The MCRC fall banquet took place on December 4th at the Kirk Alumni Center. As usual there were over 100 attendees: the 50 plus members of the club in suit & tie and their lovely dates, dressed to the nines, reminding us that when the boys in blue clean up they can attract the absolute cream of the crop. The MCRC was also delighted to have our two advisors Mike McKenna and Professor Miguel Fernandez ’85 as well as former fullback Andrew Peters ’08.5 and second row former president Blake Hinckley ’10 in attendance.
As is tradition the following player awards were announced that evening (note that player awards cover the calendar year 2010 and the results are based on votes by members of the club):
Rookie of the Year: Allan “The Natural” Stafford ’13.5
Most Improved Player: Dusty Attwood-Dupont ’13.5
Most Valuable Player: Chris Marshall ’11
This is the first time in a long time that the MVP award has gone to a forward so special congratulations to Chris. Dusty “Prince” Attwood-Dupont ’13.5 follows closely in his mentor Geoff “King” Kalan ’12.5 footsteps, winning the same award Geoff took home this time last year. Allan “The Natural” proves his moniker true with the rookie of the year award.
This evening also gave the club an opportunity to bid farewell to our sole graduating super-senior: Connor Burleigh ’10.5. On top of receiving the newly established service award (see below for other new awards) Connor walked away with his Blue, having earned 5 competitive caps on the 1st XV. Best of luck with life after Middlebury Connor and thank you for your dedication to this program (enjoy your final J-term!)
The following new awards were also handed out on this evening. The recipients of each award and a brief description follow:
Coaches’ Award for Dedication: Brendan Mahoney ’11
To be awarded at the discretion of the coaches to a member of The MCRC who has distinguished himself by displaying the humility and dedication that best exemplifies the character of The MCRC.
- This year the award was presented in the form of a framed image of the words of the Israel Carr ’09 untitled poem on the glory of brotherhood. Brendan not only dedicated himself to the club on the field, making the incredible progress that saw him don the Blue for the 1st XV this fall, but he has also given much of his time in filming games.
Coaches’ Award for Service: Connor Burleigh ’10.5
To be awarded at the discretion of the coaches to a member of The MCRC who has distinguished himself by leading the club’s community service efforts.
- Connor has spearheaded the club’s involvement with the Vermont Epilepsy Foundation, served as a trainer/EMT for the team, as well as often being the first to raise his hand when volunteers were needed for any task no matter how big or menial.
Evan Mangino ’03 Award: Pavlo Levkiv ’11 (Posthumous Recognition)
To be awarded at the discretion of the coaches to a member of The MCRC who has distinguished himself by displaying a courage, grit, self-sacrifice and determination that far exceeds all expectations. The recipient of this award must embody the fullness of heart and fearlessness that is the lifeblood of The MCRC and the essence of what it truly means to be a rugby player.
- Despite having been born with cerebral palsy and the physical limitations that presented in his later life Pavlo joined the The MCRC and worked hard at practice. Pavlo passed away after his freshman year and would have been graduating this year. The words of Nick Fager ’09 capture why the coaches saw fit to present this esteemed award to Pavlo:
I have never witnessed someone with much courage on a day basis than Pavlo. Nothing was ever easy for him, with the exception of academics it seemed, but he never showed any signs of relent. All I ever saw was the smile and the laugh that we grew to love, and the determination to succeed. Rugby was not a sport designed for someone like Pavlo, but his progress was truly inspiring to the whole team. I remember our old coach Ward telling me about the multiple emails he got from Pavlo daily begging him to put him on the field. He came to represent everything great about our team. The impression he made to me, the Middlebury college rugby team, and the Middlebury community will be present for a long time to come.