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Former Demons football player wins Southland Conference citizenship award
May 09, 2013 | 235 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Record-setting Northwestern State football kicker John Shaughnessy has won the 2012-13 Southland Conference Steve McCarty Citizenship Award, the league office announced Tuesday.

The annual award recognizes one male and one female student-athlete who exhibit outstanding qualities in citizenship, sportsmanship, leadership and community service. This year's Steve McCarty Citizenship Award winners will be honored at the Southland Conference Honors Ceremony and Dinner in Grapevine, Texas, May 21. McNeese State basketball student-athlete Caitlyn Baggett is the female recipient.

This is the second major conference-wide award for Shaughnessy, who was chosen the 2012 Southland Football Student-Athlete of the Year for his academic and athletic accomplishments.

It's the fifth time in the six-year history of the McCarty Award that a Northwestern State student-athlete has been honored. Last year's male recipient was Demon basketball player Gary Stewart. Softball's Cary Bruno was the 2008 female winner, followed by women's basketball competitor Lyndzee Greene in 2009. Football player Yaser Elqutub was the 2011 male recipient.

Shaughnessy, who has been accepted to the medical school at LSU Health Sciences Center in his hometown of Shreveport, was 21st nationally in field goals per game as a senior last fall as he nailed 14 of 17, including making 7 of 9 from 40 yards or longer. He twice had season long field goals of 47 yards, three yards shy of his career best.

A second-team All-Southland kicker last fall after earning first-team honors as a junior, he was chosen a 2012 permanent team captain by fellow players. Shaughnessy was 28 of 33 on field goals in his last two seasons, including 11 of 13 on 40-yard or longer kicks, and set a school record in 2011 with 12 consecutive makes. He was voted by his teammates as a permanent team captain for 2012, receiving a Joe Delaney Memorial Leadership Award.

Last summer, he did cancer research in an internship with the LSU Health Sciences Center and presented findings to medical school faculty at LSU and Tulane.

Shaughnessy dedicated more than 100 hours of community service throughout the Natchitoches community while a student-athlete. He took part in numerous projects including tutoring local children, including Up 'Til Dawn supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, organizing and giving blood at the annual Demon Blood Drive and spending time with local elementary children as part of the football team's annual Chris Waddell Day.

While most college students relax during summer vacation, Shaughnessy volunteered his time to help others. In the summer of 2010, he took a mission trip to Port Au Prince, Haiti, following the major earthquake to help with disaster relief and assist in building destruction and medical inventory organization. During the same summer, Shaughnessy also served as a counselor at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes summer camp to 125 elementary and high school children. In 2011, he spent the summer working with CHRISTUS Sutton Children's Medical Center in the Child Life Program, where he would entertain and nurture children undergoing major medical treatments.

The award is named for the former Stephen F. Austin athletic director, who served at the school for 21 years, including the last 15 as athletic director. McCarty, an Alto, Texas, native, retired from SFA in 2005 and is a two-time graduate of the university. A current member of the SFA Board of Regents, he is also a member of the SFA Alumni Association's "Football Coaches Hall of Honor" and was inducted into the Southland Conference Hall of Honor in 2006.
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