(FAYETTEVILLE, NC) - Each year the USA South Athletic Conference presents its most prestigious awards by honoring the male and one female as the Student-Athletes of the Year as these athletes receive the Don Scalf Award. The 2011 winners are Christopher Newport University volleyball player Caitlyn Jansen and Shenandoah University baseball player Greg Van Sickler.
To be eligible for the Don Scalf Award a student-athlete must be either a junior or senior, have participated in a USA South sport earning at least All-Conference recognition and have a minimum 3.00 GPA. The athletic directors vote for the award winner each spring at the conclusion of all Conference schedules.
This award is named in honor of Don Scalf, whose commitment to the student-athlete, guardianship of the value of academic achievement and devotion to the principles of Division III athletics set a standard that holds steadfast in the Conference today. He taught for 36 years and coached for 18 at N.C. Wesleyan College. He also served as Athletic Director at N.C. Wesleyan for six years. During his coaching career his teams won Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference basketball and golf championships. In addition, he was a founding father of the DIAC in 1963 and served as its Secretary-Treasurer for 25 years.
Caitlyn Jansen - Christopher Newport
Jansen concluded her collegiate career this past fall on the volleyball court as a two-time All-American middle blocker. She twice led her team to the National Quarterfinals and was named the 2010 NCAA Regional Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Jansen was a two-time USA South First Team All-Conference Team honoree and the 2009 Conference Player of the Year. In the classroom, Jansen compiled a 3.12 grade point average and recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She twice earned USA South All-Academic accolades during her time at Christopher Newport. Jansen participated in many community service initiatives including the USA South Cans Across the Conference competition and various Kid's Days associated with CNU's Kid's Club. Off campus, Jansen was a youth leader for the Fairfax County Summer Camps.
Greg Van Sickler -
Van Sickler's collegiate career came to a close this spring on the baseball diamond. He succeeded greatly both on and off the field. In the classroom, the senior compiled a 3.58 grade point average. He received his fourth consecutive USA South All-Academic Team accolade this season and was named a 2010 ESPN The Magazine Third Team Academic All-American. This past spring, he was the co-winner of the Shenandoah Athletic Director's Award which is given to the athlete who best combines academics, athletics and community service. Athletically, Van Sickler was a three-time All-American, a two-time South Region Player of the Year and a three-time All-South Region Team selection. Within the USA South, he was a two-time Pitcher of the Year and the past spring became the first player in league history to be named Pitcher and Player of the Year in the same season. In 2008, he was selected as the USA South Rookie of the year. Van Sickler earned six all-conference honors as a pitcher and a utility player during his four-year career at Shenandoah. Off campus, Van Sickler was a mentor at a local middle school and participated in the Frederick County (Va.) Schools reading program.