By Bob Weiner
As a defenseman, two-time All-American lacrosse player Tom Alexander has always excelled at neutralizing the other team’s top scoring threat. The Guilderland, N.Y., native, now a graduate student at the University who is working toward his master’s degree in education, plans on teaching English and coaching lacrosse, a sport he credits with helping him to grow up.
“It taught me how to compete and how to give
it my all,” he said. “I have also met many great people through the sport.
I have always played defense, ever since I first picked up a stick at Guilderland
High School. My job is to take the ball away, and get it out of my zone.
I take a lot of pride in that. It’s just simple, hard work. When I step
off the field and feel exhausted, I know I gave it my best.”
Sports in Brief
• Joe Savino and Rafaela Nikas were named as the University’s 1997-98 male and female athletes of the year. Savino, of Norwood, N.J., was a first-team Football Gazette Division II non-scholarship quarterback. He was voted ECAC-North Player of the Year and earned the Eastern Football Conference’s Most Valuable Player award by passing for 2,377 yards and 22 touchdowns. Nikas, a native of Bay Shore, N.Y., was named to both the Brine/IWLCA and USWLA All-America lacrosse squads as a first-team midfielder.
• Albany captured the New England Collegiate Conference’s Walter Peterson President’s Cup, recognizing the member school that compiled the strongest overall record in conference-sponsored sports during the 1997-98 academic year. The Great Danes won NECC championships in men’s cross country, women’s tennis, men’s indoor track, women’s indoor track and softball.
• Wide receiver Dan Gmelin and tight end Seth Thomas became the first players in University history to be signed to contracts by National Football League teams. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Thomas, who caught 94 passes for 1,207 yards and 13 touchdowns during a four year career with the Great Danes, signed as a free agent to try out with the Carolina Panthers. Gmelin, 5-feet-11 and 188 pounds, agreed to terms with the San Diego Chargers. Gmelin set 12 team records for the Great Danes, including career marks for receptions, receiving yards and all-purpose yards.
• ECAC Merit Medals were awarded to Liz Peck, Halim Wise and Darrin
Jahnel as the school’s senior female and male student-athletes. Peck,
a first-team All-America midfielder in field hockey, is in the University’s
molecular biology doctoral program. Wise,
• Dawn DiMicco, Allisson Pennington and Rafaela Nikas were each first-team selections on the USWLA and Brine/IWLCA women’s lacrosse All-America teams.
• Kelly Poynton, of Orchard Park, N.Y., who was selected the
NECC Pitcher of the Year
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