2/9/2012 2:10:00 PM
Bolivar, Mo. - On February 4, the SBU Athletics Department hosted its fourth annual Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Honors Night. Over 250 people saw four new members inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame and seniors from every sport recognized along with their coaches. Senior athletes Ryan Dougherty and Katie Dusenberg each received the Rex Brown Award for Excellence, the highest honor given by the SBU athletics department annually to a graduating male and female senior athlete. SBU Director of Athletics Mike Pitts had this to say about the night, "The annual Honors Night Banquet is the absolute highlight of our entire year. It's a time when we get to honor our senior student-athletes and induct members into the SBU Athletics Hall of Fame. I enjoy the entire weekend, from the brunch in the President's home to the end of the banquet when we take pictures. My favorite part is hearing the stories that I've never heard before from all of the Bearcats who have made our program great."
The class of 2012 was comprised of Sheldon Pace (basketball), Dante Cipulli (tennis), Virginia (MacKenzie) Sparks (volleyball) and Dewayne Miner (cross country/track and field). Pace led SBU to the 2006 MIAA regular season and tournament championships. In that year he was named to four different All-American teams and finished runner up (Dee Brown, Illinois) for the Bob Cousy Award. Cipulli won the ITA Division II Singles National Championship in 2004 and was a two-time All-American. He holds the school record with 110 victories and led SBU to three MIAA championships. Sparks was a NAIA All-American and Academic All-American in 1986. In her two years at SBU she led the Bearcats to a 64-19 record. She was a two-time All-Conference and All-District selection. Miner was a two-time All-American in Indoor Track and Field and still holds the MIAA record for the Indoor Mile Run. He owns three different SBU track and field records and was a two-time MIAA champion.
Ryan Dougherty and Katie Dusenberg were awarded the Rex Brown Award for Excellence. Dougherty is a senior basketball player from Fort Worth, TX. He is majoring in biology and will graduate in May. Dougherty has been a team captain the last two seasons for the Bearcats, been active with Special Olympics and been a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. He plans on attending Physical Therapy school after graduating this spring and currently maintains a 3.6 GPA. After last season Ryan was named to the NABC National Honors Court honoring the top student-athletes in college basketball. Ryan has been a three year starter while at SBU, helped the 08-09 team advance to the Sweet 16 and holds the All-Time record for made 3 point field goals. He ranks 9th all-time in points, 7th in assists, 6th in steals, 4th in games played and is the all-time leader in minutes played. Head Men's Coach Jeff Guiot had this to say about him: “Ryan Dougherty is an example of what excellence is in athletics and academics. He has performed at the highest level in both areas while enduring personal injury and family tragedy. Ryan has honored SBU and his family by demanding perfection from himself and doing his very best even when circumstances afforded him excuses to lower his expectations. His lifestyle of “toughness” inspires those around him raise their standards making him a true Rex Brown Leader.”
Katie Dusenberg is a track and field athlete from Lebanon, MO. Dusenberg is a psychology and sociology major. She currently maintains a 3.66 GPA. She was a member of the first women's relay team to earn All-American honors in SBU history. She was a key member of the SBU women's 4x400 relay team that competed in the 2011 Indoor National Championships and came home with a 7th place finish. She has provisionally qualified for the Indoor Nationals in the 4x400 relay this year. She holds 4 SBU track and field records. Dusenberg was named an Academic All-American last season and has been involved with SBU missions since coming to SBU. Track and Field coach Corey McElhaney had this to say about Katie: "Katie is a perfect example of what I expect of my athletes. She is a hard worker and a team leader who is always eager to help one of her younger teammates. Katie is active in strengthening her faith through attending church, going on mission trips through SBU and being involved in FCA. Katie is a servant leader who is humble in success and motivated through defeat. I am so proud of the great young woman Katie has become and the impact she has made on her team and underclassmen. Katie has raised the bar for SBU Track and Field not only by being an All-American but also through her dedication to academics and ability to inspire those around her."
For more information about the Hall of Fame at SBU, please go to the athletics website at www.sbubearcats.com/hof.aspx or visit the physical location of the Hall of Fame in the front lobby of the Meyer Sports Center. Please send nominations for the Hall of Fame to Jeff Weseloh, Director of Athletics Media Relations, at email@example.com.