UMass Boston Senior Receives Prestigious Hockey Award
April 13, 2012
Office of Communications
Jim Ennis is the First UMass Boston Player to Ever Win J. Thom Lawler Award
University of Massachusetts Boston hockey player Jim Ennis received the 2012 Eastern Mass Hockey Officials Association J. Thom Lawler Award at the New England Hockey Writers Dinner on Tuesday night.
Ennis, the senior captain of the team, is the first hockey player to receive the award in UMass Boston history.
The award, which is named after the late J. Thom Lawler, a former head coach and athletic director at Merrimack College, is given each year to a NCAA Division II or III hockey player in New England for their commitment to their program, university, and community.
As a member of the hockey team, Ennis has been involved with the Read for the Record program, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Community Servings, whose mission is to provide holiday meals for the homeless.
“I think any time you are recognized for an individual award it is truly humbling,” Ennis says. “It has always been very important to me to leave a legacy here at UMass Boston with both players and coaches alike, as a guy who couldn't be outworked. I think if people have that perception of you, that is the most satisfying aspect-- knowing that you have earned their respect.”
Coach Peter Belisle points out that the award is particularly significant because Ennis was selected by the Eastern Mass Hockey Officials Association, an association that sees hockey players from all over the region.
“Jimmy has represented our school so well. This year, we finished 13-10-3, which was our second straight winning season in quite some time, due in part to his leadership. We’re so proud of him. He’s the ultimate leader and we’re certainly going to miss him,” Belisle says.
Ennis has overcome several obstacles to get to where he is today. A survivor of brain cancer at the age of 13, the Roslindale native went from being told he would never play hockey again to walking onto the UMass Boston team as a freshman in 2008 to being featured in New England Hockey Journal this March. In April, he was named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference East’s All-Academic hockey team.
“It’s pretty ironic, but without the brain tumor there really is no story, and without a story I wouldn't be here. So I would say that my biggest accomplishment is being able to share my story with anyone who it can help. If my story can provide the hope or strength to just one person, it’s what makes telling it so worthwhile,” Ennis says.
Having completed a bachelor’s of science degree in exercise and health sciences at UMass Boston, Ennis has been working on the pre-requisites he needs to apply to the Adult Acute/Critical Care Program at UMass Medical School.
About UMass Boston
With a growing reputation for innovative research addressing complex urban issues, the University of Massachusetts Boston, metropolitan Boston’s only public university, offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s eight colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 16,000 students while engaging local, national, and international constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service activities. To learn more about UMass Boston, visit www.umb.edu.