STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Athletics at Franciscan University of Steubenville is taking more strides in connecting with its College of Steubenville past. Director of Athletics Chris Ledyard recently announced the addition of the John Lemal Director of Athletics award as an annual honor for the most valuable male and female student-athletes participating in Franciscan’s NCAA Div. III program.
“I decided to institute the award this year because it’s our first year as full members of the NCAA,” said Ledyard. “The first year in membership should bring the first male and female athlete of the year.”
The award is presented to the male and female student-athletes who have demonstrated the greatest athleticism and the highest accomplishments awarded in their respective sports. The awardees are chosen by the University’s coaches and director of Athletics in the spirit of the plaque’s inscription: “First to letter, to make the future better. Awarded to the best, who today inspires the rest.”
The first student-athletes to receive the award are Bill Jones and Anna Cain.
Jones, a junior from Oneida, Wisc., qualified and competed at the NCAA Div. III cross country and track and field championships this year. He also received numerous academic and athletic awards, including the placement on the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Academic All-Conference team and 2011 Runner of the Year in cross country. Cain, a junior volleyball player from Williamsburg, Iowa, also earned academic all-conference honors. The middle hitter served as captain this past year, leading the Lady Barons to FUS history as the first team to enter AMCC postseason competition. Cain also earned AMCC First Team All-Conference honors for her conference-topping hitting percentage and kills per set average.
The most valuable player award was named in honor of Franciscan’s John Lemal, the first athlete to receive a varsity letter from the College of Steubenville in 1948 as a football player for the Barons.