NEW YORK—Twelve individual awards were presented and a 22-member senior class was honored by Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli as Columbia University and the Columbia Football Players Club hosted its annual football awards banquet Friday evening at Low Library.
Bagnoli spoke about each of the 22 seniors, then handed the presentation of the awards over to Columbia’s nine assistant coaches.
Three players earned Most Valuable Player Awards, led by senior Gianmarco Rea, who was presented with the Sid Luckman MVP award. A First Team All-Ivy League selection, Rea was the Ivy League’s leader in tackles with 108, ranked No. 12 nationally in total tackles per game (10.8) and No. 12 in solo tackles per game (5.8). The Birmingham, Mich. native led the Lions in both tackles for loss (15.0-46) and sacks (5.0-26) and reached double figure tackles in nine of 10 games on the year. He registered a career-high 15 tackles at Harvard on Nov. 5. Rea also excelled in the classroom as he was named an Academic All-Ivy League selection, earned FCS ADA Academic All-Star and CoSIDa Academic All-District honors. Rea concluded his four-year, 35-game career with 218 tackles (110 solo), 20 tackles for loss for 63 yards and six sacks. Rea is a psychology major.
Senior Brock Kenyon earned the Most Valuable Defensive Player Award as a cornerstone on the Lion defense. As Columbia’s starting safety, Kenyon ranked sixth among Ivy League leaders and led the Lions with three interceptions on the year. The Austin, Texas native ranked No. 11 among league leaders in total tackles (71). He also finished with 43 solo tackles and three pass deflections. The senior wrapped up his career with 200 tackles (119 solo), three interceptions and 11 pass breakups in 40 games played and 26 starts. Kenyon is an economics major.
Junior quarterback Anders Hill was presented with the Most Valuable Offensive Player Award. An Academic All-Ivy League selection, Hill led the Lions with 1,651 yards passing and 10 touchdowns while completing 53.7 percent (144 of 268) of his passes. Hill, who started eight of 10 contests, also ranked second on the squad in rushing with 258 yards and two touchdowns on 132 carries. He concluded the year ranked sixth among Ivy League leaders in passing yards per game, seventh in passing efficiency (111.8) and fifth in total offense (190.9). Hill is an economics major.
Several other awards were presented to players for various characteristics displayed during the season.
Senior linebacker Christian Conway was given the David W. Smyth Memorial Cup, an award which goes to an outstanding player displaying intangibles such as spirit, leadership, sportsmanship and loyalty. A senior co-captain and starter in all 10 games, Conway totaled 65 tackles (35 solo), 11.5 tackles for loss for 42 yards, four sacks, one interception, one pass breakup and three quarterback hurries. Conway, who played two years at Columbia after transferring from Duke, accumulated 20 starts, 122 total tackles (59 solo), 19 tackles for loss and six quarterback hurries. Conway is a sociology major.
Senior linebacker Keith Brady was named the 2016 Head Coach Career Achievement Award. A starter in all 10 games, Brady finished the year with 71 total tackles (33 solo), 9.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, four pass breakups and two quarterback hurries. Over his four-year career, Brady saw action in 33 games with 20 starts and totaled 161 tackles (86 solo), 13 tackles for loss, one sack, eight pass breakups and six quarterback hurries. Brady is an engineering major.
Freshman placekicker Oren Milstein came away with the Special Teams Award, given to the player who excelled on special teams. A 2016 All-Ivy League First Team selection, Milstein led the Lions with 52 total points, converted 12 of 13 field goals and was a perfect 16-16 on point after attempts. He converted seven of eight field goals from 30-39 yards and was 2-2 from 40-49 yards with a long of 44 yards.
Freshman wide receiver Josh Wainwright was named the Ken Germann Freshman Award, for the most accomplished and outstanding freshman player. Wainwright made an immediate impact in 2016 as he started eight games and led the Lions in three receiving categories including receptions (42), receiving yards (515) and receiving touchdowns (five). He concluded the season by scoring a touchdown in three consecutive games. He also finished second on the squad in all-purpose yardage with 800 including 515 receiving, eight rushing, 104 on punt returns and 173 on kick returns.
Senior Kendall Pace earned the Jack Armstrong Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award after proving to be the Lions’ most valuable offensive lineman in 2016. A 2016 All-Ivy League Second Team selection, Pace started all 10 games in 2016, concluded his career with 30 consecutive starts and accumulated 39 career starts in his four-year career. Pace is a political science major.
Senior wide receiver Cameron Dunn was presented with the Maniatty-Remer Unsung Hero Award, given to a player whose role is not always obvious to the outside observer, but without his contribution, the team would not be as successful. Dunn started nine games and finished with 32 receptions for 332 yards (10.4 yards per catch average) and two touchdowns. Dunn finished his collegiate career with 64 catches for 668 yards and four touchdowns. Dunn is a political science major.
Senior running back Alan Watson earned the Lou Little Coaches Most Improved Player Award, given to the one player who through extraordinary efforts, improved his play and maximized his production. With each game, Watson improved as the season progressed. He started seven games, ran for 627 yards on 133 carries (4.7 yards per carry) and scored a touchdown on his last touch of his career, a spectacular career-long 69-yard run through the Brown defense. He also made 17 receptions for 120 yards and led team with 816 all-purpose yards (627 rushing, 120 receiving, 69 kick returns). Watson, who also earned 2016 All-Ivy League Second Team honors, concluded his career with 958 rushing yards on 217 carries (4.4 average) with 22 receptions for 143 yards and 1,837 career all-purpose yards. Watson is a sociology major.
Junior defensive lineman Lord Hyeamang was presented with the John J. Cirgiliano Ironman Award, given to the one player who overcomes adversity to become a strong contributor to the team on the field. A 2016 All-Ivy League Second Team pick, Hyeamang started all 10 games, finished with 38 total tackles (17 solo), seven tackles for loss for 22 yards, one sack, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.
Senior co-captain Scooter Hollis was named the Phil Fusco Award recipient, given to a player who exhibits overall leadership both on and off the field. Hollis finished the 2016 season with 36 receptions for 363 yards and a 10.1 yards per catch average. Over his four-plus year career, Hollis started 31 games, caught 111 passes for 1,222 yards and two touchdowns. Hollis is an architecture major.
The 22-member senior class includes: Justin Aimonetti (DL), Keith Brady (LB), William Carson (OL), Mark Cieslak (FB), Christian Conway (LB), Jackson Conway (FB), Toure Douglas (WR), Cameron Dunn (WR), Nathan Gibbs (OL), Scooter Hollis (WR), John Hunton (TE), Ben Kaplan (WR), Jared Katz (DB), Brock Kenyon (FS), Tyler Kwiatkowski (TE), Skyler Mornhinweg (QB), Cameron Nizialek (P), Kendall Pace (OL), Matthew Panton (P), Willie Peoples, Gianmarco Rea, Alan Watson.
Columbia finished its 2016 season with a 3-7 overall record and in a tie for sixth place in the Ivy League with a 2-5 record.
The Lions will be back in action when they begin spring football practice. Dates and times for the spring will be released at a later date.
2016 COLUMBIA FOOTBALL AWARD WINNERS
Sid Luckman Most Valuable Player Award: Gianmarco Rea (LB)
Most Valuable Defensive Player: Brock Kenyon (S)
Most Valuable Offensive Player: Anders Hill (QB)
David W. Smyth Memorial Cup: Christian Conway (LB)
Head Coach Career Achievement Award: Keith Brady (LB)
Special Teams Award: Oren Milstein (PK)
Ken Gerrmann Freshman of the Year Award: Josh Wainwright (WR)
Jack Armstrong Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award: Kendall Pace (OL)
Maniatty-Remmer Unsung Hero Award: Cameron Dunn (WR)
Lou Little Coaches Most Improved Award: Alan Watson (RB)
John J. Cirigliano Ironman Award: Lord Hyeamang (DL)
Phil Fusco Award: Scooter Hollis (WR)
Captain, Christian Conway the giving closing remarks.— Columbia Football (@ColumbiaLionsFB) February 4, 2017
BIG THANK YOU to all of the seniors for all you have done for this program! pic.twitter.com/L3BkYBOI4D
1st Team All-Ivy, league-leading tackler, a great leader on and off the field.— Columbia Football (@ColumbiaLionsFB) February 4, 2017
Your 2016 Sid Luckman Team MVP:
Senior LB Gianmarco Rea pic.twitter.com/raMCcD3fM5