St. Louis, Mo.- Each year the Fontbonne University Athletic Department hands out several prestigious awards. Tuesday evening award recipients and their guests were invited to campus as Director of Athletics Maria Eftink presented the 2015 awards.
The Lee McKinney Scholar Athlete Award
Academics are the primary focus for Division III student-athletes. The Lee McKinney scholar athlete award is given to the student-athlete who best represents the University in the classroom. These students must have attained the status of either junior or senior academically in order to be eligible for this award.
Junior women's volleyball setter Mandy DeWitt was presented the Lee McKinney Scholar Athlete Award. DeWitt (Fenton, Mo./Rockwood Summit), a Speech-Language Pathology major, has a cumulative 3.99 GPA.
The Bryan Kennedy Award
This award has been established to honor the memory of Bryan Kennedy, a past men’s basketball player at Fontbonne. Bryan collapsed at practice during the 1997-98 season. Measures were taken to revive Bryan after his unexpected collapse but those efforts were unsuccessful. We unfortunately lost a part of the Fontbonne Family that day to an undiagnosed heart condition. Years after Bryan lost his life on this floor the Fontbonne community set up an award in his name to recognize a student-athlete that demonstrates the attributes of a true team player and places the team’s success ahead of his or her own no matter what the circumstance they are facing in their lives as Bryan always did.
Morgan Baer, a softball player was presented with the Bryan Kennedy Award this year. Baer, a junior, will be foregoing her final season of eligibility at Fontbonne due to a December 2015 graduation. Baer is the life and spirit of the Griffins in the dugout and on the field, being a positive role model for all of her team, coaches, parents and anyone else involved with Fontbonne softball.
Flying Griffin Award
This award is given to honor and recognize an individual who has provided significant contributions to the Fontbonne University Athletic Department. This individual has succeeded in lifting the hearts of Griffin student-athletes and their fans.
Tara Good was presented the 2014-2015 Flying Griffin Award. Tara, wife of Ryan Good, Fontbonne's head baseball coach, is the backbone for all Fontbonne baseball fundraising and spring break planning. She coordinates everything for the team's largest fundraiser (trivia night) and plans dining and events for all 40+ individuals over spring break. This year the Griffins posted their largest trivia night ever with 650 guests, raking in nearly $12,000 to aid the program.
The Meneve Dunham Award
This award is given to a Fontbonne University student-athlete who has made the most significant contribution to athletics at Fontbonne University for this school year. The criteria for this award includes individual talent, facilitation of team play, contribution to the University outside of their role as a student-athlete, and classroom performance. This student-athlete should also represent Fontbonne with great character.
Blake Welch, a men's basketball player was the recipient of the Meneve Dunham Award this year. Welch, a junior from St. Louis, Mo./Lindbergh, will be foregoing his final season of eligibility as he continues towards an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at Washington University. In addition to his studies and basketball, Welch was also a member of Fontbonne Activities Board (FAB), ODK, FOCUS and the only student on the Vice President for Enrollment Search Committee.
The Mary Schoendienst Award
This award is given to a Fontbonne University female student-athlete who has demonstrated the strongest athletic performance based on statistical evidence, talent and performance. This award winner was nominated by the coaching staff and the final decision was made by the Director of Athletics.
Madi Leonard was presented the 2014-2015 Mary Schoendienst Award. Leonard is a junior softball pitcher from Arnold, Mo./Seckman who currently leads NCAA Div. III pitchers in victories (24) and is ranked fifth in strikeouts (210). She won 20 consecutive starts, the 12th most consecutive victories in NCAA Div. III history. Her accolades this season include SLIAC Tournament MVP and First Team All-Conference. She owns the following Fontbonne records: most strikeouts in a season (210+), career games won (53+) and career strikeouts (507+).
The Red Schoendienst Award
This award is given to a Fontbonne University male student-athlete who has demonstrated the strongest athletic performance based on statistical evidence, talent and performance. This award winner was nominated by the coaching staff and the final decision was made by the Director of Athletics.
Ben Greenway (Jacksonville, Fla./Arlington Country Day) was awarded the Red Schoendienst Award. At the end of regular-season SLIAC play, Greenway sits at the top at the plate with a .462 overall batting average and a .513 average against conference opponents. He led the Griffins in at-bats (130), hits (60), doubles (15), RBI's (31), on-base percentage (.520) and slugging percentage (.638) on the year.
The Angelo Simaku Award
The Angelo Simaku 100% Award honors men's soccer player Angelo Simaku who died one year after coming to Fontbonne. Simaku participated in many Fontbonne community activities, demonstrating his positive attitude in all aspects of student life. Simaku died of a brain tumor, but was kept alive for four days while recipients were four for his organs. A little boy in Pittsburgh received Angelo's heart, so a piece of him lived on.
The 2015 Angelo Simaku Award goes to Alex Platipodis. The junior defensemen was named to the 2014 SLIAC All-Tournament team. Coach Hoener claims Platipodis is his go-to Griffin for everything men's soccer related. Platipodis' insight into the game aided the Griffins' to the SLIAC Tournament Championship match. The junior has over a 3.9 GPA.
Congratulations to all recipients on your accomplishments!