CENTERVILLE, Mass. - Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Commissioner Dr. Kevin McGinniss announced Wednesday that Chris Zarkoskie, a University of New Hampshire senior offensive lineman on the 2012 football team, has been named the recipient of the 2013 Scotty Whitelaw Sportsmanship Award.
Zarkoskie will be feted at the 2013 ECAC Honors Dinner held in conjunction with the 25th Annual ECAC Convention and Trade Show that will be held September 29-October 1 at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth, Mass. The Honors Dinner is Sunday, September 29 at 6:30pm.
Debuting in 2011, the Scotty Whitelaw Sportsmanship Award exemplifies positive traits in intercollegiate sports. It honors student-athletes for their virtues such as fairness, integrity, selflessness, respect and a sense of fellowship with opponents. The ECAC embraces perseverance, kindness, community service and overall commitment to sportsmanship exhibited by student-athletes and teams from its member institutions.
"Chris Zarkoskie is a deserving recipient of the ECAC Scotty Whitelaw Sportsmanship Award," UNH head coach Sean McDonnell said. "Zark, as he is known here at UNH, is probably the best leader and captain that I have ever had here in my coaching career. This young man is simply outstanding, and he did it well in all three areas. First, he was an outstanding student, second he was a very good player and third he was one of the most respected young men on our campus."
Zarkoskie was a three-year starter for the Wildcats at center and guard. In the classroom, he graduated in December 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a 3.58 cumulative grade point average. He was named to the Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team and Capital One Academic Division I Football District I First Team each of the last two seasons, received the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Commissioner's Academic Award four years in a row and was an Honor Roll student every semester of his collegiate career.
The West Caldwell, N.J. native received the inaugural CAA Football Chuck Boone Leadership Award in 2012. The award is presented to the league player who embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity, teamwork and sportsmanship in his academic and athletic achievements. The Boone Award was voted on by the athletic directors of the league's 11 member institutions. He was also named to the 2013 National Football Foundation (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of collegiate football players from all division who each maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher throughout their college career. He was also inducted into Chi Sigma Alpha, the National College Athlete Honor Society.
Off the field, Zarkoskie volunteers his time welcoming members of the U.S. Armed Forces back from service overseas, or bidding them well upon deployment, as a member of the "Pease Greeters" at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease in New Hampshire. Pease Greeters hold send-off and welcome-home ceremonies to show appreciation for soldiers. He also works at the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in West Orange, N.J. and is deeply involved with Habitat for Humanity, serving as a retreat leader during high school. In 2011 and 2012, Zarkoskie was a nominee for the Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team for selfless contributions to volunteerism and community service.
"Zark was the ultimate teammate for all on our team," McDonnell added. "He demanded respect by his work ethic and actions, and he received it because of his honesty and integrity. He has always made the right decisions, he cares, and he gives back without asking for anything in return. He is a true leader – one that I am very proud to have had here at UNH."
Whitelaw was the ECAC's third commissioner who served the nation's largest, and only multi-divisional, conference from 1972 to 1989. During his 17-year term, Whitelaw guided the ECAC through one of the most significant events in its history as the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (EAIAW) was consolidated into the ECAC. As a result, the ECAC doubled its number of championships and greatly increased its membership with the addition of women's sports.