PHILADELPHIA - At the University of Pennsylvania football team's annual postseason banquet, the 19 seniors - who finished as two-time undefeated Ivy League champions - and 2011's outstanding performers were honored for their accomplishments Friday night.
Edgar Church Memorial Award
Senior Matt Hamscher as well as senior captain Luke Nawrocki, received the Edgar Church Memorial Award, designated to the defensive and offensive players who, by vote of the letterwinners, made the biggest overall contribution to the team. Hamscher was a second-team All-Ivy recipient for the second year in a row with 51 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown this season. He finished his career at Penn with a passing touchdown, rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and a defensive touchdown. Nawrocki garnered All-Ivy honorable mention status for the third straight season. He started all 10 games for the Quakers at tight end and was fourth on the team with a career high 20 receptions and 192 receiving yards, which included a fourth-quarter touchdown catch in the come-from-behind win over Yale on Oct. 22.
Chuck Bednarik Award
The Bednarik Award, given to the most outstanding offensive and defensive linemen, was presented to senior captain Greg Van Roten and senior Jared Sholly. This is Van Roten's second consecutive year receiving this award. He was a unanimous first-team All-Ivy selections in 2011. He started all 10 games on the offensive line. The Quakers finished with third-best scoring offense in the Ivy League and allowed the third-fewest sacks in the league. Sholly earned second-team All-Ivy accolades after he finished in the top five in the league in sacks (6.0) and tackles for loss (14.0), and was fourth on the team with 45 tackles.
George Munger Award
The prestigious George A. Munger Award, named after Penn's Hall of Fame coach and presented to the team's offensive and defensive most valuable players, was handed to senior wideout Ryan Calvert and senior captain Erik Rask. Rask receives this award for the second consecutive year. Both received first-team All-Ivy status, while Rask was a unanimous selection. Rask finished with 83 tackles in 2011 - the most at Penn since 2006. Rask, who finished with 190 career tackles, also had 11.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, six pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 2011. He scored his first collegiate touchdown in his final game with a 30-yard interception return. Calvert finished second in the Ivies with 58 receptions and fourth in the league with 641 receiving yards. He combined for 20 catches in his final two games to finish with the eighth-highest single season reception total in Penn history. Calvert's five receiving touchdowns this season moved him into a tie for ninth all-time in Penn's single-season history books.
Reds Bagnell Award
Senior Kameron Jones and junior Jeff Jack were presented with the Bagnell Award, named after Hall of Fame back Francis (Reds) Bagnell. This award is given to the team's unsung heroes. Jones started six games as a senior and finished with 19 tackles (11 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups. Jack played in all 10 games and started one. He finished third on the team with 165 rushing yards and two touchdowns in addition to six recpetions for 64 yards.
George A. Weiss Award
Junior Brandon Colavita was honored with the George A. Weiss Award, given to the player who most embodies the grit and determination that is the "Pennsylvania kind of football." Colavita was a second-team All-Ivy recipient, leading the team in rushing with 665 yards and four touchdowns, including a career-high 156 yards in the win over Yale.
Football Club Award
The Football Club Award for distinct athletic achievement was given to junior quarterback Billy Ragone on offense, senior safety Jason Schmucker on defense, and senior long snapper Ed Kispert on special teams. Sophomore offensive lineman Christopher Bush and junior defensive lineman Taylor Brown also received the award as offensive and defensive rookies. Ragone finished with the fifth-best offensive season in team history with 2,284 total yards. Schmucker missed the last four games of the year, but still finished in a tie for the team lead in interceptions. Kispert served as Penn's long snapper in each of the last 21 games over the past three seasons. Bush anchored an offensive line that finished third in the Ivies in scoring. Brown started all 10 games for the Quakers and finished with 29 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
Coach Lake Award
Awarded for the first time in 2010, the Lake Award is presented to the player who has displayed dedication to leadership, team spirit and Penn pride in honor of Coach Dan "Lake" Staffieri, a team motivator for 33 seasons. Junior Brandon Copeland was the recipient of the award for the 2011 season. Copeland was a first-team All-Ivy player for the second straight year. He was second on the team with a career-high 51 tackles and added 6.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, a forced fumble and a 15-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the two-point win at Dartmouth (Oct. 1).
Man of the Year Award
In addition to the player awards, William Young was named the Man of the Year for his continuous dedication to and support of Penn's football program. Young was a three-year letterwinner from 1955-57 and has been one of the program's most avid supporters for decades.