Bucknell Football Hands Out Team Awards at Annual Postseason Banquet
Dec. 3, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. -The Bucknell football team and some of its supporters gathered in the Terrace Room inside the Langone Center Sunday evening for the program's 51st annual postseason awards banquet. Eighteen different players walked away with awards, headlined by sophomore LB Evan Byers (Roaring Brook, Pa./Wyoming Seminary/Trinity-Pawling (N.Y.)), who was presented the Bison Gridiron Club Award as the team MVP.
A Second Team All-Patriot League selection in 2012, Byers led the Bison in tackles with 100 from his linebacker position. He became the first Bucknell player since 2009, and just the fifth since 2000, to reach the century mark in stops. Byers' four double-figure tackle outings paced the squad, while he registered at least six tackles in every game. In his first year as a starter, Byers finished second on the team in tackles for loss (13.5), third in sacks (5.5) and second in interceptions (3).
Byers, last year, earned the Stuart M. Smith Memorial Award as the team's top newcomer.
Juniors Travis Friend (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) and Sean Sellers (Lebanon, Pa./Cedar Crest) shared the Tom Gadd Coaches' Award. Friend, a fullback, earned his third consecutive All-Patriot League honor this past season when he landed on the First Team for the first time in his career. The three-year starter, he was used mainly as a blocker and receiver, catching 16 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown to go along with eight rushes for 16 yards. Friend now has 50 receptions for more than 300 yards in his career. He was also awarded the Bucknell Football Leadership Award on Sunday.
Like Byers, Sellers was a Second Team All-Patriot League choice this fall. He posted career highs in tackles (32), tackles for loss (8) and sacks (6) despite missing a pair of games. He ranked in the top five in the Patriot League in sacks and in the top 15 in tackles for loss.
Senior LB Beau Traber (Norman, Okla./Norman North), a Second Team All-Patriot League selection, earned the C. Dale Wolfe Recognition Award, which is given to the most inspirational player. Traber was one of just four defensive players to start all 11 games despite dealing with a number of injuries, including the loss of a fingertip late in the season. The first Bison linebacker to be named all-league in back-to-back seasons since 2004, Traber posted a career-high 67 tackles to rank second on the team. He also had 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and was tied for third on the team with four pass breakups.
Traber also shared the Captains Award with his fellow team captains Joseph Francis (Arlington, Texas/Juan Seguin) and Tyler Smith (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn). Francis concluded the 2012 season with a career-high 46 tackles, while Smith endured an injury plagued campaign, but was still second on the team in rushing yards (444) and seventh in receiving (109).
The Special Team MVP was shared by junior long snapper Jeff Goyette (Dillsburg, Pa./Trinity) and junior punt returner Kyle Sullivan (Wilmington, Del./St. Mark's). Goyette, who is also a reserve linebacker, was honored with the award for a second straight year. Sullivan ranks 32nd nationally in punt return average (7.31), which placed him fifth in the Patriot League. Additionally, the former All-Big East selection punted three times this year and caught nine passes.
Senior RB Jeremiah Young (Steelton, Pa./Steelton-Highspire) earned both the Big Blue Award as the outstanding back or receiver and the Keating-Rieu Memorial Award as the outstanding player in the Colgate game. The team's leading rusher with a career-high 482 yards, Young wrapped up his Bison career four yards shy of 1,000 rushing yards. He posted back-to-back 100-yard outings in late October, including a career-high 131 yards against Colgate. The team leader in touchdowns in 2012, Young became the 29th player in program history to have at least three career 100-yard rushing games.
Sophomore Matthew Steinbeck (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny), who tied for second nationally with six interceptions, was presented with the Clarke Hinkle Award as the team's outstanding defensive back or linebacker. The First Team All-Patriot League selection led the conference in interceptions and he tied for seventh on the Bucknell single-season list. Steinbeck also recorded 44 tackles and his 158 interception return yards are second on the school's single-season ledger.
First Team All-Patriot League and Academic All-Patriot League choice Samuel Oyekoya (Lanham, Md./Gonzaga) earned the George Rieu Award as the outstanding defensive lineman. The senior defensive end excelled in his first year as a regular starter, collecting a career-high 40 tackles, 14 tackles and nine sacks. The nine sacks led the Patriot League and rank sixth on the program's single-season list. Additionally, Oyekoya's 17 career sacks are eighth in program history.
Named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy earlier this fall, Oyekoya had at least 0.5 tackles for loss in nine of 11 games this year and his 14 tackles for loss ranked second in the Patriot League to Defensive Player of the Year Robert McCabe of Georgetown.
Bucknell's only returning starter on the offensive line - sophomore Lonnie Rawles (Perth Amboy, N.J./Perth Amboy) - was presented with the John Campana Award as the outstanding offensive lineman. After taking over as the starter at left tackle midway through his rookie season, Rawles started all 11 games there this year. He was part of a young line that featured one freshman, two first-time sophomore starters and a senior who was receiving his first career playing time.
Youth was also prevalent in the kick return game where freshman Brian Regan (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) took over mid-season. The rookie was the winner of the Stuart M. Smith Award, which is presented to the outstanding newcomer. Regan, who is also a reserve running back, returned 22 kicks and averaged 23.0 yards per return to rank third in the Patriot League. His 505 return yards place him 10th on the program's single-season return yards list. Regan was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week after returning three kicks for 94 yards in a November win over Fordham.
Sophomore S Lee Marvel (Newtown, Pa./Council rock North/The Hill School) earned the George L. McGaughey Memorial Award as the outstanding player in the Lafayette game. The team's third-leading tackler (58) on the season, Marvel registered a then-career high seven tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks in a September meeting with Patriot League rival Lafayette.
Junior WR Jake Flaherty (Oceanport, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) was given the Bobby Pangburn Memorial Award, which is presented for commitment, dedication and unqualified friendship. Flaherty, a junior who missed his first two seasons with knee injuries, was in the midst of a breakout season when he went down with what is likely a career-ending knee injury at Harvard. Flaherty finished the season third on the team with 23 receptions and 228 yards despite missing the final five contests.
A three-year starter at punter, senior Ryan Gutowski (Owings Mills, Md./Calvert Hall) was presented the Moxie Award by former equipment manager Ken Hare. The award is given in honor of Hare's grandfather, Walter Jacob "Moxie" Mahon, and is presented for special contribution to the Bucknell football program. The winner of the award receives a free year of membership into the Gridiron Club. Gutowski, who broke Bucknell's record for career punts this season, was called upon to kick 65 times and he averaged 38.1 yards per boot. He forced 19 fair catches and had 22 punts go inside the 20-yard line. Gutowski will graduate listed sixth on Bucknell's career punting average list (36.8).
Senior FB Terna Ityokumbul (Boalsburg, Pa./State College Area/Kent School (Conn.)), sophomore LB Dominique Daniels (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) and freshman RB Matt DelMauro (Nutley, N.J./Nutley) were named the Scout Teams Players of the Year on offense, defense and special teams, respectively.
Also during the program, Bucknell President John Bravman addressed the crowd, the seven All-Patriot League players were recognized and each assistant coach presented his position group with their varsity letters. The evening concluded with a terrific highlight video of the 2012 campaign that was edited by administrative coordinator Dan Wolfe.
Bucknell concluded the 2012 season with a 3-8 record, but posted victories in two of its final three contests. The Bison will return no fewer than 16 regular starters next fall.
2012 Bucknell Football Award Winners
2012 Bucknell Football Letterwinners (total number of career letters in parentheses)