June 21, 2017

2017 North Atlantic Conference Man of the Year Nominees Released

The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) is pleased to announce the nominees for its annual Man of the Year award. Seven male student-athletes are up for the prestigious award which encompasses all facets of the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete experience. 

Both the NAC Man and Woman of the Year awards are modeled after the NCAA's Woman of the Year program, which honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

The NAC Woman of the Year nominees will be announced later this week. Both the NAC Man and Woman of the Year award winners will be announced in late July, and will be honored on their campuses during the 2017-18 academic year.

NAC Man of the Year Nominees:

Louis Alhage (New Milford, Conn.) - Castleton, Men's Lacrosse

Louis Alhage, a two-time NAC Men's Lacrosse First Team All-Conference selection, has had an impressive four years at Castleton. He and his teammates played in the NAC Men's Lacrosse Championship all four years of his career, while earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament after claiming the 2015 NAC Title. Over his career, he played in 74 games, totaling 49 goals and 88 assists, tying him for second in Spartan program history in assists, while his 137 points tie him for 12th in program history. The Castleton graduate also recorded 179 groundballs and 67 caused turnovers which rank him fourth overall, making him the only player in Castleton history to place in top-15 in career points and top-five in career caused turnovers. The Exercise Science major was named to the Dean’s List and earned the 2014-15 Castleton Student Life Outstanding Second-Year Award. He has served as the President and Vice President of the Castleton Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He has been actively involved in the "Climb for Connor," while also spending time as a Castleton mentor, earning Mentor of the Week, a community advisor, and as a board member of the "Right to Play" initiative.

Brandon Legendre (Waterford, Vt.) - Colby-Sawyer, Men's Cross Country, Men's Indoor Track & Field, and Men's Outdoor Track & Field 

Brandon Legendre was a three-sport athlete at Colby-Sawyer, serving as a captain on the men’s cross country, men’s indoor track and field and men’s outdoor track and field teams. He and his teammates earned NAC Men’s Cross Country Runner-Up honors his first three years and then claimed the 2016 NAC Title his senior season. Legendre claimed NAC First Team All-Conference accolades during his sophomore and senior years, while being named a second teamer his freshman and junior seasons. As a middle-distance runner during the indoor season, he posted six school records and was an All-New England selection in the 1000m run and 800m run during his junior and senior seasons. During outdoor season, the Chargers claimed the NAC Championship in 2016 and 2017, while also ear­ning the NAC Invitational Champion Title in 2015. He was named a NAC Invitational Champion in the 800m and 4x400 as well as runner up in the 1500m. He then went on to be named a NAC Champion in the 1500m and 4x400 in 2016 and 2017, while also being tabbed a champion in 2016 and runner up in 2017 in the 800m. The Psychology major was recently accepted into Boston University’s School of Education for Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Sport Psychology. He was highly involved in community service and campus activities at Colby-Sawyer. He served as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Chair of the Public Relations Committee in 2015-2017, he has volunteered with the elderly, youth track and field athletes, youth basketball athletes, at a local church, while also being a part of several community clean up events. He has worked as a teacher’s assistant and tutored students, while teaching classes on sport psychology, grading exams and projects, while also helping freshmen and sophomore teammates with studying for exams, with homework and on strategies for effective project creation. He was a Presidential Scholarship Recipient in 2013-2017, claimed the Psychology Capstone Award for best research project in 2017, was inducted into the National Honors Society of Psi Chi in 2017, and was named to the Colby-Sawyer Dean’s list. Legendre worked at Columbia University for the summer of 2016 in their research psychology department studying the differences in emotional reactivity between adopted children and those brought up with their biological families. 

Sean Cabaniss (Vassalboro, Maine) - UMaine-Farmington, Baseball and Men's Outdoor Track & Field

Sean Cabaniss was a two-sport athlete at UMaine-Farmington, serving as a captain of both the baseball and men’s outdoor track and field teams. He claimed All-NAC honors in both sports, while also earning All-New England honors in track and field. In baseball, he was selected to the NAC first team in 2016 as an outfielder and was named to the second team in both 2014 and 2015. He is ranked second on UMF’s all-time hits list, while also being ranked first and tied for second on UMF’s single season hits. In track and field, he was a two-time New England qualifier in the long jump and triple jump (2016 & 2017), a NAC Champion in both events, and holds NAC Championship meet records of 6.50 the long jump and 12.93 in the triple jump. In the classroom, he earned a dual degree in Secondary Education Mathematics and Applied Mathematics with a minor in Coaching and is currently enrolled for the fall of 2017 in Teaching/Coaching Fellowship in the Smith College graduate program. He was named to the Dean’s List and to the NAC All-Academic List. He was voted the 2017 NAC Outdoor Track & Field Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year, he claimed the 2016 UMF Beaver Pride Award (voted on by student athletes) and the UMF Senior Athlete Award (voted on by athletic department), while also being named a two-time Wilson Undergrad Research Scholar in baseball. He has spent time working with the Campus Violence Prevention Coalition and has been involved with the UMF Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Cabaniss was a student-teacher, a residence hall secretary, a referee for recreation soccer, and a little league assistant coach.

Benjamin Walls (Bar Harbor, Maine) - Husson, Baseball

Benjamin Walls competed on the Eagles baseball team throughout his undergraduate career. He and his teammates claimed NAC Runner-Up honors in both 2014 and 2016. Walls earned NAC second team honors in 2016 and 2017 and was named to the New England All-Region Team. He earned his degree in Sport Management, while currently pursuing a graduate degree in Business Administration and was named to the Dean’s List at Husson. Walls served as a class leader as an undergraduate for marketing and advertising and assisted as a class leader for his graduate work in business management. He has also worked as a youth baseball and basketball assistant coach and as a training leader. 

Nikolaus Fahey (Middleboro, Mass.) - Lyndon, Men's Soccer

Nikolaus Fahey made the most out of his four years at Lyndon on the field, in the classroom and in the community. He lettered in men’s soccer throughout his time with the Hornets, serving as a team captain his junior and senior seasons. Fahey claimed NAC Second Team honors and earned the Frank Spears Leadership Award.  The Sports Leadership/Management major impressively was named to the Dean’s List all eight semesters and to the President’s List for three semesters. He was also a NAC All-Academic honoree and received a Lyndon Academic Recognition Award. Fahey served on the Hornets’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, worked as an afterschool recreation program, was a tutor/note taker for Psychology courses and was a desk attendant. He has also worked with youth soccer athletes, helping run practices and working on skills development. He spent time cleaning up a nursing home and has served as a director of a volleyball league.

Spencer Boonstra ( Katy, Texas) - Maine Maritime, Men's Cross Country

Spencer Boonstra was a four-year student-athlete at Maine Maritime, serving as a captain on the men’s cross country team.  He was named the Mariners most outstanding runner during his rookie campaign and claimed the coaches award his final season.  He placed 214th at the 2016 New England NCAA Division III Regionals, running 28:23.21 which was a personal record for him. He was a Marine Engineering Technology major and impressively was named the Valedictorian, while graduating Summa Cum Laude. Boonstra is a Scheel Scholar, a 2014-2017 MMA Academic Elite 8 Member, a NAC All-Academic honoree, and a 2016 CoSIDA All-Academic nominee. He was named to the Dean’s List and has earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors. He was a member of the Cruise Emergency squad and served as a MMA Tutor and a teacher assistant in Statistics and Dynamic and Thermodynamics. Boonstra worked on the Castine storm cleanup crew and as a Cadet Relief Chief Engineer. 

Joakim Sternas  (Waterville, Maine) - Thomas College, Men's Soccer

Joakim Sternas is a four-year letter winner and served as the Thomas men’s soccer captain during his senior season. He and his classmates competed for the NAC Championship Title all for years of their careers. The Terriers claimed two NAC Championship Titles (2013 and 2015) and earned two NAC Runner-Up honors (2014 and 2016). He was voted as a NAC All-Conference selection and was selected to the NAC Sportsmanship Team. Sternas earned his undergraduate degree in Management with a minor in Business Finance & Marketing Management, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors. He was tabbed the Thomas College Senior Scholar Athlete and as the Terrier Award Runner Up, while also being named to the President’s List and Dean’s List. He has served as a Student Ambassador, on the Student Philanthropy Team, was the co-founder/President of the Entrepreneur Club, and with the Investment Society. He has also volunteered with the American Red Cross and for the Go Malawi Foundation.