High School Award Winners Announced at Lou Groza Banquet
WEST PALM BEACH (December 8, 2009) – The Palm Beach County Sports Commission held its 18th Annual Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards Banquet & Silent Auction on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. In attendance were the top national place-kickers in the country, and Palm Beach County’s finest young athletes and coaches. The winner of the 2009 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award will be announced live on the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show Thursday, December 10 at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN.
William T. Dwyer High School was the big winner for the Local High School Awards, taking home the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. Matt Elam took the Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive year; he was up against Tre Mason of Park Vista High School and Will Powers of Jupiter Christian School. Elam has been an instrumental player for the Panthers as both an offensive and defensive player. He rushed for nearly 1,000 yards on 98 carries as a running back, and made 53 tackles as a linebacker and defensive back.
The Sam Budnyk Coach of the Year award went to long time coach Jack Daniels from William T. Dwyer. Daniels took the honors over coaches Jessie Hester from Glades Central and Bill Powers from Jupiter Christian. This is Daniels’ 14th season with Dwyer and second Coach of the Year win.
A finalist at last year’s Groza Awards, Cody Parkey was named as this year’s Place-Kicker of the Year. The Jupiter High School senior is rated as the #1 kicker in the country by ESPN and Rivals. He finished the year 9 of 12 on field goals, with 95% of his kickoffs going for touchbacks. David Bicknell of Boca Raton High School and Justin Haig of American Heritage School were also nominated.
Winners were chosen by Palm Beach County high school head football coaches, athletic directors and Palm Beach County media representatives. A check for $1,000 is presented to the athletic department of each of the winning schools.
The Lou Groza Award is presented by the FedEx Orange Bowl and is also sponsored by The Breakers, Continental Airlines, Enterprise rent-a-car, ESPN Radio 760, ESPN Regional Television, Ceebraid Signal Corporation/Richard Schlesinger, Kiwanis International, a Local Charitable Organization, JBS Destination Solutions, McGladrey & Pullen LLP, The Palm Beach Post, Parallax Productions, Bus One LLC, The Tux Shop, and WPEC News 12.
About the National College Football Awards Association
The Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s official Web site, www.NCFAA.org.
About the Palm Beach County Sports Commission
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the County as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the County, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (primarily in the off-season), and maximizes utilization of County facilities. The Commission offers a full range of event service support, corporate partnerships, sponsorships and a local membership program that support its goals. Local, regional, national and international marketing efforts are ongoing by the Commission with sports organizations and event owners. The Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Palm Beach County including the annual Lou Groza Awards program, the Sports Hall of Fame, the Kids Fitness Festival and awards the annual Sam Budnyk Student-Athlete Scholarship. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission go to www.palmbeachsports.com.