This week, Franciscan University of Steubenville’s athletic department and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee celebrated the university’s athletes through the NCAA Division III Week.
The purpose of this week is to celebrate all that Division III athletics represents and promotes. In particular, this week of events allows all student-athletes to be reminded of the faith and virtue that Baron athletics strives to uphold on and off the playing field.
The week kicked off on Monday, April 1, with a rosary rally held in the courtyard of Finnegan Fieldhouse. Several of the university’s teams gathered with their specific SAAC representatives to pray for their teammates and respective seasons.
During the day on Monday and Tuesday, members of several different teams sold T-shirts bearing the university’s chosen theme for the academic year: “Be Not Afraid.” The shirts were sold in the J.C. Williams Center for $5 each, and all the proceeds went toward the Jefferson County Special Olympics and SAAC.
On Wednesday, SAAC hosted a campus-wide scavenger hunt. Teams of three or four students competed for the chance to win prizes, including various gift cards.
Throughout the day on Thursday, several athletes hosted a Gatorade Sale in the J.C. Williams Center. Students could buy a medium-sized bottle of Gatorade for only a dollar, with all proceeds going again toward the Special Olympics and SAAC.
To close out the week, each team’s specific SAAC representatives hosted a cookout on Friday night in the courtyard of Finnegan Fieldhouse. Students across campus were invited to enjoy some non-meat food free of charge, as well as corn hole, spike ball and live music from the Baron Pep Band. Under the stars on a warm, clear night, athletes and nonathletes alike gathered to enjoy a relaxing evening.
Junior Kristine Stickney, runner for the Baron track and cross-country teams, commented on the impact of Division III Week, saying, “It really helped bring the sports teams as a whole to come together and connect. It also helped bring athletics as a whole to the attention of the whole student body.”