By Army West Point Athletics, Office of Athletic CommunicationsJanuary 11, 2016
WEST POINT, N.Y. (Jan. 11, 2015) -- Cadet Edgar Poe was named the team's most valuable player and Cadet Ryan Alexander received the Black Lion Award as the U.S. Military Academy at West Point Army football program gathered for its postseason banquet at Eisenhower Hall Jan. 9.
Varsity letters, senior accolades and 10 awards were handed out. Rich DeMarco, assistant athletic director for multimedia services and broadcasting, served as master of ceremonies while head coach Jeff Monken spoke about the 2015 season and expectations for the upcoming season.
Former three-year letterwinner retired Army Lt. Col. Chuck Schretzman was the guest speaker and gave a wonderful speech to the team and guests on the brotherhood of Army football.
Following the team highlight video, the senior players, managers and student coaches were honored with varsity letters and framed jerseys. The group included Cadets Ryan Alexander, T.J. Atimalala, DeAndre Bell, Cale Brewer, Chris Carnegie, Grant Escobar, Justin Fahn, Connor Farley, Evan Finnane, Matt Giachinta, Justin Gilbert, Joey Giovannelli, Daniel Grochowski, Matt Hugenberg, Michael McFadden, Caleb McNeill, Luke Proulx, Kyle Ricciardi, Jared Rogers, Niko Schillaci, A.J. Schurr, Alex Tardieu, Alex Waugh, Kelvin White and Wyatt Wilkerson; student coaches Cadets Tirone Young and Corey Hobbs and managers Nicholas Archuleta, Brandon Palowich and Ruben Vargas.
After coach Monken gave comments on each receiving senior it was on to the awards presentations.
Poe, a junior wide receiver, was selected as the Thruston Hughes Memorial Award winner. It was established in 1939 to honor the team MVP and will be presented officially during the Awards Convocation prior to graduation.
Alexander, a senior offensive lineman, wore the Black Lion patch during the Army-Navy Game presented by USAA in December. The Black Lion is presented to the football player who best exemplifies the character of Don Holleder, an All-America defensive end for Army who was killed in action. Holleder's daughter, Katie Fellows, presented the award.
Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen was on hand to give out a couple of honors. The first was the Col. Joel B. "Dopey" Stephens Award, which is given to the outstanding football players on the scout team. Cadet junior Matthew Kaufmann earned the honor for the second-straight season and he was joined by Cadet rookie Jarrod Jones.
Caslen, a former lineman for the Army football team, presented the Thomas West Hammond Memorial Award as well. The honor is given to the most outstanding lineman for the season and this year's winner was senior defensive lineman Cadet T. J. Atimalala.
Cadet Caleb McNeill was honored with the William C. Whitehead Jr. Memorial Award as the graduating senior for his work in the classroom as he had the highest grade point average among his classmates.
Cadet Kyle Ricciardi took home the Lt. Gen. Garrison Davidson Award for having the highest military grade and earning distinction in the areas of honor, country, sportsmanship and leadership.
The Army Football Lifter of the Year, which was presented by head football strength and conditioning coach Tim Caron, was awarded to junior linebacker Cadet Andrew King for his commitment to his personal development on and off the field.
Senior center Cadet Matt Hugenberg was named the Col. James B. Gillespie Memorial Award winner for his outstanding dedication, unfailing performance and contributions to the Army football team. Hugenberg missed one snap in two seasons with the Black Knights and it was only due to his helmet coming off.
Cadet senior Matt Giachinta and Cadet junior Jeremy Timpf shared the Creighton W. Abrams Memorial Award as team captains.
Cadet senior Michael McFadden was named the 1st Lt. Chase Prasnicki Memorial Award winner. McFadden was honored for sharing the characteristics of Prasnicki who was killed in action. Prasnicki was always team player, continually putting the needs of the team above his own personal goals and lived the values of loyalty, selfless service and teamwork. He remains a role model for all past, current and future Army football players.
Varsity letters were also presented to Cadets Ryan Alexander, Nicholas Archuleta, Jordan Asberry, T.J. Atimalala, Alex Aukerman, Ahmad Bradshaw, DeAndre Bell, Nicholas Black, Cale Brewer, Kenneth Brinson, Tyler Campbell, Chris Carnegie, Chris Carter, Andy Davidson, Cordarrell Davis, Christian Drake, Jeff Ejekam, Rhyan England, Grant Escobar, Justin Fahn, Connor Farley, Evan Finnane, Tim Gant, Matt Giachinta, Gibby Gibson, Justin Gilbert, Joey Giovannelli, Daniel Grochowski, Drue Harris, Corey Hobbs, Calen Holt, Mike Houghton, Marcus Hyatt, Brandon Jackson, Steven Johnson, Andrew King, Aaron Kemper, Rick Kurz, Matt Hugenberg, Tyler L'Hommedieu, Tevin Long, Caleb McNeill, Cole Macek, Xavier Moss, James Nachtigal, Victor Nieves III, Brendon Palowtich, Quinten Parker, Edgar Poe, Luke Proulx, Chandler Ramirez, Max Regan, Kyle Ricciardi, Jared Rogers, Eddy Ruzga, Zach Saum, Niko Schillaci, A.J. Schurr, Spencer Sheff, Jordan Smith, Elijah St. Hilaire, Alex Tardieu, Jeremy Timpf, John Trainor, Joe Tustin, Ruben Vargas, Jaryn Villegas, John Voit, Scott Washle, Alex Waugh, Joe Walker, Kelvin White, Wyatt Wilkerson, Bayle Wolf, Darnell Woolfolk, Tirone Young.