BANGOR, Maine - Husson University Director of Athletics Frank Pergolizzi is proud to announce Kenzie Worcester, Jen Jones, Cory Brandon and Justin Martin as the 2018-19 Clara Swan and Del Merrill Athletes of the Year. They will be honored at the 2019 Husson University Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on December 6th, 2019 at the Anah Shrine in Bangor.
"We have an outstanding group of student-athletes being recognized at our Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony," Pergolizzi said. "All four are championship caliber and have led their respective teams to success multiple times. We are excited to recognize them in this way as winners of the Del Merrill and Clara Swan awards."
Kenzie Worcester, who will now cap off her distinguished four-year career on the Eagle hardwood as the first female student-athlete in Husson University Athletics' history to be named Clara Swan Female Athlete of the Year in back-to-back years, is no stranger to receiving awards as she earned 85 individual honors during her collegiate career.
The 2019 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Player of the Year helped lead Husson to an 82-31 (.726) record, including a 69-8 (.896) mark against conference foes with four-straight NAC Championships and NCAA Tournament berths, while being named the NAC Tournament MVP for the fourth consecutive time this past season.
In her senior season, she led the NAC in field goals made (176 overall, 85 NAC), field goals per game (6.5, 6.1), three-point percentage (39.6%, 39.3%), points (514, 243), and points per game (19.0, 17.4). She also ranked in the top five in most statistical categories, including three-pointers made (61, 33), free throw percentage (84.9%, 80.0%), steals (54, 34), steals per game (2.0, 2.4), assists (87, 51) and assists per game (3.2, 3.6).
Worcester was named the NAC Player of the Week an impressive eight times in her final season wearing Green and Gold, and was also recognized numerous times by the Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association (MWBCA) and the New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA) for her prowess on the court. She was selected to the MWBCA All-State First Team, d3Hoops.com All-Northeast Region Third Team, NAC All-Academic Team and to the NEWBA All-Region Second Team. Worcester was also chosen to play in the NEWBA Senior All-Star game following her senior season.
In 2018-19, Worcester recorded nine games with twenty or more points, two games with thirty or more, and became the second-most career points scorer (1,869) in program history on December 30th when Husson upset nationally ranked #8 University of Chicago. She also became the first guard in Husson history to join an exclusive club of six players to achieve the combination of 1000-plus points, 500 or more rebounds, 150-plus assists, and 150-plus steals throughout their career.
During her senior season, Worcester eclipsed the Eagles' career records for scoring average (16.7), field goals attempted (1,394), three-pointers made (177), and free throw percentage (84.3%). She also moved up the HU career leaderboard in games played (112, t-5th), field goals made (655, 2nd), three-point percentage (39.3%, 2nd), free throws made (382, 4th), assists (341, 5th), steals (226, t-7th), assists average (3.0, 10th), steals average (2.0, t-11th), rebounds (547, 13th), blocked shots (38, t-18th), blocked shots average (0.3, t-24th), and rebounding average (4.9, 25th).
The 2019 captain also became the program's all-time NCAA era career leader in points, scoring average, field goals made, three-pointers made, free throw percentage, assists, games played, games started, minutes (3,799) and minutes average (33.9).
Worcester, who is regarded as the best scorer in HU history, finished her career with the most 30-plus point games in program history with seven, while also becoming just the second player in the Husson women's basketball program to record two seasons of 500 or more points and be selected to the All-Conference squad all four-years.
A Physical Therapy major, Worcester will remain a member of the program as she joins the coaching staff for the 2019-20 season.
Jen Jones manufactured one of the best seasons of any pitcher in HU softball history, while helping the Eagles to their second-consecutive NAC Championship and NCAA berth en route to earning the NAC Softball Pitcher of the Year award in 2019. She is the second player in program history to be named Conference Pitcher of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
Jones was selected as the NAC Player of the Week once and Pitcher of the Week twice, along with earning FastPitch News DIII National Player of the Week honors. To add to her stellar season, she became the first pitcher in program history to be named to the National FastPitch Coaches Association (NFCA) DIII All-New England Region Team, earning a spot on the Third Team, while being recognized for her third-straight First Team All-NAC honor.
Jones racked up 48 strikeouts, three wins, and one save over 32 innings pitched, while allowing only five earned runs for a 1.09 ERA in six starts and seven total conference game appearances. She allowed only one home run, one triple, and two doubles while tallying 10.50 strikeouts per seven innings. A pitcher with impeccable accuracy, the junior was charged with just one wild pitch while holding opponents to a .179 batting average in 112 at bats. Jones also contributed on the other side of the plate with 14 hits in 27 at bats (.519), including five doubles and a home run, while only striking out twice. She scored 13 runs and batted in 10 more to help the Eagles enter the NAC Championship Tournament as the No. 2 seed.
In the Eagles' first game of the NAC Championship Tournament, Jones pitched seven innings with six scattered hits and a walk in the 9-6 win. In Husson's second game, the junior pitched three innings of relief, holding the Thomas College batters hitless in the walk-off win for the Eagles. Facing top-seeded Thomas again in the championship game, Jones threw a perfect game for her 12th win of the season and a ticket to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. She struck out 14 batters, and also had five hits and an RBI of her own, in the double-elimination tournament, as the Eagles defeated the Terriers, 8-0, in five innings. Jones' perfect game was the program's fifth overall and second one since the Eagles joined the NCAA in 2004, while being the first solo one in 17 years.
In the first game of the NCAA DIII regional round, the NAC Pitcher of the Year threw another gem, going 9.2 innings with 10 strikeouts and only two scattered hits before MIT won with a walk-off home run in the tenth inning. She pitched 4.2 innings of relief the next day, striking out six batters.
In total for the season, Jones hit .442 with a .651 slugging percentage over 33 games. She tallied 38 hits, ten doubles, one triple, and two home runs. Jones scored 21 runs and tacked on 26 RBI. She also earned 12 wins in 18 starts in the circle, pitching 14 complete games and three shutouts while also earning one save. She allowed 29 earned runs in 129.1 innings for a 1.57 ERA, while holding her opponents to a .214 average at the plate. A versatile player, she became the first pitcher in program history to led her team in both batting average and on-base percentage (.510).
After just three years wearing Green and Gold, Jones is already the program's all-time NCAA era career pitching leader in innings pitched (391.1), complete games (42) and shutouts (13).
Jones enters her senior season inside the circle with a 2.16 career ERA, a 36-20 record including one save while striking out 420 batters in 391.1 innings and 73 total appearances (49 starts). She ranks second in WHIP (1.14), strikeouts, and shutouts; third in opponents' batting average (.226), wins, and hits allowed per seven innings (5.99); fourth in complete games; fifth in ERA and strikeouts to walk ratio (3.75); sixth in appearances; and eighth in games started.
As a hitter, Jones will enter her final stanza hitting .364 (55-151) with 30 runs, 11 doubles, one triple, four home runs, and 35 RBI. She ranks among the program's all-time career hitting leaders in batting average (15th), slugging percentage (.530, 16th), on-base percentage (.461, 10th), on-base plus slugging percentage (.991, 13th), and home runs (t-21st).
Jones enters her fourth year at Husson University in 2019-20, working tirelessly in the classroom to pursue a Doctor in Physical Therapy.
Cory Brandon was a true leader on and off the gridiron and left no doubt that he was the greatest quarterback in Husson football history when he capped off his senior season with the program's fifth consecutive Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title, a feat no another member of the ECFC has ever accomplished.
In his final stanza, Brandon navigated an outstanding offense that posted record setting numbers en route to an 8-3 overall record and the program's fourth perfect record in ECFC action in the last five seasons. He finished the year completing 188-of-287 pass attempts (65.5%) for 2,535 yards with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions, while also scoring one rushing touchdown. The senior signal caller led the ECFC in yards, completion percentage, yards per pass attempt (8.83) and passing efficiency (165.2), while being ranked in the top-25 in the nation in completion percentage (14th), passing efficiency (13th), passing touchdowns (21st) and yards per pass attempt (17th).
Brandon received numerous accolades throughout the season, earning four ECFC Offensive Player of the Week awards. He then went on to become the first quarterback in program history to earn three All-Conference nods, after being selected to the Second Team Offense by the ECFC coaches.
In his final season, Brandon also rewrote several sections of the HU football record book as he set the school records for passes attempted in a game (44 at Rensselaer), passes completed in a game (30 at Rensselaer) and a season, yards gained passing in a game (404 vs. Gallaudet) and a season, touchdown passes thrown in a game (5 vs. Gallaudet) and a season, yards per game average in a season (230.5), yards per completion average in a game (26.9 vs. Gallaudet), yards per attempt average in a game (19.2 vs. Gallaudet) and a season, completion percentage in a game (89.5 at Alfred State) and a season, passing efficiency rating in a game (311.6 vs. Gallaudet) and a season, total offense yards by in a game (387 vs. Gallaudet) and a season (2,447), total offense yards per play average in a game (17.6 vs. Gallaudet) and a season (7.97), total offense yards per game in a season (222.5), and touchdowns responsible for by an individual in a game (5 vs. Gallaudet).
In 42 career games (36 starts), Brandon completed 533-of-859 (62.0%) passes for 7,213 yards with 75 TDs and 29 INTs. He left the program as the all-time career leader in passes attempted, passes completed, yards gained passing, touchdown passes thrown, yards-per-attempt average (8.4), completion percentage, passing efficiency rating (154.9), and yards-per-play average (7.43). Brandon ranks second in total offense yards (7,005), touchdowns responsible for (79, four rush, 75 pass), and total offense yards-per-game average (166.8); and third in yards-per-completion average (13.5). He also holds the records for longest pass completion (93 vs. Anna Maria, 2016), consecutive passes completed in a single-game (14 vs. Castleton, 2017) and consecutive games with a touchdown pass (15).
Brandon earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Husson in the winter of 2018.
A native of Pembroke, Mass., Brandon attended Pembroke High School. He currently resides in North Conway, N.H., working for the Conway Police Department as a Patrol Officer.
Justin Martin not only competed in two varsity sports at Husson, he excelled at both of them. Martin played four seasons of basketball and will compete in his fourth and final season of outdoor track & field in the spring of 2020.
In his final season on the Eagle hardwood, Martin helped Husson to a 17-11 record - including an 11-3 mark in conference play - en route to earning a shared or outright regular season conference title for the fourth-straight season and the 15th time in the last 25 years. As the number two seed in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament, Martin led Husson to their seventh NAC Championship in 11 years and the program's 20th National Tournament appearance.
In the semifinal matchup with #3 SUNY Canton, Martin drained twenty points and dished out two assists. He grabbed six rebounds, three steals, and also put up three blocks in the win (85-74) to become the first Husson men's basketball player to achieve 200 career blocks. Facing a red-hot Thomas team that knocked number one-seeded UMaine-Farmington out of the tournament the night before, Martin continued to lead his team with composure. He scored a game-high 26 points, just barely missing a double-double with nine rebounds. He put up four blocks, stole the ball once, and nailed 6-for-6 free throws as the Eagles pulled away from the Terriers following a tie-game at the half. Martin was selected as the All-Tournament MVP for his performance during the tournament.
The 6-6 center collected his first career First Team All-NAC and First Team All-State honors after averaging 14.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks during his final collegiate season. He finished the year ranked first in the conference in rebounding average and rebounds (258), second in blocked shots (49) and blocked shot average, fourth in points (414), fifth in field goals made (147), sixth in field goal percentage (77.8%), tied for sixth in three-pointers made (50) and eighth in scoring average.
The 2017 NAC Defensive Player of the Year also recorded the most double-doubles in a single-season in nine years with 13, while becoming the first player in program history to lead the team in blocked shots in four-straight seasons.
Martin became the 50th HU player to reach the 1,000-point plateau when he made a three-pointer with 11:16 remaining in the first half of the, 72-58, victory at Maine Maritime Academy on February 12th. Earlier in the season, J-Mart surpassed the Eagles' career leader in blocks with his 166th in Husson's, 71-64, win at Lasell College.
The three-time All-Conference player closed out his NCAA career with 1,055 points, 937 rebounds, 122 assists, 87 steals and 207 blocks. He ranks among the program's top 50 career leaders in blocks (1st), blocked shot average (1.9, 3rd), rebounds (6th), games played (109, t-19th), 3-point field goals made (116, 20th), rebounding average (8.6, 21st), steals (36th), 3-point field goal percentage (34.2%, 38th), points (47th), and field goals made (385, 49th).
The senior captain is the program's All-Time NCAA era career leader in defensive rebounds (653), offensive rebounds (284), total rebounds, blocked shots, and blocked shots average and will leave the program as the single-game record holder for blocked shots with nine at #3 Babson on March 3rd, 2017.
Martin earned ECAC All-New England Honorable Mention honors in 2017, while being selected to the MMBCWA All-State Rookie (2016) and All-State Defensive Team (2018), as well.
Off the court, Martin earned All-NAC Academic Team honors in 2017 and 2019.
A two-sport student-athlete, Martin has already established a very impressive career in track & field as an Eagle. In just his first collegiate meet, Martin began breaking HU program records. He launched the javelin 49.75 meters and proceeded to set higher limits throughout his career, setting a new distance of 55.36 meters in the NAC Championship for both a new meet record and a qualification to the 2017 NCAA DIII New England Outdoor Championship, for his first of three trips to New England's.
Once again in his opening meet of the season, sophomore Martin continued to set new standards, throwing the javelin 58.06 meters to earn another ticket to New England's with ease. To finish out his second year in track & field, the javelin powerhouse threw a convincing victorious throw which flew nine meters further than the closest competitor to help the Husson men's squad claim their first NAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship Title in 2018.
Continuing his qualifying trend into his junior season, Martin once again threw the javelin far enough for another adventure to the DIII New England Championship in his first competing meet of the season. He also dabbled in a couple fairly new throwing events throughout the season, peaking at the 2019 NAC Championship with a second-place discus toss of 35.82 meters and a fourth-place shot put heave of 11.79 meters.
Martin will embrace his final season of outdoor track & field with three All-NAC selections including two in javelin and one in discus, one All-New England honor with a seventh-place javelin throw (56.85m) his rookie year, one ECAC DIII North Field Athlete of the Week spotlight, and three mentions on All-Academic Teams.
Academically, Martin enters his fifth year at Husson University as he works towards completing a degree in Psychology.