Saint Francis Athletic Director Susan Robinson-Fruchtl welcomes everyone to the 2017 awards ceremony
Saint Francis President Father Malachi Van Tassel opens the evening with a welcome and a blessing
Field Hockey senior Shannon Pereira won the Wallace Award given to the best senior female athlete. Pereira was named an All-Atlantic 10 player all three years at Saint Francis and was a team captain last season. She was tied for second on the squad with eight goals and led the team with 10 assists and 26 points in her final season in Loretto. Additionally, Pereira has represented Canada on both the junior and senior team level. The Ontario Native has played in Summit Series with the Canadian junior and senior national teams, and played in the Junior Pan-American games. Recently, Pereira was one of 18 players named to represent Canada as part of the Gryphon World Hockey League, a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup.
Lorenzo Jerome was given the Eugene and Rosemary Turano Award for best male senior athlete. Lorenzo Jerome earned six All-American honors and led SFU to first NEC title. He became the NEC's first four-time First Team All-Conference selection was named a ECAC First Team All-Sta. Jerome led the NEC and tied for third in FCS with six interceptions and earned MVP honors at the NFLPA Bowl and recorded two interceptions at the Senior Bowl. He became first player in school history to earn an invite to the NFL combine.
Senior Katie Reese won the Whalley Sportsmanship Award given to athletes who excel on and off the court. Reese was a team captain, All-NEC and helped raise over $6,000 for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
Senior center Jimmy Marks is the male recipient of the Whalley Sportsmanship Award. Marks is an All-Conference Lineman as well as a leader with Team IMPACT and Uplifting Athletes.
Men's soccer's Dom Ramirez is the 2017 recipient of the Picarella graduate scholarship. Ramirez was a four-year letter winner and had his best season as a senior. Ramirez will pursue his MBA at Saint Francis.
Senior pitcher Ethel Santai earned the Benham Scholar-Athlete Award. Santai is currently 14-1 on the season with a 1.74 ERA. Additionally, Santai consistently makes the SFU and NEC honor rolls while posting above a 3.5 grade-point average while studying physical therapy.
Senior defender Francis de Vries also earned the Benham Scholar-Athlete Award. de Vries is a three-time All-American including an Academic All-America honor this season. The senior earned a 3.9 GPA in a dual major and was taken in the second round of the MLS Draft.
Senior Casey Gallaher was named the Franciscan Athletic Award. Gallaher served as a team captain during her senior season and earned All-NEC and ECAC honors at defender, after playing her first three seasons at forward.
Senior Shamsiddin "Pop" Little also won the Franciscan Award. Little is a All-NEC thrower and has served as SAAC President and is one of the leaders in community service.
Zachary Sterner won the Red Flash Band Spirit Award. Zachary Sterner, a Biology major, is a four-year member of University Bands and a three-year section leader for the Marching Band. Outside of band Zach is member of the Psi Epsilon Fraternity, has worked with The Healing Patch, and created the R-SPACE Program which brings the sciences to underprivileged rural communities.
Brenna Erzen and Rylie Rusnica won the Red Flash Cheer Spirit Awards. Rylie, a special education major is active in cheer as well as: NCA Staff, SAAC, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Education Club, Special Olympics, Beads of Courage, and job coaching those with special needs. Brenna is a physician's assistant major who is active in cheer as well as: Best Buddies, Special Olympics, Beads of Courage, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Alzheimer's Club, & Phi Eta Sigma
Alexandra Ruhl was named the Red Flash Dance Spirit Award winner. Alex is a physician assistant major who is active in dance where she served as a captain and:
PA society, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Habitat for Humanity, and Special Olympics.
Women's Soccer was given the annual Community Service Award. The soccer team participated in Soccer Without Borders raising over $1,000 dollars in their annual Soccer Without Borders match. They led the department with over 70 team hours of service including: Sideline Cancer, RED Day, the IU8 Bridge Program, PROUD Awareness Day, and Youth Futsol at the YMCA of Holidaysburg.
The women's soccer team was also named one of the Bob Hahn Teams of Excellence. The women's soccer team captured the NEC regular season and tournament title after being picked fourth in the NEC in the pre-season poll. The soccer team also was active in the community, including their annual work with Soccer Without Borders.
The women's cross-country team was also named a Bob Hahn Team of Excellence. The women's cross-country team won their first NEC crown since 2004 and coach Doug Hoover was named NEC Coach of the Year. The team also performed extremely well in the classroom, holding a team GPA of 3.62.
Keith Braxton earned the Red Flash Freshman of the Year. Keith Braxton was named the NEC Rookie of the Year after leading the team in rebounding at 8.8 rebounds per game and finishing second on the team with 13.3 points per game. Braxton won seven NEC Rookie of the Week Awards and was selected to the NEC All-Tournament Team. His seven Rookie of the Week Awards are one off the conference record. He sent the Red Flash to their first NEC Title game since 1991 with a buzzer beater against Wagner that earned the Sports Center number one play on the nightly top-10. College Insider dot com named him a Freshman All-American.
Freshman Abby Trahan was named the female Red Flash Freshman of the Year. Trahan has won five NEC Rookie of the Weeks, including this week's award and an NEC Pitcher of the Week. The Louisiana native is off to a terrific start to her career, standing at 13-3 to date with a 2.36 earned run average, highlighted by a no-hitter against Cleveland State. She has raised her game in NEC play, going 2-0 with a 0.47 earned run average, striking out over half of the batters faced in conference.
Wide Receiver Kameron Lewis was named the Red Flash Male Outstanding Sophomore. Lewis was named an All-American by five publications and named NEC Offensive Player of the Year. He broke the NEC and SFU single-season record with 1,478 receiving yards, the third highest total in FCS. He also ranks third nationally in receiving yards per game (123.2), ninth in yards per catch (19.7), 12th in receiving touchdowns (11), 20th in receptions per game (6.3) and 25th in all-purpose yards per game (132.5).
Shooting guard Jessica Kovatch earned the Outstanding Female Outstanding Sophomore. Kovatch led the Red Flash, the Northeast Conference and was 11th in the NCAA in scoring at 21.2 points per game. She broke the Saint Francis single-season record for made threes with 110, a mark that was good for seventh in the nation and her 3.4 threes per game average was third in the NCAA. She was named First-Team All-NEC and an ECAC All-Star and was named to the Nancy Liebermann Watch List, which is presented annually to the best point guard in the NCAA.
Cross-Country and Distance runner Bryce England earned the Red Flash Outstanding Male Junior Athlete. Bryce was named NEC Scholar Athlete in both cross-country and indoor track and field. England is a two-time NEC Athlete of the Week and winner of the Paul Short Run and Ted Owen Invitational. England landed on the NEC All-Conference Team after placing sixth at the NEC Championship and became just the sixth SFU runner to earn All-Region honors after placing 25th at the Mid-Atlantic Regional, the first SFU runner to do so in 11 years. He won the 3,000M in the NEC Outdoor Championships and finished second in the 5,000M.
Shortstop Jordan Seneca won the Red Flash Outstanding Junior Female Athlete. Jordan Seneca leads the NEC and SFU with 19 home runs, a mark the is fourth in the NCAA. She broke the SFU career home run record of 31 this season and her own single-season home run record. Seneca is currently responsible for 112 runs (59 driven in, 52 scored), a mark that is better than 24 Division-I teams. Her 19 home runs are more than 96 teams.
Kelly Quealy earns the Sinisi Red Flash Inspiration Award after playing her senior season while battling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Despite the prognosis, the senior did not miss any of her nursing classes, practice or her senior season, starting all 20 games on defense. During the season, Quealy and the Red Flash held a Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma game, raising money for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Care Center for Pediatric Oncology, a game the Red Flash won, 3-2, against Siena. The senior also helped coach Stacey Bean win the inaugural USA Field Hockey Coaches' Humanitarian Award, an award she was able to present to coach Bean at the annual Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.