By Rob Potter
ROSCOE The Sullivan West Gridiron Club looked back at the recently completed 2009 football season with an awards banquet on Sunday night at the Rockland House.
Players, coaches, family members and friends gathered to reflect on the season’s wins and losses and lessons learned through practices and games.
Continuing a tradition started a few seasons ago by Nick Mootz, Mike Schmidt spoke on behalf of his fellow seniors.
“It’s about the love of the game,” Schmidt, an offensive tackle and defensive lineman, said of enduring the physically demanding practices and games.
He also wished the 2010 Bulldogs varsity team the best of luck.
Coach Ron Bauer noted that many of the players received postseason honors.
Senior running back/linebacker Austin Erlwein was named to the All Section IX Team.
In addition, several Bulldogs were honored by the Section Nine Football Web site.
Those players included:
Schmidt, who was named a first team Class C-D offense all-star and a second team Class C-D defense all-star, Artie Norden (second team Class C-D offense as a wide receiver and honorable mention Class C-D as a kicker), Mark Tesseyman (first team Class C-D defense as a lineman, second team Class C-D offense as a tackle), Latii Rabii (honorable mention Class C-D as an all-purpose back) and Chris Murphy (honorable mention Class C-D offense as a running back).
Two juniors, Ryan Alsdorf and Eric Leewe, were also named all-stars on the Section Nine Football Web site. Alsdorf was an honorable mention Class C-D as a quarterback and Leewe was an honorable mention Class C-D as a defensive lineman.
Bauer also referred to the previous evening’s Southeastern Conference football championship game between the top-ranked Florida Gators and No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide as an example of how hard work can help the “underdog” win the game. The longtime coach noted that Alabama defeated Florida, 32-13, by controlling the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense.
“Football is a tough game,” he said. “You have to be tougher than the guy lined up across the line of scrimmage from you.”
Assistant Coaches Norman Bauer and Kurt Buddenhagen helped Ron Bauer present certificates and Gridiron Club gift bags to each of the varsity players in attendance.
When those players came up to the podium Norman Bauer offered words of encouragement to each player and advice for becoming a better football player.
The Varsity Bulldogs roster included: Ryan Alsdorf, Mason Berrian, Angelo Bibbo, Michael Bingay, Cruz Burgos, Jeremy DeGori, Michael Durkin, Austin Erlwein, E.J. Franskevicz, Gabe Lagrutta, Eric Leewe, Alex Manzi, Chris Murphy, Anthony Nicoletti, Artie Norden, Jimmy O’Connor, Latii Rabii, Todd Roeder, Michael Schmidt, Mark Schwartz, Mark Tesseyman and Brandon Wagner.
Junior varsity Coach Anthony Durkin presented the Gridiron Club gift bags and certificates to the players on behalf of himself and Assistant Coach J.P. Lang.
“I am proud of the way our guys played this year,” Durkin said.
The JV Bulldogs roster included: Kitt Borowski, Travis Brockner, Max Carmack, Scott Erdman, Sawyer Erlwein, Jeffrey Fredenburg, Bradley Gruber, Brad Hemmer, Scott Herbert, Sean Hillriegel, Ben Kline, Chris Lang, Connor Lovgren, John Masten, Richard Meihofer, Richard Mirch, Tom Mootz, Devon Muzuruk, Andrew Parsons, Eli Peters, Matt Pitz, Blain Reddish and Joe Schroeder.
On behalf of the Gridiron Club, Michelle Mootz and Patty Schmidt thanked everyone who helped with SW’s 2009 season which included school administrators and board members, parents and family members, coaches, players, local newspapers and Web sites which covered the team and the many local businesses which advertised in the club’s season yearbook.