The Tigers celebrated the 2011 football season with the annual Booster Club banquet on Sunday. Each player in the Tiger program was recognized for their efforts, with awards given to several Tigers. The “Voice of the Tigers”, Jim Allsman, served as emcee for the event.
Head Coach Ray Gionta provided a review of the 2011 season, praising the Tiger seniors for setting a positive tone and for practicing hard during the entire year. Coach Lou D’Alonzo gave his annual “State of the Defense” address, while coaches Mike Doyle, Gary Molineux, Mark Possenti, Scott Wanner and Chris Edwards presented the awards.
Marple Newtown earned its third-ever PIAA playoff appearance, and achieved a winning record for the seventh time in the nine-year tenure of Coach Gionta. The Tiger seniors depart MNHS with 18 victories in their three varsity seasons, including two playoff appearances.
Senior Connor Breslin earned the Bill Maas Outstanding Lineman Award. Breslin anchored the offensive line at center, and helped shut-down opposing offenses with his play on the defensive line.
Anthony Nicolardi’s ability to pin opponents deep in their own territory on kickoffs, hit field goals and consistently drill extra-points earned the senior recognition as the Steve Coyne Special Teams MVP.
Joseph Vegso was the only underclassman to receive an award, as the junior linebacker was named the George Schmitt Defensive MVP. Joe recorded 52 tackles, broke up a pass and had an interception in 2011.
The Most Improved Player award went to Tony Desiderio. Desiderio’s play on the defensive line made the unit one of the best in the Central League. The improvement is a credit to Anthony’s dedication and work ethic in the weight room during the offseason.
A vocal and emotional leader, Chris Kurkian set the tone for the season as soon as the calendar turned to 2011. Throughout the offseason, Kurkian was the driving force in the Tigers strength training program and offseason workouts. Chris was named the Jim Smith Most Dedicated Player for his desire and passion for Marple Newtown Football.
Senior Joey Pham provided fireworks on both sides of the ball for the Tigers, earning him the Bob Koening Coaches’ Award. Pham’s interception for a touchdown against Penncrest helped push the Tigers past the Lions, and his 170 yard rushing performance against Harriton was instrumental in another Marple Newtown victory.
Cimirrow Moat capped off his busy award-season with the Tigers Offensive MVP and Team MVP awards. Moat, one of three Tiger captains, provided the fuel for a Tiger offense that scored on 43% of their possesions in 2011 (43 out of 100). Cimirrow’s play at corner helped anchor a Tiger defense that finished top-50 in the state in points allowed per game.
Finally, senior captain Sean Ridinger was named the receipient of the Brian “Woody” Peoples Memorial Scholarship. Sean, who will attend the Naval Academy this summer, played on the offensive line and at linebacker, in addition to being a team captain and leader.
Special thanks to the Booster Club and the Tiger football parents for making the banquet a success.