– Western New England linebacker Mike Valentine
(Newington, CT) has been named the recipient of the prestigious Nason Award for Senior Achievement by the New England Football Writers Association.
He will receive his award at the annual New England Captains Banquet on December 8 in Stoneham, Massachusetts.
Valentine suffered a broken leg in a pre-season scrimmage against Utica in 2010 and missed the entire season.
While not career threatening, he faced a challenging recovery, but worked hard to regain the strength in both his knee and ankle in order to get his mobility back.
Valentine was able to rejoin his teammates for his final year in 2011 despite walking and running with a limp.
This fall Valentine became a key contributor to the Golden Bears success starting 10 of 12 contests, finishing with 44 tackles, a sack, and fumble recovery.
Valentine also shines in the classroom where he owns a 3.94 cumulative grade-point-average in Mechanical Engineering. He made the Capital One NCAA Division III District 1 Academic Team earlier this month and is a candidate for the national Academic squad, which will be announced on December 6.
Western New England enjoyed its best season in 31 years as a varsity program with a 10-2 record, which included a perfect 7-0 mark for first place in the Boyd Division of the New England Football Conference (NEFC).
The Golden Bears captured their first-ever NEFC Championship title with a dramatic 20-13 overtime victory against Framingham State and made its inaugural appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship losing to No. 13 Salisbury (MD) in a first round contest.