Awards aplenty at 2019 FREDDYS
Fredonia's annual gala -- now known as The FREDDYS -- was held May 7 at Rosch Recital Hall, with awards presented to top student-athletes, to retiring administrators, and others who made notable contributions during the 2018-19 academic year.
A tie in voting resulted in Eric Bogart of men's ice hockey and Luke Kuczewski of baseball sharing the Male Athlete of the Year award. Among the votes cast included the results of a Twitter poll conducted for three days last weekend.
Jenna Einink of women's basketball was selected Female Athlete of the Year.
McKayla Polowy of women's swimming and diving the Female Rookie of the Year, and Ethan Kirbis of men's hockey the Male Rookie of the Year.
Play of the Year voting favored Kyle Jelinski's overtime goal to give men's hockey a SUNYAC Tournament win at Buffalo State.
Performance of the Year went to women's basketball player Rae White for her five three-pointers and 17 fourth-quarter points in a crucial late-season win over Plattsburgh.
Director of Athletics Jerry Fisk presented Dan Tramuta with the Director's Award. Tramuta, a Fredonia alumnus, is a former Blue Devil men's basketball player and coach who is retiring as Fredonia's associate vice president of Enrollment Services
Outgoing University President Dr. Virginia Horvath was also recognized for her support of Athletics. She, too, is retiring this summer.
The Michael Kozlowski Service Award went to Katie Pucci-Schaefer and her husband, Todd Schaefer. Mrs. Pucci-Schaefer has coached the Fredonia cheerleading team for 20 years but is leaving the position to run the family business with her husband, who has also supported the department during his wife's coaching tenure.
The Sandra Haight Award, given by her son Dave, went to Mark McGraw, a former Fredonia student-athlete who has assisted with student-athlete workouts in the Blue Devil Performance Center.
The Blue Devil Cup was awarded to the women's basketball team for accumulating the most points in athletic, academic, and community service categories. The category team winners were women's tennis (academics), women's volleyball (athletics), and women's basketball and men's hockey (community service).
Festivities included the 2019 induction of 17 seniors into the Fredonia chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma (see separate story).
Other award nominees:
Male Athlete of the Year – Ethan Francis of men's cross country and Dan Sudyn of men's track and field.
Female Athlete of the Year – Ayana Bursie of women's track and field, Lauren Cullinan of women's soccer, and Olivia Miller of women's tennis.
Male Rookie of the Year – Robert Atwood of men's swimming and diving and Matt Cullen of men's soccer.
Female Rookie of the Year – Emily Jones of women's volleyball, Karli Murray of softball, and Katie Pitcher of women's basketball.
Play of the Year –Cullen's one-timer goal against Oswego, Haley Elsey of women's soccer for a goal against Oneonta, and Amber Piniewski and her softball teammates for a game-ending double play vs. Cortland.
Performance of the Year – Polowy tying one and setting two freestyle swimming records in a single race; the softball team's shutout of Cortland, its first in program history; and a rally and playoff clinching win by women's tennis over Plattsburgh.
Presenters included Mr. Fisk and Assistant Director of Athletics and Senior Women's Administrator Angela Pucciarelli.
Sports Information Director Jerry Reilly served as master of ceremonies.