SAGE MEN'S SOCCER PLAYERS COLLECT MULTIPLE AWARDS AT ANNUAL AWARD BANQUET
Albany, NY— The Sage Colleges' department of athletics gathered to recognize and honor the outstanding performances of the 2018-2019 year with the naming of the athletic award winners for the 17 varsity athletic teams. In addition to awarding the Gator Award, for the Most Outstanding Player, the department also named the 2018-2019 Female and Male Rookies of the Year as well as the 2018-2019 Female and Male Athletes of the Year, as well as the 2018-2019 Female and Male Athletes of the Year. Sage also selected the Dean Sharon Robinson Senior Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, which is given to the senior student-athlete with the highest overall grade point average, as well as the Aggie Stillman Perseverance Award.
Sage honored freshman men's soccer player Christian Vaalstuen (Lillestrom, Norway) as the Gator of the Year, while senior Ryan Fairweather (Middletown, NY/Minisink Valley) garnered the Male Dean Sharon Robinson Scholar Athlete of the Year, and finally, graduate student Anthony Williamson (Beacon, NY/Beacon) was given the Aggie Stillman Perseverance Award.
Head Coach Keith Simons said of Christian before his departure, "Christian is the epitome of hard work and determination." Simons added, "He set the bar extremely high for the rest of his team mates. Christian is a born leader and an extraordinary player that this program is lucky to have."
As a newcomer to Sage this fall, Vaalstuen started 11 of 14 matches played and helped to anchor the Gator midfield with his tenacious play. He was a leader on and off the pitch and added to the success of the squad in 2018 and he was also honored with a pair of selections to the Empire 8 Presidents' List in the fall and spring for his work in the classroom.
At the 2013, banquet, we created a new award, the Dean Sharon Robinson Senior Scholar-Athlete Award to recognize our exceptional senior male and female scholar-athletes for their accomplishments in the classroom and their distinguished efforts as a Sage Scholar-Athlete. This award is given in recognition of this individual's service and passion for excellence in higher education and love of intercollegiate athletics.
Fairweather was four-year letterwinner for the men's soccer team and was a business administration major with an impressive 3.814 cumulative grade point average. He excelled for the Gators in his time with the men's soccer team and served as a team captain as a senior. He Earned Empire 8 Second Team All-Star status in 2017 as a defender and helped the 2016 Sage men's soccer team to a spot in the Skyline Conference Championship. Tapped by the Gators as the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, he was also recognized by the 2nd & 7 Foundation as their national student-athlete of the week for his work with the Sage Chompers' Reading Program. In June, he attended the NCAA Careers in Athletics Forum.
The Aggie Stillman Perseverance Award was given to a member of the Sage Men's Soccer Team for his courageous feat in overcoming what could have been a season and a career ending obstacle after suffering a lacerated liver during a game this past fall. In her nearly forty year career at Sage, Aggie was a friend, mentor, professor, class advisor, and the Gators' biggest fan. She radiated pride and enthusiasm in everything she did, while embodying the Sage spirit of patience and perseverance against any and all odds. In her honor, Sage bestows The Aggie Stillman Perseverance Award to the person affiliated with Sage Athletics that best exemplifies those traits which made Aggie so special. Aggie waged a personal battle with cancer for over 20 years finally succumbing to the disease on May 13, 2008.
Anthony Williamson was saluted for overcoming his injury and helping to lead the men's soccer team back onto the field in the final few weeks of the 2018 campaign. A four-year letterwinner with the men's soccer team and a three-time team captain, he was a leader in the backfield and guided the Gators to an NCAA Tournament appearance as well as a Skyline Conference Championship and an Empire 8 runner-up crown during his time on the pitch.