Cornell football handed out its annual awards this past Saturday to members of the 2001 varsity team whose performances stood out. A total of 20 awards were given to the gridders who contributed greatly to the Red (2-7, 2-5 Ivy) this season.
Topping the list was senior quarterback Ricky Rahne, who took home the Pop Warner Most Valuable Player award for the third straight year. Rahne holds Cornell’s all-time records in virtually every statistical category for quarterbacks. He finished the 2001 campaign with 199 completions — a 56% clip. His career marks of 678 completions, 54 touchdowns, 7,710 passing yards, and 7,994 total yards are all Cornell records. His 7,710 passing yards is also good enough for third place all-time in the Ivy League.
Senior defensive lineman George Paraskevopoulos was the lone gridder to pick more than a single award. He received the Sid Roth Award, which is given to the top down lineman, and the Defensive Red Helmet award, which honors an outstanding defensive player. Paraskevopoulos, who transferred from the Air Force Academy, was a second-team All-Ivy selection. He led the Red with 13 tackles for a loss.
Other defensive players to win accolades included junior linebacker Nate Spitler, who was named Most Valuable Back. Spitler, the first junior to be named captain, piloted the Red defense and was an honorable mention All-Ivy selection. Junior free safety Jamie Moriarty, an honorable mention All-Ivy recipient, was named the “Big Play” man of the year, along with sophomore wide receiver John Kellner.
Sophomore Kevin Rooney earned the Mansour Jewelers Award for most improved defensive player. Rooney returned an interception 22-yards for a touchdown against Columbia, becoming the first Cornell player to do so since 1993.
On the offensive side of the ball, senior running back Evan Simmons captured the Offensive Red Helmet award. The Charles Colucci Award, which is given to the non-senior who contributed most to the team was awarded to junior wide receiver Keith Ferguson. The Harvey Sampson award, for most consistent player, was granted to senior wide receiver Tim Hermann.
Senior center Matt Holleran was honored for his grit with the Doc Kavanagh Training Room Athlete of the Year Award, which is given to “the varsity player who gives his all throughout the season, distinguishing injury from pain.” Similarly, Jason Stadnik’s dedication was rewarded with the Robert Fenton Patterson Award.
Sophomore wide receiver Vic Yanz took home the Mansour Jewelers Award for most improved offensive player. Yanz racked up a career-best 41 receiving yards against Harvard and added another 31 against Brown.
Special teams captain senior Justin Dunleavy was awarded the Enzo Montemurro Memorial Award, for leadership. The senior saw time at running back and wideout.
Two students in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations took home awards for academic achievement. Senior Phil Rigeour was given the Victor Grohmann Scholar-Athlete Award, and freshman Phil Hanset received the Daniel N. Bondareff Freshman Scholar-Athlete Award. Both gridders posted GPAs above 3.8 for the fall semester. Senior defensive lineman Rich Zacek was also recognized for his accomplishments off the field with the Paul N. Hunt Citizenship Award.
Archived article by Owen Bochner