Courtesy: St. Bonaventure Athletics
The 2021 Bonnies Choice Awards were held Monday, May 17 in a virtual setting for the second consecutive year. Despite not being able to get together inside the Reilly Center, St. Bonaventure Athletics Department honored its student-athletes and their work over the past year through the GoBonniesTV YouTube channel.
WATCH THE ENTIRE AWARDS SHOW: CLICK HERE
As in recent years, the Bonnies Choice portion of the awards was comprised of awards that were nominated by the St. Bonaventure Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and coaches and voted on by all Bonnies student-athletes through an online vote.
The Department’s major senior awards were also announced to several graduating student-athletes.
See the entire list of awards winners below:
SENIOR AWARD WINNERS
The Ray Dee Leadership Award is named for the 1964 Bona’s graduate who was the Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, as well as a generous donor to our athletic programs. Sadly, Mr. Dee passed away this past January – and we remember him and his family through this award named in his honor.
The Ray Dee Leadership award is presented to the senior who, through his or her leadership skills, sets a positive example for others to follow and builds pride for St. Bonaventure Athletics. The person will have maintained the highest standards of performance, integrity, sportsmanship and respect.
This year’s winner was a member of the softball team who appeared in 56 games over her career. She graduated in only three years with a degree in Health Sciences and received the general excellence award in the health science curriculum. She was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a PAC volunteer and co-host of the “Be The Change” podcast. She was a leader on her team, especially this year with a very young roster. A Dean’s List student every semester, she will attend D’Youville College next fall to pursue a doctorate degree in chiropractic. She also plans to coach softball.
The winner of the Ray Dee Leadership Award is Abby Borkowski.
The Service Award is presented annually to a graduating senior for outstanding service, dedication and commitment to the Department of Athletics. It may go to either a student-athlete or to a non-athlete. This award is dedicated to the memory of assistant sports information director Brian Moretti who passed away unexpectedly on March 5, 2014. Brian was only here for a short time, but he left an unforgettable impression through his work ethic, enthusiasm and love of his craft, in particular the work he did with the women’s basketball team. It was a privilege to know Brian and his family and we are thrilled to present this in his name.
This year’s winner is a junior who has served the athletics department in a myriad of roles, all in a volunteer basis, and is always ready to lend a hand wherever it is needed. He was the manager of the men’s lacrosse team in its first year, 2019, then has moved on to work in the Compliance Office under Ryan Clingan. He assisted with home game management for a number of sports the past two years.
The winner of the Brian Moretti Service Award is Jack Steger.
The Merit Award is presented every year to one senior male and one senior female student-athlete for outstanding academic achievement, significant athletic achievement and meaningful contribution to the St. Bonaventure community.
Our women’s Merit Award recipient was a model student-athlete. On the soccer field, she anchored the Bonnies’ defense for four years, earning 56 starts out of 63 games. She was the team captain during this shortened spring season, leading a very young team. In the classroom, she earned a degree in Health Science with a minor in biology, graduating with honors and a GPA over 3.8. She has tutored peer students, been a volunteer at the Warming House and for Special Olympics and worked as an EMT during the summer.
The winner of the Female Merit Award is Alex Thompson.
From his freshman year to 2021, he has been a regular on the mound for the baseball team, holding down relief and starting roles equally well. In 2017, he set the program record for appearances on the mound with 28 and was selected to the A-10 All-Rookie Team. He backed that up with a strong sophomore year, as his ERA of 2.58 ranks eighth best in the Bona record books. He now stands in the top 10 pitchers in school history in saves, ERA and appearances. Off the field, he has been a regular around the halls of the Reilly Center, serving as an intern in the athletics communications office and this year as the graduate assistant for academic support services. He was nominated for the 2021 NCAA Emerging Leaders Seminar and will complete his degree in journalism with a sports and business administration minor.
The winner of the Male Merit Award is Donovan Moffat.
The Letterwinner Award is presented every year to one senior male and one senior female student-athlete who have assembled outstanding records of athletic accomplishments over their careers and have proven instrumental to their teams’ success.
Our women’s recipient has led the lacrosse team as a team captain and one of the Bonnies’ top offensive players. The Rochester native ranks 19th all-time in program history in scoring with 56 goals and 34 assists for 90 points. Over her career, she played in 62 games and started 54 times. She led the Bonnies in scoring three consecutive seasons, and her 10 points in a single game is tied for the school record. This year as a redshirt senior she earned Academic All-Conference honors while completing her Master’s degree in business administration. She has participated in the NCAA’s Emerging Leadership Seminar and Career in Sports Forum. In June she will begin a full-time position in St. Bonaventure’s athletics compliance office.
The winner of the Female Letterwinner Award is Destinee Johnson.
This year, we have co-winners of the men’s Letterwinner Award.
Our first recipient is a testament to perseverance and improvement. This diver started out from a B qualifier at A-10s his freshman year, moved up to an A qualifier his sophomore year and finished just shy of the medal stand. The 2020 season went even better as he qualified for the NCAA Zone Championships. He was on track to medal and the A-10 meet until suffering an injury during the 1 meter board finals. This past winter he was at his career best, peaking at the A-10 Championship meet, finishing fourth on the 1 meter board, just five points out of first place, and then winning the 3 meter dive the following day. He was named the Atlantic 10 Men’s Diver of the Year, the first Bonnies diver since 2016 to earn that honor.
The first winner of the Male Letterwinner Award is Michael Bruno.
Our second recipient has set multiple program records for the baseball team, proving since his freshman season what a talented player he is. He stands fourth all-time in home runs with 25. Last season, he was the national leader in home runs with seven in just seven games. This year, he leads the Bonnies in every offensive category including hits, home runs, doubles and runs batted in, and stands second in the Atlantic 10 Conference in slugging percentage.
The second winner of the Male Letterwinner Award is Tyler Kelder.
BONNIES CHOICE AWARD WINNERS (voted on by student-athletes)
WOMEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Rachel Kimmel, Women’s Swimming – Fort Loudon, Pa.
- Won gold and set the school record in the 100-breaststroke at Atlantic 10 Championships
- Also took silver in the 200-breaststroke at A-10 Championships
- Brought career A-10 Championships medal count to seven
MEN’S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Jake Rosa, Men’s Lacrosse – Windsor, Ontario
- Selected as the 2021 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and MAAC All-Championship Team
- Started all 10 games and led the Bonnies and the MAAC in points (39) and assists (22)
- Was second on the team with 17 goals and registered three or more points in nine of 10 games this season
Kyle Lofton, Men’s Basketball – Hillsdale, N.J.
- Earned Atlantic 10 and NABC All-District First Team honors for the second consecutive season after averaging 14.4 points, 5.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 38.4 minutes per game
- Started all 21 games and scored in double figures 17 times, handing out five or more assists 16 times while shooting over 41 percent from the floor and 81 percent from the foul line
- Led the Bonnies to an Atlantic 10 Championship victory over VCU with a game-high 23 points, adding six assists and a season-high four three-pointers
WOMEN’S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Grace Walker, Softball – Caledonia, N.Y.
- Started 19 of 21 games played and was selected to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team
- Led team with .352 season batting average
- Also had a .462 on-base percentage
Maddie Mazur, Women’s Lacrosse – Lancaster, N.Y.
- Started 10 of 12 games in debut season
- Posted nine goals and 10 points, adding 11 groundballs and 13 draw controls
- Ranked fourth on team in points
MEN’S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Nick Porfilio, Men’s Lacrosse – Milwaukee, Wisc.
- Started all 10 games on the fourth-ranked defense in the nation, allowing nine goals per game
- Was third on the team with nine caused turnovers
- Picked up eight groundballs and turned the ball over just twice all season
WOMEN’S RISING STAR
Kenzie Tarmino, Women’s Soccer – Fairport, N.Y.
- Has started 24 of 26 career games in first two seasons
- Played full time in six of eight matches this season
- A-10 Rookie of the Week during debut season
MEN’S RISING STAR
Sean Westley, Men’s Lacrosse – Whitby, Ontario
- Led the Bonnies and the MAAC with 23 goals, adding eight assists for 31 points
- Started all 10 games this season, earning MAAC Offensive Player of the Week honors April 28
- Scored a program-record six goals against Siena
WOMEN’S BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMER
Emma Larkman, Women’s Cross Country/Track – West Seneca, N.Y.
- Ran fifth-fastest 3000 meters time in program history this year
- Also posted 10th-best individual 5000 meters time in program history
MEN’S BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMER
Jalen Adaway, Men’s Basketball – Logansport, Ind.
- Made a huge impact during debut season with the program, starting 20 of 21 games while averaging 12.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 33.1 minutes per game
- Ranked second on the team and 10th in the Atlantic 10 by shooting 51.5 percent from the floor (103-200) while scoring in double figures 14 times, including 10 of the final 11 games of the season
- Earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 Tournament All-Championship Team
WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Sofia Franco, Women’s Tennis – Pereira, Colombia
- Led the Bonnies women’s tennis team at the No. 1 singles spot for much of the spring season
- Earned 5-3 record at No. 1 singles and six overall singles wins as a freshman
- Part of five doubles victories
MEN’S INTERNATIONAL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Brett Dobson, Men’s Lacrosse – Oshawa, Ontario
- Started all 10 games in net this season for the Bonnies and was named Second Team All-MAAC and MAAC All-Championship Team
- Leads the MAAC and is second in the NCAA in save percentage (59.9%), is sixth in the NCAA in saves per game (13.6) and is eighth nationally in goals against per game (9.1)
- Two-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Week
WOMEN’S UNSUNG HERO
Savannah Gonsiorek, Women’s Lacrosse – Hamburg, N.Y.
- Played in 46 career games, making 28 starts
- Staple of team’s defense and team leader
- Registered starts in each of the last five games of the year with nine groundballs and three caused turnovers
MEN’S UNSUNG HERO
Nicholas Nakaya, Men’s Swimming – Honolulu, Hawaii
- Won a silver medal with the 400-medley relay team and scored in two individual events for the Bonnies at Atlantic 10 Championships
- Earned an 11th place finish in the 100-breaststroke
Matthew Williams, Baseball – Sayre, Pa.
- Four-year member of the baseball team and is a three-year starter at first base for the Bonnies
- Started all 23 games at first base this year, making only one error and is second on the team with 12 RBIs
- Has only made four errors, posting a .989 fielding percentage in 78 career games
WOMEN’S REILLY AWARD
Emily Calabrese, Women’s Basketball – Wyckoff, N.J.
- Ranks top-15 in program history for rebounding with 585 career rebounds
- Appeared in all 21 games this year, averaging 5.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game
- Played in over 100 career games
MEN’S REILLY AWARD
Tyler Kelder, Baseball – Kingston, N.Y.
- Has started all 27 games in right field this season
- Currently sits fourth all-time on the St. Bonaventure home run charts with 25 career round-trippers and ranks in the top-30 nationally in 2021 in slugging percentage
- Second on the Bonnies this season with a .301 batting average and is first on the squad with seven home runs to go along with a team-best 15 RBIs
WOMEN’S COURAGE AWARD
Amara Young, Women’s Tennis – Indianapolis, Ind.
- Battled through torn ACL this season
- Returned to play in the doubles lineup this season
MEN’S COURAGE AWARD
Daire Newbrough, Men’s Lacrosse – Waterloo, Ontario
- Appeared in six games this season, making five starts as a midfielder
- Played in 21 career games with the Bonnies, tallying two assists and 26 groundballs despite multiple major injuries, returning from injury to play in SBU’s MAAC quarterfinal win
- Tallied 13 groundballs as a freshman in eight games in the rebirth season of SBU men’s lacrosse
Joshua Pulla, Men’s Soccer – Vaughan, Ontario
- Played in eight games, starting in seven of those contests
- Tallied two assists on the year with both coming in a 2-0 win at Duquesne
- Was a key member of the roster despite suffering a death in the family during the season