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Saint Leo University Athletics is enjoying another reason to celebrate the accomplishments of its athletes during the 2019-2020 year. A record number of student-athletes were honored for the high grades they earned while competing on the playing fields, courts, track, golf course, and running trails, and in the gymnasium and pool.

There were 139 Lions named as recipients of the Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) Academic Achievement Award. To receive the honor, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, have attended a minimum of two years (four semesters) of college-level work, and have been an active member of an intercollegiate team during his or her last academic year.

Baseball led the way for the Lions with 14 honorees, followed closely by softball with 11 recipients. Twenty sports were represented in all.

Having so many student-athletes overall named recipients of the award is, in itself, a distinction: Saint Leo’s 139 award recipients surpassed the previous university record of 101 honorees. That record was set during the 2017-2018 academic year. 

Among schools in the Sunshine State Conference, Saint Leo ranked second behind Florida Southern College’s 167 honorees. Saint Leo ranked 14 overall among Division II programs.

A complete list of Lions honored is available for viewing, with the athletes’ names organized by their sport. The award recipients represent more than30 percent of the 455 student-athletes who competed during the year. 

Dahrendorff Makes Saint Leo Swimming History

Then-junior Henrik Dahrendorff etched his name firmly in the Saint Leo swimming record books this past spring, achieving a feat that no other Lions swimmer has accomplished in the program’s history—he became the first NCAA national champion. 

After overcoming a heartbreaking finish in the 100 breaststroke the day before, he was able to claim top honors in the 200 breaststroke. Dahrendorff seized the championship with a Saint Leo record-setting time of 1:56.09, which surpassed his previous program best set earlier in the season.

Dahrendorff is now one of three Saint Leo student-athletes who can call themselves an individual national champion, joining Marie Coors ’17 of women’s golf and Hugo Bernard ’16 of men’s golf.


Tennis Player Racks up Three Honors during Freshmen Year

Bruno Faletto of the Saint Leo men’s tennis team added three distinct honors to his long list of accomplishments following his first season of collegiate competition. Faletto, from Santiago, Chile, was named a men’s singles All-American and National Rookie of the Year by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), as well as Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year.

Faletto played in the No. 1 spot for the Lions during the Green and Gold’s 16-10 season, advancing to the first round of NCAA Division II South Regional II. He helped Saint Leo reach its highest team national ranking of fourth in the country. 

In individual rankings, he tallied a season-high singles ranking of ninth on April 24. Faletto notched victories over three other All-Americans throughout the season, including No. 3 Serdar Bojadjiev (West Florida), No. 12 Valetin Masse (Hawaii Pacific), and No. 13 Nicolo De Fraia (Rollins).

Faletto earned a 19-3 record in first singles and closed his freshman campaign ranked ninth in the ITA national poll with a 23.20 season average.


Saint Leo Golfers Compete Internationally

Saint Leo Senior represents Trinidad and Tobago in Pan American Games

During the summer, Saint Leo senior Izzy Lawrence was selected to represent Trinidad and Tobago, her native country, in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. She was one of 98 athletes selected and was the lone golfer on the list. The Pan American Games, also referred to as the Pan Am Games, brings together athletes from the Americas every four years before the Summer Olympic Games to compete.

“I’ve played for my country for a while now, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be chosen to play at the Pan Am Games,” Lawrence said. “Playing for my country is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I am honored to be given this opportunity to compete at this level.”

Lawrence, a three-time Women’s Golf Coaches Association Scholar All-American, will look to guide the women’s golf team to a top-three finish at the Sunshine State Conference and travel back to the NCAA tournament this year.

“What an honor to play for your country,” Head Women’s Golf Coach Lyndsey Bevill said. “Not only is she representing Trinidad and Tobago, but she is representing Saint Leo University at a high level of competition. I am so proud of all she has accomplished thus far on and off the golf course.”


Alumna Wins German National Championship for Golf 

Saint Leo alumna Marie Coors ’17 won the 2019 Deutsche Meisterschaften (the German National Championship) with a 273, 14-under par at the Golf Club Valley in Munich, Germany.

Coors, the lone female NCAA national champion in Saint Leo history, opened up the tournament with a four-under 68. The former Lion then carded a five-under 67 before shooting a two-over 74 to sit at 209 (-7) for three rounds.

Heading into the final day of the championship, Coors fired off a seven-under 65 to capture the national championship crown with a four-round score of 14-under 274.

This year marked the 73rd championship games in Germany. A total of 50 women and 89 men competed in the golf championship. 

 


Saint Leo Athletics Hall of Famer John Swart Passes Away

Former Saint Leo University coach and athletics administrator John Swart passed away May 1, 2019, at the age of 82. Swart served as an assistant athletic director; assistant men’s basketball coach; junior varsity baseball coach; head men’s soccer coach; head women’s basketball coach; NCAA compliance officer; and director of the intramurals department during his 40-year career at Saint Leo.

Swart was elected to the Saint Leo University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000 and is a member of three halls of fame—Saint Leo, Lincoln College, and Illinois State University.

“John was one of the pioneers for Saint Leo Athletics,” said Saint Leo University Vice President and Director of Athletics Francis Reidy. “When I arrived in 1988, he was really good to me and provided insight into coaching and NCAA compliance. He served Saint Leo well in many different positions through the years, was the ultimate professional, and remained a loyal fan during his retirement days.”

In August of 1968, San Antonio (FL) became his permanent residence as he became a professor of physical education and sports management at Saint Leo College. Swart was a professor at Saint Leo for 40 years and continued as an adjunct professor for three more years. He was the first coordinator of the physical education major, and the designed concepts of wellness programs at Saint Leo. He was also the president of the Florida Intercollegiate Soccer Coaches Association and chair of the Sunshine State Conference Women’s Basketball Coaches Committee.

He served as the men’s soccer head coach for 12 seasons (1971-1982) while acting as the head coach of the women’s basketball program for nine years (1983-1992). Swart retired from Saint Leo in 2008 and was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Dade City, FL.

Seven alumni were inducted into the Saint Leo University Athletic Hall of Fame during homecoming weekend in November. Since 1986, the athletic hall of fame has honored former students, coaches, and administrators who excelled in Saint Leo athletics throughout the university’s history. Please join us in congratulating the following alumni.
 

Ernie Robinson ’68 was a dual-sport athlete, competing for the men’s basketball and baseball programs as a Monarch at Saint Leo. During his senior year, Robinson was voted as the J. Barthle Scholar-Athlete of the Year for carrying a 4.0 grade point average in the classroom. He was the 1968 captain with a .335 lifetime batting average on the baseball team where he caught for Saint Leo Athletic Hall of Fame pitchers Thomas Crosby, Fred Cambria, and Raymond Korn. Today, Robinson is retired from a 33-year teaching career in New York. In 1973, he was named teacher of the year in New York where he helped bring several cross country, basketball, and baseball championships. He was a founder of a baseball camp, which gave free instructions in baseball and life skills for 41 years in New York.

Brian Dayett ’78 was a member of the 1978 NCAA tournament baseball team and a two-year student-athlete, where he led the team in multiple categories. In two seasons, Dayett logged 197 total bases, 78 runs batted in, 26 doubles, 11 home runs, and 10 triples. During his sophomore season, in which he played every game, Dayett put together a .311 hitting percentage. He followed with a .381 average his junior season. In 1978, the New York Yankees selected Dayett in the 16th round of the draft. In 1982, he was named the AA Southern League Player of the Year, with 96 runs batted in and 34 home runs—a Nashville Sounds single season record that still stands today. In 1983, he was named New York Yankees Minor League Player of the Year. After playing five years in the major leagues with two clubs (the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs), Dayett played in the Japanese Pacific League before beginning to coach in 1997.

Pierre Augustin ’90 remains as one of the top all-time leading scorers in Saint Leo men’s basketball history, competing for the Monarchs for two seasons during which he amassed 1,037 points. His highlight night was against the University of Tampa. On January 25, 1989, he scored 40 points—the program’s first ever win over the Spartans. While competing on the hardwood for the Monarchs, he played in 53 games with a .483 shooting percentage and a .417 three-point percentage. Augustin hauled in 272 rebounds in two seasons and dished out 126 assists. He was the executive secretary and founding father of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity chapter at Saint Leo. Following his time at the university, Augustin started Universal Distributor Inc. in 2003.

Eusebio Herrera-Montoya ’09, who was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American as a senior, was a four-year member of the Saint Leo men’s soccer program. He ranks third in the Saint Leo record book for career goals with 46, and career points with 115. He was a three-time All-Sunshine State Conference (SCC) honoree, including a pair of first team nods, and the 2005 SSC Freshman of the Year, helping the team win its first championship and No. 2 national ranking. As a sophomore, he received the Personal Improvement Award at the Saint Leo athletic banquet. Herrera-Montoya works at Saint Leo as a Financial Aid manager.

Ashley Urbanik ’09 enjoyed a strong four-year career with the softball program, both at the plate and inside the circle. A two-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection, Urbanik ranks among the top 10 in 10 career categories inside the Saint Leo record book, including seventh as a pitcher and third as a hitter. She sits in second for career homeruns; third in wins, shutouts, strikeouts, and appearances; fourth in runs batted in (RBIs) and complete games; fifth in innings pitched; and sixth in earned run average and at bats. She helped lead the team to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances in 2006 and 2008 and ranked among the top in NCAA Division II in 2008 in her earned run average, wins, hits allowed per seven innings, home runs per game, and strikeouts per seven innings.

Kyle Marceau ’10 is the first Saint Leo men’s lacrosse student-athlete to enter the university’s athletic hall of fame. Despite only playing for three seasons, Marceau put his name all over the Saint Leo record book. He scored 77 career goals in just three seasons, while dishing out 53 assists. He still ranks among the top 10 at Saint Leo in points, goals, assists, shots, shots on goal, and man-up goals. He was named the Saint Leo Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior and was also a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Academic All-American that season. A 2010 US Lacrosse All-American, he was a two-time, Deep South Conference first team selection and was named to a pair of Deep South All-Tournament teams. He was Saint Leo’s first representative for the USILA North/South All-Star game following his senior campaign. Marceau works for Lincoln Financial Group in Concord, NH, and is an assistant lacrosse coach for Concord High School.

Kaitlin McKenna ’11 was a four-year standout on the Saint Leo volleyball team and holds the career records for attack percentage and block assists, while ranking in the top 10 in four other categories. She is second in total kills, total blocks, and games played, and seventh in solo blocks. She posted the best single season attack percentage in program history as a freshman at .452. As a junior, she was a College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District First Team selection for her prowess in the classroom and on the court. In 2007, McKenna was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association South Region Freshman of the Year and the Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year. She is also an honorable mention and two-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection and three-time NCAA South Region All-Tournament Team honoree. McKenna works for Ernst & Young in Detroit.

The natural desire for families to do things together makes it unsurprising that many often choose to learn together, too. Each year, Saint Leo serves as the choice university for myriad families. There are generations who have studied here and others who have gone to school together at the same time.

In this story, we profile just some of Saint Leo’s family connections.

Family overcomes obstacles to achieve education goals

Family plays a pivotal role in the lives of Mercy and Luis Figueroa, of Spring Hill, FL. The couple juggled military deployments, work, family commitments, and studying while earning their degrees at Saint Leo.

“My story starts rough, but ends in the American dream,” Mercy said.

Mercy and Luis in military
Mercy and Luis Figueroa served in the U.S. Army.

Mercy was born in Havana, Cuba, where her father was held as a political prisoner. Helped by the Catholic Church, her family made their way first to Spain and then to New York, leaving Cuba when Mercy was a toddler.

“The Catholic Church has been involved in my whole life,” she said. “It’s pretty awesome I got to go to Saint Leo.”

She grew up in Brooklyn while Luis grew up in the Bronx. “I took a long train ride to find a boyfriend,” she said. “He was a tall football player with a lot of hair, but I destroyed all the hair!”

Luis joined the U.S. Army first and then encouraged Mercy to get involved. She served in the Army for four years until her daughter Gabby was born prematurely at 24 weeks with cerebral palsy and other health issues.

“She decided as much as she loved the military, she loved her daughter more,” Luis said, and Mercy left the Army to care for Gabby.

Mercy transitioned from active duty military to being a supportive military spouse. Luis, a staff sergeant, left active duty in October 2014, and retired from the military this summer. He was often deployed, and Mercy took care not only of Gabby, but also sons Isaac, who is a junior at Saint Leo, and Connor, a high school senior. “We adopted Connor from the foster care system,” Mercy said.

Luis was stationed in Fort Lewis, WA, and while deployed in Iraq, he read about Saint Leo. “It piqued my interest,” he said. “Then I came down here and realized the campus was close [to the family home in Spring Hill].” In 2011, he began his first semester at Saint Leo, but again was deployed on a high-priority mission and had to take a break. But in fall 2014, he started again and never turned back.

Mercy tried to go to college “a million times,” she said. “Once I got Gabby medically stable, I started.” Luis encouraged her to join him at Saint Leo, and she earned her associate degree in 2016.

The university felt like home. “Once I heard about Saint Leo’s history, the diversity and inclusion, at a time when they didn’t have to accept other races, cultures, that is what made me love it,” Mercy said. “There are people from everywhere at Saint Leo. It is such a great place.”

Mercy and Luis looking at each other_LOcopy22
Mercy and Luis Figueroa enjoy a moment during their commencement ceremony in 2017, where Mercy was the student speaker.

The Figueroas not only have son Isaac studying at Saint Leo, but Mercy’s sister, Heavenly Aguilar, graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice-criminalistics at the Tampa commencement ceremony on May 31. She now is pursuing a master’s degree.

Mercy graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice-criminalistics, while Luis also graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration-technology management.

For Mercy, what’s next is pursuing a law degree at the University of Mississippi School of Law, while Luis will complete his MBA at Saint Leo in December.

A family finds their home at Saint Leo

The U.S. Air Force brought the Blackman family to Florida, but Saint Leo University provided a home away from home for them. For Derrick and Kimberly Blackman and their son Elijah, Saint Leo offered the opportunity to study together, lean on each other, and cheer for each other—in the classroom and on the basketball court.

The family moved to Tampa from Colorado in 2000 when Derrick Blackman was transferred to MacDill Air Force Base. While on active duty with the Air Force, Derrick took a class at Saint Leo and enjoyed it. From there, it was on to pursuing a degree.

Derrick graduated from Saint Leo in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in religion. Next up was Elijah, who enrolled after Saint Leo representatives visited Wesley Chapel (FL) High School during his senior year there. It took a little while longer for Kimberly. “About two years later, my husband encouraged me to enroll,” she said. “He said, ‘You’ve already got your associate degree, and Saint Leo is an awesome institution for getting a quality education.’ And it was great! I’m so grateful.”

Elijah distributing ashes2
Elijah Blackman served as a University Ministry Mentor and distributed ashes on Ash Wednesday.

Not only did Derrick encourage Kimberly, but he also pursued a master’s degree in theology. In 2017, the Blackmans graduated with Kimberly and Elijah receiving their diplomas together at the Saint Leo WorldWide commencement. Derrick received his master’s degree the next day during the morning graduate program commencement, where he also performed the national anthem.

“It was a great honor and privilege to be able to graduate the same year,” Derrick said. “It was even greater for me as husband and father to witness both my wife and son graduate from [Saint Leo] at the same time. The experience was extremely humbling.”

Now, Derrick teaches at Saint Leo as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology.

Kimberly graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and now is working toward a master’s in human services administration at Saint Leo.

Kimberly and Elijah Blackman
Mother and son, Kimberly and Elijah Blackman, received their degrees together at the Saint Leo WorldWide commencement in 2017.

Elijah, who played basketball for the Lions and served as a University Ministry Mentor, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in sport business. After completing an internship at the University of South Carolina, he now is a graduate assistant for sports strength and conditioning at the University of Arkansas.

Graduating from Saint Leo with his parents made an impression on Elijah. “I thought it was incredible to be able to sit next to my mom during graduation and see my dad walk across the very same stage less than 24 hours later,” he said. “Graduating at the same time as your parents doesn’t happen too often.”

Derrick and Kimberly’s other son, Donovan, graduated from aviation school in 2015 and is working in Arizona. And while they tried to persuade daughter Kandice to attend Saint Leo, she did not want to attend college with her parents and brother. She is enrolled Trinity College of Florida in New Port Richey.

Twin brothers choose same major and graduate together

Family Friendly theme Igbonagwam family2Two recent grads from the Class of 2018 are not only twins, but they also graduated with the same major and held equivalent jobs as residence hall advisors. In another family connection, they are the sons of Sandy and Dr. Okey Igbonagwam, a Saint Leo assistant professor of computer information systems in Virginia.

As an employee, Igbonagwam is eligible for the university’s tuition remission benefit, which is a big plus in helping families pay for college. While the financial benefit was certainly a factor in the decision, Igbonagwam said his sons were also drawn to Saint Leo by the appeal of University Campus. “First impressions matter,” according to Chidozie and Chigozie. They also liked the academics, and both have wanted to be doctors since they were small. That made the biology major with a specialization in biomedical and health sciences a natural fit. The major is offered only at University Campus.

So, the twins came to Florida and got involved with the Pre-Medical Club, the student-run fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and research projects with faculty mentors. Since graduation, both have taken the Medical College Admission Test and are hoping to be admitted to medical school.

Despite deferring their dreams, couple graduates together

DSC_9028When Sherryl Johnson-Tandy and her husband Erik Tandy walked across the commencement stage together on the evening of Friday, April 27, it was a little out of the ordinary. Sherryl, a corporal in the Pasco County (FL) Sheriff’s Office, completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice. So she was grouped with the other adult learners receiving undergraduate degrees in the evening.

Her husband Erik was also graduating with a Saint Leo degree, but his was the Master of Business Administration. The MBA grads are a big group, and are scheduled for the Saturday morning ceremony of commencement weekend, along with those who have attained graduate degrees in other disciplines. But Erik was switched to Friday night at his request so that he and Sherryl could walk across the stage together to celebrate their joint accomplishment.

It was no easy road for the two. They had long wanted to reach these educational goals, but raised a family, so they waited for everyone to be grown and out of the house. It did not quite work out that way. As they went to school, and worked, circumstances required that they also tend often to three grandchildren, ages 5, 8, and 9.

Sherryl has a memory of both the adults studying at night, and then Erik “waking me up from sleeping on my computer.” And she often did the same for him. When their finals were over, she said, it was a blessing to don their robes and receive their diplomas together.

A Day for Saint Leo

The third annual A Day for Saint Leo celebration saw the tradition continue to grow, with new elements added to the day. On that November day, alumni and students across the globe were encouraged to wear school colors, post pictures and stories on social media showing their Saint Leo pride, and make a donation to the program that means the most to them. Students at University Campus took part in crowning two seniors as this year’s king and queen of Saint Leo. The day was capped off with a concert and fireworks, which more than 600 alumni, students, and friends attended.

The fundraising efforts had a great boost with a challenge grant that matched every donation dollar for dollar, up to a total of $25,000. The grand total raised during A Day for Saint Leo 2016 was $100,055!

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Alumni Chapters

You may have left “Leo Land,” but there are many ways to stay connected with fellow Lions and Monarchs.

Saint Leo University’s regional chapter program is designed to strengthen the bond between alumni, as well as between Saint Leo and its alumni. The regional chapters provide opportunities for alumni to network, host events, participate in community service, and help recruit new students, thus preserving our past and supporting our future.

We currently have two official chapters in place, the Tampa Chapter and the Metro New York Chapter. With alumni across the United States, we are looking to launch our regional chapters near you!

If you are interested in getting involved by joining a current chapter or starting a petition for a new chapter, contact Elizabeth Barr at (352) 588-8824 or elizabeth.barr@saintleo.edu.

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A Day at Tampa Bay Downs

The Alumni Association brought a new event to Tampa-area alumni with A Day at Tampa Bay Downs. More than 80 guests were treated to a tour and insider information by equine expert Tom Sweeney, president of Thoroughbred Owners of Florida and owner of Port Royal Racing. Then they enjoyed a catered lunch while taking in the afternoon races.

Check out the event calendar on your.saintleo.edu for the full schedule of events.

Tampa Bay DownsTampa Bay Downs (2)


Lions on the Road

Lions on the Road

As our athletic teams hit the road for competition, Saint Leo alumni, students, and staff have expressed interest in being part of the game experience. So last fall, we kicked off the idea of providing fan support, no matter where our teams are. When our men’s basketball team headed to Morrow, GA, to play Clayton State University, near one of our education centers, we organized a Saint Leo event, encouraging everyone to enjoy good athletic competition and good community. The student-athletes also got a chance to tour the Morrow Center and learn more about the experiences of their classmates who study at the education centers.

Who knows where we will travel next. Keep an eye out—the Lions may invade your town!


Dinner with Saint Leo

During the Fall Semester, senior social work students at University Campus were invited to Dinner with Saint Leo, a special opportunity that brings students together with alumni who are working in careers related to their area of study. In addition to networking and making connections, through this program with the office of Career Planning, students can gain practical experience in a professional and social setting.

Dinner with Saint LeoDinner with Saint Leo (2)


Golden Lions

Your Alumni Engagement & Sustained Giving office has partnered with the Undergraduate Admissions office to create a fun volunteer opportunity to help you bring your alma mater to the next generations of Saint Leo students. Golden Lions volunteers will help ensure Saint Leo has a presence in high schools across the United States by serving as university representatives in schools and at college fairs in their hometowns.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Olsen at (352) 588-8937 or sarah.olsen@saintleo.edu.


Sigma Beta Reunion

Sigma-Beta-Reunion2Several members of Sigma Beta attended a reunion in December at the New York Athletic Club. Those in attendance included Bob Tenneyson ’72, Joe Mullane ’71, Eugene Wendelken ’70, Dickie Palazzo ’72, Mickey Neenan ’71, Billy Burns ’73, Doug Smith ’71, Bobby Sheridan ’73, Frank O’Keefe ’74, Bill Tully ’73, Jeff McCarthy ’71, Vic Hogan ’72, and (seated) Carl Miranda ’71.

adamson_katieKatie Adamson
Volleyball • Senior
Nelson, New Zealand
The middle blocker was a force at the net in the 2015 season, leading the team in both total blocks, at 103, and blocks per set, averaging 0.87. She tallied a career-high eight blocks in three different matches last season. Offensively, Adamson put away a total of 159 kills in 2015, tallying a career-best 11 against Eckerd College (FL). As one of three seniors, Adamson will help the young Lions squad build off a 21-11 season and an NCAA Second Round appearance.

 

hannah-beardHannah Beard
Women’s Soccer • Class of 2010
Grassendale, Liverpool, England
Hannah Beard is a former Lions women’s soccer player. Originally from England, she is playing professionally with the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Australian W-League. She was one of the best players in program history to date, winning several individual honors and helping the team reach the NCAA tournament in each of her four years at Saint Leo, and the program’s first Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship.

 

tyreece-briceTyreece Brice
Men’s Basketball • Junior
Rock Hill, SC
Tyreece Brice made an instant impact on the court for the Lions in the 2015-16 season as the sixth man. Brice averaged the second most points on the team, 15.5 per game, and finished the season as a 2015-16 Sunshine State Conference All-Newcomer team selection. He played in 31 games with 14 starts and tallied 481 points in 977 minutes for the Lions. Along with his 15.5 points per game, Brice averaged 4.2 rebounds per game and 3.6 assists per game. Brice scored a career-high 31 points against Alabama-Huntsville in the first round of the NCAA South Regional tournament. Brice helped lead the Lions to a 19-12 record and a fourth-place finish in the SSC with a 10-6 mark.

 

sommer-pollardSommer Pollard
Softball • Junior
Clearwater, FL
Sommer Pollard was the everyday starter behind the dish for the No. 1 pitching staff in all of Division II, owning a 0.93 earned run average. Pollard played in all 47 games, with a .991 fielding percentage with only three errors on the season. She recorded 300 putouts behind the plate, with 19 assists. A Second Team All-Sunshine State Conference selection, Pollard finished the season with a .366 batting average (41 hits in 112 at-bats) while scoring 24 runs and driving in 17. She recorded one triple during her sophomore campaign against Colorado Christian, where she went 2-for-2 from the plate. Pollard recorded 15 stolen bases over the course of the season.

 

rivera_brandonBrandon Rivera
Men’s Soccer • Senior
Orlando, FL
The local product out of Lake Nona High School in south Orlando has come a long way since his freshman season when he saw action in just two matches. In fact, in his junior campaign, Rivera saw action in all 18 games for the SSC regular season champion, including making 13 starts. He scored a career-best four goals on the season, adding a career-high four assists, including his first career assist that came against Lees-McRae (NC) in a 4-1 victory where the midfielder saw three passes find the foot of the goal scorer. Rivera’s breakout game came in the SSC Tournament Semifinals, where he tallied two goals in the Lions 2-1 win over the 2014 reigning NCAA National Champion Lynn (FL), earning himself a spot on the SSC Tournament team.

 

maftuna-tuhtasinovaMaftuna Tuhtasinova
Women’s Swimming • Sophomore
Tashkent, Uzbekistan
A native of Uzbekistan, Maftuna Tuhtasinova competed in the final four regular season events and the Sunshine State Conference Championship for women’s swimming and made an immediate impact on the team. The freshman was a finalist in three events at the SSC meet, including a third-place finish in the 200 Backstroke with an NCAA “B” cut mark and Saint Leo record time of 2:02.01. Her 100 backstroke time also qualified as an NCAA “B” cut time, and Maftuna was a part of 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay teams that set new Saint Leo records.

 

zach-whitakerZach Whitaker
Baseball • Senior
Land O’Lakes, FL
Zach Whitaker was Saint Leo’s top pitcher in 2016, recording a 4.38 earned run average over 72.0 innings pitched, with a 6-1 record and one save. He finished among the top 10 in the Sunshine State Conference in ERA, and held opponents to a .277 batting average. Whitaker fanned 62 batters over the course of the 2016 season, tied for most on the team.

 


jim_cerbieJim Cerbie ’79 got his 400th win as head baseball coach for The Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC, on April 5, 2016. During his 29-year baseball coaching career at Providence Day, he has seen 28 of his players sign to play college baseball at some of the most prestigious programs and schools in the country.


jim-jacobsenJames Jacobsen ’70 is the golf coach at Bergen Catholic High School (NJ), where he won his 1,000th match on April 22, 2016. This gave him an overall 34-year coaching record of 1023-33-1. He was named Coach of the Year by the Star Ledger, The Record, and The Bergen County Coaches Association.