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BSU Announces Season Awards

MVP Drew Duffin and Stan Parrish at the Football Banquet

It’s that time of the year when programs who aren’t going Bowling are celebrating each other, the seniors, and the scout team rather than making travel plans or pregaming for a Bowl opponent. Following suit, Ball State did just that on Sunday evening, recognizing those that were deserving of it through the season-o-doom. From the BSU release (emphasis added by us):

MUNCIE, Ind. — Drew Duffin (Avon, Ind./Avon H.S.), a fifth-year defensive tackle for the Ball State University football team, was selected by his teammates to receive Ball State’s John Magnabosco Award as the team’s Most Valuable Player.

The Magnabosco Award is named in honor of Ball State’s head football coach from 1935-52, and was presented at the team’s annual Honors Banquet Sunday at Ball State’s Worthen Arena. Magnabosco is the winningest football coach in Ball State history with 68 victories.

Duffin, who played in 48 games in his four seasons and started 22 outings for the Cardinals, registered 129 total tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss in 2009. He also tallied one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery as a senior.

Duffin and Alex Knipp (Amherst, Ohio/Steele H.S.) were co-recipients of the team’s Ray Louthen Award, which is given in honor of Ball State’s former football coach and athletics director for outstanding contributions to the team on and off the field.

Knipp, a senior free safety, played in all 52 games in his four-year career and started the final 22 contests. He managed nine career interceptions, and ranked third on the team in 2009 with 82 total tackles.

Travis Freeman (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville H.S.) and Eric Williams (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central H.S.) were selected as co-recipients of the John Hodge Award as Ball State’s Most Valuable Freshmen.

The Hodge Award is given in memory of the 1974 Cardinal Varsity Club Chairman who died in 1977. The CVC is an organization of benefactors to Ball State’s intercollegiate athletics program.

Freeman started the final 11 games of the season as a true freshman linebacker. He ranked second on the team and is 15th in the Mid-American Conference in tackles with 93. Freeman led the Cardinals with 10 tackles at Temple and with seven at Eastern Michigan plus tied for team-high honors with nine tackles vs. Ohio. He managed a career high 11 tackles at Army and at Auburn.

Williams, a true freshman H-Back for the Cardinals, rushed for a career high 88 yards vs. Bowling Green and rushed a career high 12 times at Northern Illinois. He rushed for 362 yards and four touchdowns on 64 carries in 2009. Williams recorded the first rushing touchdown of his career on a 30-yard run with 12:16 remaining in the third quarter vs. Bowling Green. He was also Ball State’s top kick returner with 34 for 812 yards and a 23.9 average.

Kyle Kuntz (Vandalia, Ohio/Butler H.S.), a fifth-year free safety, and Ian McGarvey (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.), a junior placekicker, were named co-recipients of the Bill Reynolds Special Teams Award.

The Bill Reynolds Special Teams Award is named in memory of Reynolds, who spent 31 years as a volunteer in the Ball State athletics department with an emphasis on the football program prior to his death in the summer of 2000.

Kuntz played in all 12 games as a senior and in 46 games in his career. He tallied the first fumble recovery of his career as a part of Ball State’s special teams vs. Toledo. Kuntz blocked the first punt of his career vs. New Hampshire, and tallied a career high four tackles vs. Central Michigan.

McGarvey connected on 18-of-21 field goals and 14 extra points to lead the Cardinals in scoring with 68 total points. Against Toledo, he connected on his 81st consecutive extra point dating back to Nov. 13, 2007, shattering the previous Ball State record of 40 by Brian Jackson in 2003-04, before missing on his next attempt. McGarvey made a career long 48-yard field goal vs. New Hampshire plus made a 47-yard attempt against the Wildcats and vs. Toledo. He tied his career high with three field goals made in a game vs. New Hampshire, at Auburn, vs. Toledo and at Western Michigan.

Brandon Crawford (Fort Wayne, Ind./South H.S.), a 33-year-old senior defensive end, received the Mark Hays Inspiration Award, which is given to the person who demonstrates the greatest ability to motivate and inspire his teammates. The award is given in the memory of the late son of Kermit and Mary Ellen Hays, who are longtime fans and supporters of the Ball State athletics program.

Crawford, who along with teammate Madaris Grant (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Healthy H.S.), was also honored for serving as a team captain for the Cardinals in 2009, started his final 39 games at Ball State after completing a career in the Marines. He was second on the team with 11.5 tackles for loss and three sacks on the season. Crawford ranks eighth in the MAC in tackles for loss.

Ball State’s football team presented three players with the Bill Meitzler Scout Team Player of the Year Award, which is given in honor of the former Cardinal Varsity Club Board member and longtime fan and supporter of Ball State football.

Otis Brown (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville H.S.), a true freshman wide receiver who redshirted for the Cardinals this season, received the Meitzler Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year award. On defense the award was given to co-recipients Harold Hogue (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral H.S.), a true freshman defensive lineman, and Zac Jordan (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder H.S.), a sophomore free safety.

Tanner Justice (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral H.S.), a fifth-year senior quarterback who started the final five games of the season, received the Ball State Football Academic Award. He graduated from Ball State last May with a degree in business and a 3.54 grade-point average on the school’s 4.0 scale. Justice spent his final season working on his MBA at Ball State. He completed 51-of-105 passes for 594 yards with two touchdowns on the season.

Big congratulations are in order for the award recipients. While it’s sad to see guys like Drew Duffin, Brandon Crawford, and Alex Knipp leave the program after 4 good years, it’s some level of comfort that extremely young players were recognized as well. Players like Williams, Freeman, and Brown will be the future of this program, and it’s good to see them get the recognition sometimes needed to keep a young player inspired and hungry.

We’ll have a bit more on the 09 campaign through this week, but this season is officially in the books and over. Thank God.

MAC Awards Announced

Straight from the MAC…

Cleveland, Ohio – A total of 26 repeat selections from last year’s All-MAC team highlights this year’s postseason football awards in the Mid-American Conference.

Central Michigan senior quarterback Dan LeFevour (Downers Grove, Ill.) was tabbed as the winner of the 28th Vern Smith Leadership Award, as voted on by the conference head coaches. The award is presented annually to the conference’s top football player in honor of Vern Smith, the former University of Toledo Athletic Director.

LeFevour led the Chippewas to an 8-0 conference record, 10-2 overall, and is tied with Graham Harrell (Texas Tech) and Colt Brennan (Hawaii) for the most total touchdowns of any player in Football Bowl Subdivision history with 146 touchdowns (99 passing, 46 rushing, 1 receiving). LeFevour is the conference career leader in total offensive yards (15,140), attempts (1,669), completions (1,110), passing yards (12,255) and is tied for second in touchdown passes (99).

In other awards voted by the MAC News Media Association, Temple was recognized with three awards including Coach of the Year, Al Golden, Freshman of the Year with running back Bernard Pierce and Defensive Player of the Year with defensive end Adrian Robinson. Central Michigan also was recognized with two honors as Offensive Player of the Year went to Dan LeFevour and Special Teams Player of the Year went to kick returner Antonio Brown.

Pierce, a freshman running back from Ardmore, Pa., helped ignite the Temple offense this season as the Owls ranked 21st in the country in rushing with an average of 192.3 yards per game. Pierce led the MAC and ranked 13th in the nation in rushing with 1,308 yards on 224 carries and 15 rushing touchdowns.

LeFevour, a senior quarterback, led the Chippewas’ in rushing with 157 carries for 650 yards (4.1 avg.) and 14 rushing touchdowns and was 257-of-362 passing for 2,788 yards and 25 touchdowns. LeFevour ranked ninth in the nation in passing efficiency (155.72 rating) and ranked 25th in the country with 2,788 passing yards.

Robinson, a sophomore defensive end from Harrisburg, Pa., was part of a Temple defense that ranked 20th in the nation in run defense and allowed only 108.3 yards per game. Robinson led the MAC and tied for tenth in the country with 12 sacks on the year. In addition, Robinson totaled 42 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and one interception.

Brown, a junior kick returner from Miami, Fla., had 20 punt returns for 270 yards (13.5 avg.) and two touchdowns and also added 27 kickoff returns for 550 yards (20.4 avg.). Brown ranked eighth in the country in all-purpose yards with 2,093 yards (174.4 ypg).

Golden, in his fourth season as head coach at Temple, guided the Owls to a 9-3 overall record, 7-1 in the MAC. Golden led the program to nine consecutive wins during the season and has revamped the football program during his four seasons in Philadelphia. Since arriving at Temple, the Owls have improved in wins each consecutive season under Golden, with one win in 2006, four wins in 2007, five wins in 2008 to nine wins in 2009.

Temple led the way with eight first team selections, followed by Central Michigan with six first team selections. Overall, Temple set the pace with 15 honorees, followed by Ohio with 12 and Central Michigan with 11.

Defensive Back Barry Church (Toledo) becomes one of only three players in MAC history to be named a four-time All-MAC first team selection. Church joins P Dave Zastudil, Ohio University (1998-2001) and QB Brian McClure, Bowling Green (1982-85) on this list.

Those who made their third consecutive first team selections were DB Davonte Shannon (Buffalo) and PR Antonio Brown (Central Michigan). Players who made their second consecutive first team selections included WR Naaman Roosevelt (Buffalo), DL Frank Zombo (Central Michigan) and LB Nick Bellore (Central Michigan).

2009 MAC Specialty Award Winners
Vern Smith Leadership Award Winner: Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan
Coach of the Year: Al Golden, Temple
Offensive Player of the Year: Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan
Defensive Player of the Year: Adrian Robinson, Temple
Special Teams Player of the Year: Antonio Brown, Central Michigan
Freshman of the Year: Bernard Pierce, Temple

All-MAC First Team Offense
Position – Name – School
Quarterback – Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan #^~
Center – Eddie Adamski, Northern Illinois %
Offensive Lineman – Allen Ollenburger, Central Michigan
Offensive Lineman – Jason Onyebuagu, Northern Illinois %
Offensive Lineman – Darius Morris, Temple
Offensive Lineman – Colin Madison, Temple
Tight End – Jesse Rack, Buffalo
Wide Receiver – Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green
Wide Receiver – Antonio Brown, Central Michigan @
Wide Receiver – Naaman Roosevelt, Buffalo @&
Wide Receiver – Stephen Williams, Toledo #!
Running Back – Bernard Pierce, Temple
Running Back – Chad Spann, Northern Illinois
Placekicker – Matt Weller, Ohio

All-MAC First Team Defense
Position – Name – School
Outside Linebacker – Lee Renfro, Ohio
Outside Linebacker – Elijah Joseph, Temple
Inside Linebacker – Nick Bellore, Central Michigan @
Inside Linebacker – Cobrani Mixon, Kent State
Down Lineman – Andre Neblett, Temple #!
Down Lineman – Adrian Robinson, Temple
Down Lineman – Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple
Down Lineman – Frank Zombo, Central Michigan @
Defensive Back – Barry Church, Toledo @^~
Defensive Back – Davonte Shannon, Buffalo @^
Defensive Back – Jaiquawn Jarrett, Temple
Defensive Back – Brian Lainhart, Kent State #
Punter – Matt Rinehart, Kent State

All-MAC First Team Specialists
Position – Name – School
Kickoff Return Specialist – Chris Garrett, Ohio
Punt Return Specialist – Antonio Brown, Central Michigan @^

All-MAC Second Team Offense
Position – Name – School
Quarterback – Tim Hiller, Western Michigan %
Center – Colin Miller, Central Michigan
Offensive Lineman – Peter Bittner, Buffalo
Offensive Lineman – Brandon Brooks, Miami
Offensive Lineman – Anthony Parker, Western Michigan
Offensive Lineman – Devin Tyler, Temple
Tight End – Jimmy Scheidler, Bowling Green
Wide Receiver – Eric Page, Toledo
Wide Receiver – Bryan Anderson, Central Michigan @!~
Wide Receiver – Taylor Price, Ohio
Wide Receiver – LaVon Brazill, Ohio
Running Back – Brandon West, Western Michigan %!
Running Back – MiQuale Lewis, Ball State @
Placekicker – Mike Salerno, Northern Illinois #

All-MAC Second Team Defense
Position – Name – School
Outside Linebacker – Austin Pritchard, Western Michigan @
Outside Linebacker – Robert Eddins, Ball State
Inside Linebacker – Brian Wagner, Akron
Inside Linebacker – Noah Keller, Ohio #
Down Lineman – Brandon Crawford, Ball State #&
Down Lineman – Jake Coffman, Northern Illinois
Down Lineman – Monte Simmons, Kent State
Down Lineman – Brandon Bice, Northern Illinois
Defensive Back – Mike Newton, Buffalo #
Defensive Back – Thad Turner, Ohio
Defensive Back – Josh Gordy, Central Michigan
Defensive Back – Miguel Graham, Akron
Punter – Zach Johnson, Eastern Michigan

All-MAC Second Team Specialists
Position – Name – School
Kickoff Return Specialist – James Nixon, Temple
Punt Return Specialist – LaVon Brazill, Ohio

All-MAC Third Team Offense
Position – Name – School
Quarterback – Tyler Sheehan, Bowling Green
Center – John Palumbo, Temple
Offensive Lineman – Joe Flading, Ohio
Offensive Lineman – Shane Steffy, Bowling Green
Offensive Lineman – Chris Rodgers, Ohio
Offensive Lineman – Corey Woods, Akron
Tight End – Steve Maneri, Temple
Wide Receiver – Robert Arnheim, Western Michigan
Wide Receiver – Juan Nunez, Western Michigan %
Wide Receiver – Armand Robinson, Miami
Wide Receiver – Brett Hamlin, Buffalo
Running Back – DaJuane Collins, Toledo %
Running Back – Me’co Brown, Northern Illinois
Placekicker – Alex Steigerwald, Toledo

All-MAC Third Team Defense
Position – Name – School
Outside Linebacker – Andre Hatchett, Eastern Michigan
Outside Linebacker – Amara Kamara, Temple
Inside Linebacker – Alex Joseph, Temple
Inside Linebacker – Archie Donald, Toledo
Down Lineman – Almondo Sewell, Akron %!
Down Lineman – Ernie Hodge, Ohio
Down Lineman – Larry Knight, Central Michigan
Down Lineman – Sean Murnane, Central Michigan %
Defensive Back – Gerald Moore, Ohio
Defensive Back – Dominique Harris, Temple
Defensive Back – Anthony Kokal, Miami
Defensive Back – Jalil Carter, Akron
Punter – Ben Armer, Western Michigan

All-MAC Third Team Specialists
Position – Name – School
Kickoff Return Specialist – Dashan Miller, Akron
Punt Return Specialist – Tommy Davis, Northern Illinois

@ 2008 First team All-MAC
# 2008 Second team All-MAC
% 2008 Third team All-MAC

^ 2007 First team All-MAC
! 2007 Second team All-MAC
& 2007 Third team All-MAC

~ 2006 First team All-MAC

This version sure is a lot different than last year, when the All-MAC teams were dominated by Ball Staters. Little surprised EW didn’t get a little love for his specialty role as a punt returner, but I can’t say the rest of the MAC even noticed. They are obviously too busy fawning over CMU and Temple. Congrats to Quale, Crawdaddy, and Eddins… well deserved recognition for sure.

Quale Named Player of the Week


This is what a player of the week looks like

More congrats and celebration for Quale and the gigantic day he had on the ground this past Saturday at EMU. From the BSU release:

MUNCIE, Ind. – Senior H-Back MiQuale Lewis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Snider) was named Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance at Eastern Michigan Saturday.

Lewis rushed for a career high 301 yards in Ball State’s 29-27 win at Eastern Michigan Saturday. Lewis’ 301 yards broke the previous school record of 260 by Earl Taylor vs. Eastern Michigan in 1976. He also tallied a career long 66-yard run at EMU while scoring his fourth rushing touchdown of the season.

Lewis along with teammate Cory Sykes (203 rushing yards) became the first duo in NCAA Football history to have one player rush for 300 yards in a game and a teammate rush for 200 yards in the same game. The duo gained an NCAA record 504 yards and became only the fourth tandem in NCAA history to gain at least 200 yards apiece in the same game.

This marks the second time in his career Lewis has received the weekly award from the MAC.

The Ball State football team returns home Saturday for Youth Day as they take on the Ohio Bobcats at Noon at Scheumann Stadium.

Kudos to Quale and kudos to the MAC for honoring him!

New Hampshire LOLs

New_HampshireFrankly, there isn’t much to laugh about when your team takes it in the Shorts to an FCS team. A good FCS team to be sure, but an FCS team all the same. I mean, if Louisville lost to Trinity High School, they still lost to a high school team. Wait a second… that’s a bad example. I should probably pick a school that Louisville may actually win against. Hazrd High School perhaps?

Regardless of how bad the game was, and how sucktastic an 0-2 start is, there’s always reason to chuckle, most notably for these pics dying to be captioned after the jump. (Photo hat tip to The Star Press)
Continue reading

Masthay Picks Up VanMeter Award

From the release…

Former Kentucky football player Tim Masthay has received the 2008-09 Darrell A. VanMeter Service Award from the university for his remarkable commitment to community service.

The award, which is in its 18th year at the University of Kentucky, honors the outstanding volunteer service achievements of Darrell A. VanMeter. The award was named in his honor to recognize the far-reaching and lasting impact of his “Good Samaritan” approach to life.

From the moment Masthay set foot on UK’s campus, he has epitomized what it means to be a Good Samaritan. Despite the strenuous and often long hours of fulfilling his role as a student-athlete, Masthay, a former punter and kicker on the UK football team, has found time to give back countless hours to the community.

For the past two summers, Masthay has provided transportation for the American Cancer of Society Hope Lodge residents to the hospital for treatments. He has volunteered hundreds of hours for various activities at the Hope Lodge, including bingo night, cookouts and participating in a night out at a Lexington Legends baseball game.

“Tim is always willing to help in any event or activity we coordinate,” said Sheldon Kozee, director of the Hope Lodge. “I admire him so much for being so giving of his time to help others. It is not often you find such an outstanding young individual who is aware of the importance of helping others in their time of need. He has been a blessing to not only us, but to dozens of cancer patients who are fighting the hardest battle of their lives. It is because of people like Tim that so many patients continue to fight and are among the millions of cancer survivors today.”

Masthay’s dedication at the Hope Lodge is just one example of his outstanding community service. Among his many other contributions, Masthay has participated in Habitat for Humanity, worked with the football team’s outreach projects that include speaking engagements at locals schools and churches, and he’s served abroad by participating in a service project at a school and orphanage in Ghana.

In addition to those countless hours of generosity, he has participated in numerous food drives, served with the Salvation Army and put in several service visits at local hospitals. For his dedication to service and leadership in the community, Masthay was named to the Frank Ham Society of Character by UK Athletics and the was one of just 11 football players in the nation to be chosen to the 2008 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.

Masthay has achieved all that while excelling on the football field and in the classroom. While leading the Wildcats a third straight bowl victory for the first time in school history, the Murray, Ky., native was awarded All-America honorable mention honors by CollegeFootballNews.com. He led the Southeastern Conference in punting and was named All-SEC by multiple selectors. He was also tabbed a first-team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors Association and ESPN The Magazine.

So how does one find time to excel in the classroom, on the field and in the community?

“For me it all came down to having a great support staff around me,” Masthay said. “My teammates are great, the administration is great, the coaches are great, and then on an individual level it just came down to prioritizing.”

And nobody’s priorities are more in place in Masthay. He recently signed a free-agent contract with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, but that won’t stop him from his ultimate goal of joining the Peace Corps in Africa in the next five years.

“I know it sounds cheesy, but I want to serve my country and make a difference in the world,” he said.

Masthay graduated this past weekend with a degree in economics. He is the son of Mark and Jean Masthay, who now live in Lebanon, Ohio.

Kudos and congrats to a great athlete and greater human being.

OTP’s Heisman Ballot

We were asked today to compile our Heisman Ballot for the SportsBlog Hesiman Trophy, hosted over at BlueWorkhorse. I asked for Edge and RV to chime in, and they did, and I promptly ignored their advice. They can make their case in the comments, as can you. But my mind is made up.

For me, the Heisman comes down to a simple equation. Value to the team plus winning on the field plus competition. With that formula, you can knock out the one-trick ponies who play on losing teams and compile mad statistics. It knocks out players on teams that play a weak schedule and boost stats and scores. It is a total award. An award that means you are not only the best player in all of college football, you are also the most valuable to your team, and have put them in positions to win ballgames… the ultimate goal of any competitive athlete.

When you look at the award as I do, the choice for the Heisman becomes extremely clear.

My ballot:
#1: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida: Statistics aside, and his are silly good, Tebow is easily the most valuable player to his team. He changes defensive strategies, rallies his team emotionally, and lest we forget, promised no more losses after the Ole Miss game, which he delivered on. Like him or hate him, Tebow plays in the meat grinder of SEC defenses week in and week out, and he’s a consistent winner, leader, and most importantly, the most valuable player on the field at any given time.

The knock on Tebow is that ESPN loves him. I admit, it does grow a little bit tiresome to listen to the weekly ballwashing they lay on him, but I for one find it a bit refreshing to have someone in the national forefront that is responsible and mature enough to be there. Tebow is well-spoken, never in trouble, does all the right things, says all the right things, and just works his ass off. That’s award worthy if anything ever was.

#2: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma: Bradford puts up unbelievable stats, but I’m of the opinion that those are a bit skewed because this new fangled “defense” that teams in the SEC speak of hasn’t really made its way to the Big 12. The only decent defense in the Big 12 (Texas) beat Oklahoma. Sorry, Sam, competition matters. I’ll be honest, it was nearly a dead hear between Bradford and Tebow. The difference, in my eyes, was the quality of defense they each played against. Knock out Texas and Oklahoma and the best-ranked defense in the Big 12 is #66 in the country. The entire SEC ranks above #73, with 4 in the top 11 and 10 in the top 37. That’s defensive football, and Tebow navigated it well.

Is Bradford an amazing college qb? Of course. But the fact remains that the statistics cannot be used in a vacuum to measure prowess. The teams Oklahoma and Florida played were not equal. They each have a loss, they each are playing in a national championship game. The difference, quite simply, comes down to who each player played through the year, and Tebow has a clear cut advantage.

#3: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas: McCoy exemplifies the V in MVP. He is as valuable to Texas as Tebow is to Florida. Unfortunately, however unjust it seems, leading your team to a national title game breaks the McCoy/Bradford tie. Had McCoy made it to the title game, he would be flipped with Bradford. McCoy is a fantastic player, and the frontrunner for next year’s Heisman should Bradford and Tebow not stick around.

Honorable Mention: MiQuale Lewis, RB, Ball State: In the year of the QB, and overshadowed by his own team’s pass happy approach, Lewis was the straw that stirred the undefeated drink for the Cardinals. A small, but tough back (think Noel Devine and Jerome Bettis’ offspring) Lewis got most of his yards between the tackles. He leads the NCAA in rushing TDs with 22, and coupled with 1701 yards, he’s a special player. And only a junior.