthony DiMichele, Bill Edger, Aaron Jones, Nicholas MacDonald, Chris Poole.
Hall of Fame Inductees: Lee Hendrickson (Class of 1992, soccer), Tom Kelleher (Class of 1988, football), Lynn Liberatore (Class of 1995, cross country, track & field), Patrick Rissmiller (Class of 2002, ice hockey), John Vrionis (Class of 1968, football, lacrosse) and Dr. James Walsh (Class of 1952, honorary).