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Patriot League Male and Female Sportsmanship Award

Created in 2006, the Patriot League Male and Female Sportsmanship Award is open to all Patriot League student-athletes, with one male and one female winner selected. Each Patriot League institution is eligible to nominate candidates which are then voted on by the Patriot League Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). The names of the winners of the Patriot League Male and Female Sportsmanship Award will be forwarded on as the Patriot League's nominations for the NCAA Male and Female Sportsmanship award.

Each Patriot League institution can nominate as many individuals as they wish. To nominate an individual or team, contact the Patriot League office to receive a nomination form or use the PDF copy below. The completed form should be signed by both the Director of Athletics and the student-athlete and returned to the Patriot League office.

2012 Sportsmanship Award Nomination Form Get Acrobat Reader

Award of Leadership and Character Nomination Form
The Patriot League has established an Award of Leadership and Character to recognize and honor those who demonstrate excellence in leadership and service while participating in Patriot League athletics. All Patriot League student-athletes and a team as a whole associated with a member institution's intercollegiate athletic program are eligible for the award. The Nomination Form for Patriot League Outstanding Leadership and Character Award will be due Monday, May 16, 2011.

Award of Leadership and Character Nomination Form for 2013 

 
Patriot League Male Sportsmanship Award Winners
 

2011-12
John Pope
American University
Cross Country


Pope, a sophomore, won the Sportsmanship Award for his grace under pressure and respect towards both his teammates and opponents during the heat of competition and after the event. He encourages his teammates to emulate his work ethic and accomplishments. Pope did not hang his head and demonstrated great sportsmanship in his defeat at the Patriot League Cross Country Championship by congratulating and encouraging his teammates to do their best as they competed.
 

2010-11
Ryan Ward
United States Naval Academy
Swimming


Ward helped Navy win the Patriot League Championship in each of his four seasons at the Academy, but his Sportsmanship honor comes from an act early in the 2010-11 campaign. Navy went to the University of Virginia for a dual meet on Oct. 29, which was the first competition for the Cavaliers since graduate and 11-time All-American swimmer Fran Crippen died during an open water race in the Middle East. Navy wanted to do something to honor Crippen and all that he represented for the swimming community, and Ward came up with the idea to present the Virginia team with a Brigade of Midshipmen flag and plaque from the Naval Academy in commemoration of Crippen's death. Ward also wrote a speech that he gave to the entire facility during a break in the meet. The actions brought about messages of thanks from spectators, Virginia Head Coach Mark Bernadino and United States Naval Academy Superintendent Michael H. Miller.
 

2009-10
John Collett
Bucknell University
Lacrosse
 

2009-10
Ryan Klipstein
Bucknell University
Lacrosse

Collett and Klipstein developed a program called "A Bison Never Forgets," which aims to collect donations to send supplies and support to former college lacrosse players who are now serving in the armed forces overseas. For Collett the inspiration for the program came from watching his brother Mike, a 2009 graduate of the Naval Academy and former lacrosse player for the Midshipmen. At every home game, Collett and Klipstein arranged for a table to be set up to collect donations in which all donors receive a "Bison Never Forgets" wristband. They also accepted donations through the mail, with proceeds going to the assembly of care packages that are then sent to troops overseas. Collett and Klipstein have reached out to other lacrosse programs in the Patriot League and other varsity sports programs at Bucknell, encouraging them to contribute.

2009-10 marked the first year in which two student-athletes shared the sportsmanship award.

 

2008-09
Geoff Campbell
Lehigh University
Baseball


A co-captain of the Mountain Hawk baseball team, Campbell's on-field behavior was often commended by opponents and umpires alike. Head Coach Sean Leary stated that Campbell showed how to "play the game right", and never argued with an umpire while displaying respect for the opposition. Campbell's demeanor earned so much respect from around the League that the umpires all presented him with a signed scorecard as a memento for his last game at Lehigh. Campbell was a leader off the field as well, as he has served as a Student-Athlete Mentor representative for two years and a leader in Lehigh's Student-Athlete Council during the past academic year.
 

2007-08
Bryan White
Lehigh University
Men's Basketball


White always served as a calming voice for the Mountain Hawk basketball team, inspiring his teammates to remain composed, exhibit high levels of sportsmanship and to seize every opportunity that came their way. As the captain of his squad, White would encourage his teammates to handle calls that may not have gone their way with great poise and to move on from those hurdles. He was an inspiration to his entire team and left the group with encouraging words after their season came to an end in the Patriot League Tournament. He told his teammates to embrace the opportunities before them and that time is short so they should appreciate every opportunity afforded to them.
 
 

2006-07
Arthur "Robbie" Walsh
Lehigh University
Men's Lacrosse


Sometimes teams need a voice of reason to bring them back to why they play the game they love. Walsh was that voice of reason for the Lehigh men's lacrosse team and is characterized by his coach Chris Wakely as the "soul" of the squad. The senior political science major would be the one to remind the team to keep its cool when playing away games that might incite poor sporting behavior from fans and to focus on the games itself. Walsh's commitment to good sporting behavior was a key factor in the presentation of the James "Ace" Adams Sportsmanship Award to Lehigh in the spring of 2006 by the United States Men's Lacrosse Collegiate Committee. The award is named after the legendary men's lacrosse coach James Adams, who modeled the highest standards of class and professionalism throughout his career.
 

2005-06
Joe Knight
Lehigh University
Men's Basketball


"I am honored and thrilled for Joe Knight," Lehigh Head Men's Basketball Coach Billy Taylor said. "Joe is a tremendous young man who had a positive impact on our basketball team and the Lehigh campus. I am so excited that the Patriot League recognizes his strong leadership qualities. Joe personally battled through adversity and refused to let negative destructive thoughts steal from his experience to get a high-level education while playing the game he loves. I can only hope that we can continue to recruit quality student-athletes like Joe Knight."

Knight was a Second-Team All-Patriot League selection in 2006, averaging 14.4 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game, leading Lehigh to a 19-12 overall record and third-place finish in the Patriot League. Knight graduated from Lehigh with a degree in sociology last month.

Knight also committed himself to serving the community with his involvement in the Boys and Girls Club Big Brother program as a Youth Community Reading Program volunteer and as a summer camp counselor.

 
 
 
Patriot League Female Sportsmanship Award Winners
 

2011-12
Katelyn Hartnett
College of the Holy Cross
Track and Field


Hartnett, a senior at Holy Cross, has always been well-respected by her teammates and opponents. Hartnett was a top contender to win the 800-meter race at the Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championship, but she was tripped from behind during the first lap. She fell to the back of the pack and managed to have enough strength to get up and keep racing until she could catch the rest of the field. During the final sprint, she was able to pass an athlete on the last lap to obtain third place. After the race, with all of her injuries, she gathered herself to congratulate the other athletes.

Hartnett never blamed anyone for the unfortunate tripping and never took anything away from the victor's enjoyment of the win. Hartnett's head coach, Egetta Alfonso, stated: "I know that she was deeply disappointed. Team means everything to her and she wanted to bring home some wins for them. I could see that she was choked up after the race. But she never showed that to her opponents."

 

2010-11
Lauren Dykstra
Lehigh University
Lacrosse


Dykstra will go down as one of the most accomplished players in Patriot League women's lacrosse history. She won her fourth different major award in the spring, adding the newly establisher Midfield Player of the Year honor to her previous Offensive, Defensive and Rookie of the Year awards. She closed her career as the Patriot League's all-time leader in goals scored with 257, standing alone in sixth place in NCAA annals. She also finishes with 302 points, only the second Patriot League player to have reached the 300-point plateau and just six short of the League record. Dykstra was a candidate for the Tewaaraton Award given to the top player in women's lacrosse.

Through all of her accomplishments, Dykstra always earned the respect of teammates, competitors and officials for her composure and demeanor on the field. She never retaliated fouls and understood that character is a large part of what it means to be a good leader. Dykstra showed her sportsmanlike-behavior in a highly-competitive game against Virginia Tech on April 9. In a Senior Day contest where she broke the school and Patriot League career goals record and moved into the NCAA top 10, Dykstra appeared to score the go-ahead goal with 2:04 remaining. The goal was then disallowed on a failed stick check, yet Dykstra did not complain with the officials' decision on the key play. Lehigh went on to lose the contest, 6-5, when Virginia Tech scored in the final seconds, yet Dykstra still led her teammates in congratulating their opponents and held a video interview afterwards to speak about her record-breaking goal.

 

2009-10
Susan Fortkiewicz
Colgate University
Women's Cross Country


Fortkiewicz displayed each of the merits for the Sportsmanship Award in her everyday life. She was a role model who always set a positive example for her peers, leading with care and compassion for others. A consistent top finisher for the Raiders, Fortkiewicz proudly served as co-captain for the Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Teams. She was named to the 2009 Patriot League Women's Cross Country Academic Honor Roll, posting a 3.67 GPA. Fortkiewicz is also a two-time recipient of the Don Dunn Award for her demonstration of exceptional dedication and persistence throughout the season.

Fortkiewicz was just as helpful in her off the field activities, as she was the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Colgate University. As president, she led the "Adopt-A-Classroom" initiative. Throughout this event, Fortkiewicz organized all Colgate athletes to attend a class at the local elementary and high school to speak on topics like bullying, sportsmanship, and integrity. This event was largely successful due to the time commitment and passion she put into it. As a result of all that she has done for the Colgate University athletics department, she was the recipient of this year's "Huther Award." This award is given to a student-athlete who adds to the education of others by effort, dedication and example. Fortkiewicz also served as a member of the senior class gift committee.

 

2008-09
Melissa Rich
Lehigh University
Women's Basketball


Rich was successful in the classroom and on the court at Lehigh, and always did it with an upbeat and positive attitude. She would often help an opponent up after being fouled and was known as "mom" to her coaches and teammates for always working hard and doing whatever necessary to help the team. Even as her role on the team changed, Rich was a leader for the Mountain Hawks and used her teaching ability to help her teammates become successful. She emerged as an outstanding bench player and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team as Lehigh won the 2009 Patriot League Championship. Rich was just as helpful in her off the court activities, as she was heavily involved with Lehigh's Community Outreach by Athletes who Care about Helping (C.O.A.C.H.) program and also volunteered at the children's ward at St. Luke's Hospital, ran a free basketball clinic for children and recruited her team to help with the Victory House Dinner, a shelter that provides meals to homeless men in Bethlehem.
 

2007-08
Asia Hollis
Lafayette College
Women's Track and Field


Hollis showed a great deal of sportsmanship at the 2008 Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championship, although most never saw her gracious act. Hollis and teammate Janica Austin were both competing in the 400-meter race. Austin crossed the line first followed by Hollis, but due to a lane violation Austin was disqualified and thus moving Hollis up to first place. At the conclusion of the championship meet Hollis was awarded the 400-meter gold medal. She then went and sat down next to her teammate Austin and said "this belongs to you" as she handed her the gold medal. Hollis did this quietly and not many people saw what had happened. Hollis did not do this for recognition or applause, but rather because that is what felt right to her.
 
 

2006-07
Ashley Yelland
Lafayette College
Women's Soccer


Yelland performed a single act that embodied the meaning of sportsmanship. The senior women's soccer tri-captain and government and law major went above and beyond at Lafayette's Senior Night, which was the last home game of the season for the Leopards. Senior Night festivities include a pre-game presentation to the seniors on the home team, which interrupts the normal flow of warm ups for the away team that must stand by and wait for the ceremony to conclude. Lafayette's Senior Night game was against fellow Patriot League team Army, whose seniors will be commissioned into the U.S. Military upon graduation. Instead of just letting the Army seniors watch as the soon-to-be Lafayette graduates were celebrated, Yelland presented her opponent's seniors with flowers as well and thanked them for their contribution to their country.
 

2006-07
Army Women's Basketball Team


The Army women's basketball team showed great courage in a time of adversity pulling together as one to carry on the memory of Maggie Dixon, who coached the Black Knights during the 2005-06 season and suddenly passed away last April at age 28. While Dixon was only with the team a short time, she made an impact on the student-athletes, cadets, athletic department and the community that will never be forgotten. Dixon coached Army to its first-ever Patriot League Championship title in 2006 and Division I NCAA Tournament debut, but her contributions to the Army women's basketball went well beyond "Xs" and "Os". This year's Black Knight women's basketball team exuded bravery at the first-annual Maggie Dixon Classic, where Army played nationally-ranked Ohio State in its season opener at West Point. The tournament was a celebration of Dixon's accomplishments which included the hanging of both the Patriot League Championship banner and Dixon's Patriot League Coach of the Year banner and speeches by the seniors from the 2005-06 team.
 
 

2005-06
Meredith Addington
U.S. Naval Academy
Women's Basketball


Addington appeared in seven Midshipmen contests this season, averaging 3.9 minutes per game. Her teammates described her as the ultimate team player and pushed them to succeed each day in practice despite her limited role. Addington started Navy's final home contest of the season on Senior Night against Colgate on February 25, earning a standing ovation from the crowd when she was announced.

"This is a tremendous honor for Meredith, our team and the Naval Academy," Navy Head Women's Basketball Coach Tom Marryott said. "Throughout her career, she was the type of player every coach would love to have because of her constant drive to help the team have success on the court, in the classroom and within the Brigade. How Meredith carried herself in everything she did was a great example of every attribute one associates with sportsmanship."