CHICKASHA – Brian Vigo’s character surpasses that of a traditional student athlete. He works hard and keeps a positive attitude; He’s respectful of opponents and maintains good sportsmanship, even under less than ideal circumstances.
These aspects and more were what made Vigo a natural choice for an NAIA Champion of Character, an award to which he was named earlier this month.
Vigo was one of 45 baseball players nationwide to earn the prestigious honor. Players are chosen who best demonstrate the five core values of the NAIA: Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship and Servant Leadership.
“Vigo exemplifies the five core values of the Champions of Character. He’s a great young man who plays hard on the field and does well in the classroom,” head baseball coach Mike Ross said. “He’s a very responsible young man. I feel like he’s a great example of a student athlete.”
Vigo said he was touched to be USAO’s recipient of the award.
“It feels special,” he said. “It’s an honor to get it.”
In speculating why he was nominated for the distinction, Vigo said he tries to lead by example and is determined to succeed.
“I think it’s because I work hard on and off the field,” he said. “I try to be a leader, and I bring energy to the field.”
Ross described Vigo as a selfless player whose optimistic attitude promotes a strong work ethic and keeps his team stay motivated.
“He brings leadership and a positive attitude,” Ross said. “Vigo always puts the team first, in my opinion, and is always one to get his teammates going a little bit and keep his teammates positive no matter what the situation may be.”
Vigo has been a Drover for the last two seasons after transferring to USAO from Vernon Junior College. Starting in the outfield, he has had a two-year batting average of .371.
He is second in Drover history in most hits in a single season after 78 this year. Additionally, he led the team — and comes in seventh in the NAIA — in home runs after knocking 12 out of the park this season.
With a reputation for being quick, Vigo stole 20 bases this year, only being caught stealing four times. He’s second in school history in single season steals.
He is a physical education senior from Carolina, Puerto Rico.