The Rhode Island Interscholastic Hockey Coaches Association, in conjunction with the Hobey Baker Foundation, is hosting its seventh annual Hobey Baker High School Character Award program and the winners have been announced.
The award is an extension of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which is given yearly to the nation’s top college ice hockey player.
Hockey coaches from across the state have selected one member from their team to receive this award. The winning students show spirit, sportsmanship and character through their attitude, work ethic, unselfishness and “coachability.”
Winners from the Warwick area are Dan Nolte of Bishop Hendricken, Susie Cavanagh of Pilgrim, Brandon Golda of Toll Gate, John McNally of Warwick Vets and Kayleen Murphy of Pilgrim, representing the Warwick girls’ co-op team.
Nolte had a total of three goals and 12 assists during the season that resulted in 15 total points. Cavanagh had six goals and four assists, giving her 10 total points. Golda had one goal along with four assists, for a total of five points. McNally, a goalie, played a total of 381 minutes with 81 goals allowed, 321 saves, a 7.65 goals against average and a .799 save percentage. Murphy, another goalie, played a total of 369 minutes, had 26 goals allowed, 141 saves, a 2.41 GAA and a .844 save percentage.
Hobey Baker, a well-known former collegiate hockey star in the early part of the 20th century, was already a phenomenal athlete, but was best known for his sportsmanship. After every game he would visit the opposing team’s locker room and shake every player’s hand and congratulate them on a good game, no matter what the outcome was.
While in his senior year of high school at St. Paul’s in Concord, N.H., he and his team handed Princeton its only hockey loss of that year, and when he later attended Princeton, he was captain of the team and led them to two national championships in four seasons.
Between St. Paul’s, Princeton and some amateur hockey, he passed the 120-goal mark and the 100-assist mark in just 55 games, and averaged four points per game while never missing a single minute or shift on the ice.
Hobey also played football while at Princeton, where he was a punt return specialist. During his four years, he never fumbled. One year against Yale he had 13 punt returns, which is a school record. The next two times Princeton played Yale, Baker scored all of his team’s points. All of the points were on field goals, the longest being 43 yards. While in his junior year, he scored 92 points, and his total scoring marks in football stood for almost half a century.
Hobey Baker is a member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame and is one of a few Americans to be inducted to the Canadian Hockey Half of Fame. Overall, Hobey Baker is considered to be one of the greatest hockey players of his era.
“The spirit of the 2012 Hobey Baker High School Character Award is to acknowledge that it takes more than hockey skill to develop great student-athletes and the development of exemplary Character and Sportsmanship in our high-school hockey players is a vitally important aspect of the Student-Athlete experience,” said Joseph Judge, R.I. State Director of the Hobey Baker Character Award program.
The winners will be honored on March 14, at 3:45 p.m. in the Rhode Island State House. They will be introduced and given individual recognition before the Rhode Island Senate and House of Representatives, where they will receive citations from each body. They will also meet and receive citations from Governor Lincoln Chafee.