For those of you who read Part One of this piece, you’ll know that I’m about to graduate, and, with a twinkle in my eye and waves of nostalgia washing over me, that I am compiling a list of the top 10 BC Athletes ever of all-time (since I’ve been at BC, so since like Fall 2010). If you missed it, though I’m sure none of my devoted Gavel readers did, you can check out Part One—which listed the honorable mentions and numbers ten through six—by clicking the link listed above, or this link right here! Cause I’m just helpful like that.
Anyways, without further ado, here’s the Top Five BC Athletes that I’ve had the privilege to experience. As always, a list like this is going to be subjective, so if you don’t agree with the list, feel free to leave a comment below or tweet your list to @BCGavelSports instead.
5) Carolyn Swords, Center, Women’s Basketball, Career 2007-2010
There are many words that could describe Carolyn Swords: Consistent. Amazing. Leader. Tall. However, the one that really stands out is dominant. Carolyn Swords finished a storied career for the Eagles in the 2010-2011 season, where she averaged 17.4 PPG and 9.3 RPG. Swords left Chestnut Hill as BC women’s basketball second all-time leading scorer with 2039 points, and first in school history in both career blocks and rebounds. She also picked up First-Team All-ACC honors twice, and she was named Eagle of the Year after her great senior season.
4) Andre Williams, Running Back, Football, Career 2010-2013
For his first three years at BC, Andre Williams was a good running back, sure, but he never truly distinguished himself as the “go-to guy” for BC football. Yeah, his senior year changed that misconception.
New head coach Steve Addazio recognized Williams’ value and started him every single game in 2013, during which Williams was an absolute force for the Eagles’ offense. You’ve seen the highlights, but let me humor you with a few mind-boggling stats. 2177 yards on 355 attempts (6.1 YPC), 18 touchdowns in 13 games, five games with 200+ yards, school records for both career rushing yards and touchdowns, and NCAA leader in rushing yards.
Along the way, he picked up the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s top running back, a unanimous First-Team All-American honor, and finished fourth in votes for the Heisman Trophy. Let’s not forget that he also carried BC (literally, carried at times) to their first bowl game in three years. Personally, I’m never going to forget seeing Williams throw the most crushing stiff-arm I’ve ever seen against some poor Maryland defensive back this year. Williams basically Gronk-spiked the dude. If you didn’t click the hyperlink above to watch the stiff-arm, just go ahead and do it. It’s worth it. Seriously, I’ll wait.
3) Alex Carpenter, Forward, Women’s Ice Hockey, Career 2011-2012
Alex Carpenter may not be the most recognizable name on this list, but despite playing for BC for only two years, she has certainly left an impact on those who saw her. Outside of BC, she won a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics— remarkable for someone who should be a junior in college. International accolades aside, at BC she currently sits tied for 8th on the all-time scoring list, despite playing in 68 fewer games than Mary Restuccia, who sits at 7th place.
I’m going to let that last sentence sink in for a second.
In her two years for the Eagles, she led the women’s ice hockey team in scoring both years, and in her sophomore year, she scored 70 points in only 39 games, while setting single-season BC records for both points and assists in the process. Add in two First-Team Hockey East honors to boot during her time at BC. Though we weren’t able to see her play this year due to the Olympics, it will be hard to forget her lighting the lamp at Conte anytime soon.
2) Luke Kuechly, LB, Football, Career 2009-2011
BC may be known as “Lineman U” but Kuechly’s play on the field made it hard to focus on anyone else. Calling him a “high-motor player” was an understatement, as Kuechly seemed to make tackle after tackle after tackle all over the field. He finished his career at BC with 532 tackles... in 38 games. That’s 14 tackles a game, and his career tackle total is good for a BC career record as well as second overall for the NCAA record. Kuechly was the ACC rookie of the year as a freshman, earning First-Team All-ACC honors. He then earned first-team All-American honors the following two years. His greatest accomplishment? His junior year, in which he won the Bronko Nagurski Award for the best defensive player and the Dick Butkus Award for the Best College Linebacker. He was incredibly consistent, and consistently great at that. In fact, he ordinarily would have walked away with the best athlete while at BC were it not for…
1) Johnny Gaudreau, Forward, Men’s Hockey, Career 2011-2013
You all know Johnny Gaudreau for his insane play on the ice, his relentless scoring output, and his consistent play as a leader for the BC Hockey Team. If you haven’t heard the name Johnny Gaudreau, or any of his nicknames like Johnny Hockey or Gaudreauby Baker, you probably live under a rock, but let me remind you of his major accomplishments: National Championship Winner. Beanpot MVP. Three Beanpot Championships. Hockey-East All-Rookie Team. Hockey East MVP (Twice). All Hockey-East First-Team (Twice). NCAA First-Team All-American (twice). Hobey Baker Finalist (twice). Finally, he became the third Hobey Baker Award Winner in BC history. His time playing at Conte Forum is unfortunately at its end, as he will be moving on to Calgary next season, but BC fans are left with memories of Championships, Beanpots, wins over every major rival, and one particularly nasty Frozen Four goal.
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School, major and year: A&S, History/Poly Sci double major, 2014
Hometown Buffalo, New York
What makes the Gavel so BANGin’? That’s easy, the people. No organization on BC’s campus gives its members the freedom to pursue the stories and ideas they come up with without stifling their creativity or shutting them down outright.
You have 24 hours to give prospective students a tour of BC and convince them to enroll. How do you spend the day? I start the day with your run-of-the-mill campus tour. Then I’d take the students to lunch at Eagle’s Nest, take them to a PULSE class with my former teacher, Professor Troxell. Eventually I’d work my way to dinner with some friends at Lower, and I’d make sure to take the students to a BC hockey game to finish up the night.
If you could go back in time and give yourself a pep talk the night before you moved into BC as a freshman, what is the most important piece of advice that you would give to your former self? By far the most important thing I would’ve told myself would be to not be so shy or concerned about putting a bad foot forward when meeting people. It took me a while to start to meet people at BC because I was so nervous getting there, and I wish I could sort of have a do-over and give that another shot.
What is your favorite study spot on campus? Easy question, the study desks on the 4th floor of O’Neil that face the plaza.
What is your go-to meal at Late Night? It depends on the night, honestly. Generally I’ll go with a steak and cheese with BBQ, but there are times when I go with a Hawaiian mini-pizza. Occasionally I’ll go with mozzarella sticks or chicken fingers. So I guess really anything I’m in the mood for, not too sure I have a “go-to”
What is the #1 most played song on your iTunes? Ever? "Hold Me Tight" by The Beatles. Lately? "And We Danced," by Macklemore
What is the best Halloween costume that you have ever worn? Probably Indiana Jones in 7th grade. That was a cool one.
If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Jims Steakout, a local Buffalo sub shop. Best chicken finger sub on the planet.
If you could befriend the main characters from any TV show or movie, who would you choose and why? From a TV show, definitely the main characters from "How I Met Your Mother." From a movie, Luke, Leia, and Han from "Star Wars."