BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The 2012 Lehigh football banquet was held Saturday, February 17th at Lehigh’s Iacocca Hall on the Mountaintop Campus. The Mountain Hawks looked back on their 2012 season in which Lehigh’s 10-1 record marked their third straight ten-win season and the tenth ten-win season in school history.
More than 300 players, parents, alumni, friends, coaches and support staff were on hand for the event. There were 17 awards presented at the banquet by the coaches that honored individual performances during Lehigh’s outstanding season.
Senior linebacker Billy Boyko received two different accolades on the night, earning both the Department Outstanding Athlete award and the Archibald Johnston Cup for the Most Outstanding Player. The mechanical engineering major from Northampton, Pa. earned a First team All-Patriot League selection, was named an ECAC All-Star, and led Lehigh with 104 tackles.
Quarterback Michael Colvin also received multiple awards on the night. Colvin was awarded the Best Offensive Back award, in addition to the John C. Whitehead award. The John C. Whitehead "Big LU" award is given to the player who shows the most leadership and performance. The senior captain was ranked in the top ten nationally in total offense and was a two-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, in addition to being named the MVP of the Lehigh-Lafayette game and earning a spot on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.
Senior wide receiver Ryan Spadola, was the third Mountain Hawk to receive double honors, taking the Department Coaches Award and the James P. McConologue Award. In his senior season Spadola garnered First team All-Patriot League selection and Academic All-Patriot League selection honors, and was a candidate for the distinguished Walter Payton Award. Despite being sidelined for mononucleosis, the Howell, NJ native caught 57 passes for 851 yards and four touchdowns.
Running back Zach Barket took home the Department Scholar Athlete Award. The senior accounting major from Schuylkill Haven, Pa. led Lehigh with 525 rushing yards, starting all 11 games at tailback. He was named to the Capital One Academic All-America second team, selected to FCS ADA Academic All-Star team, and named Academic All-District and Academic All-Patriot League for second straight season.
Sajjad Chagani earned the Best Defensive Lineman following his impressive senior season. A team captain, Chagani anchored middle of Lehigh’s defensive line with 45 tackles and tied for team lead with seven sacks. He also earned a first team All-Patriot League selection and was named an ECAC All-Star.
Senior Sam Loughrey garnered the Best Linebacker award after earning a second team All-Patriot League selection and making nine starts at linebacker. Loughrey was second on the team in tackles, and had an interception in the Lehigh-Lafayette game en route to Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors.
The Best Defensive Back Award went to senior Bryan Andrews of Evans, Ga. who started all 11 games at cornerback and led team with seven pass breakups.
Junior wide receiver Lee Kurfis earned the best receiver award. Kurfis enjoyed a breakout season playing opposite Spadola. He caught 50 passes for 778 yards and had a team-leading five touchdown receptions.
Best Offensive Lineman award went to Mike Vuono. In his senior season, Vuono earned a first team All-Patriot League selection for the second straight year and was named an ECAC All-Star. He was one of two Mountain Hawk linemen to start all 11 games, splitting time between right guard and right tackle.
Senior kicker Jake Peery took home the Best Special Teams after a season where he handled all kickoffs and placements for the Mountain Hawks, and went 42-of-43 on extra points and converted 7-of-11 field goal attempts.
The Nick Timko Awards (Engineer Effort Award) went to running back Dan Brown and defensive lineman Greg Palma. Brown received the Scout Team Offense award and is a freshman enrolled in the college of arts and sciences. Palma won the Scout Team Defense award and is a freshman enrolled in the business school.
Political science major Billy O’Brien and industrial engineering major Tom Ruley received the Barry Fetterman Award, given to the player(s) who best exemplify loyalty, dedication, and unselfishness. O’Brien was team co-captain and finished with 54 tackles and two, while Ruley finished with battled injuries to start ten games at center, anchoring an offensive line that allowed just seven sacks in 11 games.
Senior Tom Bianchi was awarded the Alexander G. Hahalis Award for the outstanding lineman. He tied for the team lead with seven sacks, started all 11 games, and led Lehigh defensive lineman with 53 tackles. He also earned a First Team All-Patriot League selection and was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.
The annual Lehigh football banquet was made possible by the Lehigh Athletics Partnership program, whose mission is to promote interest in Lehigh Athletics, to encourage and provide financial support to the program and to enhance relations with all former participants, fans, friends, and parents of Lehigh student-athletes.
Story by Taylor Boyd ‘13