June 6, 2012
Troy's Shannon Jones and Canada's Larry Balkwill are the May recipients of the Leo Dufort Student Athlete of the Month Awards.
Jones had a record-setting spring for the Saints, earning MAAC co-Player of the Year and Siena College Female Student Athlete of the Year. She was also recently named to the NFCA Great Lakes All-Region Second Team. Jones led the MAAC in batting average (.434), home runs (14), RBI (43), hits (66), runs (46), total bases (127), and slugging percentage (.836). She set single-season program records for homers, hits, and runs, as well as career marks for batting average (.396) and doubles (39). Additionally, Jones became just the third player in Siena history with more than 100 career RBI, and tied the career record in that category as well with 119 runs driven in. In the classroom Jones carried a 3.42 GPA in Siena's rigorous biology program into the spring semester.
Balkwill hit .281 for the Saints, and led the team with six home runs and 29 RBI, 10 doubles, a .381 on-base percentage, and a .449 slugging percentage. The junior backstop hit .313 in MAAC games and posted a .475 slugging percentage. Balkwill held a 3.41 GPA as a history major entering the spring semester.
The selection of Balkwill and Jones completes the 2011-12 Leo Dufort Award schedule. The winners were: Jannis Opalka and Ashleigh Barone (September), Peter Collins and Lesli Akeo (October), Brendan Gregg and Sarah Szewcyk (November), OD Anosike and Cristina Centeno (December), Katie Carew and Meghan Yi (January), Bryan Neufeld and Deirdre McQuillan (February), Carly Holloway and Traci Robertson (March), Mickey Sutton and Courtney Tilley (April) and Balkwill and Jones (May)
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.