The award recognizes one student-athlete in each of 19 CAA sports for representing the highest standards of teamwork, integrity, leadership and sportsmanship in athletic and academic achievements.
Two Elon University student-athletes have been selected to receive the 2020-21 Colonial Athletic Association’s Leadership and Sport Excellence Award.
Sam Bacon, a midfielder with the men’s soccer team, and Akram El Sallaly with the men’s tennis team received the honor, which goes to one student-athlete in each of 19 sports who represents the highest standards of teamwork, integrity, leadership and sportsmanship in his or her academic and athletic achievements. The award is similar to the Chuck Boone Leadership Award in football and the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award in men’s and women’s basketball. CAA’s faculty athletic representatives select the winners.
Bacon has been a two-year team captain and starter in the midfield for the Phoenix while maintaining a 3.97 grade-point-average as a statistics and computer science major. This past season, he started all seven games he appeared in while playing every minute in four of those contests. As a freshman, he started eight out of 13 matches and scored his first career goal at No. 23 NC State.
Off the field, the Richmond, Va., native was the recipient of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Scholarship for the Class of 2022 Honors Fellows cohort while being named to the President’s List and Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for each semester at Elon, posting a perfect 4.0 GPA three times.
Bacon has also been instrumental in leading the program’s community service efforts with Top Soccer and the Special Olympics while being a member of the Elon Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Sallaly earned the distinction after competing in 18 matches for the Phoenix this season. In his 18 appearances, he compiled a 10-5 record in the No. 1 doubles spot while posting a 12-6 mark in singles play. During the season, Sallaly combined with Chung Han-Tsai to garner CAA Doubles Team of the Week honors on Feb. 17, before being named CAA Player of the Week on March 3.
Off the court, the business analytics graduate-student has garnered multiple academic achievements throughout his collegiate career and graduated from Elon with his master’s degree this spring with a 3.91 GPA. In his years at University of the Pacific prior to transferring to Elon, Sallaly obtained West Coast Conference Golden honors for academics with a 3.96 GPA en route to receiving an ITA Scholar-Athlete award as a sophomore. As a senior at Pacific in 2020, he received Pacific Athletics’ Four Pillars Award, an honor to a student-athlete who exemplifies each of Pacific’s four core identities: Family, Balance, Winning Spirit and Innovation. In just his first season at Elon, Sallaly was named to the 2020 CAA Commissioners Honor Roll for the fall semester.
Other service work Sallaly has participated in includes coaching children on the tennis court, helping feed the homeless at the St. Mary’s Dining Hall, and most recently create videos to encourage young children to remain active during the pandemic.