Fall 2011 Issue

Buccaneers sweep Sunshine State Conference 'Scholar-Athletes of Year'

For just the second time in Sunshine State Conference history, one school swept both the Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, as Barry University's Daniel Stapf (men's golf) and Barbi Pocza (women's tennis) earned the awards for 2010-11.

For Stapff, it was his second straight SSC Scholar-Athlete award, also having claimed the 2009-10 honor. He is the just the third student-athlete in the history of the award — and the first male — to win back-to-back. Barry's Greta Trotman (2004-05 and 2005-06) and Shyla Rider (softball, 2007-08 and 2008-09) were also repeat winners. Tampa's Dawn Rawlins (volleyball, 1996-97 and 1998-99) won non-consecutively.

In 2004-05, Barry tennis players Thomas Hipp and Trotman won the awards.

"Barbi and Daniel are exemplars of outstanding student-athlete achievement," said Maritza Ryder, assistant dean for Barry's School of Human Performance and Leisure Science "They have consistently demonstrated commitment to our university and athletic mission, and through their drive, hard work, resolve, and focus, carry on the Barry student-athlete academic and athletic traditions gained before them. We are extremely proud of them — they are truly standouts."

A junior finance major, Stapff carried a 3.92 GPA. He was also named the Barry University Professor Emerita Neill Miller Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row. Stapff is a two-time SSC Spring Commissioner's Honor Roll member, having earned the distinction in 2010 and 2011. He was recognized as a member of the Barry University President's List for both the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semesters.

A native of Curitiba, Brazil, Stapff's accomplishments were equally impressive on the golf course this season. He was a 2011 PING Division II First-Team All-American. Having earned medalist honors at the SSC Championship, he was chosen SSC Men's Golfer of the Year and was an All-SSC First Team selection. Stapff additionally landed Golf Coaches Association of America First-Team All-Region accolades for the second year in a row.

Active in the community, Stapff has volunteered his time to the Special Olympics, Barry Pride Day, The Ryder-Benjamin Golf Tournament, and the Miami Shores Presbyterian Church living nativity.

Stapff's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award marks the fourth time a Buccaneer student-athlete has claimed the recognition. In addition to Stapff's selection in 2009-10, Barry tennis players Patrick Rittenauer (2006-07) and Hipp (2004-05) were previous winners.

Pocza, a senior finance major, carried a 3.71 GPA. She was recently named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team, having won First-Team Academic All-District Honors earlier this spring.

She is a two-time member of the SSC Spring Commissioner's Honor Roll, having earned the distinction in 2010 and 2011. She was also named to the Barry University Dean's List for the fall 2009 and spring 2011 semesters. Additionally, she was a member of the fall 2010 Barry University President's List and spring 2010 Athletic Director's List. Pocza is a three-time Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement recipient (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11).

On the court, Pocza led Barry to the 2011 NCAA Division II Women's Tennis National Championship. She was tabbed 2010-11 Collegiate Women's Sports Award DII National Tennis Player of the Year and ITA South Region Senior Player of the Year. She was a 2011 First-Team ITA All-American in both singles and doubles.

A native of Gyor, Hungary, Pocza was selected SSC Women's Tennis Player of the Year for the second straight season. She was an All-SSC First Team honoree in both singles and doubles play.

Pocza was also active in a number of causes in the Miami Shores community. She participated in the Barry Gives Back Tennis Clinic, Miami Shores Village Celebration, Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraising, and the National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

Pocza's honor marks the eighth time that a Barry student-athlete has been named SSC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Previous Barry winners were: softball player Shyla Rider (2007-08 and 2008-09); tennis players Trotman (2004-05 and 2005-06) and Victoria Courmes (2002-03); and volleyball players Janina Morusiewicz (1997-98) and Marya Morusiewicz (1995-96).

Since 2004-05, the Buccaneers have held a lock on the awards, picking up either the men's or women's honor each year. Overall, the Bucs have garnered 12 awards and have won nine of the last 14 possible awards in the past seven years.

Voting for the SSC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards is conducted among the league's athletic directors and faculty athletics representatives. Criteria considered in selecting recipients include 40 percent grade point average, 40 percent athletic prominence, and 20 percent school and community involvement.