Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Awards & Honors

I was happy to see that the coaches agreed with my choice of Adam Brekke for team MVP at this weekend's football awards dinner at Low Library. You can read the athletic departments account of the evening here: Awards Dinner

Awards dinners and shows are all about spreading the honors around and making as many people as possible feel good and keeping as few people as possible feeling left out. In that light, I thought the coaches did a great job of getting a number of this season's key contributors some well-deserved recognition.

They juggled the Darren Schmidt-Adam Brekke problem well by giving Brekke the overall MVP, but Schmidt the defensive MVP award. And they worked the Andy Shalbrack-Austin Knowlin problem out by giving Shalbrack the best freshman award but Knowlin the offensive MVP nod.

I was interested to see sophomore defensive end Phillip Mitchell get the most improved player award. Not that Mitchell wasn't great but there were so many players on this team who improved markedly in 2006, that I was surprised that this wasn't a shared award. The most improved player on the 2006 Lions was clearly Darren Schmidt, who came out of nowhere to lead a very strong defense in tackles for a loss and sacks. But Schmidt was taken care of with the defensive MVP award. Sophomore linebacker Drew Quinn was also a break-out player this year. It looks like Quinn and freshman Justin Masorti were the odd men out when it came to the awards, but they should have a lot more chances for glory as they have most of their careers, at least as starters, ahead of them.

As the season progressed, you could argue that Craig Hormann was the most improved player not from 2005 but from the beginning of week one to the end of week 10. Jordan Davis was another player who showed a lot of improvement, especially in the last two games.

But my BIG QUESTION is when and if the athletic department will make the season highlight video they showed at the dinner available to the general public? I think a lot of us would be happy to pay the $19.99 or whatever they want to charge to get a look at it.

Huston's Gone?

It looks like kicker Patrick Huston is off the team as his name is no longer on the roster. I'd be very sorry if Huston was still M.I.A. when the season starts and he had kicked off well and he certainly filled in admirably in the Brown game when Jon Rocholl was briefly benched. Since Rocholl will only be a junior next year it's not like Huston's departure means the team would really be hurting, but it does mean that an injury to Rocholl would be devastating.

At some point, Coach Wilson and his staff will have to come up with an effective antidote to Columbia's long-standing problem with players quitting the football team. It may take many years, but this has to stop if the Lions ever want to win a championship. It's not that the best players are leaving the team; it's just that quitting the squad is a common enough occurrence that we seem to be getting used to it. That means the players are too and we could one day face a snowball effect.

The good news is this is the off season, and there's presumably some chance Huston will return along with Chad Musgrove, who didn't quit the team but left school for an unknown reason in the middle of the season. We shall see.


At Tue Dec 05, 05:08:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The conventional wisdom was that players quit if they thought that they would never make the two deep. Shoop's tenure differed because players quit who were actually on the two deep. That carried over during the transition period. I don't know what happened with Huston, but certainly Musgrove was an entirely different situation. Whether players like Holden, Byington, or others will think about coming back now that they have seen what Wilson can do is an open question. One way to motivate players not on the two deep is to have them play on special teams.

At Tue Dec 05, 05:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The player attrition has already reached a critical point. Only 9 offensive lineman remain-not enough to have a spring game.

At this point, after this year's seniors are gone, there are only 61 players left. This is assuming the attrition is over.

To these kid's credit, it is remarkable the level of play attained during the season with so few kids available. Many on the 2-deep had to fill in on the scout teams also.

Hats off to these kids for a job well done!

At Tue Dec 05, 11:50:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

although yes agreed the roster is extremely too small, would the kids on this team who fought their asses off all year want quitters back next to them in the lineup? obviousely each case is slightly different but if you're willing to walk out on your teammates in THE MIDDLE OF THE SEASON how can you be trusted to come thru in the clutch? i dnt want to name any names here but some of the quitters listed in prior posts quit midweek of this season or last and that to me anyway is just unacceptable.

At Tue Dec 05, 08:31:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Musgrove will not return. Huston will play soccer.

At Tue Dec 05, 08:49:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone really know the skinny on why Musgrove left?

At Wed Dec 06, 03:01:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how many recruiting slots does Caoch Wilson have this year?

At Wed Dec 06, 03:07:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

I have no idea why Musgrove left, but it had to be something unrelated to athletics.

As far as recruiting slots, I would hope the league gives us some room to work with. Sometimes caps are relaxed for teams in special situations.

At Fri Dec 08, 02:43:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Columbia 37P6 said...

Based on his high school achievements, Michael Siebold appears to have the ability to help out on both field goals and PAT's

At Fri Dec 08, 03:36:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Mon Dec 11, 07:52:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Mon Dec 11, 10:07:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patrick Huston may or may not play soccer, but is done playing football. As for other players who have left the team, it is highly unlikely that any of them will return, with the exception of Musgrove and Svigos (who will be returning to Columbia after a year away from school). Also, Siebold is a very competent back-up for Rocholl, but was plagued with injuries for most of the season. If he gets healthy, don't be suprised if he kicks off next year for the lions.


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