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Rob Potter | Democrat

The seniors on this fall’s Sullivan West football team were honored during Sunday night’s Gridiron Club Dinner in Jeffersonville. Standing from left to right are Mason Berrian, Jimmy O’Connor, Anthony Nicoletti, Alex Manzi, Brandon Wagner, Eric Leewe, Jeremy DeGori and Ryan Alsdorf. Missing from photo are Angelo Bibbo and Cruz Burgos.

Gridiron Club Dinner celebrates SW football season

By Rob Potter
JEFFERSONVILLE — December 14, 2010 — The members of the 2010 Sullivan West football team joined their coaches, family members and friends to celebrate the recently completed season at the annual Gridiron Club Dinner on Sunday evening at the St. George Pope John Paul Hall in Jeffersonville.
They all enjoyed a family-style dinner of delicious homemade dishes and desserts provided by several families.
Michelle Mootz, who serves as Co-Chair of the Gridiron Club along with Annmarie O’Connor, welcomed everyone to the dinner. She praised the players and coaches for their work this season and thanked the Gridiron Club members, families and friends for supporting the team.
“Football is an individual commitment to a group effort,” Mootz said. “It’s a sport where players have two practices a day in the preseason. Football is a game of heart and determination. It is about soul and spirit.”
She reminded the players that they will remember their games for the rest of their lives.
Ryan Alsdorf spoke on behalf of his fellow seniors – Mason Berrian, Angelo Bibbo, Cruz Burgos, Jeremy DeGori, Eric Leewe, Alex Manzi, Anthony Nicoletti, Jimmy O’Connor and Brandon Wagner.
“There were ups and downs this season, but we always got back up and worked hard for the week ahead,” Alsdorf said. “Everybody on the team put everything they had into it. As Coach [Ron] Bauer likes to say, we went out to do our job.
“From Red Dogs football to varsity football, it’s been a great experience,” Alsdorf added. “Our days as Bulldog football players will be something we remember for a long time.”
Bauer then thanked the players for their hard work and dedication this autumn. He reminded them to appreciate everything the Gridiron Club does to support the SW football program and that not all high school football teams have such an active booster club.
“These guys worked hard this season, they gave all they had on the field,” Bauer said.
The veteran coach noted that injuries to some players and mistakes like dropped passes hurt the Bulldogs’ chances to qualify for the playoffs. He reminded them about the importance of lifting weights year-round and maintaining a positive attitude.
“When something bad happens on a play, forget about it,” Bauer said. “It’s history. Go on to the next play.”
Bauer noted that the SW team had 1,225 yards rushing and 13 rushing touchdowns this season. The Bulldogs also had 962 yards passing and 12 passing TDs.
He then listed the players’ individual statistics. Alsdorf was the team’s leading passer as he completed 47 of 101 passes for 787 yards and nine touchdowns. He also carried the ball 55 times for 279 yards and three TDs. Tom Mootz was the team’s leading rusher with 363 yards and three TDs.
The team’s defensive leaders were Wagner, who had 136 tackles and 2.5 quarterback sacks, and DeGori, who made 107 tackles.
Bauer gave each player a card and presented the seniors with mini SW Bulldog helmets. He also gave poinsettias to Michelle Mootz, Annmarie O’Connor and Nina Verderber, a secretary in the Guidance Department at SW High School who was a volunteer for the team this season.
Bauer also presented some special awards to a few players. Alsdorf and E.J. Franskevicz received Coaches Awards for Dedication and Commitment to the Team. Tom Mootz earned the Hardest Hits of the Season Award and Jared Meola received the Best Young Player Award.
Ron Bauer also thanked the local media members who covered the Bulldogs this autumn and praised Assistant Coaches Norm Bauer, Kurt Buddenhagen David Franskevicz and J.P. Lang for all of their hard work.
Michelle Mootz and Annmarie O’Connor presented each of the seniors with a framed collection of action photos, a gift bag and a Bulldogs football shirt. They also gave each player a DVD featuring highlights of the Bulldogs’ season.
The members of this fall’s Bulldogs team were: Ryan Alsdorf, Mason Berrian, Tyler Bernitt, Angelo Bibbo, Chance Bibbo, Kitt Borowski, Travis Brockner, Cody Buchanon, Allen Conkling, Jeremy DeGori, Scott Erdman, Sawyer Erlwein, Cody Franskevicz, E.J. Franskevicz, Brad Hemmer, Scott Herbert, Ben Kline, Mike LaGrutta, Chris Lang, Eric Leewe, Alex Manzi, Cody McGroder, Jared Meola, Devin Mirch, Tom Mootz, Thomas Muller, Jacob Murphy, Anthony Nicoletti, Jimmy O’Connor, Zack O’Connor, Andrew Parsons, Eli Peters, Blain Reddish, Todd Roeder, Travis Roeder, Joe Schroeder, Donald Stout, Brandon Wagner, Francis Wyss and John Yewchuk.

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