by Laura Czingula
The Campus Times sports staff has selected senior football player Anthony Russo and sophomore volleyball player Sarah Henry as outstanding athletes for the fall 1997 semester for their achievements.
Russo was just recently awarded the John Zinda award and co-defensive player of the year (along with senior defensive linemen, Tawan Hall from Whittier College) for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
This is the second year for the John Zinda award, which is an award named after the former head football coach from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
The criteria for the award are a high level of performance, strong leadership, integrity and sportsmanship, a positive attitude and being a conscientious student.
“The John Zinda award goes to the most outstanding player in the conference who also possesses characteristics such as, work ethic, competitiveness, good sportsmanship and good academics,” said Don Morel, head football coach. “It is a tough award to receive and is the highest honor that the conference has to give.”
The 6’1″, 215-pound linebacker has led the team in tackles for two years, with 68 this season, and gives all the credit to his teammates.
“I wouldn’t have done as good as I did if it was not for the entire [defensive] line,” said Russo. “I’m happy and proud but I wish we could have gone undefeated as a team.”
“Anthony is a tremendous leader and student, he will be very hard to replace,” said Morel.
Russo received both awards because, “all the coaches in the conference felt Anthony was by far the best linebacker they have seen in SCIAC,” said Morel.
Henry was awarded first team All-SCIAC for the season because she led the conference in kills with 314 and had 87 blocks during the regular season for the Leopards.
Henry’s latest accomplishment was being awarded All-West Region along with teammate Mercury Simonian, the team’s senior setter.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” said Henry. “I couldn’t have done it without Mercury’s help.”
“I think Sarah had a great year,” said head coach Jim Paschal.
“She matured a great deal as a player when I asked her to move from right side hitter to middle blocker. She was reluctant, but she agreed to it because it was the best for the team,” he said. “It was one of the moves that made us a more competitive team this year. I think she is the best middle blocker in the conference.”