CASTINE, Maine - Maine Maritime honored its student-athletes at the annual Student-Athlete Banquet in the Alfond Student Center Monday. Gillian O'Neal (Burbank, Calif.) and Robert Bradley, Jr. (Slidell, La.) were honored as Senior Scholar Athletes and Morgan Libby (Brunswick, Maine) and Tyler Thayer (Hermon, Maine) took home the Athlete of the Year awards for 2016-17.
Gillian O'Neal - 2016-17 Female Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year – Volleyball
O'Neal, a four-year member of the volleyball team and captain, was named the 2016 North Atlantic Conference Volleyball Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year, and 2015 & 2016 NAC Volleyball Player of the Year, while earning NAC First-Team honors all four years. The Marine Biology major boasted a 3.55 GPA. This season, she helped lead the Mariners to the 2016 NAC Volleyball Championship as the NAC Tournament MVP. She was also named the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year, a NEWVA Senior All-Star and received the Phyllis Tenney Community Service and Leadership Award. Also this season, O'Neal broke the Maine Maritime Career Record for kills (1,445) and set a new single-season record for kills (409), while recording 17 double-doubles.
Robert Bradley, Jr. - 2016-17 Male Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year – Football
Bradley, Jr., a three-year member of the football team and captain, was named the 2016 Hal Chalmers Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District One selection. The International Business and Logistics major carries an impressive 3.96 GPA, and serves as the Class Vice President and as an NROTC Executive Officer. Bradley, Jr., a two-time New England Football Conference All-Academic team selection was also a semifinalist for the 2016 Campbell Trophy. On the field, the defensive end appeared in five games for the Mariners, totaling 33 tackles, including 17 solo stops and three tackles for a loss of eight yards.
Morgan Libby - 2016-17 Female Athlete of the Year – Senior - Soccer
Libby, a three-year member of the soccer team and two-year team captain, was named the Female Athlete of the Year. This season, Libby became the first-ever NAC women's soccer player to earn both Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. The two-time First-Team All-NAC selection was also named the ECAC DIII New England Defensive Player of the Year, an ECAC New England All-Star and to the NEWISA Division III All-New England First Team. Libby earned the most votes as a midfielder to earn NEWISA Division III All-New England First Team honors. This season in the ECAC Tournament, Libby helped lead the Mariners to first-ever post-conference post-season victory by any women's team.
Tyler Thayer – 2016-17 Male Athlete of the Year – Junior – Basketball
Thayer, a three-year member of the basketball team, was named the Male Athlete of the Year. This season, Thayer became just the 11th player in Maine Maritime Academy Men's Basketball History to score 1,000 points, and just the third player to do so in his junior season. On the court, Thayer led the Mariners with 17.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He also led the team in minutes played, averaging 36.5 minutes per game, shooting 44.2 percent from the floor, and scoring in double-digits in 20 of the 22 games he played in. In the Mariners' 93-78 win over Green Mountain on February 11, Thayer scored a career-high 31 points – including his 1,000th point - and tied the single-game record for field goal percentage, shooting a perfect 10-for-10 from the floor. Thayer was named the North Atlantic Conference Player of the Week on February 13.
Men's Basketball received the Mariner Cup. The Mariner Cup is awarded each year based on: Team GPA, work within the Athletic Department, attendance at home athletic events, community service and the AD's pick. The winner receives the Mariner Cup trophy.
The Athletic department recognized 29 four-year athletes, 28 All-Academic selections, 28 All-Conference selections, Elite 8 honorees and the 2016 NAC Volleyball Championship Team.
Also in attendance was Maine Maritime's long-time Equipment Manager Arnie Grindle. Grindle was presented with a foot locker, signed by Maine Maritime's Athletes, and filled with thank you cards from the athletes.
Click HERE to view additional photos from the banquet.