By John Boccacino/Sports Information Director
The 2012-13 sports season came to an official close with Thursday night's annual Keuka College Athletics Awards Ceremony.
Before Keuka's student-athletes, coaches, administrators and support staff, awards were handed out for the Storm's Outstanding Male and Female Athletes, as well as the Leadership Award, Community Appreciation Award, College Award and the Rob Smets Heart of a Champion Award.
Keith Prestano (Queens, NY/Xaverian) took home the Dana Schillinger Outstanding Senior Male Athlete of the Year; Nicole Sharick (Corfu, NY/Pembroke) received the Walt Scott Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year; senior Nate Smith (Hilton, NY/Hilton) earned the Nancy Wightman Leadership Award while classmate Sarah Hillman (Elmira, NY/Elmira Free Academy) was named the Rob Smets Heart of a Champion Award winner.
Additionally, McMichael Electrical was named the Community Appreciation Award recipient and Janice Folts, Keuka College's business office coordinator, earned the College Appreciation award.
Keuka's senior student-athletes were presented with their varsity "K" letters, sponsored by the Keuka College Stormwatchers Booster Club, while the Storm's North Eastern Athletic Conference-championship squads were also recognized before a packed gym inside the Weed Physical Arts Center.
There was also a check presentation of $1,500 collected by Keuka's student-athletes that was donated to the Keuka Comfort Care Home, a hospice home in the Penn Yan community.
Prestano, a four-year member of the Storm's baseball team, batted .278 with two home runs and 20 RBI in 2013 as the Storm went 12-19 and won their most games in a season since 2006.
Prestano, an outfielder, hit eight doubles while scoring 12 runs and starting all 31 games in 2013. He started 93 times in 95 career games, including the last 87 games of his career. He batted .304 with 9 HRs, 65 RBI, 55 runs scored, 25 doubles and 3 triples in his career and twice earned All-NEAC honors.
Prestano finished his career ranking second all-time in doubles, fourth in home runs, fourth in RBI, seventh in games played, seventh in career at-bats, and eighth in batting average.
Sharick rewrote the women's soccer record book this fall, smashing the school record for goals in a season and a career while equaling the most career points.
Sharick's garnered third-team All-East Region honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. It was the first time a Storm women's soccer student-athlete has earned All-Region honors.
Sharick earned first-team All-NEAC after leading the conference in goals (22) and points (49) and shattered the Keuka record for career goals by six. She also equaled Nicole Bondellio's record for career points (139).
Sharick finished the season second in the country among Division III players in goals per game (1.47) and also broke her own mark for most goals in a season by five goals to earn her fourth all-conference selection of her illustrious career. She also earned a spot on the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America's fourth-team Scholar All-Region team in 2012.
Smith led the men's soccer team in scoring in 2013 and capped his sensational career by earning his second straight NSCAA third-team All-East Region honors.
Smith, a first-team All-NEAC midfielder who garnered all-conference honors for the fourth time in his career, led the Storm in goals (10) and points (25) and was tied for the team lead in assists (5). Smith tied for second in the conference among goal scorers, and he was second in both points scored and game-winning goals (4).
Smith has also been a leader on and off the field. In addition to running the annual Winter Storm Madness pep rally, Smith helped organize Keuka's first-ever Spring Storm Madness, which was a tremendous success. This past April, Smith also helped orchestrate Keuka's annual Stick it to Cancer efforts, which raised both money and awareness for cancer research.
The Rob Smets Heart of a Champion award, in its 13th year, is presented to a Keuka College athlete who has overcome adversity through injury. A decorative belt buckle, complete with the Keuka College logo, was presented to Hillman, a four-year member of both the women's lacrosse and soccer teams who has overcome numerous head injuries and concussions to graduate with a degree in adolescent mathematics education.
Despite missing most of the 2012 soccer season and all of the 2013 women's lacrosse season with lingering symptoms from her concussions, Hillman still found ways to contribute to both squads, helping keep stats for both the soccer and lacrosse teams.