On Saturday, Feb. 8, the Columbia football team honored its senior class and annual awards winners at the Columbia Football Awards Banquet.
The individual award winners were:
The Phil Fusco Award is given to a player who exhibits overall leadership. The player must have been an obvious leader on and off the field, both athletically and academically.
The 2013 Phil Fusco Award winner – Griffin Lowry
Coach Mangurian on Griffin Lowry:
“Griff is tough, smart and he loves football. He believes in making life better for the people around him. Griff led with his words and his actions, we will miss him.”
The John J. Cirigliano Ironman Award is given to a player who overcomes adversity to become a strong contributor to the team on the field.
The John J. Cirigliano Ironman Award winner - Nick Melka
Coach Mangurian on Nick Melka:
“The Iron Man Award is not just about overcoming adversity, or ability, but it is more about durability and dependability. Nick Melka was always there and always did what he was asked to do. Nick always gave his best effort. As a coaching staff, we trusted him and we will miss that motor.”
The Lou Little Coaches Most Improved Award is about progress. It is awarded to a player who, through extraordinary efforts, improved his play and maximized his production. This award should take into account ability wise: where the player started and where he finished the season.
The Lou Little Coaches Most Improved Award winner – Billy Lawrence
Coach Mangurian on Billy Lawrence:
“It has been fun and gratifying to watch Billy grow and develop. I know he is committed to continuing to work and improve. We have a lot of unfinished business as a team and we are depending on him to continue to not only get better, but to lead others.”
The Maniatty - Remmer Unsung Hero Award is given to a player whose role is not always obvious to the outside observer, but without his contributions, the team would not be as successful. He strives to be a leader and performs his assignments to the best of his ability while not expecting or requiring any public recognition.
The Maniatty - Remmer Unsung Hero Award winner –Niko Padilla
Coach Mangurian on Niko Padilla:
“We had a lot of candidates in this category. All of them were qualified and all of them are good players. We had a tough year with some injuries and every Sunday when I got the trainer’s report Niko was on it. I always believed he would play the next week and I think his teammates always knew he would be there.”
Jack Armstrong Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award is given to the team’s most outstanding offensive lineman.
The Jack Armstrong Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award winner – Jimmy Yukevich
Coach Mangurian on Jimmy Yukevich:
“We didn’t give this award last year, but I am convinced its going to the right guy this year. I had the privilege to be in the room and watch this group grow and mature. More importantly they came together and Jimmy was the ringleader. I wish we had more time with him.”
The Ken Germann Freshman Award is given to most accomplished and outstanding freshman football player.
The Ken Germann Freshman Award winner – Brock Kenyon
Coach Mangurian on Brock Kenyon:
“We had a lot of freshmen play significant time. None of them could have done it without the help of the older players at their positions. That being said, Brock came in, kept his head down and worked hard.”
The Special Teams Award is awarded to the player who excelled specifically on special teams. His high level effort and performance was constant and his leadership obvious and irreplaceable.
The Special Teams Award winner – Augie Braddock
Coach Mangurian on Augie Braddock:
“Ready-fire-aim. That’s Augie. This guy loves football. I hope he never loses that. It’s contagious. Every good team I’ve ever been a part of has an Augie Braddock. We have him one more year. Let’s make it count.”
The Offensive Player of the Year is awarded to the player whose high level effort and performance on offense was constant and his leadership obvious and irreplaceable. His contributions were the cornerstone of the offense's success.
The Offensive Player of the Year - Marcorus Garrett
Coach Mangurian on Marcorus Garrett:
“When I interviewed for this job, Marcorus was one of the players I met with. He said it wasn’t fun. He had injury problems, and durability was a question. It took some time. That first spring was rough, but he went home and came back a different guy. In 2012, he was a workhorse, rushed for the third highest total in Columbia history and played every snap - that doesn’t happen very often. He was our set-up man on offense, it all started with him. As a senior, he came out of the blocks fast, but unfortunately the odds caught up to us and got injured. He worked hard, he tried, and we missed him. Marcorus was the one guy we could not afford to lose. He was our leader. We will miss him.”
The Defensive Player of the Year is awarded to the player whose high level effort and performance on defense was constant and his leadership obvious and irreplaceable. His contributions were the cornerstone of the defense's success.
The Defensive Player of the Year - Zach Olinger
Coach Magurian on Zach Olinger:
“Zach was the unquestioned leader of our defense and our captain. He was always focused on winning and he was unselfish as a leader. He played hurt and never surrendered. He played maximum contact - full tilt, full time. You can’t help but respect this guy as a person, a player and a gentleman. The space he leaves will be one of the biggest challenges next year’s team will have to face, but boy we had a great example for the last two years.”
The Sid Luckman Most Valuable Player Award is awarded to the player whose contributions were the cornerstone of the TEAM's success.
The Sid Luckman Most Valuable Player Award – Paul Delaney
Coach Mangurian on Paul Delaney:
“Paul Delaney was a weapon. As a coach I trusted him to make the play, just like an offensive play or a defensive call. This year, Ray Guy was the first punter to be chosen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I read a quote by Willie Brown also a Hall of Fame defensive back for those great Raider teams: who does this sound like?”
“When we needed a long punt, he did it; when we needed a short punt, he did all that. He kept opposing offensive teams back in the hole a majority of the time. We didn’t worry about whether they were going to get the ball because no matter where we were on the field, a majority of the [other team’s] offense usually started on the other 20 or beyond that sometimes. We knew that no matter what happened, Ray would get the ball out and punt it way down field. His hang time, his distance, was unbelievable. He was loved by all his teammates. He had one job to do and that one job was to punt the ball and we believed in him.” --Willie Brown
“I couldn’t have said it any better.”
Coach Mangurian on Brian East:
“Brian East is an example of a guy who works hard, puts the team first and never gives up. He came from a team in high school that won a state championship and was runner up three times. He knew how to succeed. He played in the JV games as a freshman. He saw limited playing time as a sophomore, but kept working hard. His junior year he played substantial minutes. As a senior he started at outside linebacker and had his best season. Trusted, solid, unselfish and dependable. We will miss his leadership by example.”
Coach Mangurian on Luke Eddy:
Luke Eddy had a record-breaking career. Luke set the record for consecutive PATs, holds the record for FG attempted, holds the single-season record for FGs made and holds the career record for PATs. Luke has been a consistent, dependable part of our team and we are going to miss him. He left some big shoes to fill.”