June 2, 2011
Junior Ryan Poplawski of Siena baseball and senior Courtney Brinkman of Siena softball have earned the final Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month honors for the 2010-11 school year, representing May. These two student-athletes helped lead their teams to strong seasons, and also excelled in the classroom.
Poplawski established himself as Siena's closer, and saved eight games for the Saints, good for second in the MAAC. He appeared in a team-high 26 games, going 5-4 with a 4.17 ERA and striking out 33 batters in 41 innings pitched. Most notably, Poplawski earned the save in Siena's 3-2 win over Canisius in the MAAC Tournament that propelled the Saints to the conference title game. A marketing major, the junior carries a 3.24 cumulative GPA, and was selected to the 2011 MAAC All-Academic Team.
Meanwhile, Brinkman ranked second on the softball team with four home runs in 2011, including two in an 11-5 win over Holy Cross. The senior appeared in 35 games for the Saints, driving in 12 runs and holding a .425 slugging percentage, third-best on the squad. She also pitched for the Saints, going 1-0 in seven appearances. An English major, Brinkman graduated last month with a 3.28 GPA, and was selected to the 2011 MAAC All-Academic Team.
The Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month Award is presented nine times annually (September-May) throughout the academic year. The award recognizes exemplary achievements in both academics and athletics. The late Leo Dufort received a B.S. in marketing and management from Siena in August of 1977. His entire academic career was completed on a part-time basis beginning in the spring of 1961, as a married adult while at the same time raising five children. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack while cross country skiing in February of 1993. His wife Jeanine wanted to do something to immortalize his memory. The original plaque was donated to athletics and the department began the Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month Award to help carry out his legacy. Dufort graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1954, was a Navy Veteran (USS Bennington) who worked for JL Hammett Co. at the time of his death.