The Coast Guard Academy football team celebrated its first winning season since 2007 at its annual banquet on Friday night.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan was the keynote speaker for the evening. Sullivan just completed his first season as Offensive Coordinator with the Buccaneers after a successful eight-season stretch with the New York Giants, during which time he coached teams to world championships in both Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI.
Coast Guard finished the 2012 season with a 5-4 record, posting a winning season for the first time since 2007 when the Bears won the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division for the second straight season and finished 8-2, losing to Curry 10-7 in the NEFC Championship game.
This season the Bears set or tied 17 school records including 2,694 passing yards, 3,661 yards of total offense and 24 touchdown passes. Senior quarterback Jon Resch set four season records (most passing yards, most passes attempted, most passes completed and most yards of total offense) and a pair of career records, most passing yards and most yards of total offense.
The guests watched a highlight film of the 2012 season before the awards were handed out.
Each of the 23 senior football players (Dante Adams, Curt Barrett, Parker Bateson, Jacob Bibb, Mark Bonner, Jed Daleiden, Justin Dougherty, Wes Figaro, Brandon Foy, Maurice Goin, Ben Hinchman, Steve Lozier, John Manganiello, Pat Meggers, Geddy Miller, Casey Paris, Mike Rauch, Resch, Drew Russo, Jeb Slick, Todd Stephens, Nate Turner, Max Walker) and the pair of senior managers (Summer Dupler and Corrine Hartwell) were recognized.
There were plenty of awards handed out throughout the evening. Resch was named the team's Offensive MVP while senior linebacker Parker Bateson was named the Defensive MVP. Bateson led the Bears with 83 tackles, 46 solo, ten for loss to go with a pair of sacks and two fumble recoveries. Both Resch and Bateson earned first team NEFC Bogan Division honors.
Senior Pat Meggers was named the Bears Back of the Year. He had a huge year with 42 receptions while leading the team with 746 yards and seven touchdowns earning first team Bogan Division honors. Meggers finished his career with 1,044 receiving yards and set a pair of school records this season with a 96-yard touchdown reception, the longest in school history and a single-game record 211 receiving yards.
Junior Mike Vitrano was named the Lineman of the Year, sophomore defensive lineman Aaron Black was named the Most Improved Player, freshman linebacker Kyle Wood was named the Rookie of the Year.
Other award winners were senior center Jed Daleiden, who was named the Honorary Offensive Captain, classmate John Manganiello, who was named the Honorary Defensive Captain and junior Evan Rothfeld, who was given the Fighting Heart Award.
Junior Nick Phillips was given the Silver Dollar Award which is voted on by his teammates for the hardest working player in the weightroom.
To end the evening, the 2012 captains senior tight end Casey Paris and senior linebacker Curt Barrett were honored and Phillips and Vitrano were named the captains of the 2013 team.
The Bears will open the 2013 season at St. Lawrence on September 7th. The home opener will be September 21st vs. Hampden-Sydney.