The Colgate Scene
March 2008

Raider profiles

Jesse Winchester
[Photo by Jack Fredricks P'09]

Jesse Winchester '08
Men's hockey, forward, #14

Last spring, men's hockey forward Jesse Winchester was faced with the toughest decision of his life: he could follow every hockey player's dream by signing an NHL contract — although he'd have to suspend his Colgate education — or stay in school and hope his dream would wait for him. He chose to complete his education. "I passed it up to return to school and finish here because I felt it was important," Winchester said. "I wasn't ready to leave this place."


For that decision, Winchester was nominated for this year's Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which honors student-athletes who choose to remain in school rather than leaving early to play professionally. The senior captain has also been nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, which is presented annually to the best player in Division I men's hockey. The winners of both of these awards will be announced April 11 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships.

In another recent score, Winchester became the 47th Raider in Colgate history to achieve the 100-point milestone. The point was made in the game-tying goal against No. 12 Clarkson University at a sold-out Starr Rink on Jan. 18. That week, he was named an ECAC player of the week and featured in the Standard Freeholder, a Cornwall, Ontario, newspaper that keeps tabs on Winchester because of its proximity to his hometown of Long Sault.

"He is exceptional in both ends of the rink," said Head Men's Ice Hockey Coach Don"He is a great skater who has also developed the offensive side ofcahis game to the point where he is a threat every time he touches the puck. One of his greatest assets is his strength over the puck. He protects it as well as any player I have ever coached and it iscaalmost impossible to move him off of it."

In addition to being an exceptional hockey player, Winchester has demonstrated scholastic achievement and strength of character — two requirements of both the Hobey Baker and Lowe's CLASS awards. Last semester, the geography major spent Monday through Thursday evenings studying in the library to maintain his GPA and stay on top of his work-intensive classes.

His interest in physical geography and how the world works has earned Winchester the nickname "Ranger Winch" by his teammates. Known as a fishing enthusiast and for frequently taking long nature walks, Winchester says that being outdoors helps him relax and clear his head.

As a young player who has already gained a solid reputation both on the ice and off, Winchester will undoubtedly have many opportunities to discover more about how the world works while chasing down that dream of playing professional hockey. Already, it is rumored that the NHL has an interest in Winchester, as reported in the Ottawa Sun.

"Jesse Winchester is the complete package," added Vaughan. "He has a bright future." — Aleta Mayne

Calla Yee
[Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

Calla Yee '09
Women's softball, outfielder, #1

Calla Yee '09 likes to travel outside of her comfort zone. Not only did the junior outfielder pick wintry Colgate over a university closer to her hometown of sunny Salinas, Calif., but she also likes to mix it up when playing on the women's softball team.

Yee is the only "slapper" on the team, meaning she is a left-handed hitter who has a running hit. "I'm a right-handed batter, but I switched to the left side in high school to utilize my speed," she explained. "A slapper can also bunt, drag bunt, hit away, power slap — a whole bunch of tricks, but all from the left side. A slapper's success, I think, is her element of surprise," Yee said.

Stepping out of the box is a running theme with Yee, who considers her semester in Manchester, England, to have been one of her greatest experiences. While attending the University of Manchester last fall, she took courses on politics and law to supplement her economics and political science concentrations. In between Darwin and the Victorian Age and World Politics, Yee traveled extensively to take advantage of learning outside of the classroom. "It was a great opportunity to travel to the mainland of Europe ... Barcelona, Paris, Venice," she said. "It was a truly eye-opening experience." Head Women's Softball Coach Vickie Sax confirms Yee's drive and ability to explore different perspectives. "She is mature and open minded to diversity, race, and controversial issues that are faced here on campus as well as in the world today," she said.

Citing the active role Yee has taken in nurturing positive relationships among students, peers, and her teammates, Sax nominated Yee to represent Colgate at the 2008 NCAA National Student-Athlete Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. "She takes great pride in her own learning development and is motivated to share that with others," Sax said. As a sophomore, Yee also was named to the All Patriot League First Team.

Following graduation, the junior plans to attend law school (her interest in law was piqued in high school). But in the meantime, she's focused on softball and the season at hand.

Having played an integral role in the team's Patriot League Tournament win last year, Yee is setting her sights on helping attain NCAA Championship rings two years in a row, which would be a first for Colgate. "We're really dedicated, and we have lots of energy and spirit," she said of her team's progress so far this season. "A championship ring two years in a row would be a great parting gift for the seniors!" — Aleta Mayne

Top of page
Table of contents
<< Previous: Notable Quotables Next: Raider notebook >>