Hockey Hands Out Team Awards At Banquet

(L to R) Mac Lalor and Mike Santee

(L to R) Mac Lalor and Mike Santee

May 13, 2014

WEST POINT, N.Y.  – Senior captain Brian Schultz was named the Henry “Hal” Beukema Award winner as the hockey team’s Most Valuable Player, while three other players and an administrator were honored when the team distributed its awards as the annual banquet, inside the Regiment Room at the U.S. Military Academy last Thursday night.

Schultz earned the team's MVP award, along with an award for academic excellence. C.J. Reuschlein, Maurice Alvarez, Mike Santee and Dr. Michael Hennelly were also garnered award recognition. Schultz, Santee and managers Stephen Bartkowski and Houston Carlson, the four-member senior class, were presented with hardware as well.

Head coach Brian Riley, with assistance from Col. Wiley Thompson, head officer representative, assistant coach Eric Lang, athletic intern 2nd Lt. Cheyne Rocha and equipment manager Noah Strone, distributed the team awards as well as varsity letters to all players and managers.

Schultz, an Aurora, Ohio, native, captained the 2013-14 team and closed the year with five goals and nine assists. He scored twice, including the game-winner, in an Atlantic Hockey Association playoff win over eventual champion Robert Morris. 

Schultz is the fifth-straight forward to win the MVP award, joining Andy Starczewski, Mike Hull, Eric Sefchik and Cody Omilusik. The award honors Henry “Hal” Beukema who died in a plane crash in 1954 after attaining the rank of major. The team MVP award has been given out every year since 1955 and is voted on by team members. Lang presented the award.

Schultz, the team’s lone senior player, also won the Gunning Award for academic excellence. The award is named for Michael J. Gunning, a cadet letterman who died following a hit-and-run accident and is presented in recognition of the cadet who displays the qualities of academic excellence, selfless dedication to his teammates, a trusted friend and a player who demonstrates true love for the game. Several members of the Gunning family were on hand to help present the award to Schultz.

Alvarez, a defenseman/forward from Cleveland, Ohio, won the first Major Tom Kennedy Award. Alvarez finished a productive junior season listed fourth on the team in scoring with 15 points. This award is in memory of Major Tom Kennedy, a former Army player, Officer Representative and supporter of the Black Knights. The award is presented to a player who exemplifies the great characteristics of Major Kennedy: a hard worker with a team-first attitude who will do anything to help the team. The winner of this prestigious award goes to the team's unsung contributor who goes above and beyond to help his teammates and personifies what made “TK” such a great person. Riley presented Alvarez with the honor.

Santee, a former player whose career ended prematurely due to injury, garnered the Haggerty Award. The award is named in honor of Paul Haggerty, a 1991 West Point graduate who worked his way up from junior varsity to the first line and later served as an Army assistant coach. He died suddenly during a workout early in his coaching career. Paul’s son, Luke, presented Santee with the award after noting the many similarities in their work ethic and commitment.

Reuschlein, out of Flint, Mich., was honored with the Heinmiller Award. Presented to the team’s outstanding freshman player, it is named for John Heinmiller who was killed in a train accident following his freshman season. Reuschlein, an Atlantic Hockey Association All-Rookie Team selection, led the team in scoring with 22 points and tied for second among the AHA’s top goal-scorers of 2013-14. He is the first Army players since Owen Meyer in 2010 to reach the 20-point plateau as a rookie. Strone presented Reuschlein with a plaque.

Hennelly, an instructor in West Point’s Behavioral Sciences and Leadership department and invaluable member of the Army hockey family, was named the Derek Hines Award winner. The award honors Hines, a scrappy and hard-nosed player who was a fan favorite and one of the most respected players in the locker room. It recognizes a person who has displayed an extraordinary amount of support to the Army hockey program and shares values that Derek did, cared more about giving than receiving and displayed great passion and love for the Army hockey family. Derek was killed in action in 2005. 2LT Rocha presented Hennelly with the award.

After distributing team awards and varsity letters, Schultz officially passed the team captain’s torch to soon-to-be seniors Mac Lalor and Josh Richards, who served as alternate captains in 2013-14, and rising junior Joe Kozlak for 2014-15.

2014 Army Hockey Awards
Beukema Award: Brian Schultz
Haggerty Award: Mike Santee
Heinmiller Award: C.J. Reuschlein
Gunning Award: Brian  Schultz
Kennedy Award: Maurice Alvarez
Hines Award: Dr. Michael Hennelly

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