Richmond Hill High School reflected on the season, thanking and honoring 2007 players, coaches, and boosters during a banquet held Thursday night in the high school cafeteria. After a delicious meal of barbecue catered by Richmond Hill’s Smokin’ Pig restaurant head coach Brian Brocato started in on the awards.
"Academics" explained Brocato "is why we are all here". He then announced that senior Sean Szad had the best grade point average on the team to earn him the Academics Award. Running backs coach Robert Flanders then awarded the Best Offensive Back Award to Zach Denney, a sophomore that Brocato and the Wildcats will be looking to have another good year next season.
Coach Wade Wright made the next announcements explaining that the Offensive Receiver Award that was voted on - as are all but the coaches awards - by the team, was a tie. Sophomore Zach Young and Junior Tyler Mitchell shared the award. Wright delivered the Offensive Lineman award to center Josh Davis but said the entire line was deserving.
Defensive backs coach Zach Grage awarded the Defensive Back Award to a player they will miss next year to graduation, Alaric Linqvist. Richmond Hill said its farewell to 14 seniors in all.
Zach Alltop, Zach Christie, Kevin Farr, Emmanuel Garcia, Alex Gramazio, Justin Hackney, Danny Harmon, Nathan Kilburn, Alaric Linqvist, Sean Milligan, Xavier Owens, Darius Postell, Jeremy Sanders, and Sean Szad were all thanked by Brocato for their dedication to the program noting he has been coaching some of them since they were freshmen.
"The memories you keep will not be of wins and losses, but of the experience you share with the teammates you met along the way," said Brocato on his farewell to the seniors.
Coach Rick Bond handed out the next award.
"Linebackers have a certain image," started Bond, "This linebacker has a nickname that doesn’t quite fit that image, but the player does" - Nathan "Hot dog" Kilburn, led the team, as well as a lot of players throughout the region, in tackles per game and to earn him the Defensive Linebacker Award.
Defensive line coach Chris Scholar praised Manny Garcia for always going 100 miles per hour regardless of direction and honored him with the Defensive Lineman Award.
Brocato then stood up to explain that the MVP award is also voted on by the team and there were four candidates who came very close. He explained the MVP is often more than the best player but also the best leader. Senior running back Darius Postell was then awarded the 2007 MVP.
Shaquille Walker was awarded Future Wildcat, Mike Morris was awarded Most Improved, and Xavier Owens won the Special Teams award for the second straight year, then Brocato moved to the Coaches Awards.
He praised his first coaches pick, Lance Owens, for not only being a freshman but also for being flexible enough to learn four different positions. Matt Wyatt played primarily on the offensive line and was another player that always went full speed. Running back Zach Christie was praised for being an unselfish player who played with injuries early until he was forced to sit out. Likewise, Anthony Young typified what Brocato said all coaches players embodied: "the willingness to get it done without question."
Next a special "team" award in that category of "coaches" awards was given to senior fullback and team punter Sean Milligan.
In closing, Brocato thanked all the lay coaches, trainers, statisticians and film makers and the not in attendance Sgt. Major Bradley; special teams and Thomas Ferrara; quarterbacks/receivers, He also acknowledged that the team fell short of their goals but insisted that they did improve and encouraged the team to get back in the weight room and back toward improving more next season.