Watson Named Candidate For Humanitarian Award
Feb. 4, 2010
AMHERST, Mass. - Senior center and two-time team captain Brett Watson is one of 18 nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award as announced this week. Watson spends outside of hockey working with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program of Amherst along with being an honors student at UMass.
Along with helping in the volunteer efforts of the UMass hockey team, Watson has played an instrumental role with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He has helped several other teammates become Big Brothers as well. As part of his work with the program, he is putting together a study to make recommendations to the organization on how they can increase recruitment and retention rates in the area.
Watson currently works with a young local boy spending time with him each week. They spend time hanging out, skating, or doing things in the area. This comes at a difficult economic time for both the BBBS Program, the families involved and those who volunteer. With enrollment of volunteers down, the work that he is doing is not only impacting his little brother, but the entire organization.
In addition to his work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the native of Media, Pa., also helps his teammates with volunteer projects in the surrounding communities. Watson has given time to the Amherst Youth Hockey Association speaking and coaching, gone with teammates to read in local elementary schools, and joined the team as they volunteered for the Amherst WinterFest - a community driven celebration where the team helped run events and interacted with local children. He has also been a driving force behind the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl-A-Thon each of the last two years. The Bowl-A-Thon is one of the main fundraising venues for the BB/BS. Along with local volunteers, he has also been able to get many UMass student-athletes involved in the event and with the organization overall.
While doing all of this and maintaining a nearly 4.0 GPA, Watson has also played in nearly every hockey game of his career in a position that get's little public recognition. He is touted as one of the top defensive forwards in the country. Instead of getting adoration from the public for scoring goals (has not scored one in two years), he gets pats on the back from his coaches and teammates for shutting down the opposition's top scorers.
That is perhaps the reason why he is a two-year team captain - the players respond to his leadership. Not because he is the most popular teammate or the most outspoken, but because he is the person who does things the right way and is the example of how others on the team want to live their lives both on and off the ice.
Watson is a three-time Hockey East Academic All-Conference selection, a Dean's List student, and a three-time recipient of the UMass Hockey Team's Unsung Hero Award - an honor that goes to the player who contributes the most to the team, but does not get the recognition others do.
In addition to being a nominee for the Humanitarian Award, Watson is also a nominee for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award along with senior teammate Martin Nolet. Finalists for this award are expected to be announced on Feb. 5 from the nomination group of 20 student-athletes.
Finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award will be announced later this month. On Friday April 9th, the 2010 Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient will be introduced in a ceremony at Ford Field in Detroit in conjunction with the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four.
The Hockey Humanitarian Award is awarded annually to college hockey's finest citizen and seeks to recognize college hockey players, Division I or Division III, male or female, who give back to their community in the true humanitarian spirit. It has been said of the Hockey Humanitarian Award that we seek not to celebrate Hall of Fame athletes, but rather Hall of Fame human beings.
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