Hofstra University Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Awards

Courtesy: Hofstra Athletic Communications
Released 05/07/2012

Hempstead, NY – The Hofstra Athletics Department celebrated the 2011-12 athletic season on May 7th, 2o12 with its annual Hofstra Pride Student-Athlete Awards Banquet at the University Club, located on Hofstra’s North Campus.

Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award

The Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award was established in 2007 to recognize the accomplishments of a male and female student-athlete who helped their respective teams achieve success in ways that may not always be measured by statistics. The award seeks to acknowledge those student-athletes who have not been adequately recognized during their careers, yet have always been exceptional representatives of the Hofstra Athletics Program. The award is named after the former Pride lacrosse player, who waged a courageous 14-month fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, before passing away in November 2006 at age 21.

“Nick was an outstanding representative of Hofstra University and he embodied everything good about college athletics,” then-Hofstra Director of Athletics Jack Hayes said. “Nick was hard-working, honest, enthusiastic and courageous. He was a student-athlete who totally embraced the philosophy of team. We look forward to annually recognizing student-athletes that share the qualities that Nick so proudly displayed.”

Brittany Butts, Women’s Soccer

Brittany Butts, a midfielder on the women’s soccer team, is a co-recipient of the Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

“Brittany is an unsung hero because of her quiet leadership,” said Head Coach Simon Riddiough. “Brittany led by example as a team captain and sacrificed individual statistics to make her teammates better. She epitomizes team play and is an excellent choice to receive this award.”

Brittany, a four-year starter for the Pride, was part of NCAA Tournament teams in 2007 and 2010, and played in 79 ames during her tenure. She recorded four goals and four assists during her career, in which she played primarily at defensive midfield. This past season she served as a team captain.

Named to the CAA All-Rookie team as a red-shirt freshman in 2008, Brittany was a first team all-conference pick in 2010 and a second team selection in 2011. She also earned NSCAA All-Region accolades during her junior year.

A 2011 graduate with a degree in psychology, Brittany has been a CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient and a NSCAA Regional Scholar-Athlete. She also served on the University’s Health and Safety Committee during her tenure and represented the Athletics Department at University functions such as the Gala and Blue & Gold Society Holiday Party.

A native of Massapequa Park, New York, Brittany currently serves as an athletic facilities coordinator while she attends graduate school at Hofstra.

Courtney Crews, Softball

Senior catcher Courtney Crews is a co-recipient of the Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

After being limited to just eight games in 2011 due to injury, Courtney has returned with a vengeance in 2012. She has played in and started all 48 games for the Pride this season and is batting .264 with two home runs and 18 RBIs. More important than her offensive contributions is her ability behind the plate in catching starting pitcher Olivia Galati and the rest of the Pride pitching staff. Courtney has guided the pitching staff to a 1.56 ERA.

Courtney Crews is an outstanding choice for the Unsung Hero Award,” said

Head Coach Bill Edwards. “She is such a special human being. Courtney is not about individual achievements and never looks for praise or recognition for herself. Her selflessness is such a rare quality today. She is always thinking of others – her family, her friends, and her teammates – and asks for nothing in return. She enjoys mentoring others and she is a big reason for our success.”

In her career, Courtney has played in 90 games and has contributed seven doubles, two triples, two home runs and 23 RBIs. She has also been part of two NCAA Tournament teams for the Pride in 2008 and 2010.

Off the field Courtney has been an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving as president this academic year.

A native of Stafford, Virginia, Courtney is majoring in exercise science.

Ben Clymer, Wrestling

Senior Ben Clymer of the wrestling team is a co-recipient of the Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

A four-year member of the wrestling squad, Ben has been a three-time NCAA qualifier and two-time CAA champion for the Pride. This past season he won the 184-pound title and was seeded 11th at the NCAA Tournament. He would finish the season 30-8, his best record in his four seasons.

During his tenure at Hofstra, Ben posted a 97-39 record and was named to the CAA All-Freshman team in 2009. He was ranked eighth at his weight class in the final RPI rankings of 2012 and 24th in the RPI in 2011.

“Ben was really looked at as a leader on the team,” said Coach Rob Anspach. “He set the tone for the rest of the team in terms of working hard at practice and being prepared for competition, and then he also knew when to pull back and have fun. The rest of the team followed his example.”

A native of Germansville, Pennsylvania, Ben is majoring in physical education.

Nathaniel Lester, Men’s Basketball

Forward Nathaniel Lester of the men’s basketball team is a co-recipient of the Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award.

A five-year member of the team, Nathaniel returned in 2011-12 after missing the previous season due to injury. He averaged 14.6 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game in his final season. His points per game average ranked second on the team.

Nathaniel, a Brooklyn, New York, native became the 30th player in program history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau when he scored 19 points against Towson and finished his career with 1,139 points in 128 games played.

“Nat Lester truly is one of the great student-athletes to come through Hofstra,” said Coach Mo Cassara. “During his time here he was not only a great player, but he was a great representative for the University. Nat supported other teams and groups on campus, completed his degree early and is currently working towards his master’s. As a player Nat accepted his role, was a great teammate, had a passion for the game and was a pleasure to be around every day. The time, effort and teamwork that Nat displayed truly makes him deserving of the Nick Colleluori Award.”

During his tenure at Hofstra, Nathaniel served on the University’s Athletic Strategic Planning Committee and represented the Athletics Department at University functions such as the Gala and Blue & Gold Society Holiday Party. He is also the men’s basketball representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

A December 2010 graduate, Nathaniel is currently pursuing his master’s degree in linguistics.

The Nick Colleluori Female Unsung Hero Award

2011 – Krista Thorn, Softball/Soccer & Rachel August, Volleyball
2010 – Sam Brigham, Basketball
2009 – Carolann Lubach, Softball & Lauren Whitcomb, Lacrosse
2008 – Joanna Kralowetz, Softball & Krystal Robens, Soccer
2007 – Lana Harshaw, Basketball

The Nick Colleluori Male Unsung Hero Award

2011 – Steven DeNapoli, Lacrosse & Mike Skudin, Lacrosse
2010 – Ray McDonough, Football
2009 – Michael Colleluori, Lacrosse
2008 – Kareem Huggins, Football & Michael Unterstein, Lacrosse
2007 – Gary Flood, Soccer