September 30, 2013

Schoaf '16 Wins ECAC Award of Valor

Alexis Mastronardi, Alice Kramer, Schoaf, Tony DaRocha and Pam Roecker

Craig Schoaf '16 was one of five student athletes recognized with the ECAC Award of Valor at the 2013 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Honors Dinner on Sunday, September 29, at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth, Mass. Schoaf, a student-athlete on the Saints Cross Country and Track + Field Teams, received the award for his courageous acts following the April 15th Boston Marathon bombings.

On Monday, April 15, 2013, 10 student-athletes from Emmanuel College volunteered to work the finish line at the Boston Marathon. It marked one of many "Marathon Mondays" in which student-athletes make the 1.6-mile trip down Boylston Street from campus to help in one of Boston's biggest sporting events. Schoaf was not among the 10 volunteers at the finish line, but was on campus when he first learned of the tragic events that took place just a few feet from where the volunteers had been stationed.

Fearing the worst, he sprinted to the finish line and searched for his teammates, only to be informed they had been relieved of their duties and sent back to campus approximately 20 minutes before the bombings. Rather than return to campus, Schoaf went to work alongside Boston's first responders. Over the course of the next six hours, he helped displaced runners, many of whom had no means of communication or places to go. Schoaf walked the runners, one-by-one, to hotels and various meeting points throughout the city to ensure they would be accounted for and receive the necessary care. It wasn't until after dark that he finally returned to campus.

ECAC Commissioner Dr. Kevin T. McGinniss was on hand to present the award at Sunday evening's dinner. Schoaf was joined by his parents and his brother, as well as by his coaches, Tony DaRocha and Alice Kramer, and Emmanuel Athletics Administrators, Pam Roecker and Alexis Mastronardi. 

"We are very proud of Craig and his effort in the aftermath of Boston Marathon tragedy, said Director of Athletics and Recreation Pam Roecker. "In honoring Craig with the ECAC Award of Valor, the ECAC recognizes the amazing courage, empathy and bravery he showed assisting others immediately following the bombing. Craig was only a freshman at the time, but he was fearless and tireless in his effort assisting runners and families in their time of need. Emmanuel College prides itself in having a student body that is socially aware and community service orientated and Craig certainly epitomizes this on every level. Thank you to the ECAC for selecting this young man as an Award of Valor recipient-you could not have selected a better Saint!"

In addition to receiving the ECAC Award of Valor, Schoaf was also named the 2013 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Sportsman of the Year and was nominated for the NCAA Award of Valor.

The ECAC Award of Valor is awarded annually and was established in 1985 to honor Eastern College Athletic Conference student-athletes whose courage, motivation and relentless determination serve as an inspiration to all. The recipients of the Award of Valor exemplify strength of character and perseverance deserving recognition as being truly triumphant.