CANYON, Texas – A pair of West Texas A&M senior student-athletes were honored for their outstanding athletic accomplishments, solid academic record and exemplary citizenship on Sunday evening as they earned the coveted President’s Award during the athletic department’s annual award ceremony.
WTAMU President Dr. J. Patrick O’Brien bestowed the honor to Dustin Vaughan (football) as the male recipient and Alyssa Lemos (softball) as the female recipient of the award. It is the second-straight year that the football and softball programs have earned the President’s Award as former offensive lineman Aaron Mullane earned the honor in 2013 as did former outfielder Meghan Slattery. It also marks the third-straight year for softball as Kim LeComte earned the award in 2012.
Vaughan, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, had an outstanding career on and off the field for the Buffs. He was the only quarterback at any level this season to pass for over 5,000 yards with 5,401, which are most all-time in Division II. He led the nation in passing and was second in passing yards per game at 385.7. His 53 touchdown passes also led the nation and was the most in conference history in a season, was well as being third-most all-time in Division II. For his career, he owns the school and conference record for career passing yard (13,525), total yards (13,608) and touchdowns (123).
He finished runner-up in the prestigious Harlon Hill Award and earned American Football Coaches Association All-America honors this season as he helped guide the Buffs to an 11-3 record and a berth in the NCAA quarterfinals. Vaughan finished the season going 447 of 675 for an impressive 66.2 completion average in 2013. He was a two-time Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year selection.
Not only did he excel on the field, but also in the classroom as he graduated last December and was just one of 15 student-athletes from all levels of college football to earn an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete. He is a two-time LSC football Academic Player of the Year and was named CoSIDA Division II Football Academic Player of the Year in 2013. He also earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors this past season. Vaughan also was named Conference Commissioner’s Association Regional Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2013. He also earned LSC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2013. Vaughan also has been on the Dean’s List and President’s List his entire time at WT. He was a member of Alpha Chi Omega and Gamma Beta Phi.
Vaughan graduated with a 3.86 grade-point average in biology/pre-med. He plans on attending medical school and eventually be a M.D. with a focus on sports medicine following his football career.
In addition to scholarships and academic accolades, he also volunteered his time and made a major impact in the Canyon/Amarillo community and back home in South Texas. He was a member of SAGE and participated in numerous events including Bikes for Tikes, Goody Two Shoes for Children at Presbyterian Children's Home, prepared and served meals at the Hudson House in Canyon and worked for Meals on Wheels, to name a few. He was a representative for WT at the SAAC/SALT Lone Star Conference Convention in San Antonio, Texas, in the Summer of 2012. He was member of FCA and was on the Leadership Team at WT.
To say that Lemos had made her mark on the WT Softball program over the last four years would be an understatement. The senior has started all 232 games of her storied career at shortstop for the Lady Buffs while hitting in the leadoff spot. Lemos is a .329 career hitter with 51 doubles, nine triples and 30 homeruns to drive in 159 RBI for a slugging percentage of .549 with an on-base percentage of .460. Lemos ranks in the top-10 in the WT career record books in at-bats, batting average, hits, runs, triples, homeruns, RBI’s, total bases slugging percentage and walks while ranking atop of the record book in career doubles with 51.
She became the all-time NCAA Division II career leader in walks this past weekend as she passed former Lady Buff and teammate Meghan Brown with her 169th walk of her career. The weekend also saw the senior launch a go-ahead grand slam into the night sky in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs in a 15-12 victory over No. 7 Angelo State as WT registered a series sweep to claim the Lone Star Conference Championship.
The Grapevine, Texas native became the third All-American in program history last May as she was named a member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association/Louisville Slugger Third Team while also picking up First Team All-LSC accolades and being named the league’s Golden Glove shortstop. Lemos also excels in the classroom, being named a two-time LSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient while holding a 3.9 GPA as a pre-med major at West Texas A&M.
Lemos is also actively involved in community service efforts around the Canyon and Amarillo areas. The WT Softball program participate in Snack Pack For Kids and the Eveline Rivers Christmas Project, while also hosting youth softball camps, spending their time reading to elementary students and working the Gene Howe Elementary Falcon Festival every season. Lemos is a member of LEAD WT as well as the Attebury Honors Program and the Pre-Healthcare Club.
The greatest motivation for the senior is the memory of her mother Roni who lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer back in September of 2008. The Lemos Family has used the loss as a driving force behind the creation of the “Shout Out For Roni” campaign that raises funds for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC). The last four years have seen the annual Strike Out Cancer Weekend raise thousands of dollars for the NOCC while also bringing awareness to ovarian cancer.