Football players honored at banquet

Football banquet

Junior defensive back Micah Eugene recieves an award for his All-Southland Conference honorable mention. Athletes from the team who received all-conference selections were honored at the banquet last weekend. Other awards such as Offensive Player of the Year and the Big Hit award were handed out. The Lion’s Roar / Megan Ferrando

Exemplary players of Lions football were recognized for their 2014 season after winning the Southland Conference Championship for the second consecutive year. The Southeastern Football Award Banquet was held Jan. 24 at the Columbia Theatre.

The banquet allowed the 2014 team to come together again after their final game in November of last year. 

“It’s just great to get them all in the same room again,” said head coach Ron Roberts. “When they finish that last game you worry about ever getting that ’14 team back in the same room together, so it’s nice getting them in that same room, to be able to talk and reminisce. This is the first chance we’ve really had to get together, talk, have a good time and celebrate the success they’ve had.”

The team recognized their success from 2014 over the ceremony as they heard each name called. Roberts announced awards acknowledging the team’s accomplishments in skill and character.

“It’s very difficult to win a championship; it’s harder to repeat,” said Roberts. “Our guys did a great job of handling that this year, getting a second one and setting an example of what we want here at Southeastern. These guys exemplify everything we’re looking for in student-athletes.”

Individuals were recognized for their seasonal successes. The recognized seniors received a special jersey, blanket and medallion. 

Former quarterback Bryan Bennett received Offensive Player of the Year for the second time. Bennett was unable to be at the ceremony, however, due to taking part in the Reese’s Senior Bowl after being added to the Senior Bowl roster.

Bennett helped lead the Lions to two Southland Conference Championships. Bennett was named Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year last season after rushing 1,046 yards. He finished last season with 70 touchdowns and 31 rushing touchdowns, becoming the school’s career leader. 

Further awards went out to linebacker Isiah Corbett with Defensive Player of the Year, kicker Ryan Adams with Specialist Player of the Year, defensive back Harlan Miller with Defensive Skill Player of the Year, wide receiver Devante Scott with Offensive Skill Player of the Year, defensive back Josh Dakin with Special Teams Player of the Year, linebacker Herbert Harris with Newcomer of the Year and defensive back Ryan Sigers with Freshman Player of the Year.

Former Lions attended the event to present awards to current Lion athletes. Receivers of these awards includes Jonathan Braddock, Jacob Newman, Drew Misita and Tyler Stoddard.

Wide receiver Byron Johnson received the Strength and Conditioning Award, which was presented to him by Brandon Howard, director of sports performance.

“He exemplifies everything that we strive to do, not only as people but as football players,” said Howard. “This young man comes in every day on time and works with a passion we look for in all our players.”

Further awards went to offensive lineman Brent Wagner with the Academic Award, offensive lineman Conner Gerage with Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year, linebacker Sean Clavelle with the Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year, defensive back Josh Dakin with the Big Hit Award and fullback Juwaan Rogers with the Pancake Award.

Captain Award went to Bennett, Scott, Braddock, Stoddard, Misita and Newman. Wayne Vicknair received the Lion for Life Award.

Future Lions will join the team with the Signing Day bash Feb. 4 at the Mezzanine in downtown Hammond. Spring practice will open Feb. 24, and the spring game will take place March 28.

Football Banquet

Head coach Ron Roberts shakes hands with one of his 2014 football student-athletes at the first Southeastern Football Award Banquet, held at the Columbia Theatre on Jan. 24. 
The Lion’s Roar / Megan Ferrando