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Press Release: DeSales Names Athletes of the Year
Date: 5/22/2008

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DeSales Names Athletes of the Year

Four DeSales University athletes were honored during the annual athletic awards held on April 30. Sponsored by the DeSales University Athletic Department, the event honors the Dr. John "Coach" Compardo Male and Female Athletes of the Year and also recognizes the Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Stanley J. Orzechowski award winner for the 2007-08 academic year.

The DeSales University Athletes of the year were junior LeighAnn Burke (Philadelphia, PA/Archbishop Ryan) as the Female Athlete of the Year, senior Phil Stricker (Womelsdorf, PA/Conrad Weiser) as the Male Athlete of the Year, junior Brianna Valasek (Coopersburg, PA/Southern Lehigh) as the Scholar Athlete of the Year and senior Ashley Sparango (Salfordville, PA/Souderton) as the Stanley J. Orzechowski award winner.

Burke enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in DeSales University athletics history leading the women's basketball team in scoring at 19.3 points per game as the Bulldogs posted a 26-4 overall record, won the Freedom Conference Championship and advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament. She took home several individual honors that included being named the Player of the year in the Freedom Conference, D3hoops.com Mid-Atlantic Region, ECAC South Region, Lehigh Valley Small College Basketball Association and LVAIAW. Burke earned Second-Team All-American honors from D3hoops.com and Honorable Mention All-American honors from the WBCA/State Farm. She was named a Jostens Trophy finalist and was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First-Team.

Stricker led the men's basketball team to a 21-6 overall record and to the Freedom Conference championship game where they fell to King's College. He led the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game and rebounding at 7.0 boards per game. Stricker was named the Freedom Conference Player of the Year and to the NABC/State Farm Division III All-American Third-Team, while also garnering Honorable Mention All-American honors from DIII News. He finished his career ranked fourth all-time in scoring (1,436 points) and seventh all-time in rebounding (695).

 Sparango was named the Stanley J. Orzechowski award winner after playing four years on the field hockey team. This award is granted to the athlete whose personal courage and fortitude was a source of inspiration to his/her teammates and to the DeSales University Community. Sparango was an inspiration throughout her career as she finishes as the all-time leader in goals scored (35), assists (39), and total points (109). She also helped DSU earn the program's first-ever Freedom Conference playoff berth this season when she was named the Freedom Conference Player of the Year, the first-ever for DeSales in field hockey.

Valasek was honored as the Scholar Athlete of the Year at DeSales as the senior student athlete with the highest cumulative GPA for all 16 sports offered. Valasek has accumulated a 3.85 GPA as a physician assistant major while also competing as a member of the women's track & field team over the last three years.

For more information, contact BJ Spigelmyer, sports information director at DeSales, at 610.282.1100, ext. 1228, or was1@desales.edu.

Press Release: DeSales Names Athletes of the Year | Posted on: 5/22/2008

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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