Football Honors Seniors, Award Winners at Banquet

PHILADELPHIA - At the University of Pennsylvania football team's annual postseason banquet the Quakers honored the Class of 2014 and recognized 2013's outstanding performers on Friday night.

Senior defensive back Dan Wilk received the Edgar Church Memorial Award, designated to the player who, by vote of the letterwinners, made the biggest overall contribution to the team. Wilk, a co-captain, was instrumental in the Quakers' pass defense, finishing second on the team with four pass breakups and third with five passes defended. His 20.1 yard kick return average led the team and ranked fifth in the Ivy League, while he ranked second on the squad with a 4.1 yard punt return average.

The Bednarik Award, given to the most outstanding offensive and defensive linemen, was presented to senior offensive lineman Jake Schwertner and sophomore defensive lineman Austin Taps. Schwertner started every game of his junior and senior seasons at left guard, protecting quarterback Billy Ragone, who finished with the second-most career total yards in program history. Taps thrived in his first year of regular action, earning honorable mention All-Ivy honors at defensive tackle. He finished second on the team with five sacks and recorded eight tackles for loss. He led all Penn defensive linemen with 26 tackles.

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 offensive lineman Chris Bush and senior defensive back Sam Chwarzynski. Bush, a co-captain, took home first-team All-Ivy honors after starting all 10 games at center for the Quakers. He also was a two-time Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area selection during his career. Chwarzynski also started all 10 games for the Quakers in 2013, taking home second-team All-Ivy honors for his efforts. He finished second in the Ivy League with four interceptions and led Penn with six sacks. He scored two defensive touchdowns in addition to blocking a field goal.

Senior Ty Taylor was presented with the Bagnell Award, named after Hall of Fame back Francis (Reds) Bagnell. This award is given to the team's unsung hero. Taylor played in all 10 games and started three at wide receiver. He was the team leader in receiving touchdowns and total points for a position player. His 31 receptions ranked third on the team and he hauled in multiple catches in all but one game. He was also named 2013 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area.

The Football Club award for distinct athletic achievement was given to junior running back Kyle Wilcox on offense, junior linebacker Dan Davis on defense and senior kick returner Mason Smith on special teams. Sophomore offensive lineman Dan Lysenko and sophomore defensive back Kenny Thomas were awarded Rookie of the Year honors. Wilcox returned to the backfield in 2013 after spending a majority of 2012 with Penn's defensive unit. He led the team with 493 yards on the ground and a 4.8 yard average per rush. He racked up four total touchdowns, including the game winner in Penn's four-overtim win over Dartmouth. Davis was a first-team All-Ivy selection for the second consecutive season at linebacker after leading the Quakers with a career-high 64 tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss. Smith was a star on special teams, finishing ninth in the Ivy League with a 19.2 yard kick return average en route to compiling the fifth most all-purpose yards on the team. He also added six tackles. Lysenko played in nine games for the Quakers and started two in guiding an offense that averaged 26.1 points per game in league play. Thomas appeared in nine games for the Quakers, contributing 25 tackles, three pass break-ups, three passes defended and a fumble recovery.

Senior safety Evan Jackson 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." Jackson was a second-team All-Ivy performer in 2013 and was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week after a dominant performance at Columbia. He was second on the team in both tackles and interceptions despite missing a game to injury and recorded at least five tackles in every game he played in.

In addition to the player awards, C.T. Alexander W'56, was named the Man of the Year for his continuous dedication to and support of Penn's football program. Alexander served as 'The Voice of Franklin Field' for half a century. He retired after 50 years as Penn Football's public address announcer following the 2011 season. His son, John, succeded him and just completed his second season.

Senior linebacker David Park is the fourth recipient of the Lake Award, 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. Park was named honorable mention All-Ivy after finishing fifth on the team with 48 tackles, including 9.0 for loss. His standout performance came against Dartmouth, where he returned a fumble 84 yards for a touchdown and blocked a potential game-winning field goal as time expired.