Richard Weisenberger (New Hudson/South Lyon), a member of the nationally-ranked 2009-10 Ferris State University men's golf team, has been selected as the recipient of the FSU Athletics Department's Jimmy Swears Courage Award for the 2009-10 athletics season.
Weisenberger had to cope with the loss of his younger brother (Jake) due to cerebral palsy this past fall. As a result of his personal trajedy, Weisenberger duly received the 2009-10 Bulldog men's golf team's "Adversity Award", given to a student-athlete within the FSU men's golf program who has overcome adversity.
"Richard is an outstanding competitor and he will be a huge part
of our success to come in the next several years," said Ferris
State men's golf head coach Mike Mignano. "He has shown
a tremendous amount of courage and strength throughout this past
season, all while improving on the golf course and in the
classroom. Richard's strength has made his teammates better and we
all admire his maturity and attitude."
The Jimmy Swears Courage Award is presented to a deserving student or current personnel within the Bulldog Athletics program, who when confronted with a life-altering situation, has used perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome the odds. Nominees are an inspiration to their peers, serve as a role model to others and be a team leader while responding to adversity. Those individuals nominated for the award must be involved with the Bulldog intercollegiate athletics program and possibily include student-athletes, student managers, student coaches and/or student athletic trainers in addition to current athletics department personnel.
The award is named in honor of longtime FSU Athletics booster Jim Swears, who passed away Jan. 17, 2007, at the age of 64 following a lengthy bout with cancer. A local businessman and community activist, Swears was a strong supporter of Ferris State men's ice hockey, football, and basketball. He worked diligently to help develop and maintain FSU's status as a NCAA Division I men's ice hockey program. Additionally, Swears served on the board of directors for the Big Rapids Area Junior Hockey Association and was an active member of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association. He was the 2006 recipient of the Northern Lights Lifetime Achievement Award for business and industry in the Big Rapids (Mich.) area.
A junior, Weisenberger averaged 75.33 strokes (452 total strokes) in six round of competition this 2009-10 season. He turned in a season-best 26th-place tying performance at the Wayne State Motor City Invitational (Oct. 11-12) with a three-round 228 score (75-73-80=228). Weisenberger also registered a personal season-best 224 stroke total (79-74-71=224) to claim a share of 30th-place honors at the Ferris State Matt Pinter Invitational (Sept. 26-27) in his other tournament appearance of the 2009-10 campaign.
Weisenberger, a pre-optometry major, was a member of the 2009-10 team which produced a school-record seventh-place tying effort at the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships (May 18-21) in Noblesville, Ind.
The other nominees for the award included football's Nick Butler (Midland) and Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) of the men's ice hockey team.
Courage Award Recipients
2009-10 - Richard Weisenberger (Men's Golf)
2008-09 - Aaron Lewicki (Men's Ice Hockey)
2007-08 - No recipient
2006-07 - Mark Bomersback (Men's Ice Hockey)