As the spring seasons arrive, Fontbonne University Athletics is pleased to announce the 2017 Hall of Fame inductees.
This year, two individuals, both former spring student-athletes, will be inducted into the Fontbonne Athletic Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 7th. The event coincides with the department's annual banquet of their big awards, slated for the DSAC Cafe at 6 p.m.
Josh Burlison and Ashley (Weaver) Withers will be inducted as member of the Class of 2017.
Director of Athletics Maria Buckel had this to say about Burlison and Weaver, "We are excited to recognize and honor two distinguished former Griffins for their contributions and achievements during their time at Fontbonne. Ashley and Josh have etched their name in the Fontbonne Record Books and it is now time to elevate them to Hall of Fame status. Congratulations Ashley and Josh and thank you for all you have done for Fontbonne Athletics!"
Burlison, a 2010 graduate, was a standout baseball player. Burlison played with the Griffins for four years, starting in 2007 in the outfield, at second base and at shortstop. He was a 2010 Central All-Region honoree as a shortstop, named First Team All-SLIAC that same year and Second Team All-SLIAC his junior year as an outfielder. After his final season, Burlison was awarded Fontbonne's Red Schoendienst Award, the highest award for a male student-athlete based on performance.
"I just wanted to send a special thanks to everyone who supported me along the way," said Burlison. "First and foremost, I wouldn't have this opportunity without the love and continued support of my parents, family and wife. To my teammates: thank you for making everyday a day to remember and pushing me to be my best. To all of my coaches, especially Coach Good and Coach York, thank you for the memories, support, and every opportunity you have given me. It is an honor to be inducted and something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thank you!"
In his career, Burlison averaged .375 at the plate, a .546 slugging percentage, recorded 188 hits, including 20 doubles and seven triples, and walked 52 times. He continues to hold the school record for number of career stolen bases (58) which were on 65 attempts. He finished his senior season with a .434 batting average. Burlison is second in Fontbonne history for hits in a season (62 in 2009), career hits and career triples. He hit a school-record four triples in 2010.
Burlison resides in Festus, Mo. with his wife Emily. He is currently employed with AT&T.
Weaver, a 2007 graduate, held her softball team together in the circle and was a unanimous pick by the Hall of Fame Committee. She played with the Griffins for three seasons: 2005, 2006 and 2007. The year 2006 was the first time the National Fastpitch Coaches Association recognized any Griffin as an All-American. Weaver garnered third team All-American status, was first team All-Region, SLIAC All-Tournament MVP and SLIAC Player of the Year in 2006. After transferring to Fontbonne her sophomore year, she was named SLIAC Newcomer of the year in 2005. Weaver threw 338 K's over 376.2 innings pitched. She recorded 44 wins, 13 shutouts and four saves. In 71 appearances she had 62 starts and threw 36 complete games for a career 1.64 ERA.
"I am truly honored to be one of this year's inductees to the Fontbonne Hall of Fame," said Weaver. "Playing softball and being on the field, in the circle, with the ball in my hand, has always been one of the greatest joys of my life. I think back to when I was a little girl, that first season, I fell in love with the game and it became a huge part of my life. I spent the next 15 years playing a sport I truly loved. There were so many people who helped and supported me over the years and I am truly thankful to have met them."
Weaver continues to hold school records for innings pitched in a season (195.1) and wins in a season. Her record 25 wins was ninth amonth NCAA Division III pitchers in 2006. That year she was also named the Fontbonne Mary Schoendienst receipient, the highest honor for a female student-athlete based on performance. From 2006-2014 she held the school record for most strikeouts in a season, tallying 183 her junior year, and up until 2016 she held the career record of 338 strikeouts. Weaver threw a 1.29 earned run average her junior year while throwing 22 complete games with eight shutouts.
"Two coaches that really believed in me and gave me the opportunity to walk out to the circle to do what I loved were John Conway and Bill Rosner. Another person who also deserves recognition is, 'My Number 1 Fan,' my father, Stephen Weaver. Without him none of this would be possible. He gave up so much of his time, money, and energy to buy the uniforms and equipment I needed, along with spending countless hours being my catcher and coach, while driving me to practices and tournaments all over the country. He gave up so much, for me to chase a dream. This is for you dad...We did it!"
Weaver currently resides in Lake Saint Louis with her husband Greg and two boys Stephen Jordan and Ashton. She is an Instructional Interventionist at Carondelet Leadership Academy in South City.
STORY COURTESY OF FONTBONNE UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION