Alfred University football presents 2012 season team awards
ALFRED, NY — The Alfred University football team announces its 2012 awards, handed out at the team banquet Saturday, Jan. 26.
Senior nose guard Mike Raplee (Dundee, NY/Dundee) was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. The 2012 Empire 8 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team Empire 8 all-star, Raplee earned First Team All-American honors from D3football.com. A three-time D3football.com All-American – he earned honorable mention in 2010 and 2011 – Raplee is the first Saxon player ever to earn First Team honors from the website. He was also named a D3football.com First Team All-North selection.
Raplee had a team-leading 72 tackles (20 ½ for loss) with 11 ½ sacks and two forced fumbles. In an Oct. 6 Homecoming win over Ithaca he tallied eight tackles, including 4 ½ sacks. Raplee completed his AU career as a four-time Empire 8 all-star: he was an honorable mention selection as a freshman and was named to the First Team each of the last three years.
Junior tailback Chuck Beckwith (Victor, NY/Victor) was named recipient of the Hal Brown Award as Offensive MVP. Beckwith was one of the top runners in the Empire 8 before suffering a season-ending injury in a Week 7 contest at Utica. After becoming the Saxons’ starting tailback following early-season injuries to tailbacks Tyler DeRosa and Austin Dwyer, Beckwith ran for 554 yards and 10 TDs. He ran for 177 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries in a Week 3 win at Buff State and ran for 131 (two TDs) and 148 yards (two TDs) in consecutive wins over Ithaca and St. John Fisher.
Senior free safety Jon Jackson (East Amherst, NY/Bishop Timon) and senior defensive end Chris Steeves (Rochester, NY/Gates-Chili) shared the Alex Yunevich Award as Defensive MVP.
Jackson was a First Team Empire 8 all-star (he was a Second Team pick in 2011) who had 57 tackles (three for loss) to go with a team-leading six interceptions. He also rushed 14 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He was a Second Team D3football.com North Region all-star as well. Steeves, a First Team All-Empire 8 pick, finished the year with 58 tackles (10 ½ for loss) to go with 8 ½ sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
Other team awards presented include:
Special Teams MVP — Senior punter Matt Girolmo (Livonia, NY/Livonia). Girolmo averaged 34.2 yards on 55 punts. He landed 11 kicks inside the opponents’ 20-yard line with 15 fair catches and had a long punt of 55 yards. A three-year starting punter, he earned honorable mention from the Empire 8 as a sophomore in 2010.
Bob Carley Memorial Award — Senior right tackle Harold Spetla (Tupper Lake, NY/Tupper Lake). The Carley Award is given to a player who displays a positive attitude and exceptional work ethic. Spetla was named an honorable mention Empire 8 all-star in 2012.
Pete DeRose Memorial Award — Senior strong safety Reggie Pressley (Rochester, NY/Gates-Chili). The award recognizes character, heads-up play and scrappiness. Pressley is a two-time Empire 8 all-star (First Team 2012; honorable mention in 2011) who finished second on the team in tackles with 71 (three for loss, one sack). He had an interception, six pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
Fred Yanni Award — Freshman wide receiver Maleke Fuentes (Olean, NY/Olean). The award is given to a freshman who shows great enthusiasm and love for the game and is a team player. Fuentes averaged 116 all-purpose yards per game as a receiver, kick return man and as a runner in the Saxons’ Wildcat offensive set. He finished the season with 35 catches for a team-leading 427 yards with two receiving TDs. After the Saxons’ lost their top three tailbacks to season-ending injuries, he became the team’s most productive runner late in the year, running for 252 yards and five TDs in the team’s final two regular-season games. He also averaged 23.3 yards on 14 kickoff returns. Fuentes was the Empire 8 Rookie of the Year and a First Team conference all-star (all-purpose runner).
Gene Castrovillo Award — Junior offensive lineman Patrick Teta (Avon, NY/Avon). The award is given to a player who exhibits perseverance, hard work and dedication.
Saxon Club Award — The award is given to players who have at least seven outstanding games throughout the course of the season. Steeves is the lone award-winner from the 2012 team.
Purple and Gold Awards — The awards are given to top players on the scout teams. Junior quarterback Michael Chuchla (Hamburg, NY/St. Francis) won the award for offense and freshman linebacker Holden Whitehead (Mill Hale, PA/Central Mountain) won for defense.
The Saxons finished the 2012 season with a 6-4 record, placing second in the Empire 8 standings with a 5-2 conference mark.
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