TOWSON, Md. --- The Landmark Conference has named 73 student-athletes including nine from Moravian College to the 2018 Spring All-Sportsmanship Team. The All-Sportsmanship Team includes one student-athlete from each institution for each sport and is selected by the players and coaches from their respective team.
The All-Sportsmanship Team recognizes student-athletes who epitomize the ideals of sportsmanship. The student-athletes selected demonstrate fair play, graciousness in victory and respectfulness in defeat. They are ambassadors for the team, both on and off the field, and galvanize their teammates toward their goals. These student-athletes exhibit respect for themselves, teammates, coaches, opponents, officials, spectators, and the greater campus community.
Of the 73 student-athletes, six were repeat honorees, and 20 were named to the Landmark All-Conference teams in their respective sports, including Men's Golf Player of the Year, Scranton's Michael Boland, and Softball Co-Player of the Year, Kirstin Blass from Elizabethtown.
The All-Sportsmanship Team was created by the Landmark Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in 2013 as a way to highlight student-athletes who are making an impact. The Landmark previously awarded a Sportsmanship Cup before the All-Sportsmanship Team replaced the Cup for the 2013-14 academic year.
Junior left fielder Mike Mittl helped the baseball squad to a 18-20 record this spring heading into the Landmark Conference Tournament this weekend. Mittl started 37 games for the Greyhounds this season, and he hit .278 with 40 hits, 14 runs, seven doubles and 25 RBIs. He also had 64 putouts and three assists in the field.
"Mike plays the game the right way every time. No matter if he's having a good day or not, his demeanor stays the same," said Head Coach Paul Engelhardt. "He has never once exhibited anything but fair play and sportsmanship. Our team, our school, could not possibly have a better ambassador for this honor. Mike is beyond deserving, and will continue to be the same great young man he is."
Senior catcher Janae Matos has helped the Greyhounds to a 32-5 record on the year as the program was ranked as high as seventh in the nation in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 during the regular season and is No. 8 heading into the weekend's NCAA Division III Regional. Matos has contributed a .355 average this spring to go with 39 hits, 19 runs, 11 doubles, a triple, a homer, 18 walks and 29 RBIs.
"Janae embodies the true meaning of sportsmanship and being a team player," stated Head Coach John Byrne. "She is usually one of the first to practice and one of the last to leave. Janae has been a great leader both on and off the field, serving as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President for the last two years. She has also produced on the field and is one of the first to be in line to shake hands after the games."
Track & Field
Junior distance runner Aaron Hofmann had an impact for the Greyhounds as they won their 10th Landmark Conference Outdoor Championship on the men's side. In his one race in the championship meet, Hofmann finished 16th in the 1,500-meter run in 4:15.92.
"Aaron is as enthusiastic as anyone we have on the roster," commented Head Coach Jesse Baumann. "He's incredibly supportive of our team, and others and is very gracious win, lose, or draw. He has tremendous character and is a great representative of our program."
Senior thrower Maggie Heft helped the women's squad win its 11th consecutive Landmark Conference title. She finished third in the hammer throw with a distance of 41.56 meters (136-4), and Heft also placed fifth in the shot put with a mark of 11.48 meters (37-8), earning a total of 10 points for Moravian.
"Maggie has always been a respectful leader on our team, but this past weekend at the conference championships when a competitor injured themselves in the middle of the event she was one of the first to assist her during the race," noted Baumann. "You can't have a better example of sportsmanship than to show that selflessness and concern for others in the heat of competition. Maggie is a great person and this is just one of many examples of that."
Senior Mike Palmeri played at fourth singles for the Greyhounds in his final season, and he also saw action at third doubles this year.
"Mike came to Moravian as a transfer and immediately made a positive impact on those around him," said Assistant Coach Mariana Freitas. "Mike has been a great mentor for our freshman and we appreciate everything he has done for our program. He has always been very respectful of his teammates, opponents, officials, and the game itself."
Senior Grace Bailly helped the women's squad to a 11-3 mark this season and a berth in the Landmark Conference Semifinals. Bailly was 5-5 in singles action with a 5-4 mark at sixth singles, and she was a team captain and named the Lehigh Valley Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Most Outstanding Athlete for Women's Tennis.
"Grace stepped up as leader both on and off the court," stated Freitas. "As a co-captain, she is extremely supportive of her teammates and has an unselfish, team first attitude. She's certainly deserving of this sportsmanship award."
Junior defender Brian Biase started 11 matches for the Greyhounds, who were 7-7 this season. He had 11 ground balls and nine caused turnovers while marking some of the top offensive players in the conference.
"Brian is the brains of our defense, he communicates and coordinates what we do as a unit," noted Head Coach Dave Carty. As a captain he also sets the tone on the field, he's always respectful to the officials and who were competing against."
Junior defender Melissa Webber returned after missing the entire 2017 season with an injury to record 26 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers this spring. Webber started all 16 matches for the Greyhounds, who were 11-5, a school record for wins, and reached the Landmark Conference Semifinals for the first time in program history.
"Melissa exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship each and every time she steps onto the lacrosse field," commented Head Coach Kristen Nicholson. "She is respectful to all and leads her teammates with her constant positive attitude. We're proud to have Melissa as a member of our program and look forward to seeing the impact she has on future classes."
Freshman Victor Tavares was tied for the first-round lead at the inaugural Landmark Conference Championship this month and finished 19th. He had a 79.22 stroke per round average in his debut season while playing in nine of 14 rounds for the Greyhounds. Tavares had three top-five finishes in eight events.
"No matter how he is playing, Victor doesn't show it," stated Head Coach Kevin Edwards. "He is usually upbeat and has a smile on his face."