Jeff Lavin, a member of the Mount Vernon Nazarene College men's baseball team, has been selected by the National Christian College Athletic Association as its 2000 recipient of the Unlimited Potential Outstanding Christian Leadership award.
Lavin, a senior catcher from Mercer, Pennsylvania, posted a .311 batting average with 41 hits, seven doubles, four home runs, nine runs scored, and 21 runs batted in during the 2000 season. The former West Middlesex High School standout also threw out nine baserunners trying to steal and allowed just five passed balls. Lavin was an NAIA and NCCAA Honorable Mention All-American in 1999 after batting .345 with 42 runs batted in.
In addition to his accomplishments on the baseball field, Lavin has also excelled in the classroom. A Biology/Secondary Education major, he has compiled a 3.68 grade point average and twice been selected to the NAIA and NCCAA Academic All-American Teams. Lavin was also chosen as MVNC's Secondary Education Student Teacher of the Year for the 1999-2000 school year.
On top of epitomizing the term "student-athlete", Lavin has been active in several extracurricular activities. He has been the Co-President of the MVNC chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes for two years, and he has also been actively involved in the local high school chapter of FCA. He was a member of Prayer Warriors on campus, and he taught Sunday School at his home church during the summer.
"Jeff is an outstanding student-athlete," said Cougar baseball coach Keith Veale. "He is tremendously humble and gracious, and he carries a burden for his teammates to find Christ in their lives. He has personally led at least two of his teammates to the Lord."
"Jeff walks the walk," Veale added. "He competes hard, but continues to reflect Christ to his peers. I know of no one who has been involved in our program who deserves this award more."
The Unlimited Potential award is given each year by the NCCAA to a junior or senior player to honor the organization's outstanding Christian player of the year with potential for Christian service through baseball. Nominees must possess outstanding leadership qualities and athletic ability, and they must demonstrate a vibrant and clear Christian testimony on and off the field.