The University of St. Francis Athletic Department hosted its fourth annual Bernie Awards. The annual event recognizes the Fighting Saints' top team and individual achievements of the past year in athletics and academics. Nearly 500 people packed the Rialto Square Theatre to celebrate the best of USF athletics.
(Image Courtesy of Gofightingsaints.com)
The biggest award of the night, the Golden Bone, is presented to the top graduating male and female student-athlete who has excelled on the playing field throughout their career and has been a part of the USF program their entire collegiate career. The award was given was to Morghan Dieringer from softball and Kevin Mampe from baseball. Over the course of four years, Dieringer earned First-Team All-America and First-Team All-CCAC honors, the CCAC 2017 Pitcher of the Year, and she led the CCAC in the most amount of statistical categories, including ERA, innings pitched, wins, strikeouts, and batting average against. Mampe led the baseball team in doubles, extra-base hits, RBIs, and walks. He also was named to the CCAC All-Academic Team and First-Team All-CCAC selection.
The next award presented was the Franciscan Leadership Award. This award is given to the top male and female student-athletes who excel both in the classroom and on the playing field and represent the University's four core values both internally and externally in the community. The recipients were Renee Martin from women’s basketball and Joshua Woodard from football. Martin stated “I’m honored to have received the Franciscan Leadership Award because St. Francis has truly helped me grow into the leader I’ve always strived to be. I’m so thankful for everyone who has helped me grow along the way, and I’m excited to see where these leadership skills will take me.”
Over the year, many athletes had big plays and moments. However, two athletes stood out for their outstanding performance. The Female and Male Performance of the Year was given to Jenna Moody from women’s track and field and Brian Blaylock from men’s track and field. During the 2018 CCAC Indoor Track & Field Championships, Moody ran six races in four different events and finished first in each of them, with each representing an NAIA nationals qualifying time. The performance led to her being named the conference athlete of the meet, the NAIA national track athlete of the week and the Midwest Region Athlete of the Year. During the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships, Blaylock ran four personal-best one-mile races in three days and set school records in both the mile run and distance medley relay in the process. He finished third in both events to gain NAIA All-America status and lead the program to its best-ever finish at indoor nationals, eighth place.
Throughout the night many other awards were given such as the Supporting Saint Award, Female and Male Billy Manner Inspirational Saint Award, Gordie Gillespie Female and Male Athlete of the Year, Female and Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and many others. For the list of all awards and winners click here.
Congratulations to all USF student athletes!