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NEC Announces Winter Academic Honor Roll

NEC Announces Winter Academic Honor Roll

NEC Academic Honor Roll | NEC Commissioner's Honor Roll

SOMERSET, N.J. -- Today the Northeast Conference (NEC) today honored its best and brightest from the 2021-22 winter season with the announcement of its Scholar-Athlete award winners

Merrimack was the lone school to sport two scholar-athletes, with one apiece from Bryant, Central Connecticut, FDU, Howard, LIU, Mount St. Mary's and Sacred Heart.

All scholar-athlete award winners must have earned a minimum of 60 semester hours at their institution, maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.20 and participated with distinction as a member of a varsity team.

Every honoree compiled at least a 3.70 grade point average in their respective sport.

Along with the scholar-athletes, the NEC announced its Winter Academic Honor Roll, consisting of a record 1,058 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade point average, a 9.8 percent increase from a year ago. There were also a record 447 student-athletes named to the Winter Commissioner's Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average. That figure bettered the previous mark by an astronomical 36.7 percent.

Bryant placed 123 student-athletes on the NEC Academic Honor Roll and an additional 37 were named to the NEC Commissioner's Honor Roll. 


Merrimack junior forward Jordan Minor (Kingston, MA/Brimmer & May) was the recipient of the men's basketball scholar-athlete award. Named to the All-NEC second team, Minor led the circuit with 13 double-doubles, and ranked second in rebounding (8.2) and blocks (2.4), seventh in field goal accuracy (.526) and steals (1.5), and eighth in scoring (15.1). At season's end he was also tabbed to NABC All-District second team. Minor, who hails from Kingston, MA, previously earned third team All-NEC honors as a sophomore and has amassed 861 points and 529 boards over his first three seasons in North Andover. He has twice been named to the NEC Commissioner's Honor Roll and is a three-time member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll. Minor has compiled a 3.87 grade point average as a Communications and Media major.


Mount St. Mary's graduate student forward Kendall Bresee (Frederick, MD/Urbana (GWU)) wrapped her stellar career by garnering the women's basketball scholar-athlete award. Bresee, who was the 2020-21 NEC Player of the Year, earned her third All-Conference selection and second straight first team accolade this past March. She led the NEC in point production (14.9), and was the lone competitor to rank in the top five in scoring, rebounding (7.3, second), assists (4.0, fifth) and blocks (0.9, fifth). She went on to earn NEC All-Tournament team honors after helping the Mount repeat as NEC champs, then dropped a team-high 20 points against Longwood in the NCAA Tournament. The Frederick, MD product finished her three seasons at Mount St. Mary's with 1,041 points. Bresee is a two-time member of the NEC Academic & Commissioner Honor Roll who has posted a 3.93 GPA while pursuing her Master of Science in Sports Management. She registered a 3.73 in her undergraduate studies majoring in Criminal Justice.


Merrimack senior guard Kate Mager (New City, NY/Albertus Magnus) was a women's basketball scholar-athlete recipient following a 2021-22 campaign that saw her claim All-NEC honors for the third straight season. Mager was tabbed to the second team following a pair of third team selections. A prolific long distance sharpshooter, the New City, NY native paced the conference in both three-pointers made (2.5/game) and three-point percentage (.445), while averaging a team-high 12.4 ppg. Mager established a new Merrimack career mark with 237 triples and became the 24th player in program history to crack 1,000 points, ending the year with 1,040 over her four years. The Human Development & Human Services major maintains a 3.95 GPA and has been selected to the NEC Academic & Commissioner's Honor Roll all three years Merrimack has been a member of the NEC.


Fairleigh Dickinson senior Jenna Henderson (Washington, NJ/Warren Hills) repeated as the NEC scholar-athlete in women's bowling. Following her NEC Player of the Year season in 2020-21, Henderson was tabbed to the All-NEC first team for the second year running, and served as one of the catalysts in FDU's memorable run to the Final Four earlier this month. She averaged 21.14 pins per frame over 210 NEC frames, and led the league with a 9.17 first-ball average and .910 fill percentage over three league meets. Balancing a demanding student teaching schedule with her athletic pursuits, the Washington, NJ native compiled a 3.90 GPA this past semester as she pursues her five-year combined QUEST Education/Humanities program, which will lead to a Master of Arts in Teaching. Henderson, who maintains a 3.85 overall GPA, has been impressively named to the NEC Academic & Commissioner's Honor Roll lists in each of her five years as an FDU student-athlete.


Following in the footsteps of fellow Pioneers, junior Hannah Manetta (Port Jefferson, NY/Comsewogue) extended Sacred Heart's run of women's bowling scholar-athletes honorees to five, dating back to Amanda Nardiello in 2017-18. In between, Victoria Boughton (2018-19) and Rachel Bamford (2019-20 & 2020-21) were also recognized. Manetta comes off a splendid 2021-22 campaign that saw her earn first team All-NEC, second team NTCA All-Region and NEC All-Tournament Team status for the NEC champion Pioneers, who won their fifth conference title and earned the league's AQ to the NCAA Championship. She averaged 20.20 pins per frame and struck 52.6 percent of her attempts against conference foes. The Port Jefferson, NY product and Interdisciplinary Studies major is a two-time NEC Academic and Commissioner's Honor Roll selection. Manetta carries a 3.83 GPA.


LLIU graduate student Jonathan Gonzalez (Brentwood, NY/Brentwood) earned the men's indoor track and field scholar-athlete award. Gonzalez collected a silver medal at the NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships in February, finishing second in the mile with a time of 4:15.94, less than one second behind the winner. He also ran the anchor leg on the distance medley relay team for the Sharks, who finished third at the meet. Gonzalez finished first in the 800 at the Gotham Cup and represented LIU in the mile at the ECAC/IC4A Championships. The Brentwood, NY native finished the second on the NEC indoor season performance list in the mile with his 4:11.98 showing at ECAC/IC4A. He has landed a spot on the NEC Academic and Commissioner's Honor Roll in each of the last two years and sported a 3.95 grade point average while majoring in Health Education. He is pursuing his Master of Science in Educational Technology.


One of the NEC's elite student-athletes added yet another honor to her overflowing resume as CCSU graduate student Angie Rafter (Danielson, CT/Killingly) claimed the indoor track and field scholar-athlete award for the first time. Rafter is by no means a newcomer to scholar-athlete honors, having been recognized an unprecedented four times in cross country as well as in outdoor track and field last spring. She was named the Most Valuable Performer at the NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships in February to help lead the Blue Devils to a share of the program's first conference title since 2001. Rafter pulled off the exceedingly rare distance triple at the meet, winning the mile (5:03.68), 3,000 meters (9:52.56) and 5,000 meters (17:25.22) before running the anchor leg on CCSU's gold medal winning distance medley relay team. The five-time NEC Athlete of the Week out of Danielson, CT set new school records in the 3,000 (9:19.70 at the BU Last Chance Meet) and 5,000 (16:18.75 at the David Hemery Valentine Invite) in addition to the 800 meter mark she established in 2020. She dominated the NEC performance lists in 2021-22, securing the top times in the conference by wide margins in the mile, 3,000 and 5,000 meters. A graduate student intern for the Wellness Room for Student-Athletes and a research assistant in the Assumption Lab, Rafter is pursuing her Master's degree in Psychology after completing her undergraduate studies in English. She compiled a 3.96 GPA as an undergrad and currently maintains a 3.95 GPA in her graduate courses. Rafter has been named to both the NEC Academic and Commissioner's Honor Roll in each of her five years.


The men's swimming and diving scholar-athlete award went to Howard junior Luke-Kennedy Thompson (Nassau, Bahamas/St. Andrews International School). Named Howard's Co-MVP for the 2021-22 season, Thompson set a new meet record in winning the 500 free at the NEC Swimming & Diving Championships, clocking in at 4:29.00. He also finished second in the 1,650 free in a time (15:50.28) that broke the previous meet mark in the process, and took silver in the 400 IM (4:02.06) to pile up 54 points for the Bison in their first-ever NEC meet. The Nassau, Bahamas native currently holds school records in the 500 free, 1,000 free, 1,650 free and 400 IM events. Thompson was also named to the NEC Academic Roll and has recorded a 3.71 GPA while majoring in Biology.


Achieving elite status in both the classroom and pool, Bryant junior Erin Doruska (Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny Centennial) collected women's swimming scholar-athlete honors. Doruska contributed 42 points to Bryant's total as the Bulldogs rallied to capture the program's fifth consecutive NEC Women's Swimming & Diving Championship this past February. She touched second in the 200 free (1:50.56), fifth in the 100 free (51.57) and eighth in the 500 free (5:03.88), and also contributed to Bryant's gold medal winning 800 free relay and silver showing in the 200 free relay. Doruska, who hails from Ankeny, IA, has posted a perfect 4.0 GPA during her time at Bryant. The Accounting major has earned a spot on the NEC Academic and Commissioner's Honor Roll in each of her three years in Smithfield.


2021-22 Northeast Conference Winter Scholar-Athletes

Sport                    Name                    School             Cl   GPA       Major
Men's Basketball         Jordan Minor            Merrimack          Jr   3.87      Communications & Media
Women's Basketball       Kendall Bresee          Mount St. Mary's   Gr   3.73 (u)  Criminal Justicxe
                                                                         3.93 (g)  Sports Management
                         Kate Mager              Merrimack          Sr   3.95      Human Development &
                                                                                   Human Services
Women's Bowling          Jenna Henderson         FDU                Gr.  3.85 (u)  QUEST - Education/Humanities
                                                                         3.90 (g)
                         Hannah Manetta          Sacred Heart       Jr   3.83      Interdisciplinary Studies
Men's Indoor T&F         Jonathan Gonzalez       LIU                Gr   3.95 (u)  Health Education
                                                                         4.00 (g)  Educational Technology
Women's Indoor T&F       Angie Rafter            CCSU               Gr   3.96 (u)  English
                                                                         3.95 (g)  Psychology
Men's Swimming/Diving    Luke-Kennedy Thompson   Howard             Jr.  3.71      Biology
Women's Swimming/Diving  Erin Doruska            Bryant             Jr.  4.00      Accounting
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 41st season, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout seven states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to a number of the largest markets in the United States including New York (#1), Boston (#9), Baltimore (#26), Hartford/New Haven (#33) and Providence (#53). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 24 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 16 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions in 2022-23 will include Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU, Merrimack, Mount St. Mary's, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U, Stonehill and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league's official website official website ( and digital network (, or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, all @NECsports.