2017 Donovan Award Winner: Richmond’s Henry Babcock

The Richmond senior takes home the inaugural Donovan award.

Richmond’s Henry Babcock at the 2017 Oak Creek Invite. Photo: Pete Guion — UltiPhotos.com

The inaugural Donovan Award in the Men’s Division goes to Richmond Spidermonkeys senior Henry Babcock.

The senior has proven to be a transformative figure in the history of the Richmond Spidermonkeys. As a YCC standout from Maine, Babcock entered Richmond and immediately impacted the team with his play on the field.

Babcock was last year’s Atlantic Coast D-III Regional Player of the Year, a member of the All-Region Team in 2015, and a member of the All-Freshman Team in 2014. These are just a few of the awards Babcock has received over the course of his college career.

Before the arrival of Babcock at Richmond in the fall of 2013, the team had never qualified for Nationals. In the spring of 2014, that changed, and that it did so in Babcock’s first year on the team was no coincidence. As a freshman, his throwing ability proved to be a driving force for the team, as he was able to make huge plays with help from cutter James Robb. This year, Babcock led the team to their third appearance at Nationals.

In many situations, stepping into a program as one of the top players can create a sense of complacency. Luckily for the Richmond program, that wasn’t the case. Babcock has been commended by his teammates for his great level of effort and commitment. He consistently proves himself as one of the team’s hardest working members, leading practices, workouts, and drills.

As a leader, Henry shows a calm and welcoming demeanor and has been a culture-changer for the University of Richmond. He is one of the rare players who can completely change the way a program is run, and he has taken it to tremendous heights, including a victory over top-level D-I team Harvard earlier this year. Towards his teammates, he is an encouraging and empowering leader, bringing out the best in those around him. Henry has taught the team to compete at the highest level, through relentless work toward the program.

He has also brought a new level of spirit to the Richmond community. At last year’s College Championships, Richmond received the Spirit Award from USA Ultimate. Babcock’s leadership played a huge role in that development. He has pushed the team in a positive direction to show spirit, poise, and talent, all at the same time.

This year, in a season in which they proved themselves a top-level team, Henry Babcock proved to be a propelling force, and one of the nation’s best players. At 6’2″, with some of the most impressive throws in the country, Babcock is an imposing figure on the college scene, let alone the D-III one. His ability to break the mark with a variety of throws is unparalleled within the division.

Babcock has not only done a lot for the culture and community of the ultimate community at Richmond but also for the community at his home in Maine. Babcock has dedicated himself to teaching the sport of ultimate, showing it off at the highest levels, and helping it to continue to grow. He has shown an amazing amount of spirit, love, and passion for the game.

With all of his work on and off the field, and the many things he has done to make a difference in the community, Henry Babcock has proven himself as a true representation of what the Donovan Award is meant to be.

  1. Zakk Mabrey
    Zakk Mabrey

    I helped start my HS intramural ultimate club as a junior at North Central HS in Indianapolis. At Indiana Wesleyan, I served as club president for three years, and was a captain. Now graduated, I live in Indianapolis, run D-III Midwestern Invite, and help with various other tournaments and ultimate projects within the state, while writing for Ultiworld. Catch me on Twitter @tnlzmabrey




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