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Mystic, Conn. – Le Moyne College senior Justine Ravas (Oswego, N.Y.) was named the 2008-2009 Northeast-10 Female Sportsmanship Award recipient, while Merrimack College freshman Robbie Sabadoz (Ottowa, Ontario) and University of New Haven senior James Hilaire (Jacmel, Haiti) were honored as Co-Male Sportsmanship Award recipients. The trio was honored Monday evening at the Conference’s annual end of the year awards banquet in Mystic, Conn.
Each year, the Northeast-10 honors a male and female student-athlete that have demonstrated one or more of the ideals of sportsmanship, including fairness, civility, honesty, unselfishness, respect and responsibility. The sportsmanship recipients will be forwarded as the conference’s nominees for the NCAA Sportsmanship award. The NCAA will select a male and female winner from each of the three divisions as finalists, and then one male and female will be selected as the NCAA Sportsmanship Award winners.
Ravas was a four-year member and captain of the Le Moyne women’s soccer team. During her career she appeared in 38 games while starting 25 at defense. She is the President of Le Moyne’s SAAC program for the past two years and helped coordinate initiatives to increase sportsmanship and recorded voice memos to be played at all games to encourage sportsmanship and fair play.
“As we strive to foster the personal growth of the young people we come in contact with each day, we are fortunate on occasion to come across individuals that transcend the normal definition of "the student athlete",” said Le Moyne Athletic Director Matt Bassett. “Justine Ravas is one of those individuals. Justine embodies all of the characteristics and qualities of an individual who never stops giving of herself. Her service to our campus, our community, and as the obvious leader of our student athlete population, is what the conference was envisioning when they selected Justine Ravas as the 2009 recipient of the NE10 Sportsmanship Award!”
The past three seasons, the Le Moyne women’s soccer team was honored with the Northeast-10 Sportsmanship Award. During this year’s senior day pregame ceremonies, Ravas asked to honor the Saint Rose seniors as well by giving them all a single white flower.
The men’s sportsmanship award was presented to Merrimack’s Sabadoz and New Haven’s Hilaire. On September 24, New Haven goaltender Hilaire was critically injured when Merrimack forward Sabadoz collided with him. The collision sent Hilaire to the emergency room and to intensive care with his life in critical condition and left much of his right side paralyzed.
Since the night of the accident, Sabadoz has tried to put the event behind him, but help Hilaire at the same time. He organized letters of support from his team and the Merrimack community that were sent to Hilaire and his family. Sabadoz worked with his head coach Tony Martone to set up a reunion meeting which occurred in mid-February. Both Hilaire and Sabadoz, along with their head coaches met at a Worcester-area restaurant. The two shared stories about their experiences since the accident and even found two dinner specials on the menu (the ‘New Haven’ and the ‘Merrimack’).
Sabadoz and Hilaire continue to keep in touch through phone, email and text messaging. They met again on April 25 when the Merrimack men’s soccer team went to New Haven to play in a tournament.
With 15 member institutions the Northeast-10 is the second largest NCAA Division II athletic conference in the nation. Its 23 championship sports provide athletic opportunities for over 5,500 student-athletes, the largest such program of any Division II conference.
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