The honored guests at the banquet with include the MVP's and seniors from Buffalo State's athletic teams as well as several major and memorial award winners.
Football player Michael Holbok (Williamsville/St. Joe’s) will receive the Hube Coyer Award for outstanding career athletic accomplishments by a male. A two-year starter at defensive end, the independent study major finished his career with 123 tackles, including 25.5 sacks. In 2003, he led the nation in tackles for loss with 28 and was named a Third Team All-American that season. As a senior, he earned First Team All-ACFC honors, was a Third Team All-Region selection, and played in the East Coast Bowl, a senior all-star game.
Softball player Liz Beiter (N. Tonawanda/N. Tonawanda) was voted the winner of the Ruth Houston Award for outstanding career athletic accomplishments by a female. A four-year pitcher with the Bengals’ softball program, she completed her career last spring with a record of 35-21 with a 2.13 earned run average. She was a two-time All-SUNYAC selection, including in her senior season when she was also an All-Region pick after posting a record of 13-4. An elementary education major, she ranks second at Buffalo State in career starts, wins and saves, and is third in complete games.
Junior track athlete Justin Muise (Kenmore/Kenmore West) will receive “Male Athlete of the Year” honors for his accomplishments during the 2004 outdoor season. A health and wellness major, Muise won SUNYAC Outdoor Championships both the 400-meter dash and 400-meter hurdles. He also won a New York State title in the 400-meter dash and earned “Runner of the Meet” honors at the State Championship. He also became the first track athlete at Buffalo State since 1986 to earn All-America honors with a sixth place finish in the 400-meter dash at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships.
Freshman diver Nicole Rutkowski (Williamsville/Williamsville North) will collect the “Female Athlete of the Year” Award. She broke the Buffalo State records on both the one and three meter boards, and became the first Buffalo State women’s diver to win a SUNYAC title, winning both championships. She was also named the SUNYAC’s “Most Outstanding Diver” at the championship meet. During the dual meet season, the health and wellness major posted seven first place finishes on the one-meter board, and won six times in three-meter.
Women's lacrosse player Rachael Galus (Hamburg/Frontier) will be honored as the Female Scholar Athlete, an award that honors the senior-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average. A psychology major, she has maintained a 3.70 cumulative grade point average. Men’s track and field athlete Tim Giagios (Rochester/Gates-Chili will receive the Male Scholar Athlete Award. A health and wellness major, Giagios has a 3.50 grade point average.
Two memorial awards, the Daniel Walker Cross Country and the Robert Kissinger Swimming and Diving Awards, will also be presented to student-athletes from the respective sports who exemplify an outstanding work ethic and commitment to the team and college. Dan Hargrave (Dansville/Dansville) will receive the Walker Award and Bret Stodolka (Darien/Alexander will receive the Kissinger.
The final major award is the Golden Bengals Award, which recognizes the member of the college community who goes beyond his or her job description to assist the athletics department. This year's recipient is Kris Kaufman, Director of Residence Life.
The following is a list of the 2004-05 Buffalo State Athletics teams Most Valuable Players:
Men’s Basketball - Gregg Jones (Syracuse/Nottingham)
Women’s Basketball - Jacey Brooks (Machais/Franklinville)
Cheerleading - Tina Doney (Watertown/Watertown)
Men’s Cross Country - Shane Reynolds (Richland/Pulaksi)
Women’s Cross Country - Jenny Vacanti (Nia. Falls/Nia. Wheatfield)
Football (Offense)- Jon Allen (Fayetteville/F’ville-Manlius)
Football (Defense - Perry Taglienti (Lancaster/Lancaster)
Football (Special Teams) - Mike Potter (Salamanca/Salamanca)
Men’s Ice Hockey - Sean Sheehan (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Lenape)
Women’s Ice Hockey - Mary Cohen (Ann Arbor, MI/Pioneer)
Men’s Soccer - Matt Romano (Eden/Eden)
Women’s Soccer - Kerriann Claussen (Santa Rosa, CA/Ursuline)
Softball - Nadine Sirianni (Niagara Falls/Nia. Falls)
Men’s Swimming & Diving - Eric Hastings (Wilmington, DE/Mt. Pleasant)
Women’s Swimming & Diving - Sara Weinert (S. Byron/Byron-Bergen)
Men’s Indoor Track & Field - Ken Ciolek (Limestone/Bradford Area)
Women’s Indoor Track & Field - Jenelle Orosz (N. Tonawanda/N.T.)
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field - Richard Harris (Rochester/Hilton)
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field - Jackie Kirsch (E. Aurora/E. Aurora)
Women’s Volleyball - Jen Breier (Grand Island/Grand Island)