The Hobart College Athletic Department and the Statesmen Athletic Association (SAA) honored the top athletes of 2014-15 at the annual Block H Awards Dinner Monday, April 27th. Seniors Tyre Coleman and Robert McNamara were presented with the Francis L. “Babe” Kraus ’24 Memorial Award as Hobart’s most outstanding athletes. The William C. Stiles ’43 Award for leadership, determination, and character was given to senior Ali Marpet.
The Hanna Award for excellence in citizenship, scholarship, leadership and teamwork went to junior Marco Ronning. Nine Statesmen were presented with Arnold Scholar-Athlete Awards. The William J. Napier Memorial Award, which recognizes loyalty and service to the College, was given to basketball senior Trey Blanding. The Abe Solomon Memorial Award was presented to hockey first-year Frank Oplinger as Hobart’s Rookie of the Year.
The D3football.com National Defensive player of the Year, Coleman started all 13 games this year. He logged 55 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks and nine pass breakups. The three-time Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year led the conference and ranked eighth in the nation, averaging 2.1 tackles for loss per game. Coleman also sat atop the league and ranked 15th in the nation with 1.0 sacks per game. He finished the year two tackles for loss short of his own record set in 2012. Coleman is one of only three Statesmen to produce 13 sacks in a season and the only one to do so three times, including a program record 17.5 in 2012.
Coleman played in 46 career games recording 224 tackles, 94.5 tackles of loss, 51 sacks, 16 pass breakups and 13 forced fumbles. The four-year All-Liberty League first team honoree was also tabbed a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award. In four seasons at Hobart, Coleman helped the Statesmen to a 41-5 record and captured four straight Liberty League Championships. The Statesmen also appeared in four consecutive NCAA Division III Football Championships and reached the quarterfinal round in 2012 and 2014.
A two-year captain on the rowing team, McNamara has competed in the varsity eight in all four years of his career. He’s a four-time member of the Liberty League Crew of the Year and rowed for Team USA at the U-23 World Championships this summer with teammate August Wherry. McNamara and his teammates captured a silver medal at the Head of the Charles this year and won a silver medal at the Head of the Genesee. Last year, he helped Hobart to its first gold medal in the 1V at the ECAC NIRC and won gold at the New York State Championships. He has guided the Statesmen to win gold in the varsity eight at the Liberty League championships in each of his four seasons.
Selected an All-American by the AFCA, the Associated Press, and D3football.com, Marpet started all 13 games this season at left tackle without allowing a sack. He helped the Statesmen rank sixth in the nation in sacks allowed (0.69/g) and tackles for loss allowed (3.54/g). Marpet helped the Statesmen rush for a season-high 404 yards and six touchdowns against Merchant Marine and provided protection for a season-high 273 passing yards without a sack at St. Lawrence. He was named the Liberty League Co-Offensive Player of the Year, the first offensive lineman in league history to be so honored.
Marpet was the lone Division III Player invited to play at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, where he posted the fastest 40-yard dash time of any offensive lineman. Marpet was also a three-time All-Liberty League first team selection.
Ronning was given the Hanna Award which is presented to a senior whose career as a Hobart student-athlete has been exceptional and marked by dedication to the community, exceptional academic achievement, trustworthy leadership and dependability as a teammate. A two-time captain on the soccer team, Ronning earned All-Liberty League honors two years in a row and this year added ECAC All-Star and NSCAA All-Region honors to his soccer resume. A Dean’s List student, he earned a spot on the Liberty League All-Academic team twice and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team this year. On the field, he started 18 of 19 games this season. Ronning led the Statesmen with five goals, eight assists and 18 points. He finished the year ranked third in the Liberty League in points, points per game (0.95), assists and assists per game (0.42). Ronning notched a Hobart record three assists in a 5-0 win over Lasell this year.
Ronning played in 51 career games. He posted six goals and 15 assists for 27 career points.
The Bob Arnold Statesmen Scholar-Athlete Award, which recognizes the true spirit of the Statesman student-athletes by honoring Hobart men in their sophomore and junior years for their contributions to the community, for a high level of academic achievement and for selfless dedication as a member of a Hobart varsity team. This award was presented to sophomores Joe Busuttil of the soccer team, Zach Grattan of the basketball team, D. Griffin Marsh of the rowing team, Jon Neal of the hockey team and Grant Soucy of the lacrosse as well as juniors Danny Cabrera of the squash team, Ben Gamache of the hockey team, Gavin Llewellyn of the lacrosse team, and Samuel Menchel of the rowing team.
Blanding, a senior captain, averaged 9.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, a league-high 4.7 apg, and 1.6 spg. The second team All-Liberty League selection logged a double-double on 13 points and 10 assists against UW-Eau Claire on his way to all-tournament honors in the 2014 Tampa Bay Shootout. Off the court, Blanding organized Hoops Against Hunger, which raised more than $700 in monetary and food donations to Geneva’s Center of Concern food pantry. An all-star in the class room as well, the three-time Liberty League All-Academic honoree is an economics and philosophy double major.
Oplinger earned the Solomon Award after setting Hobart single season records for a first-year in wins (14), goals against average (2.09), and save percentage (.932). The first-year goaltender earned a spot on the ECAC West all-conference first team and all-rookie team. Oplinger played in 17 games this year, posting a 14-3-0 record in goal. His win percentage ranked seventh in Division III, his save percentage ranked 10th and his goals against average was 17th in the nation. Oplinger made a season-high 45 saves in a 5-2 win over Nazareth in his second collegiate game.
Sponsored by the SAA—the team behind Hobart’s team—the department’s coaching staff also presented individual awards in each of the College’s 11 varsity sports, more than 50 honors in all.