April 30, 2008


Michael Bonora Receives
Rhode Island College’s
John E. Hetherman Award


Providence, RI—Rhode Island College senior Michael Bonora (Nutley, NJ) received Rhode Island College’s John E. Hetherman award at the College’s annual Cap and Gown ceremony on Wednesday, Apr. 30. The award is based not only on athletic prowess, but also values community and campus involvement. The student who receives the Hetherman Award must be a male student-athlete who participates in intercollegiate athletics, a good student and has demonstrated interest and participation in campus activities.




As a senior wrestler on the Rhode Island College wrestling team this past winter, Bonora went 44-2 en route to capturing the NCAA Div. III National Championship at 141 lbs. He became just the second RIC grappler to win a national title (Billy Cotter, 1994) and finished the season undefeated against Div. III opposition, the first wrestler to do so in program history.


With the win at the National Championships, he attained All-American status for the second straight season. He totaled 150 takedowns, 10 reversals, 36 near-falls and 10 pins on the campaign. Once in control of a match, Bonora was dominant and keeping his opponent within his control, earning a riding time point in 24 of his 46 bouts.




Bonora was the New England Champion at 141 lbs. for the second straight season, helping Rhode Island College capture its first conference title in 16 years, and the program’s sixth overall. He earned first place finishes the Doug Parker Invitational (Nov. 10), the Roger Williams Invitational (Nov. 17) and the R.I.T. Invitational (Dec. 1). Bonora was also named the Pilgrim Wrestling League’s Most Outstanding Wrestler and a First Team All-Star. He was also named to the league’s Scholar-Athlete All-Star team and selected as team MVP.


As a junior in 2006-07, he earned All-American honors, placing sixth, at 141 lbs. at the NCAA Div. III Wrestling Championships. Bonora was RIC’s first All-American grappler in 13 years. He was also the New England Champion at 141 lbs., earned All-New England honors and was named the Pilgrim Wrestling League’s Wrestler of the Year as well as a First Team All-Star and a Scholar-Athlete. He closed out the season with a 48-6 overall record, establishing a new RIC record for wins in a season, to go along with 190 points, 170 takedowns, 11 reversals, 58 escapes, 17 near-falls and seven pins. He was named the team’s Most Valuable Performer.




As a sophomore in 2005-06, Bonora earned All-New England honors at 141 lbs., placing fourth at the NECCWA Championships. He also was named a Second Team Pilgrim Wrestling League All-Star and earned team Most Valuable Performer honors. On the season, Bonora was 16-3 at 141 lbs. with 69 points, 50 takedowns, three reversals, 23 escapes, nine near-falls and three pins. Bonora, who left RIC to attend Hofstra after the 2003-04 season, re-joined the Anchormen in January.


As a freshman in 2003-04, he earned All-New England honors, placing fifth at 141 lbs. For the season, he was 22-9 at 141 lbs. with 82 points, 100 takedowns, 12 reversals, 42 escapes, 12 near-falls and two pins. Bonora was named a Pilgrim Wrestling League All-Star as well.


Bonora is also an outstanding student, holding a 4.0 grade point average as a psychology major. He has been selected as a National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Academic All-American three times. Speaker William J. Murphy and the R.I. House of Representatives as a Scholar-Athlete honored Bonora as a Scholar-Athlete twice (2007, ’08).



The Hetherman Award was established in 1958 and sponsored by the RIC class of 1940 to honor its classmate, Jay Hetherman. Mr. Hetherman, while a student, played varsity basketball and baseball for two years. He was also active in the drama club and took part in all “stunt night” activities and major productions. During World War II, Hetherman became a naval aviator, receiving his wings in Jacksonville, Florida in 1942. Approximately one year later, while returning from flying a rescue mission in the South Pacific, Lt. John E. Hetherman crashed and lost his life, leaving an enviable college and service career behind him.