Fourth Annual Athletics Awards Banquet

Fourth Annual Athletics Awards Banquet

STEUBENVILLE – Franciscan University held its Fourth Annual Athletic Awards Banquet on Sunday, April 30, which highlighted the accomplishments of Franciscan athletics from the 2016-17 athletic year as well as the spring of 2016. 

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 "What Does it Mean to Be a Baron" – a special video production for the evening.

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


Major Baron Award Winners


Female Kuzma Cup Award – Elizabeth Krilich

Male Kuzma Cup Award – Kevin Arkoosh


St. Patrick Award – Dave Owens

Fr. Finnegan Award – Joe Loizzo 

St. Paul Award – Mike Florak


John Lemal Director of Athletics Female MVP – Elizabeth McNulty

John Lemal Director of Athletics Male MVP – Leo Herrmann

Pope Saint John Paul II Award – 2016-17 Men's Tennis Team


The Kuzma Cup

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. Elizabeth Krilich, from the women's soccer team, and Kevin Arkoosh, from the rugby team, were this year's honorees. Elizabeth is a biology major with a minor in chemistry while Kevin is a political science and history major


FUS Awards

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."

2017 Winner: Dave Owens

Dave has gone out of his way to accommodate the ever-fluctuating athletic schedule. Dave continues to take care of the needs of the athletic fields and facilities to allow our student-athletes to have home fields on campus.


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. 

2017 Winner: Joe Loizzo

Joe served the University and athletic department faithfully until his retirement this winter. Joe was a vocal support of the athletic department and helped to serve the student-athletes and their needs in any way he could.


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

2017 Winner: Mike Florak

Mike stepped in as the interim athletic director over the summer and has helped to lead the department through its transition while still working full time in the community relations office. Mike said "yes" to a leadership position in the athletic department and helped to move us forward to the next chapter of Franciscan Athletics.


John Lemal Director of Athletics MVP

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 junior Elizabeth McNulty. Elizabeth capped her impressive junior campaign with a pair of gold medals at the 2017 AMCC championship while setting one individual record and two team relay records that weekend. Elizabeth took gold in the 100-yard butterfly with a school-record time of 1:00.61 and the gold in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:17.19. Elizabeth finished third in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:20.63 and helped the 200-yard freestyle relay team to a school-record time of 1:49.63 and a fourth-place finished. Elizabeth also anchored the 400-yard freestyle relay team to a school record time of 3:55.50 to take fourth. Throughout the year, Elizabeth captured 21 individual first place finishes and broke five school records and never finished less than third in an individual race. Elizabeth's school records this season include 50-yard breaststroke (35.61), 100-yard breaststroke (1:12.52), 200-meter butterfly (2:34.25), 200-yard butterfly (2:15.67) and the 100-yard butterfly (1.00.61). In six meets this season, Elizabeth won every individual race she competed in and helped five relay teams to a first place finish throughout the season and a pair of school records at the AMCC meet.

The male winner of the year's John Lemal Director of Athletics MVP Award is junior Leo Herrmann for the second-straight year. Leo led the soccer team and conference in goals (18 goals, and 5 assists for 41 points this season), and to the best record in FUS soccer history.  Leo finished in top 12 in scoring nationally for D-III schools. The Wintersville, OH native was named first team all-conference, Offensive Player of the Year, overall MVP for the men's soccer team, ECAC all-star, and NSCAA All-great Lakes Region second team. Leo set the record for points at FUS by his junior year.




Pope Saint John Paul II Team Award

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-athletes' 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 2016-17 Men's Tennis team. Although some would suggest their winning style of four straight conference championships would qualify them for a team award, this year's Baron tennis squad goes far beyond wins and losses. Their season began by losing their very accomplished coach of six seasons a week before this year's campaign would begin. This alone would cause many teams to fold and focus only on what they had lost and not what God was asking of them.


The Baron men's tennis team quickly came together and focused on the goal of supporting each other in brotherhood. They all come from different backgrounds, majors, and households, but that didn't stop this team from first evangelizing each other and then being a beacon of light to those around them.

Time after time, parents have come to us to tell us what a great example these men are on and off the court. They regularly receive compliments from opposing coaches and players. One of the most impressive ways they exemplify the university's mission to educate, evangelize and send forth joyful disciples who will restore all things in Christ is through their example to prospective students who join them to see what Franciscan University is all about.


Recruits regularly comment on the teams "family atmosphere." The importance of strong prayer life, academics, and growth in their sport shines forth in the way that they carry the light of Christ to those they come in contact with. Whether it be the way they treat people in public or the example they show by praying together wherever they are, it is easy to see how peoples lives are changed by this team's presence.


St. Sebastian Awards

The St. Sebastian Award is named after 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 - Gaby De Jesus

(M) Basketball - Derrick David       

(W) Cross Country - Bernadette Williams

(M) Cross Country - Matthew Crotteau

(W) Lacrosse - Brittany Bain

(M) Lacrosse - James Judd

(M) Rugby - Jeff Baldwin

(W) Soccer - Jasmine Florentino

(M) Soccer - Mark Fioramonti

(W) Softball - Lindsey Finch

(W) Swimming & Diving - Abby Commarford

(W) Tennis - Maria Binette 

(M) Tennis - Dominic Clements     

(W) Track & Field - Kristie Kelly

(M) Track & Field - Carlo Fabian

(W)Volleyball - Mary Moore


Four-Year Letter Award Winners 

Derrick David

Men's Basketball 2012-14, 15-17

Emmett Delaney

Men's Cross Country 2013-16

Paul Modzelewski

Men's Lacrosse 2014-17

Austin Morga

Men's Lacrosse 2014-17

William Scott

Men's Lacrosse 2014-17

Catherine Cahill

Women's Lacrosse 2014-17

Anne Foster

Women's Lacrosse 2014-17

Christine Rice

Women's Lacrosse 2014-17

Kevin Arkoosh

Rugby 2013-16

Jeffery Baldwin

Rugby 2013-16

Jimmy Kueber

Rugby 2013-16

Jack Scanlan

Rugby 2013-16

Joseph Duran

Men's Soccer 2013-16 

Emily Donahue

Women's Soccer 2013-16

Elizabeth Krilich

Women's Soccer 2013-16

David Freytag

Men's Tennis 2013-14, 16-17

Erin Coyne

Women's Tennis 2013-16

Claire Haddad

Women's Tennis 2013-16

Mary Moore

Volleyball 2013-16 

Rachel Potopa

Volleyball 2013-16