Feb. 27, 2013
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Baseball senior Matt Paré was one of 30 baseball student-athlete to be named candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award®. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
Paré was voted a captain by his teammates for the 2013 season. He was also awarded the honor of wearing the number eight jersey, in honor of former player Peter "Sonny" Nictakis. Each season, a player who has battled adversity and represents the best qualities of BC Baseball is chosen to wear Sonny's old number.
"Matt has, from the day I met him, showed incredible integrity and character," head coach Mike Gambino said when he awarded Paré the No. 8 jersey. "He has learned to handle adversity on and off the field and it has been awesome watching him grow and develop into a very good leader. He's humble, respectful and has a work ethic and drive to be great on the field and in the classroom."
Paré has played 142 games for the Eagles, including 134 starts. He has started six games behind the plate this season for the Maroon and Gold, tallying three runs, four hits and an RBI. Last year, after a knee injury cut short his sophomore season, he started 43 games behind the plate and led BC with a .411 on-base percentage and was second on the team with 24 walks. Arriving at the Heights from Lighthouse Points, Fla., where he was drafted in the 26th round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Players Draft by the Houston Astros, Paré had a great freshman campaign, starting all 58 games, mostly as the designed hitter. He batted over .300 until the last month of the season, finishing the year at .259. He led the team is on-base percentage (.422) and walks (35). Over the summer, he earned the New England Top Prospect Award in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Paré, an applied psychology and human development major in the Lynch School of Education, plans on attending graduate school to earn a psychology masters or doctorate as he would like to practice sports psychology and counseling. He would like to help student-athletes cope with the stress and anxiety that come with playing sports and being a full-time student. He was also named to the 2011 ACC Academic Honor Roll and in 2012, he earned BC's Athletics Director's Award for Academic Achievement.
Taking action in the community, the senior catcher is one of the baseball team's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representatives and takes part in the HEAR (Help Educate through Athletic Responsibility) Program, the Food for Families initiative and various school and youth program visits. The HEAR Program visit local elementary schools to further the message about higher education, while Food for Families brings groceries to those who cannot get themselves. He is also the team liaison for the Pen Pal Program as the student-athletes write and receive letters from local elementary school students who are ESL students. Paré also works with the You Can Play Project, which is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. He is hoping to help start the movement to eliminate homophobia in athletics. He is working to promote awareness locally at high schools and create a movement at Boston College with other student-athletes. As a member of the baseball team, he also has volunteered or run in the Annual Welles Remy Crowther Red Bandanna Run, held on the BC campus to honor a former lacrosse player and 9/11 hero. He is also the first volunteer to play in the annual Old Time Baseball Game in Cambridge, Mass., which donates to a charity of choice each year.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA College World Series® in Omaha June 15-26.
For more information and to see the list of candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.