St. Louis, Mo.- Each year the Fontbonne University Athletic Department hands out several prestigious awards. Sunday evening award recipients and their guests were invited to campus as Director of Athletics Maria Eftink presented the 2015-16 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 tennis player Amanda Maloney was presented the Lee McKinney Scholar Athlete Award. Maloney (St. Louis, Mo./Lindbergh), a Social Work major, has a cumulative 4.0 GPA. In addition to her studies and regular practices for the season, Maloney attends private lessons as she strives to get better.
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.
This year there are two recipients of the Bryan Kennedy Award, each for contributing in different ways to their team. Lyndsey Godier, a women's soccer player was presented with the honor along with men's volleyball player Jimmy Stika.
Lyndsey Godier, a senior, has been called upon to play every position possible on the soccer field, something that occurred frequently in games throughout her four-year career and something that has never been done before. The Granite City native would move around on the field during games, not just from game to game. According to head coach Brian Hoener, Godier didn't complain, always knowing when and where to switch based on substitutions and always put the team first. She was also critical in the success of the program with assisting with fundraising, team meals, community service, team building and recruiting. Godier has been on the Dean's List, SLIAC All-Academic Team, earned the 2013 team Coach's Award, 2014 team Senior Award and this season garnished SLIAC Third-Team All-Conference recognition. In addition, Godier is second all-time at Fontbonne in most career starts and was a two-year captain.
Jimmy Stika, also a senior, has been with head men's volleyball coach Mike Haston from the start. Stika (St. Louis, Mo./Affton) is the only freshman Haston inherited that stuck with the program and saw the men's volleyball team go from a 2-20 season his freshman year to a school-record 17-10 schedule this year. He has consistently placed the team's goals over his own, coordinates off-season workouts, and helps incoming players become adjusted to student-athlete life. According to Coach Haston, "Jimmy's high character and unselfish attitude has set the standard for the classes to follow". Stika has been a third-team CVC West All-Conference honoree, is a 2014 Honor Scholar Award winner, has been on the MCVL All-Academic Team and Fontbonne's Dean's List, the 2013 team Freshman of the Year and was just named the 2016 team 110% award recipient. In addition, Stika is second all-time at Fontbonne with 831 career digs and ranks fourth among all active NCAA volleyball players (including D1) in career digs/set and fifth in total digs.
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.
Stephen Lendy, a men's volleyball and men's tennis player was the recipient of the Meneve Dunham Award this year. Lendy, a sophomore from Chicago, Ill./Notre Dame College Prep, is involved in a multitude of organizations on campus while excelling academically and athletically. This year Lendy recorded 49 service aces in a season, a school and conference record, is a member of 10 campus organizations/teams and maintains a 4.0 cumulative grade point average. According to Coach Haston, "Stephen is the ultimate team player, mentoring incoming freshmen on how to approach their training and a great example of how to balance scholastic and athletic responsibilities". He is a member of Pi Lambda Theta Honors Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, WING Orientation leader, Student Ambassador, Secretary of the Exectuve Board, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Students Thinking and Acting Responsibly (STARS) and Campus Ministry. Lendy's performance serving is ranked No. 11 among NCAA Division III players. He was named this year's team MVP and team Strength and Conditioning award after receiving the team's 110% award last season as a freshman.
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.
This year, there were two females who represent the best talent at the University. Junior point guard Emmie Haring and senior pitcher Madi Leonard have had awesome seasons this year highlighted by single-game records and national rankings.
Emmie Haring (Ballwin, Mo./St. Joseph's Academy) had a stellar year finishing the season averaging 8.3 points per game, 6 assists per game, 4 steals and rebounds per game as she spent roughly 31.4 minutes per game on the court. The junior finished in the top spot in the Division III Central Region in total assists (145) and assists per game and was runner up regionally in total steals (96) and steals per game. Nationally, Haring ranks sixth in steals per game and eigth in assists per game among fellow Division III student-athletes. She set a new school record with nine steals in a game, while tallying eight steals twice this season and her 12 assists one game this year ties a school record from 1995. Haring was named to the SLIAC Second-Team All-Conference and All-Defensive teams this season and was named the team MVP. She is second all-time in career assists and steals at Fontbonne and owns the single-season assist record (149) set her sophomore year. After this season, Haring is ranked 19th in career assists (381) among all active NCAA Division III student-athletes.
Madi Leonard has garnered the accomplishment for the second year in a row. Leonard is a senior softball pitcher from Arnold, Mo./Seckman who is having yet another strikeout year, tallying 203 strikeouts on the season so far, pitched a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts (a new single-game record) and was a preseason NFCA/Schutt top-50 prospect in NCAA Division III. She's won 18 games so far this year as the Griffins have captured the SLIAC regular-season title for the sixth consecutive year and typically is asked to pitch both games of a conference doubleheader. Leonard is second on the active career strikeouts list in NCAA Division III with 726 to her name. She was the NFCA Division III National Pitcher of the Week this year and has been ranked nationally all season in the top 10 in strikeouts and strikeouts per game. She owns the following Fontbonne records: most strikeouts in a season (226 last year), career games won (71+), career starts (98+), career innings pitched (554.2+) and career strikeouts (726+).
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 2016 Angelo Simaku Award goes to Alex Smith (Washington, Mo./St. Francis Borgia). The junior forward-turned-defender put the team first when head coach Ricky Andrews asked him to move to the backline. The change took the Griffins to the SLIAC Tournament for the 16th year in a row. Smith has been on the Dean's List each semester and is always eager to help his teammates grow. Smith will be a captain next year as a senior.
Congratulations to all recipients on your accomplishments!