Binghamton's Robbie Hughes and Hartford's Natalie Bonham took home America East's 2013 Sportsmanship Awards Tuesday.
Binghamton's Robbie Hughes and Hartford's Natalie Bonham took home America East's 2013 Sportsmanship Awards Tuesday.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Binghamton's Hughes, Hartford's Bonham Earn Sportsmanship Awards

Release: 06/04/2013

PORTLAND, Maine -- Binghamton University’s Robbie Hughes and University of Hartford’s Natalie Bonham were named the 2012-13 America East Sportsmanship Award winners, the league announced this evening at its annual awards dinner in Portland, Maine.

This year’s winners, which were determined in a vote by the America East Sportsmanship Committee, are now automatically eligible for the NCAA Sportsmanship Awards, which the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct will determine in July.

To be nominated, an individual or team must have demonstrated consistently the values of caring, fairness, civility, honesty, integrity and responsibility in his or her daily participation in intercollegiate athletics. The student-athlete or team nominees must be a member of an intercollegiate athletics team during the 2012-13 academic year.

Hughes, a senior on Binghamton’s men’s soccer team, immediately took on a leadership role for the Bearcats after transferring in as a junior. The St. Helens, England, native led by example with his committed, outspoken personality, which compelled him to pursue good sportsmanship on the field. In his first game with the Bearcats, Hughes was faced with the difficult task with facing his former team. He met the situation with professionalism, greeting his former teammates in a gentlemanly manner while playing his heart out for his new team.

His leadership continued to grow and showed with the way he handled his teammates. Hughes paid close attention to the attitudes of each of the members of the team and was able to diffuse several situations.

Bonham, a four-year women’s track & field athlete, served as a team captain and was the backbone of the women’s team during her senior season. A student-teacher at Hartford, Bonham was not able to make many of the team’s daily practices and therefore was forced to practice on her own at odd times and in less than ideal conditions. Despite these issues, Bonham was looked at as a leader and could be seen on the edge of the track yelling loudly to every one of her teammates during their races.

Bonham has a keen eye for good sportsmanship and at numerous times throughout the year brought incidents at practice and in competition to the attention of the coaching staff so that it could be dealt with in accordance with team rules. She also has assisted with four Howie Sportsmanship academies, in which she has taken a leadership role in planning, preparing and executing tasks, all revolving around teaching local children about sportsmanship in athletics.

America East began awarding a conference Sportsmanship Award to a male and female student-athlete for the 2005-06 academic year based on the same principles and criteria as the NCAA Sportsmanship Awards. The 2008 female recipient, Hartford’s Latasha Jarrett, went on to be named the NCAA’s Division I Sportswoman of the Year.

All-Time America East Sportsmanship Award Winners
Male                                                              Female
2013 Robbie Hughes, Binghamton       Natalie Bonham, Hartford
2012 Kevin Brandon, Hartford                 Boston U. Women’s Soccer Team
2011 Albany Men’s Basketball Team     America East Swimmers & Divers
2010 Stephen Marino, Stony Brook         Lindsay Makowicki, Hartford
2009 Rich Lieberman, Hartford               Maine Softball Team
2008 Cavell Johnson, UMBC                   Latasha Jarrett, Hartford
2007 Ross Lohr, Boston U.                     Kristin Drabyn, UMBC
2006 Chris Spivey, Hartford                     Rachel Laws, Binghamton