Mohawk Valley Community College Athletics has announced the student-athlete award winners for the 2019-2020 academic year, an unforgettable year disrupted for all students by the Coronavirus pandemic. Many student-athletes didn’t get the spring season they spent months — even years — preparing for, but persevered through the semester and achieved excellence in academics, leadership, and their chosen sport.
The Robert R. Jorgensen Award is presented annually to the male and female student-athletes who show outstanding leadership and achievement in athletics. This year’s winners are Justin Steed and Lyrik’ Jackson.
Steed, a sophomore on the Men’s Basketball team, averaged 16.1 points and 3.1 assists per game this season while shooting 40% from three-point range on the year. He was a tremendous asset in helping the Hawks reach the NJCAA Division III National Championship game. MVCC finished the season with a 30-3 record. Steed broke the school record earlier this season as he made 11 three-point baskets in a game against Schenectady.
Jackson, a sophomore on the Women’s Basketball team, was recently named an NJCAA Division III Second Team All-American. She helped lead the Lady Hawks to a 17-7 record and make it to the semi-finals of the NJCAA Region III Tournament. Jackson also was named the 2019-2020 Region III Player of the Year. In her only season as a Hawk, Jackson averaged 26.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.9 steals per game.
The Alumni Award is presented annually to the male and female student-athlete who, while receiving little acclaim, showed great dedication to the welfare of the team and a persistent effort in the pursuit of excellence in their chosen sport. This year’s winners are Michael Decrescenzo and Katie Otis.
Decrescenzo, a sophomore on the Men’s Baseball team, plays both second and third base. He shows up to practice every day and is one of the hardest-working students on the team.
Katie Otis is a sophomore on the Women’s Volleyball team. She worked hard every day in practice to improve the team and helped get the Hawks into the Regional Tournament. Otis finished the season with 200 kills, 117 digs, 36 assists, and 70 aces.
The George L. Scala Award is presented annually to the student-athlete who displays outstanding leadership, commitment, and dedication to the physical education profession. This year’s winner is Jordan Baucom, a freshman Physical Education major on the Men’s Basketball team. He played in 20 games for the Hawks this season and shot 50% from the field and 44.4% from three-point range on the year while maintaining a 3.82 GPA in the Physical Education program. Baucom is a valued member of the Men’s Basketball team who works hard in practice and is very coachable. He plans to pursue a career in coaching and physical education.
The Theodore F. Moore Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award is presented annually to the male and female student-athletes who participated in a varsity sport each of their two years and have the highest cumulative GPA. This year’s winners are Robert Kunzmann and Megan O’Brien.
Kunzmann, an outfielder on the Men’s Baseball team, is a sophomore majoring in Air Conditioning Technology Refrigeration. His work ethic made him successful both on the field and in the classroom, and he maintained a 3.91 GPA through his two years at MVCC.
O’Brien, an outfielder on the Women’s Softball team, is a sophomore General Studies major. She is the epitome of a student-athlete, earning a 4.0 GPA in the General Studies program and showing up to practice every day, working just as hard as she does in the classroom.
The Kiwanis Award is presented annually by the Utica Kiwanis Club to the male and female student-athletes who best demonstrate outstanding accomplishments in athletics, academics, and leadership. This year’s winners are Jordanny Cuevas-Marte and Macy Vitale.
Cuevas-Marte, a sophomore General Studies major, is a guard on the Men’s Basketball team. He started all 33 games for the Hawks this season, averaging 20.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. Cuevas-Marte was recognized as the Region III Player of the Year, MVP of the Regional Final Four, and named to the NJCAA Division III National Championship All-Tournament team while helping the Hawks finish with a 30-3 record and a National Championship runner-up. He recently was named an NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball First All-American.
Vitale, a sophomore Nursing major, is a two-year captain for the Women’s Soccer team. She finished the season with 10 goals and led the team with 21 assists on their way to a 17-1-1 record on the year. The Hawks won the Regional Championship and earned a ranking as high as No. 3 in the country. Vitale also ranked second on the team in game-winning goals with three. She successfully balanced the demands of both the Nursing program and leading the team to the NJCAA Division III National Championship Tournament semi-finals.