W&J Football Team Earns PAC Sportsmanship Award
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Presidents’ Athletic Conference announced its Team Sportsmanship awards for the fall 2012 season on Sunday night and the Washington & Jefferson College football squad was selected.
This is the fifth year the PAC Team Sportsmanship Awards will be given out in each of the 19 PAC sponsored varsity sports. Each PAC team was asked to vote for the conference team in its sport which displayed the highest level of sportsmanship. The PAC Team Sportsmanship Award program is an ongoing effort to recognize and encourage positive sportsmanship among conference teams. The award is sponsored by the PAC Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), a committee comprised of student-athletes from each member institution that assemble to provide insight on the student-athlete experience.
The 2012 Presidents’ Athletic Conference Co-Champion Presidents finished with an 8-3 record during an emotional year in which they lost their leader, senior running back Tim McNerney (Butler, Pa./Knoch), after his tragic death on Oct. 4. The team rallied in honor of the 2012 First Team All-PAC running back and clinched the school’s 23rd conference football championship after defeating Waynesburg 31-14 on Nov. 10 to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs.
McNerney was joined this season as a team captain by classmates DeAndre Simmons (Fort Myers, Fla./Riverdale), Ian Hennessy (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) and Nathan Melhorn (Salineville, Ohio/Southern Local).
The Presidents made the school’s 22nd appearance in the NCAA playoffs, the second-most in Division III history. W&J is led by one of college football’s most successful coaches, Mike Sirianni. The four-time PAC Coach of the Year finished his 10th season with a 93-21 overall record (.816). Sirianni has guided W&J to nine postseason appearances (7 NCAA, 2 ECAC) during his tenure as head coach.
Washington & Jefferson will have 13 returning starters in 2013, including wide receiver Alex Baroffio (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park). Baroffio will enter his final collegiate season with 178 receptions (5th in school history). He needs only 15 receptions to pass David Ravida ’09 for the program’s all-time record. Baroffio’s 78 catches this year were the fifth-highest, single-season total in W&J history.