Picking the Athlete of the Week


Source: uticaod.com

Jacqui White, Sports Editor

Being selected as an Athlete of the Week at Utica College is something that is awarded to athletes that have had a great game recently or if their overall team did very well.

Sean Kemp, an assistant in UC’s sports information department, is the person who selects the Athlete of the Week.

“I try to keep in mind which teams are winning,” Kemp explained.

Another thing that Kemp looks for when he is trying to select an athlete is to check to see if any have reached a major milestone in their career at Utica College or set a new record for their sport.

Kemp also explained that he goes through the schedule on the athletics website to see how teams competed for the week and if there is a stat that sticks out.

“Even if their team loses the game, the individual’s performance is what I look for,” Kemp said. “If the baseball team lost but someone went 9-9 on the day and had three RBI’s, it was a good game for them.”

Kemp also explained that he tried to make an effort to stay away from doing co-Athletes of the Weeks, one from a men’s team and one from a women’s team.

“I only try to do co-Athletes of the Week if, when I look through the records for that week, they’re both pretty much doing the same,” Kemp said.

Kaitlynn Palmer, a junior midfielder on the women’s lacrosse team, was recently named Athlete of the Week. Palmer was selected to be co-Athlete of the Week for the week of March 25 along with fellow teammate Hali Vandermeulen and men’s lacrosse player John Hanlon.

“It felt good to be recognized for my hard work and dedication to my sport,” Palmer explained after being selected for the honor.

One reason that Palmer was selected to be Athlete of the Week was that in three games she had recorded 10 goals and one assist. Her 10 goals helped Utica go on a 3-0 run and continue the 7-1 start the team had, which was the best in program history.

“I was honored,” Palmer said. “There are plenty of excellent athletes here at UC and being recognized for Athlete of the Week keeps me motivated to be the best player I know I can be.”

The week that Palmer was selected, she started the week with a four-goal game in a win against SUNY Poly, as well as three goals and one assist for a win against Oswego. To finish her award-winning week, Palmer netted three goals in a win against Stevens, which was the first time the program had ever won against the team.

Even though being Athlete of the Week will certainly be a highlight for Palmer, she explained that her favorite part of playing at Utica actually has to do with her teammates.

“Being able to play the sport I’m passionate about with people who are just as passionate about it,” Palmer said. “I believe that’s why we have been so successful this year, because of our team chemistry.”

Another former Athlete of the Week is Tim Quinlan, a senior infielder for the baseball team at Utica. Quinlan was selected to be Athlete of the Week for the week of April 8.

“It felt good to see my accomplishments be recognized,” Quinlan explained.

Quinlan also said that prior to him being Athlete of the Week, his teammate, Christian Tiffian, had been given the award almost a year before.

“It’s nice to see the team getting the recognition when any of us get the award,” Quinlan said.

Besides getting the award, Quinlan said his favorite part of playing at Utica would be his teammates.

“I’ve made a bond with a lot of my teammates,” he said. “The easiest way to explain is that sports teams are sort of like a cult. We eat together, we hang out together and some of us live together.”