After the most successful year in program history, the St. Catherine University athletic department is launching a new bi-weekly award in the 2017–18 academic year. The Fleur-de-lis award will replace the Athlete-of-the-Week award as a way to honor student-athletes for their dedication not only to their sport, but to scholarship and service as well, said athletic director Eric Stacey.
The Fleur-de-lis award honors Wildcat student-athletes who have exemplified the department's mission in the field, the classroom and through community service. The fleur-de-lis, or "flower of the lily” in English, is a symbol used by the University and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and is proudly incorporated into St. Kate's shield as a representation of the Sister’s French heritage and the seed from which their good works grow.
For the athletic department, the three petals of the fleur-de-lis represent the tenants of its mission: scholarship, athleticism and service. The band holding the petals together represents leadership. The Fleur-de-lis award signifies excellence in these four areas recognized by the athletic department.
Julia Zyla ’16 won the inaugural award at the 2017 Purple and Gold award ceremony after a storied career with St. Kate's soccer program. Zyla underwent open heart surgery as a junior in 2015 and returned to lead the Wildcats to a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) appearance in 2016. Zyla was also extremely successful in the classroom and was one of several scholar students honored at spring ceremony last year.
The Fleur-de-lis award will replace the Wildcat Athlete-of-the-Week award, which honored a single student-athlete for their athletic accomplishments during a given week. Multiple student-athletes will have the opportunity to earn the Fleur-de-lis award. Winners will be selected by a committee of coaches and administrators on a bi-weekly basis.
Here are the first 2017-18 recipients:
Ashley Sis ’18 (softball) and Jaelyn Miltz ’20 (basketball) earned the Fleur-de-lis award after demonstrating teamwork and leadership to their respective teams and in various roles on campus. Both Sis and Miltz work for St. Kate's Department of Public Safety.
Claire Woebke ’18 (softball) was recognized for her leadership skills on and off the field of play. She holds several leadership positions both on the softball team and in the athletics department as a member of the Wildcat Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Over the summer, Woebke led and instructed teammates during off-season workouts and attended multiple leadership conferences, including the MIAC's leadership summit in August.
Taylor Krouse ’18 (golf) received the award for her athletic excellence and leadership during the team's first three tournaments. Krouse has been one of the most consistent golfers on the course for St. Kate's and has flourished in her leadership position as a team captain. The senior's scores have counted in every tournament thus far, and her dedication to her coaches, teammates and the game of golf has allowed the Wildcats to find continued success after winning the MIAC Championship in 2016. Krouse has also been an influential role model for the team and is averaging her lowest stroke average of her career.
Learn more about each athlete on the Athletics website.