By Kevin Eickman
For one last time, as winter break had just begun, the Milford football team gathered together with Mike Tkach as head coach. Held on December 20, the occasion was the annual awards banquet, recognizing the individual accomplishments of the recently completed season. Tkach took a moment to thank the players coaches and parents, past and present for all the effort and support that he received throughout the years at Milford.
Danny Gurke Award: This award is presented to a leader both on and off the field. This years recipient was senior linebacker Rafiq Henry. “I could always count on Rafiq to lead the way, it was a pleasure to have coached him.” Tkach stated.
E.P. Duffy Award: This award is given to an athlete who has overcome some form of adversity in their life. Overcoming a serious illness as a child, senior Dennis Wimer was a fullback, linebacker and long snapper for Milford. “Dennis is a good kid who overcame stage four cancer as a child and is in the process of dedicating himself to helping others fight that same battle,” Tkach commented.
Keith Booze Award: Similar to the Gurke award, this is presented to a player dedicated to the program. This year’s recipient was senior wide receiver Patrick Wheeler. “Patrick never stopped trying to make himself and everyone else better. His commitment to hard work and dedication served as an example to others,” Tkach stated.
Andy Berezowski: Presented to a student who loves football, started in Pop-Warner and worked his way up to high school level. This year’s recipient is senior fullback and kicker Michael Tkach. “When your the coaches son, you have to work twice as hard as everyone else, Michael did just that,” Tkach said. “He was always there for everyone and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Teammate Award: Presented to the student is the ideal teammate, doing what is required, no matter how small or large the task. This year’s recipient was senior defense end/linebacker Taylor Reynolds. “Taylor is a great young man with a big future, he is on his way to being a history teacher and I think he will be a great one,” Tkach said.
JV Offensive Player of The Year: Sophomore quarterback William Kimmel was selected for this honor. “We decided to go with a no huddle offense this year,” coach Nick Brannan stated. “William was like an extension of the coaching staff on the field, we couldn’t have done it without him.”
JV Defensive Player of The Year: Junior Phil Ruiz was the award winner. “Phil played multiple positions for us this year and did everything we need him to do.” Brannan stated.
JV Most Improved Player: Freshman running back Carlito Natal was the winner. “Carlito just waited his turn and once he got his chance, away he went” said Brannan.
Varsity Most Improved: Sophomore tight end Shawn Snowden earned this award. “We had him do so many different things for us this year, we moved him all over the place on offense. We really tried to make an effort to get him the ball,” Tkach said. “He will have a big senior year, the sky is the limit for him.”
Varsity Offensive Lineman of The Year: Junior Tyler Norwood. “Tyler put in a lot of work in the weight room and it really translated to the field,” said Tkach. “He has great feet and if he continues to improve it will be fun to watch.”
Varsity Defensive Lineman of The Year: Junior Kenny Vanvorst. “Kenny was a guy who got better with each passing week this season,” Tkach said. “By the end of the season we could move him inside or outside and he was a force”
Special Teams Player: Senior Michael Tkach. “We went without a kicker last year and Michael stepped up, he even chipped in as a punter when we needed him to be.”
Defensive Player of The Year: Sophomore Ryan Jones. “Ryan really developed confidence as the season went on, once he started heading down hill he was a force,” Tkach said. “He finished with 86 tackles this season and got better with every game.”
Offensive Player of the Year/Team MVP: Freshman David Bowman had a spectacular freshman season, rushing for 1110 yards and 4 touchdowns. There is little doubt that Bowman has a big future with the Buccaneers. “This young man is a football force, he is fierce on both sides of the ball,” stated Tkach. “You take all this skill, speed and dedication, you pack it into this small package and just stand back, because it’s going to explode.”