Local Sports Award Winners Announced
Friday, January 03, 2014
Words Unlimited, the statewide organization of sports writers, sportscasters and sports publicists, will hold its 68th annual Sports Awards Banquet on Sunday, February 16 at The Radisson on Post Road in Warwick.
Open to the public, the reception will begin at 5 pm and dinner will be served at 5:45 pm.
Tickets are priced at $35 each and may be obtained by contacting Words Unlimited President John Parente at Johnson & Wales University at (401) 598-1604 or any Words Unlimited member.
A silent auction also will be held to support the Words Unlimited Scholarship Fund.
Memorabilia up for auction will include items donated by the Boston Celtics, the Pawtucket Red Sox, the New York Jets and the New Jersey Devils as well as several framed photos (autographed and not autographed) by Sports & More which is located in the Providence Place Mall.
Cash and checks are accepted for all items (no credit cards, please).
Here is a list of the award recipients for the 2013 calendar year:
Amby Smith Award
Beverly Wiley – Bev Wiley became a trailblazer for gender equity and opened many doors to provide opportunities for girls and women in sports through her involvement in the Women’s Sports Foundation, the YMCA and the R.I. Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. Wiley has been the R.I. Commissioner of the Amateur Softball Association/USA Softball since 1992 and is the Athletic Compliance Officer at CCRI.
Frank Lanning Award
Bob McGarry – Bob McGarry was the heart and soul of the Providence Journal sports department for 41 years (he was hired when he was 18). Colleague Bill Reynolds wrote in a November column that “In a business that can come all but wrapped in self-importance, McGarry always was the antithesis of that. He always was here, day after day, year after year, as everything else swirled around him.”
Bill Cawley Award
Russ Fiore – A Providence native, Russ Fiore has been a member of the Brown University training staff since August of 1979 and is the Head Athletic Trainer at Brown. He invented a special machine that’s used by many schools to treat ankle injuries. And he also designed and developed a revolutionary new angle brace that’s used by several NBA players and athletes at all levels.
Hall of Fame inductee
Paul Kenyon - The Providence Journal’s “utility man”, Paul Kenyon in the last 36 years has worked on almost every writing beat in the sports department. He spent his first 11 years covering high school sports and then switched to college basketball where he primarily covered the University of Rhode Island. He spent two years as a beat reporter for the Red Sox, has covered the Patriots the last four years and still maintains his passion for writing about golf.
Male Athlete of the Year
John Spooney – Brown University’s senior tailback, John Spooney last season earned First Team All-Ivy League and All-New England selections. He ranked fifth in the nation and led the Ivies in rushing with an average of 130.0 yards per game. Spooney’s 1,170 rushing yards ranked fifth in Brown’s record book.
Female Athlete of the Year
Emily Sisson – Providence College’s Emily Sisson capped off a superb season with a third NCAA All-American selection by finishing seventh overall while leading the Friars to the 2013 Division I cross-country championship. In March, her time of 15:54.73 was good for ninth place in the 5000 meters and earned her selection to the NCAA All-American Second Team.
Men’s Sports Coach of the Year
Tim O’Shea – Tim O’Shea guided the basketball Bulldogs from a worst to first finish last season. After finishing 2-28 in 2011-12, Bryant University’s fourth season in Division I, the team was picked 10th in the NEC Pre-Season Coaches poll. But the Bulldogs pulled off one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history by finishing 19-11 overall replete with a second-place finish (12-6) in the NEC.
Women’s Sports Coach of the Year
Ray Treacy – The National Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year as picked by the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches of American, Ray Treacy led Providence College to its second NCAA Division I cross country title on November 23. Treacy also guided the Friars to their first Big East team championship since 2006 and back-to-back Northeast Regional Championships.
Team of the Year
Providence College women’s cross country – The Friars captured the NCAA Division I Cross Country championship led by three All-Americans. It was PC’s first NCAA Division I title since 1995 when the women annexed the cross country team title that year.
Small College Achievement Award
Rhode Island College men’s basketball team – Coach Bob Walsh’s Anchormen posted a 26-4 overall record and a 13-1 Little East Conference mark en route to capturing the program’s sixth regular-season championship and fifth LEC Tournament title. RIC advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the seventh consecutive season – one of just four teams in the nation who’ve accomplished this feat.
Story of the Year
Bryant University men’s basketball team – The Bulldogs set a NEC record for win improvement with 19 including marquee victories over Boston College plus Lehigh while completing one of the greatest turnarounds in the NCAA record books.
Community Service Award
University of Rhode Island’s Caroline Casey – A volleyball player for the Rams, Caroline Casey spent her winter break in Nicaragua helping to prepare a plot of land being used to build a home for 70 displaced orphans. In October, Casey donated bone marrow to save the life of a 32-year-old woman whom she had never met. She’s also active in Habitat for Humanity.
Schoolboy Athlete of the Year
Eddie Markowski – Eddie Markowski concluded his high school career at Hendricken with a Second Team All-State selection in hockey and a First Team All-State selection plus MVP honors in baseball after guiding the Hawks to the Division I state title.
Schoolgirl Athlete of the Year
Maddy Berkson – Stanford-bound Maddy Berkson earned All-State honors in three seasons. She led the Purple to a share of the 2013 state indoor state title, sole possession of the outdoor crown and also placed third at the state cross-country championships.
Schoolboy Sports Coach of the Year
Shane Lagor – After West Warwick’s football team lost its first two games Shane Lagor guided a young group of Wizards to their first Division II Super Bowl in 11 years and beat Cumberland, 48-13, for the championship.
Schoolgirl Sports Coach of the Year
Sean Reddy – Sean Reddy guided the LaSalle Rams to their third consecutive Division I state basketball title and their sixth state crown in seven years. La Salle beat Barrington, 62-29, in the finals.