Third Annual Varsity Athletics Awards Ceremony

Third Annual Varsity Athletics Awards Ceremony

STEUBENVILLE – Franciscan University held its Third Annual Athletic Awards Banquet on Sunday, May 1, which highlighted the accomplishments of Franciscan athletics from the 2015-16 athletic year as well as the spring of 2015.

Over 250 athletes from all 16 varsity teams gathered for a night to celebrate their accomplishments, both as teams and individuals. The ceremony was highlighted by the presentation of academic and all-conference awards as well as the major Baron Awards, including the Male and Female Kuzma Cup, the St. Patrick Award, the Fr. Finnegan Award, the St. Paul Award, the John Lemal Director of Athletics MVP Award, and the Pope Saint John Paul II Award. The St. Sebastian Awards and Four-Year Letterman Awards for each team were also presented.

Watch the 2015-16 Athletic Awards Banquet Recording

Photo Gallery

Dr. Eric Haenni, Assistant Professor of Biology and Voice of Baron Athletics (VOBA) emceed the event.



Major Baron Award Winners

Female Kuzma Cup AwardTracy McClelland

Male Kuzma Cup AwardJohn Redmond

St. Patrick Award – Joe Tysz (Posthumously)

Fr. Finnegan Award – Diann Schmidt

St. Paul Award – Fr. Brian Cavanaugh

John Lemal Director of Athletics Female MVPSam Kelly

John Lemal Director of Athletics Male MVPLeo Herrmann

Pope Saint John Paul II Award2015 Volleyball Team



The Kuzma Cup is named in honor of Franciscan's legendary Men's Basketball coach, Hank Kuzma.  The faculty will award two graduating senior athletes, one male and one female, this prestigious award recognizing the outstanding academic success of the graduating senior student-athletes. Tracy McClelland, from the women's lacrosse team, and John Redmond, from the men's cross country team, were this year's honorees. Tracy is an education major while John is a computer science major with a minor in theology.

St. Patrick Award: The recipient of this award is someone who is "an example of St. Patrick through his missionary work in a homeland that was not of his own."

2016 Winner: Joe Tysz (Posthumously)

Joe served the University and the Finnegan Fieldhouse for many years as a custodian, working tirelessly to keep the Fieldhouse in excellent condition. Many people, both at the University and visitors alike, benefited from Joe's hard work day in and day out. He is greatly missed by the Franciscan University family.


Fr. Finnegan Award: This award is given to someone who works in the FFH and who reflects the spirit of Fr. Finnegan through his charity, ministry, and concern for all his brothers and sisters in Christ.

2016 Winner: Diann Schmidt

Diann not only serves as the associate director of the Wellness Center but is a caring nurse practioner who cares for our student-athletes throughout the year. From dealing with concussions, sickness, and the overall well being of the student-athletes, she has generously cared for all of our student-athletes and their physical needs.


St. Paul Award: This award is given to someone who embodies "I have become all things to all people."

2016 Winner: Fr. Brian Cavanaugh

Father Brian not only serves the Rugby team as the team Chaplain, but he serves the entire department as a "Spiritual Father". Fr. Brian has facilitated various team and athletic department retreats, and helps to take care of the spiritual needs of the programs. In addition to his spiritual support and wisdom, Fr. Brian gives his emotional and cheering support to all of the teams on campus. 

The Director of Athletics MVP award is named in honor of the late John Lemal, who was the first athlete ever to receive a varsity letter at the College of Steubenville for football in 1948. The John Lemal award was instituted during Franciscan University's first year of full NCAA Division III Membership, in order to annually recognize the university's elite athletes of the year.

The Director of Athletics MVP award is presented to the male and female student-athlete who has demonstrated exceptional athletic accomplishment and representation of the university at the highest level of competition in their respective sports.

The female winner of this year's John Lemal Director of Athletics MVP Award is senior Sam Kelly. Sam was a four year starter for Franciscan Volleyball.  She was the Pre-Season Player of the Year and was second team all-conference her senior year. She was a member of the all tournament team at the 2015 St. Vincent Bearcat Challenge and the 2015 Baldwin Wallace/CWRU Marcia French Memorial Tournament.  She is Franciscan Volleyball's all-time leader in service aces, service aces per set, total digs and digs per set.  Sam is one of three very talented senior captains who lead Franciscan Volleyball to back-to-back AMCC conference championships.

The male winner of the year's John Lemal Director of Athletics MVP Award is sophomore Leo Herrmann. Leo led the Barons and AMCC with 17 goals and led the team in total scoring (goals and assists). His 17 goals and eight assists in 2015 set the program single-season records and he is the career points and goals holder at FUS. the sophomore had a total of three 3 goal games this season. prior to post season play, Leo was  ninth in the nation in total goals and total points and eighth in goals per game. Leo was named to the third team NSCAA Great Lakes All Region, the first honoree for the men's soccer program. Beyond the statistics, Leo's field presence and unselfish play allowed others to reach their potential; the 2015 Baron team was the highest scoring team in FUS history.

Saint John Paul II wrote the foundational  material by which the university structured the athletic department's mission of integrating faith-based athletics into the American culture. Baron Athletics strive for excellence and virtue through the development of the student-athlete's mind, body and spirit as described by JP II.

"Sport is not merely the exercise of muscles but is the school of moral values and of training in courage, in perseverance, and in overcoming laziness and carelessness. There is no doubt that these values are of the greatest interest for the formation of personality which considers sports not an end in itself but as a means to total physical, moral, and social development."

The winner of this award has shown physical development through athletic achievement, moral development through evangelizing each other and their opponents, and social development through excellence in their academics. 

The John Paul II Team Award honors the Franciscan varsity team that best demonstrated the use of sport as a "School of Moral Values."

This year's winner of the Pope Saint John Paul II team award is the 2015 Volleyball team. The Lady Barons won their second consecutive AMCC volleyball championship. Franciscan is the only team currently in the conference to win back-to-back conference championships. This year, after going through a difficult mid-season marred by several injuries and illnesses affecting key players, the Franciscan volleyball team was able to remain focused and positive and play their best volleyball heading into the last week of the season. After beating Penn State Behrend on its home court for the first time ever, the Lady Barons finished the season in third place in the conference. Franciscan swept Mount Aloysius in the first round and beat rival Penn State Altoona in a thrilling five-set match to advance to the championship match. For the second year in a row, Franciscan stepped onto the top seeded team's home court and beat them to claim the conference crown. This year, the Lady Barons beat Medaille in straight sets, hitting a season-best .300 and tallying only 11 hitting errors and two service errors.

The Franciscan volleyball team also finished the year with this highest GPA among AMCC volleyball teams this season.



St. Sebastian Awards

The St. Sebastian Award is named for the Catholic patron of athletes, St. Sebastian. St. Sebastian is named the patron of athletes because of his physical strength and energetic approach to spreading the "good news" of the gospel. The St. Sebastian Award is presented to the student-athlete from each varsity team, who displayed virtuous integration of mind, body, and spirit, emulating the example of St. Sebastian.

(W) Basketball - Therese Taylor

(M) Basketball - Christian Duke

(W) Cross Country - Jennifer Gray

(M) Cross Country - John Redmond

(W) Lacrosse - Elizabeth Giroux

(M) Lacrosse - James Judd

(M) Rugby - Ian Miller

(W) Soccer - Monica Dawyot

(M) Soccer - Dominic VanderWoude

(W) Softball - Lindsey Finch

(W) Swimming & Diving - Kellie Rankin

(W) Tennis - Anna O'Connor

(M) Tennis - Joe Staniszewski

(W) Track & Field - Natia Smith

(M) Track & Field - David Byers

(W)Volleyball – Christina Marie Lawrence 



Four-Year Letter Award Winners

Monica Dawyot

Women's Basketball 2012-16 

Christian Duke

Men's Basketball 2012-16

Jennifer Gray

Women's Cross Country 2012-15

John Redmond

Men's Cross Country 2012-15

Emily Bedard

Women's Lacrosse 2013-16

Meg Gargulinski

Women's Lacrosse 2013-16 

Tracy McClelland

Women's Lacrosse 2013-16

Lauren Noce

Women's Lacrosse 2013-16

Ian Miller

Rugby 2012-15

Adam Weiss

Rugby 2012-15

Calene Dougherty

Women's Soccer 2012-15

Mary Duran

Women's Soccer 2012-15

John Imbimbo

Men's Soccer 2012-15

Jace Vansteenburg

Men's Soccer 2012-15

Eddie Huber

Men's Soccer 2012-15

Edwin de St. Aubin

Men's Soccer 2012-15

Kellie Rankin

Swimming & Diving 2012-16

Joe Stanizsweski

Men's Tennis 2013-16 

Zachary Quiza

Men's Tennis 2013-16

Kelly Limmina

Women's Track & Field 2013-16 

Brian Tullier

Men's Track & Field 2013-16

Dani Link

Volleyball 2012-15

Christina Marie Lawrence

Volleyball 2012-15

Samantha Kelly

Volleyball 2012-15