Mary King - Assumption
College - Female Sportsmanship Award Recipient
(Photo by Shane Bufano)
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Burlington, Vt. – Assumption College sophomore Mary King (Waltham, Mass.) was named the 2009-2010 Northeast-10 Female Sportsmanship Award recipient, while Southern New Hampshire University junior Mike Smith (Lynnfield, Mass.) and sophomore Tyler Parks (Moultonborough, N.H.) were honored as the Male Sportsmanship Award recipients. The trio was honored Monday evening at the Northeast-10's annual end of the year awards banquet in Burlington, Vt.
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.
King started her sophomore season playing midfield-defense for the Assumption women's lacrosse team, however midway through the season the team had a vacant spot in a very important position, goalkeeper. The starting goalkeeper at the time left the team, leaving the Greyhounds without a goalkeeper.
King sacrificed her self-interest for the sake of the team's needs and tried out for the position and eventually was named the team's new starting goalkeeper. She started the final five games of the season and recorded 53 saves in goal for the Greyhounds. Her teammates appreciated and recognized her contribution by giving her the 'Unsung Hero' award.
The men's sportsmanship award was presented to Southern New Hampshire cross country athletes Smith and Parks for their actions during the New England Championships in October. Midway through the third mile of the 8k championship course, Smith came across a Boston University runner who apparently passed out and was unconscious lying on the ground.
Smith began to help the runner up as Parks, who was seconds behind Smith in the race, ran over to his teammate to assist. Both Smith and Parks were able to aid the runner out of the wooded area of the course and to the closest medical tent where an ambulance was waiting to take the runner to the nearest hospital.
"This is what true sports is all about. In an era where sports are generally demeaned in so many ways, this goes to show that helping another person is more important than winning a race," said Chip Polak, Director of Athletics at Southern New Hampshire. "For Tyler and Mike to sacrifice their own finish in a race to help someone in need was truly a selfless act."
As a result of their actions, neither Smith nor Parks were able to finish the championship race, however, the end result was rewarding enough. The BU runner, who passed out from dehydration, ended up being okay thanks to the self-sacrifice both Smith and Parks portrayed during the race.
With 16 member institutions the Northeast-10 shares the distinction of being the largest Division II conference in the country along with the PSAC and WVIAC. Its 23 championship sports provide athletic opportunities for over 5,500 student-athletes, the largest such program of any Division II conference.