BANGOR, Maine - One former Husson standout - women's basketball guard Chandler Guerrette and one current student athlete football senior tailback John Smith - have been selected as the 2016-17 Clara Swan and Del Merrill Athletes of the Year, respectively, Director of Athletics Frank Pergolizzi announced Tuesday Morning. They will be honored at the 2017 Husson Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on December 1, 2017, at the Spectacular Events Center and Catering.
"We are thrilled to be able to recognize Chandler and John as recipients of the Clara Swan and Del Merrill awards respectively," said Pergolizzi. "In addition to being great athletes and leaders of their teams, they are both outstanding human beings. They join an outstanding group of previous award recipients. Congratulations to both of them on this honor."
Guerrette was a four-year letter winner for the Eagles as a guard from 2014-17, helping guide the team to a 76-33 overall record with two North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Regular Season titles in 2016, and 2017, two NAC Championships and berths to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament in 2016 and 2017, while helping the 2017 team tie the program's NCAA era school single-season record for wins with 23 en-route to the program's first ever NCAA Tournament victory over DeSales University, 74-72, on March 3, 2017, resulting in the program's first national tournament win in 25 years.
In her final season on the hardwood, Guerrette was tabbed as the 2017 NAC Player of the Year, the 2017 NAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England DIII Player of the Year, while earning her fourth career All-NAC and All-NAC Tournament selections, becoming the first player in program history to earn All-Conference and Conference All-Tournament honors all fours years of their career, in addition to being selected to the 2017 Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association (MWBCA) All-State First Team, the ECAC All-New England First Team and to the D3hoops.com All-Northeast Region Third Team. She was also chosen to play in the New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA) Senior All-Star Game. Guerrette played on the team that was coached by Kissy Walker.
This past season, she led the team in free throws made (97) and attempts (121), assists (102), steals (98), assists per game (3.6), steals per game (3.5) and ranked second in points (403), points per game (14.4), 3-point field goals made (44) and attempts (140), field goals made (131) and attempts (331), defensive rebounds (86), and defensive rebounds per game (3.1). The guard finished the season ranked in the top-10 in 11 different conference statistical categories, including leading the league in steals and steals per game.
In 105 career games played with 99 starts, Guerrette tallied 1,333 points, 294 assists, 410 rebounds, 255 steals, and 18 blocks, while shooting 39.1 percent (435-1112) from the floor, 32.0 percent (134-421) from behind the arc and 76.0 percent (329-435) from the free throw line. She averaged 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.4 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game in her career.
She finished her career ranked among the program's career leaders in points (3rd), scoring average (11th), field goals made (10th), field goals attempted (6th), 3-point field goals made (6th), 3-point field goals attempted (3rd), 3-point FG percentage (17th), free throws made (4th), free throws attempted (5th), free throw percentage (14th), rebounds (23rd), assists (9th), assists average (2.8), steals (5th), steals average (tied for 6th), and games played (tied for 18th).
Guerrette earned All-NAC Sportsmanship honors in 2016 and was chosen as the MWBCA and NAC Rookie of the Years in 2014, while being selected to the MWBCA All-Rookie Team as well.
Off the court, Guerrette earned All-NAC Academic team honors in 2016 and 2017.
She became the 15th Eagle captain to record 1,000 career points on December 30, 2016 in a double overtime loss to Guilford.
Guerrette is the only player in NAC history to be named Player and Defensive Player of the Year in same season and the only player to earn Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year honors in the conference's and Husson's women's basketball histories, while becoming the second player in program history to achieve both Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year honors.
Guerrette is pursuing a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and will graduate from Husson in 2018.
A native of Presque Isle, Maine, Guerrette attended Presque Isle High School.
Smith is the most decorated football player in program history. The Fayetteville, Ga. native helped the Eagles post a program record 9-2 record in 2016, which included reeling off a school-record nine-consecutive wins after falling in their first-game of the season to Alfred, 35-28, while recording another undefeated conference record, 7-0 for the second time in the last three seasons, en route to the program's second Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title and NCAA DIII Championship Tournament appearance in the last three years.
In his junior campaign, Smith continued this recorded setting pace as he was tabbed as the ECFC's Offensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season, a first team All-ECFC selection for the third-straight season, a New England Football Writers (NEFW) All-New England selection for the third-straight season and to the D3football.com All-East Region Second Team Offense, earning his second-straight D3football.com All-East Region selection. Smith is the first Eagle player in program history to be named to the team twice and to the second team.
The junior led the entire conference in rushes (308), yards (1,822), yards per game (165.6), and touchdowns (17) with one turnover, while being ranked among the nation's leaders in most rushing categories throughout the year. The tailback scored at least one touchdown in all but three contests and surpassed the 100 yard mark nine times, and the 200 yard mark three times.
In 2016, Smith once again rewrote the record book as he became the all-time career leader in rushing yards (4,963), rushing attempts (830), rushing touchdowns (50), total offense (4,963), touchdowns responsible for (52; 50 rush, 2 rec), total points scored (314), 100-yard career rushing games (25) and 200-yard career rushing games (7). He also surpassed his single-season records for rushing yards (1,822) and rushing attempts (308) and set a new single-game mark for rushing yards (280) vs. Dean on Sept. 16, 2016.
Smith is the only player in ECFC history to be named Offensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons and the only player on the 2016 All-NEFW squad to be named to the team three straight seasons.