MANSFIELD, MASS.- The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) is proud to recognize the finalists for the 2019-2020 NECC Senior Student-Athlete of the Year award. The NECC Senior Student-Athlete Award honors a male and female student-athlete who have excelled academically and athletically, while also being leaders on their campus and in the community. The NECC Senior Student-Athlete of the Year is given annually, and is determined by a vote of the conference’s Athletic Directors.
Five males and five females represent their institution as nominees. Becker College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College and New England College each have a male and female nominee on the ballot, while Mitchell College has a male nominee and Lesley University rounds out the female nominees.
The winners of the Male and Female NECC Senior Student-Athlete of the Year award will be announced on Wednesday, May 27.
2019-20 NECC Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award Nominees
Michael McMahon (Canton, Mass.), Becker College
The senior baseball player serves as the NECC’s National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative, while also serving as Becker’s SAAC President. McMahon, a sport management major, has earned numerous awards at Becker, including both the President’s and Dean’s Awards, the first student in history to earn both accolades. He was also presented with Becker’s John J. Dorsey Scholar Athlete Award, which is awarded to a senior that has excelled both in the classroom and in the athletic arena. He has been inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society, and has earned NECC All-Academic honors in each of his eligible seasons.
The two-time team captain had a hot start to his senior campaign, leading the Hawks with a .429 average before the season was ended prematurely due to COVID-19. He earned NECC Del Malloy Sportsmanship honors, as well his second consecutive COSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection, also a first in Becker’s program history.
Noah Cheney (Bend, Ore.), Eastern Nazarene College
Cheney is the Eastern Nazarene Student Body President, and serves on the Student Government and Student Senate. He is also a member of Eastern Nazarene’s SAAC. The Sport Management major has been inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma, and has earned conference Academic honors in each of his eligible seasons.
Cheney earned All-Conference honors in his senior season, and led the Lions to an NECC Tournament berth. Cheney also scored his 1,000th point during his senior campaign.
Babba Jaden (Clarkston, Ga.), Elms College
The Computer Information Technology major is the President of the Elms College International Club, and has worked as an assistant researcher for various organizations for three years.
Jaden was the 2017 NECC Men’s Soccer Player of the Year, and has earned first team All-Conference honors three times. The team captain led the Blazers in goals in each of the past three seasons.
Seth Strader (Preston,Conn.), Mitchell College
Strader, a men’s soccer player, has volunteered with Southeast Soccer Club and Mitchell youth camps over the course of his career. The Environmental Studies major has also aided in Mitchell’s beach clean-ups. He was named to the NECC Academic All-Conference team following his senior season.
A goalkeeper, Strader helped lead his team to the NECC title in 2017, and earned All-Conference accolades twice during his career.
Kyle Clements (Weare, N.H.), New England College
New England College is also represented by a men’s soccer player in Kyle Clements. A Business Administration major, Clements has been a leader in the Henniker community, coaching local youth teams and assisting at youth camps.
A team captain, Clements has earned NECC All-Conference honors the past two seasons.
2019-20 NECC Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award Nominees
Kyra Teixeira (Old Lyme, Conn.), Becker College
Kyra Teixeira is a two-sport athlete for the Hawks, competing in women’s soccer and softball. The Exercise Science major was named to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Scholar All-East Region Third Team following her senior campaign. She was also recently awarded Becker’s John J. Dorsey Scholar Athlete Award. In addition, she has been inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma, and has been named to the NECC Academic All-Conference team for both soccer and softball. Teixeira was also a member of Becker’s SAAC.
The 2019 NECC Women’s Soccer Player of the Year, Teixeira led the Hawks with 44 point and 18 goals. She has been named All-Conference twice in her soccer career. On the diamond, she had tallied three hits and an RBI in her senior softball campaign before it ended prematurely.
Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.), Eastern Nazarene College
Elisabeth Schaffer, a softball student-athlete, is a member of SAAC at Eastern Nazarene. This biology major is also the President of the Schrader Club, which aims to enhance the academic and spiritual experience of students in the Biology and Chemistry department at Eastern Nazarene. She is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, the National Student-Athlete Honor Society and has been named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar-Athlete three times. She has been named Academic All-NECC once, and was named to the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) All-Academic team once.
A pitcher, Schaffer led the Lions to their program’s first championship, and subsequently, their first ever NCAA appearance in 2019. Holding all the Eastern Nazarene career and single season pitching records, she has been a conference Pitcher of the Year twice, once in the NECC and once in the CCC. Schaffer has also been honored regionally, earning NFCA All-Region honors twice in her career.
Rebecca Molin (West Hartford, Conn.), Elms College
Rebecca Molin has been an NECC Academic All-Conference honoree in each of her three eligible seasons. The Business Management and Marketing major was also inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma and Sigma Beta Delta. She has spent time volunteering with children with special needs at Top Soccer and with Special Olympics.
The goalkeeper has started in every game for the Blazers for four consecutive years. Molin has played in three NECC championship matches, taking home the title in 2016. She bookended her career with NECC Goalkeeper of the Year honors in her senior and rookie campaigns. She was also an All-Conference performer in each of her four seasons. She leaves Elms leading the record books in all major statistical categories for goalkeepers.
Melanie Mathewson (Santa Rosa, Calif.), Lesley University
Melanie Mathewson was an active member of the Lynx campus. She was a founding member of Lesley University's Sexual Assault Prevention Advisory Committee, served as a peer tutor and was a board member on Lesley’s SAAC. She was an NECC Academic All-Conference honoree in each of her three eligible seasons. The English and Political Science major also volunteered in the surrounding community, works with organizations such as the Farm to Pantry Pandemic Delivery Crew, Cradles to Crayons, and the Elizabeth Warren Campaign.
A captain for the Lynx women’s soccer team, Mathewson was an integral part of three Lynx championship teams. She was an all-NECC performer twice in her career, including first team honors following her junior campaign.
Molly Gingras (Derry, N.H.), New England College
Molly Gingras has been a leader on the Henniker campus, participating in numerous community service ventures during her time with the Pilgrims. The Health Science major also served as a teaching assistant during her time at New England College. Gingras has been named to the conference All-Academic team twice.
A women’s lacrosse athlete, Gingras helped lead New England College to the NECC title in 2019, taking charge of the defense for the Pilgrims.
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 16 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sports. Current members include Bay Path University, Becker College, Dean College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College.