The Centennial Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has selected Haverford senior men's lacrosse player Eric Caliendo (Manorville, N.Y. / St. Anthony's) and Gettysburg senior women's basketball player Jessica Porter (Narberth, Pa. / Lower Merion) as the 2016 Centennial Conference Individual Sportsmanship Award winners. Additionally, the Ursinus Football Team was selected as the Team Sportsmanship Award winner.
This award honors one male, one female, and one team who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. They were selected from a pool of student-athletes nominated by the Conference’s eleven member institutions and will now be placed on the ballot for the NCAA Division III National Sportsmanship Award this summer.
Eric Caliendo was selected as the Centennial Conference male nominee for his positive impact on the Haverford community through his volunteer work and activities, especially his involvement with the Joe Schwartz 3K Run Walk. This event is put on by Haverford's strength & conditioning coach to raise money for ALS. To do something special to raise awareness of the race and ALS, Caliendo created the following video.
Jessica Porter was selected as the Centennial Conference female nominee for her impact on Gettysburg's campus through her work with the Green Dot program.
Porter talks about her involvement with Green Dot:
“Green Dot is an organization that works to shift the college culture away from sexual assault in order to promote a more safe community. Unfortunately, over the past year several of my close friends have confided in me for support, as they have been victims of rape. This summer I made a goal for myself to help make a change in the Gettysburg College community and raise awareness of sexual violence on their behalf. After hearing about the amazing Green Dot program, I immediately got involved. At the first meeting, I arrived with an event proposal to offer the team. Within this team, I was the only student who volunteered. Ultimately, I initiated the start of the Green Dot Sexual Assault Awareness Day. We specifically teamed up Athletics and Greek Life to spread the word for change. Both of these organizations make up a huge portion of the student body, which was very powerful and influential. Throughout the Awareness Day, we were able to get the majority of the campus walking the halls wearing green in order to catalyze conversations. We created and premiered a short video of well-respected athletes who explained the program and their support. Finally, the gym at the Women’s Volleyball game was decorated in Green Dot posters and balloons as fans arrived. My work with the Green Dot Program gave me an understanding that an individual can make an idea a reality.”
Gettysburg SAAC Liaison Carol Cantele describes Porter's commitment to service:
"Aside from her academic and athletic accomplishments, the one thing that sets Jess apart from the rest is her ability to add value to others and being a servant leader to those around her. There would never be a duty or job that is beneath her because she is always willing to step up and get the job done. Jess is an extraordinary young woman who has shown true commitment and loyalty to Gettysburg College and the women’s basketball program. She possesses great leadership qualities, providing unconditional support and encouragement to the group effort of her fellow teammates and coaching staff. Jess is one of the most caring and empathetic people to have ever stepped foot on the campus of Gettysburg College, she truly has a heart of gold."
Ursinus Football Team
The Ursinus Football Team was selected as the Centennial Conference team nominee for their "Get in the Game" registry drive. On Monday, May 2nd, over 40 Ursinus College football players took part in the community service project, helping the football program to host its 8th consecutive registry drive through “The Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation” and “Be the Match.” With the addition of nearly 100 members to the registry this year, the football program at Ursinus has now helped to register over 1,000 members of the Ursinus community for the National Marrow Donor program since 2009. Thanks to the football program’s efforts, four members of the Ursinus community have donated and saved lives during this time period; two donors have been members of the football program (Teddy Conrad ’13 & John Carty ‘14).
In April, Teddy Conrad ’13 and the Ursinus Football program were honored at the annual Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation Bash event, commemorating Teddy’s lifesaving effort, and the efforts of the Ursinus Football program in continuing to grow the registry.