WINTHROP, Mass. — A Lincolnville native and former student-athlete at Camden Hills Regional High School has been appointed to the NCAA Division III student-athlete advisory committee, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference announced in a May 13 press release.
Rising senior Morgan Mercier, a men’s soccer and lacrosse player at Emmanuel College, will serve on the national committee through January 2021 as the GNAC’s delegate on the national level.
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference is a NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to represent Emmanuel and the GNAC as the league's new D3 SAAC representative for the upcoming year,” said Mercier, in the release. “I'm excited to bring everything I learn at the national level back to Emmanuel and all the other schools across the conference.”
The national committee represents the student-athlete voice in the Division III governance structure by reviewing legislation, identifying significant student-athlete issues, implementing student-athlete based initiatives, encouraging community outreach, and enhancing Division III student-athlete involvement and understanding in general.
The committee meets in-person four times a year and is primarily responsible for maintaining and coordinating the division's nationwide partnership with Special Olympics.
The Division III National SAAC includes every Division III conference in conjunction with a conference and partner-conference pairing structure, in which the GNAC is aligned with the Commonwealth Coast Conference. For the existing term through next January, the CCC serves as the primary member with the GNAC as the associate member. Following the current term, the GNAC will possess the primary status beginning in February 2021.
Along with serving on the Emmanuel SAAC, Mercier served as a member of the GNAC SAAC Commissioner's Council during the 2019-20 academic year.
As a result, he received the opportunity to attend the 2020 NCAA Convention in Anaheim on behalf of the conference office, joining student-athletes from Colby-Sawyer College, Johnson & Wales University and Saint Joseph's College of Maine.
Mercier was also part of the event setup and programming last August at the GNAC's 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner in Boston.
Mercier will work with CCC national rep Arcel Kabongo-Ngoy of the Western New England University men's soccer program. Mercier will also work with the GNAC SAAC Commissioner's Council to help coordinate programming for conference SAAC forums in 2020-21.
On the turf for the Saints men's lacrosse and men's soccer programs, Mercier has coincidentally appeared in 29 career games for both squads.
“I have had the pleasure to know Morgan from the time he was in middle school,” said Emmanuel men's lacrosse head coach Trevor Craven, in the release. “There is no better person who represents both Emmanuel and the GNAC as a student-athlete. Both on and off the field he is accountable, hard-working, and has the ability to speak up for his peers.”
“Morgan is truly is a top-shelf individual and embodies what it means to be a student-athlete,” said Emmanuel men's soccer head coach Dan Roberts, in the release. “He's one of the most selfless teammates I have had the benefit of working with and has an innate ability to lead by example. Emmanuel and the GNAC are beyond fortunate to have Morgan represent them at the national level.”