The Embodiment of a Student-Athlete
Two Graduates Balance Schoolwork and Sports, Earn Prestigious Scholarships
This summer, the two Scranton graduates were awarded prestigious postgraduate scholarships by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), bringing the total number of recipients from The University of Scranton to 15.
Annually, the NCAA awards just 174 postgraduate scholarships – 87 for men and 87 for women – of one-time grants of $7,500. Founded in 1964, the program, according to the NCAA website, “aims to reward those individuals whose dedication and effort are reflective of those characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.”
The NCAA could not have found two better ambassadors.
Caceres, a standout on the men’s tennis team, graduated with a double major in philosophy and theology/religious studies, a minor in communication, and a concentration in Catholic studies. He maintained a 3.93 grade point average throughout his academic career.
On the court, he was a four-year letterman who finished with a 57-21 record (.731) in singles and 46-28 mark (.621) in doubles. Caceres earned numerous accolades, landing first-team All-Landmark Conference honors three times for his play in singles. He was also named the conference’s rookie of the year in 2008.
A two-time first-team District II All-Academic selection by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), Caceres played a major role in leading head coach Keith Hetsko’s squad to a four-year record of 44-24 (.647), including berths in the championship match of the Landmark tournament in each of the past two seasons.
In addition to the rigors of his academic and athletic schedules, he still found time to work in the Office of University Ministries, serve as a peer tutor for the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, and act as a retreat leader, resident staff advisor and resident assistant for the Office of Residence Life. At the annual Senior Student-Athlete Banquet in May, Caceres was also selected as the co-recipient of the Father Fitzpatrick Award for community service.
Stallone, a center fielder on the baseball team, was equally impressive in his academic and athletic pursuits.
He distinguished himself by maintaining the highest grade point average of all student-athletes in the senior class – a 3.95 grade point average while earning a degree in finance. His efforts in the classroom earned him a number of accolades, including first-team Academic All-American in each of the last two seasons and third-team honors in 2009. In addition, he received the Carlesimo Award for academic and athletic excellence at the Senior Student-Athlete Banquet.
His success in the classroom was matched only by his success on the field.
A four-year starter, Stallone finished his career with a .401 batting average and what is believed to be a school-record 202 hits. He also hit safely in 110 career games, including 62 with at least two hits, and in 2009 he established the Royals’ single-season record for most hits (65). A three-time first-team All-Landmark Conference selection, he led head coach Mike Bartoletti’s program to a four-year record of 84-76-1 (.525), including berths in the championship bracket of the Landmark Conference tournament in 2008 and 2011.
Head of the ClassThe following University of Scranton student-athletes have earned NCAA postgraduate scholarships:
Chris Stallone – 2011
J.P. Andrejko – 1988
Michael Banas – 1984
Joseph Cantafio – 1974
Matt Cusano – 1993
Daniel Polacheck – 1995
Una Espenkotter – 1987
Taryn Mellody – 2007
Men’s Cross Country
Joseph Fent – 2001
John Mercuri – 2007
Will Carey – 1988
Bridget Lee – 2003
Nicole Bayman – 2001
Lori Snyder – 1987
Carl Caceres – 2011