Fordham Athletics Recognizes Team MVPs

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced the postponement or cancellation of regularly-scheduled activities, the Fordham sports world has been forced to respond. One of these events was Fordham’s “Block F” dinner, which honors the year’s athletic achievements and is typically held in either late April or early May. Despite the cancellation of the event, the school is still honoring the best players on each team like it otherwise would have.

For baseball and softball, each team named its Most Valuable Player based on a play that took place before their seasons were canceled on March 12. Baseball’s team MVP was sophomore outfielder Jason Coules, who ended his season with a .453 batting average and led the Atlantic 10 in hits. Softball’s team MVP was senior pitcher Madie Aughinbaugh, who played in every game this season and led the team in batting average before the season was prematurely cut short.

The next players to be honored were from the men’s and women’s basketball teams, two of the last squads to finish their regular seasons before sports shut down. The women’s basketball team picked the obvious choice in junior Bre Cavanaugh, who was also named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year this past season, in leading Fordham to a 21-win season. The men’s team, which finished with a 9-22 record, named Antwon Portley its MVP after he finished the year averaging just over 10 points per game and nearly four rebounds per contest.

Next up were Fordham’s cross country teams, both of which made fairly obvious choices. The men’s team went with senior Ryan Kutch, who raced in the NCAA national championship this past year. In contrast, the women’s team selected freshman Alexandra Thomas, who was named to the Atlantic 10’s all-rookie team at season’s end. The football team’s selection was also a no-brainer in sophomore quarterback Tim DeMorat, the leading passer in the Patriot League in 2019. The golf team, meanwhile, spread its MVP award between two freshmen, Nicholas Manning and P.J. O’Rourke, both of whom averaged around a 77 per round.

Both of Fordham’s soccer teams went with their respective heart and soul. The women’s team chose senior goaltender Kelly LaMorte, who played every minute of the last two seasons and scored five shutouts last year. The men’s team went with junior Luke McNamara, who spearheaded Fordham’s defense and led the Rams to seven shutouts. On Tuesday, two of Fordham’s most successful programs, Water Polo and Squash, made their selections, choosing senior Jake Miller-Tolt and junior Griffin Fitzgerald, respectively. The swimming and diving teams each chose one of their record-breakers: the men’s team selected junior Patrick Wilson, who broke two breaststroke records at this year’s A-10 Championship, and the women’s team chose senior Amelia Bullock, the first Ram to ever win the Atlantic 10’s Most Outstanding Performer award.

The final two awards were given out by Fordham’s indoor track and field teams. The men’s team chose co-MVPs in junior Nikolas Reardon and senior Nicholas Raefski. The women’s team went with junior Kathryn Kelly, who finished in the top five at three events in the A-10 Championship.

There was no in-person Block F this year. The event will hopefully take place next year, with coaches and athletes together like they were last year. This year, the dinner couldn’t happen, but the awards could.