Northeast Conference Announces 2012 Fall Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll - Northeast Conference Skip To Main Content


The Official Site of the Northeast Conference
The Official Site of the Northeast Conference


RMU's Nolan Nearhoof is a Three-Time NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
RMU's Nolan Nearhoof is a Three-Time NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Northeast Conference Announces 2012 Fall Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll


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Somerset, NJ -- Two student-athletes from Central Connecticut and Saint Francis University, along with one each from Bryant, Quinnipiac and Robert Morris comprise the 2012 Fall Scholar-Athlete award winners for the Northeast Conference (NEC).  The outstanding group of student-athletes is led by Robert Morris senior Nolan Nearhoof (Gibsonia, PA/Mars Area), a three-time Capital One Academic All-American and three-time winner of the NEC football scholar-athlete award.

The impressive group of award recipients include four honorees who have posted a cumulative grade point average in excess of 3.90.  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.

Along with the scholar-athletes, the NEC also announced its fall Academic Honor Roll, consisting of 820 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade-point average.  There were also 206 student-athletes named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average. 
Central Connecticut State junior Andrew Hill (Colchester, CT/Bacon Academy) becomes the latest Blue Devil to take home the men’s cross country scholar-athlete award, joining former teammates Sam Alexander and Ry Sanderson.  This past October, Hill earned All-Conference honors as the Blue Devils claimed their fourth consecutive NEC championship.  He crossed the tape in 25:42 to place 11th, less than 40 seconds behind teammate Colby Delbene, the 2012 individual champion.  Hill began the fall season by winning the Quinnipiac Invitational and later took 10th at the CCSU Mini Meet.  He wrapped the campaign by finishing 91st otu of 238 runners at NCAA Regionals.  The Colchester, CT native leads the Blue Devils harriers with a 3.77 grade point average as an Education major with a concentration in Mathematics.

Bryant junior Eimear Black (Glengormley, Ireland/Dominican College Fortwilliam) claims NEC women’s cross country scholar-athlete honors after posting one of the best seasons in school history.  Black was tabbed the NEC Women’s Cross Country Outstanding Performer after her wire-to-wire victory at the 2012 championship meet.  She broke the course record on her home course, clocking in at 17:34, more than 13 seconds ahead of her next closest competitor.  It marked her second straight All-NEC honor and was one of five top-five finishes on the season for the native of Ireland.  Black won the CCSU Mini-Meet, finished second at the Nassaney Race, and UAlbany Invitational and took fifth at the New England Championships.  The three-time NEC Athlete of the Week went on to place 35th at the NCAA Northeast Regional, the best showing of any NEC harrier.  Named to both the NEC Academic Honor Roll and NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her first two years at Bryant, Black maintains a 3.91 grade point average majoring in Biology.

Quinnipiac graduate student Nicole Lewis (East Amherst, NY/Williamsville North) is this year’s NEC field hockey scholar-athlete honoree.  Lewis was named the 2012 NEC Goalkeeper of the Year after leading the conference with an .812 save percentage and four shutouts.  She also ranked third in goals against average (1.59) and finished with 11 wins on the year for the Bobcats, who qualified for their fifth consecutive NEC Tournament.  Lewis, who hails from East Amherst, NY, was tabbed to the NEC All-Tournament team after stopping a program-record 13 shots in Quinnipiac’s NEC semifinal game against Rider.  She was also named to the Longstreth/NFHCA All-Mideast Region second team at year’s end.  An Athletic Training major, Lewis ended the fall semester with a 3.91 grade point average.

There are very few student-athletes in the history of the Northeast Conference more decorated than Robert Morris senior defensive lineman Nolan Nearhoof (Gibsonia, PA/Mars Area), who earns his third consecutive NEC Scholar-Athlete award in football.  Nearhoof was not only chosen as the 2012 NEC Defensive Player of the Year, but was subsequently honored as a Sports Network Third Team All-American.  He then became the first student-athlete in school history to be named a three-time Capital One Academic All-American with his selection to the first team.  He was a second team honoree in both his sophomore and junior seasons.  On the field, Nearhoof led the NEC with 10.5 sacks and ranked sixth nationally in the category this past fall.  He also ranked third in the conference in tackles for loss (13.0) and 13th in tackles (76).  The Gibsonia, PA product and three-time All-NEC pick compiled 26.5 career sacks, both a school and NEC record, and his 213 career tackles ranks 13th all-time at RMU.  One of 15 student-athletes - and the only one from the FCS ranks - to be selected a National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete, Nearhoof earned an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship by way of the honor.  He was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and attended the 55th Annual NFF Awards Dinner in New York City this past December.  Nearhoof carries a 3.73 grade point average and majors in Biology.

Saint Francis U senior defender Tamas Maffey-Stumpe (Cairns, Queensland, Australia/Mossman State) collects men’s soccer scholar-athlete accolades.  A four-year starter and team captain this past fall, Maffey-Stumpe helped anchor a stingy Red Flash defense that posted nine shutouts and allow just seven goals during the course of the 2012 regular season.  Saint Francis would go on to reach the NEC title game, falling in PKs to Fairleigh Dickinson following a 1-1 draw.  Over the course of Maffey-Stumpe’s  career, the Red Flash posted 30 shutouts and twice played for the NEC championship.  The Australian native is heavily involved in student activities on campus as a student ambassador and SAAC treasurer.  He is double majoring in Political Science and Accounting and maintains a near-perfect 3.97 grade point average.

The NEC women’s soccer scholar-athlete award is just the latest honor for Saint Francis U phenom Tesa McKibben (Cogan Station, PA/Montoursville).  McKibben, a junior forward, became the first player in conference history to be named NEC Player of the Year three straight seasons and also claimed her third consecutive NEC Golden Boot award for the Red Flash, who reached the 2012 title match.  The six-time NEC Player of the Week led the NEC in goals (19), assists (11), points (49) and game-winning goals (eight), and ranked in the top-five nationally in all four categories.  McKibben scored a goal in 12 straight matches at one point, and her 49 points on the year were the most in the NEC in 14 seasons.  Over three years she has accumulated 50 goals and 26 assists, and her 126 points is the most in the nation among active players.  McKibben, who hails from Cogan Station, PA, earned first team NSCAA All-Northeast region honors for the third year running and was one of 13 finalists for the NCAA Forward of the Year award.  She was also tabbed to the NSCAA College Scholar All-America team.  McKibben, a Management/Marketing major, has compiled a 3.69 grade point average.

Central Connecticut middle blocker Jamie Rademacher (New Lenox, IL/Lincoln Way Central) caps off a stellar senior campaign with her selection as the women’s volleyball scholar-athlete award winner.  Rademacher was voted to the All-NEC second team after leading the NEC with a .361 hitting percentage this past fall.  She also ranked among the NEC top-10 in blocks (0.92/set) and finished third on the Blue Devils in kills (2.10/set).  Named team captain as a senior, Rademacher was a three-time NEC Player of the Week and helped lead CCSU to a berth in the NEC title match.  In the classroom, the New Lenox, IL product registered a perfect 4.0 grade point average in the fall to boost her cumulative GPA to 3.91.  Rademacher, a Marketing major, has been an NEC Academic Honor Roll and Commissioner’s Honor Roll member each year of her CCSU tenure.

2012 Northeast Conference Fall Scholar-Athletes
Sport          Name                 School  Cl  GPA   Major
Men’s XC       Andrew Hill          CCSU    Jr  3.77  Mathematics
Women’s XC     Eimear Black         BRY     Jr  3.91  Biology
Field Hockey   Nicole Lewis         QU      Gr  3.91  Athletic Training
Nolan Nearhoof       RMU     Sr  3.73  Biology
M. Soccer     
Tamas Maffey-Stumpe  SFU     Sr  3.97  Political Science/
W. Soccer      Tesa McKibben        SFU     Jr  3.69  Management/Marketing
W. Volleyball  Jamie Rademacher     CCSU    Sr  3.91  Marketing

About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 32nd year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 12 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 23 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic or play-in access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website ( and digital network (, or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube (@NECsports).