Cross, Dexter, Evangelista, Helderman, Howrigan and Moody Earn Major University of Southern Maine Athletic Department Awards

Cross, Dexter, Evangelista, Helderman, Howrigan and Moody Earn Major University of Southern Maine Athletic Department Awards


GORHAM, Maine  – The University of Southern Maine Department of Athletics recognized the achievements and contributions of its senior student-athletes Monday night with its 20th Annual Senior Honors Night Banquet presented by US Army ROTC, Norway Savings Bank and University Credit Union hosted at the Elks Lodge in Portland. Sixty-eighty departing student-athletes were recognized for their time and commitment to each of the Huskies' 22 NCAA Division III intercollegiate teams.  

In addition to recognizing its senior student-athletes, the USM Department of Athletics honored several of its outstanding student-athletes, student-athlete organizations and presented its major department awards: the Paula D. Hodgdon Leadership Award, the Roland Wirths Memorial Award, the Kimberly M. Turner Award, and the Albert D. Bean, Jr. Leadership Award, 

Initiated in 1993, the Paula D. Hodgdon Leadership Award is presented annually to the female student-athlete who exemplifies the qualities of Hodgdon, a former member of the faculty and field hockey coach who was a pioneer in women's athletics. The recipient must have played at least three years on an intercollegiate athletic team, been a valuable member of that team, and is a woman who displays loyalty, dedication and commitment to the team, the sport and USM. The 2019 co-winners of the Hodgdon award are seniors Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vermont/Bellows Free Academy) and Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) of the Huskies' women's basketball and softball teams, respectively. 

Captain of the women's basketball team and president of the Huskies' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Howrigan has demonstrated her leadership throughout her career as a student-athlete. Completing her degree in Accounting & Finance, Howrigan has earned both William B. Wise Scholar Athlete and Little East Conference All-Academic Honors three times.  In her role as an officer with SAAC, Howrigan earned the University's Outstanding Community Service Individual award in 2018, and will be named the 2019 winner of the University's Outstanding Student Leader Award. 

A two-year captain for the Huskies' softball team, Cross is a two-time William B. Wise Scholar Athlete and will complete her degree in Communications this May. An All-Little East Conference selection as an outfield, Cross was one of 230 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II and III selected to attend the NCAA Career in Sports Forum last spring at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. 

Awarded annually since 1980, the Roland Wirths Memorial Award is named of the former Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram sportswriter who was a strong supporter of USM athletics.  It is given to the deserving student-athlete who best exemplifies the characteristics of Wirths and his writing.  Wirths often wrote about the overachiever, the person small in stature who made a big difference.  He was interested in stories of the heart, people who made a real difference, or the true leader or inspirational-type player.  For just the fifth time in the award's history two student-athletes have been selected as Wirths' award winners: senior Britney Evangelista of the women's ice hockey team, and junior C.J. Moody (Old Town, Maine) of the men's indoor and outdoor track & field teams.

A three-time William B. Wise Scholar Athlete, Evangelista has been a four-year member of the Huskies' women's ice hockey team.  Earning All-New England Hockey Conference honors for the second time in her career at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, Evangelista finished her career as the Huskies' all-time career save percentage leader. One of the Huskies' team captains this season, Evangelista was selected to the NEHC All-Academic Team. She will be earning her degree in Biology. 

Setting a school record for points in the heptathlon during the regular season and then smashing his own record at the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship, Moody earned All-American honors for the first time in his career.  A junior nursing major, is a two-time LEC All-Academic Team member and a William B. Wise Scholar Athlete. He was one of six Huskies to earn United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region honors at the conclusion of the indoor season, earning the honor for the heptathlon. 

In its second year as an honor, the Turner award is given annually to a student employee or volunteer who has consistently made significant contributions to the USM Athletic Department, and who has demonstrated the many positive characteristics and attributes that Turner displays each and every day while working with students, staff and colleagues across the University. Currently USM's Association Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA), Turner has served USM athletics and its student-athletes tirelessly for a decade.  The 2019 winners of the Turner Award are Cross and senior Jake Dexter (Oakland, Maine/Messalonskee) of the baseball team. 

A two-time All-American for the Huskies' nationally-ranked baseball team, Dexter has worked tirelessly for the athletic department assisting with game management for nearly all of USM's 22 Division III intercollegiate sports. Hard-working, dependable and polite, Dexter can be found helping with the set-up, breakdown and in-game support services during the academic year when he is not on Ed Flaherty field setting save records or patrolling the infield from second base. Dexter is earning his degree in Liberal Studies for Southern Maine, and has earned numerous national, regional and conference level awards for his outstanding play, including first team ABCA All-America honors in 2018.

Also one of the 2019 Hodgdon winner, Cross has worked as a member of the Huskies' Athletic Communications Department team. Assisting in all phases of athletic communications, Cross has contributed significantly to the creation of event programs, game-day graphics, website management and serves as a statistician to the basketball season.  She has consistently demonstrated an eagerness to learn, an exceptional work ethic and professional demeanor in an often high-stress, high-demand situations. 

Also a second-year award, the Bean Leadership Award will be presented annually to a junior or senior male student-athlete, who in his time at USM has demonstrated the leadership qualities of compassion, respect, guidance and worth ethic consistently displayed by Al Bean.  A former USM student-athlete, Bean made his mark on the baseball program while serving as a starting pitcher and team leader from 1974-1977.  His service in the athletic department continued after he left the playing field.  He has served as an Assistant Baseball Coach, Sports Information Director, Assistant Athletic Director and now Director of Athletics, a position he assumed in 1993.  He was inducted into the Husky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. The 2019 winner of the Bean Leadership Award is Ron Helderman of the men's indoor and outdoor track & field team. 

A three-time William B. Wise Scholar-Athlete, Helderman has helped Huskies' men's indoor and outdoor track & field to four-year domination of the Little East Conference titles while individually excelling in the pole vault. Coming off of his third LEC title in the pole vault this weekend, Helderman did the same during the indoor season and captured the 2019 New England Regional Championship while earning a berth to the NCAA Division III National Championship. A four-time USTFCCCA All-Region athlete in the pole vault, Helderman has competed for the national championship in the event three times in his career. Helderman will earn his degree in Biochemistry this spring. 

"The nomination and presentation of the Paula D. Hodgdon Leadership Award, Roland Wirths Memorial Award, Kimberly M. Turner Award and the Albert D. Bean Jr. Leadership Award play a significant role within our department," said USM Director of Athletics Al Bean.  "These awards are coveted by faculty and staff and student-athletes.  The Hodgdon and Wirths are awards have a long-standing history not only in recognizing some of our greatest student-athletes, but also in honoring two members of the USM Athletics community that help shape and grow our tradition."

"The selection process for the special awards was, as always, extremely difficult. All candidates have had great success in the classroom, in competition and have been tremendous citizens of the USM and surrounding communities. I applaud all of the winners and extend the same admiration and respect to each of the superb nominees. Each nominee has given so much to the University, their teams and to so many others in the community. It is always a great honor to see these awards given to such deserving student-athletes." 

Along with the Department awards, Huskies' athletics recognized the honors that will be upon two of its student-athletes, and one of its coaches at the University's Annual Leadership Gala later this week. Huskies' Athletics also recognized the outstanding work and achievement of its Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). 

Previously honored by the University and the Athletics Department for her leadership on and off of the basketball court, Howrigan will be presented with the University's Outstanding Student Leader award later this week.  Given annually, the Outstanding Student Leader award is for a student who has been involved on campus and in the community, shown a commitment to academic success, served as a role model for their peers, fostered inclusion and collaboration and has practiced ethical leadership. 

Senior Matt Norris (Casco, Maine/Lake Region) of the Huskies' men's tennis team, and a member of the USM Student Veteran Association (Husky Vets) will be presented with the Spirit of USM award.  Created to recognize a USM community member (student, faculty or staff) who has demonstrated an exceptional passion for USM, exemplified the spirit of the University both on-campus and in the community, and has committed themselves to scholarship, service and involvement at USM.  Norris has served as a peer advisor through PAVE (Peer Advisors for Veterans Education), volunteered in campus and community events, and has distinguished himself as a student employee in the Veterans Services Office at USM.  Named the Peer Advisor of the Month from PAVE in March, Norris is graduating this May with a degree in Leadership and Organizational Studies. Norris served as a member of the United States Marine Corp and is currently a Sergeant with the USMC Reserves. 

Allen, the Huskies' women's basketball coach and SAAC Advisor, is also being recognized by the University for her guidance with USM's award-winning student-group and will be named the University's Advisor of the Year.  Previously earning honors from the WBCA and Maine Campus Compact, Allen has helped USM SAAC increase the depth and breadth of its leadership, community service and reach to the USM community and beyond.  With the assistance of Allen's guidance, USM SAAC earned top national honors from the National Association of Division III Athletic Directors (NADIIIAA) for its Unified Sports Program, and was also recognized with a third-place trophy for its Array of Activities. 

Earning numerous national and university-level awards since its creation in 1996, SAAC was recognized and honored by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators' (NADIIIAA) Josten's Community Service Award. Huskies' SAAC earned NADIIIAA's top honor for the governing body's inaugural Special Olympics designation, and was third in its Array of Projects Category.  A student-led organization that is comprised of members of Southern Maine's 22 intercollegiate teams, USM SAAC, has been nationally recognized repeatedly for its on-going and one-time community service projects and events since its inception in 1996. 

In addition to its award-winning Unified Sports Program partnership with Special Olympics Maine, USM SAAC hosts other highly-regarded community-based programs each year, including its Annual Husky Halloween Party, Holiday Caroling events, Toys for Tots drives, volunteering activities at the Preble Street Resource Center. 

Volunteering more than 2000 hours this academic year alone, USM SAAC has also used its reach to provide service to the University community.  One of its program highlights is its annual Mental Health Awareness month activities.  Earning national honors from NADIIIAA in 2017, USM SAAC has sponsored a fun, informal and informative peer advocacy activity the last three years.  For this academic year's activity, USM SAAC sponsored Spike The Stigma in partnership with University Counseling Services and The ROCC (Recovery Oriented Campus Center). Open to all members of the USM community, in addition to fast-paced volleyball action, participants and fans of the tourney were provided with educational materials about the on-campus mental health resources available to them, and enjoyed presentations from student-peer leaders about the value of peer advocacy and training. 


Past Paula D. Hodgdon Leadership Award Winners


Melissa Emery, Field Hockey


Rhonda Benner, Women's Track/Cross Country


Lori Towle, Women's Basketball


Mandy King, Women's Basketball


 Heather Gilmour, Field Hockey


 Alison Drury, Field Hockey


 Michelle Cloutier, Softball


 Rachel Drury, Soccer


Tina West, Women's Soccer and Softball


Libby, Women's Basketball


Deedra Boudreau, Field Hockey and Women's Lacrosse


Meg Cressler, Women's Basketball


 Kim Brewer, Women's Track and Field


Katie Frost, Women's Basketball


Stacey LeBlanc, Women's Soccer


Lindsey Welch, Women's Basketball


Shannon Kynoch, Women's Basketball and Women's Lacrosse


Brandi Alton, Field Hockey


Mary Vaughan, Women's Ice Hockey and Women's Lacrosse


Sarah Deroche, Softball


Courtney Cochran, Women's Basketball


Nicole Garland, Women's Basketball


Stefanie Stockwell, Softball, Women's Soccer and Women's Track and Field


Peyton Dostie, Field Hockey, Women's Track and Field


Demi Ruder, Volleyball


Mary Caron, Softball


Lauren Lessard, Women's Lacrosse


Tayla Smedberg, Field Hockey


Brooke Cross, Softball

Kimberly Howrigan, Women's Basketball


Roland Wirths Memorial Award Past Winners


Steve DeBree, Soccer and Men's Basketball


John Jordan, Men's Basketball


 Mike Stockwell, Physician


Joe Doane, Men's Basketball


Greg Jordan, Statistician


Maureen Burchill, Women's Basketball


Brad Wise, Soccer and Baseball


Peter Story, Men's Basketball


Doug Ouellette, Baseball


Jeff Bowers, Men's Basketball


Pat Moody, Men's Basketball


Bonny Brown, Field Hockey and Softball


Jim Broughton, Baseball


Richard York, Baseball


Robert LaPrise, Men's Basketball


Jeff Ireland, Soccer


Jamie Wood, Women's Basketball


Ken Reed, Baseball


Mandy King, Women's Basketball


Michael Ellerbrook, Men's Basketball


Penny Osborne, Women's Cross Country


Andy Higgins, Men's Soccer


Kevin Faria, Men's Track and Field


Niki Dominiczak, Women's Basketball


Jason Tuck, Men's Cross Country/Track and Field


Greg Dolbec, Men's Cross Country/Track and Field


Jay Casterella, Men's Basketball


Jon Lounsbury, Men's Ice Hockey


Mike Bunker, Men's Cross Country/Track and Field


Donna Cowing, Women's Basketball


Mark Carragher, Men's Ice Hockey


Adam Ross, Baseball


Megan Irving, Women's Ice Hockey


Justin Richardson, Men's Cross Country/Track and Field


Jennifer Masessa, Field Hockey


Jeremy Jackson, Men's Basketball


 Mike Poulin, Men's Basketball


Stephanie Gallagher, Women's Basketball


Nate Veilleux, Baseball


Andrew Richards, Baseball


Ryan Browner, Baseball


Dan Del Gallo, Wrestling


Kyle Heath, Baseball

Neka Dias, Women's Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field, Softball


Britney Evangelista, Women's Ice Hockey

CJ Moody, Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field


Kimberly M. Turner Award


Romeo Watkins


Brooke Cross, Softball

Jake Dexter, Baseball


Albert D. Bean, Jr. Leadership Award


Brendan Weir, Wrestling


Ron Helderman, Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field


SAAC Student-Athlete of the Year Award (voted upon by current student-athletes)


Tristan Dundas, Golf, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse