Beaver Falls, PA - Geneva College football coach Geno DeMarco stood in front of each of the Golden Tornado athletes on Wednesday night to accept the NADO award for courage on behalf of Anthony D′Ambrosia. D′Ambrosia is preparing for his final round of chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with Leukemia last summer. DeMarco explained the rationale for the award by say, "Anthony is the toughest kid I have ever coached. If there was ever a person strong enough to beat this thing, Anthony is the guy."
Geneva′s SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) group came up with the idea for starting annual athletic awards. Head women′s soccer coach and SAAC representative Linda Sumner spearheaded the efforts to get the first annual NADO Awards off the ground. "We felt it was important to recognize excellence in athletics and in the classroom," said Sumner. "Our student-athletes work extremely hard and it is only fitting that we respect those efforts with some form of recognition and the NADO Awards are a perfect platform to accomplish that goal."
In addition to the NADO Award for Courage, the Golden Tornadoes also handed out awards for Rookie of the Year, Scholar-Athlete, Service and Athletes of the Year. Each Geneva head coach also had the opportunity to speak to the group about his or her season while also handing out individual MVP Awards for each sport.
Rookie of the year awards went out to cross country freshman Shannon Rech and men′s soccer freshman Jon Mathoslah. The service awards for excellence on and off the field were handed out to women′s soccer player Nancy Paul and men′s basketball player Nathan Reep. The Scholar-Athletes were volleyball player Michelle Zimmovan for the women and baseball stand-out Jon Jurinko for the men.
Geneva College athletic director Dr. Kim Gall took the stage for the final presentations which also included special recognition for men′s basketball coach Jeff Santarsiero′s 300th career victory and baseball coach Alan Sumner′s 500th career win.
Dr. Gall then turned her attention to the athletes of the year. For the women, two-sport star Adriane Blake was handed the award for her achievements in both volleyball and softball. For the men, first team NCCAA All-American basketball player Rich Colick took home the hardware.
"This was a very special night for our department," explained Gall. "Our student-athletes work very hard in representing our college in and out of the athletic arena. It is only fitting that we take some time to recognize that excellence."
To view photos from the NADO Awards ceremony, click here.
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College′s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).