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Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University football program wrapped up a successful 2012 campaign and the first season under head coach Tony Annese with a 7-4 overall record, which marked only the second time in the past decade the Bulldogs have achieved seven or more victories in a campaign.
FSU announced its 2012 team award recipients at the program's season-ending awards banquet held Sunday (Nov. 11) at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Big Rapids, Mich. The event included an awards presentation along with comments from Coach Annese and his staff in addition to words from FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger.
The Bulldogs used the event to honor 17 outgoing seniors for their outstanding dedication to the program, which won only a single game in their freshmen season.
The Bulldog coaching staff presented four new major awards to a quartet of seniors for their accomplishments. Senior defensive back Jaime Barrera (Fremont, Calif./Washington) was chosen as the "Butch Jones" Coaches Award winner for his efforts as an extra "coach" on the field. The award is named for Bulldog alum and current University of Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones.
Senior linebacker Tayo Moss (South Rockwood/Monroe St. Mary's) was honored as the first "Bob Leach" Leadership Award recipient. The award is named for former Ferris State head coach Bob Leach, who coached the school's unbeaten 1968 squad. Moss was recognized for his strong skills in being a leader of this year's team.
Senior slot Dwayne Williams (Saginaw/Heritage) was recognized as the Mr. Bulldog Award winner for displaying outstanding qualities along with heart and dedication to the Bulldog program.
Also, senior offensive tackle Trevor Smolinski (Battle Creek/Marshall) was the first-ever recipient of the Bill Scheible "In The Fold" Award named in honor of the longtime FSU Gridiron Club president. The award recognizes an individual who displays the program's four major attributes of faith, order, love and discipline.
The Bulldog coaching staff presented the Most Valuable Offensive Player honor to redshirt freshman quarterback Jason Vander Laan (Frankfort, Ill./Chicago Christian) with senior defensive end Jorgan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) claiming the Most Valuable Defensive Player honor.
FSU senior slot/back Skyler Stoker (Jackson/Grass Lake) was the recipient of the Offensive Skill Player of the Year honor with senior defensive back Jamar Slade (Macomb/L'Anse Curse North) earning Defensive Skill Player of the Year recognition.
The Defensive Lineman of the Year Award was presented to senior defensive end Brad Iskow (Bad Axe) while the Offensive Lineman of the Year honor was bestowed upon junior tackle Carlin Landingham (Muskegon).
Additionally, the team's Most Improved Award also went to an offensive lineman as redshirt freshman Adam Bennett (Romeo) was recognized.
Team Newcomer of the Year honors went to sophomore defensive lineman Corey Stone (Sterling Heights/Stevenson) with Special Teams Player of the Year recognition handed to junior kicker Austin Kantola (Ravenna).
Meanwhile, the Practice Player of the Year Awards went to freshman quarterback Trevor Bermingham (Addison, Ill.) and freshman defensive back Patrick Marner (Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem) for the offense and defense, respectively.
The Bulldogs' seven wins in 2012 included the program's first victory over rival Grand Valley State since 1999, its first win over divisional foe Michigan Tech in 10 years along with a road triumph at defending national runner-up Wayne State. FSU posted the second-best overall mark in competitive GLIAC North Division action while facing one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2012.
2012 Team Award Winners:
Butch Jones Coaches Award - Jaime Barrera
Bob Leach Leadership Award - Tayo Moss
Mr. Bulldog Award - Dwayne Williams
Bill Scheible "In The Fold" Award - Trevor Smolinski
Most Valuable Player (Offense) - Jason Vander Laan
Most Valuable Player (Defense) - Jordan Morgan
Offensive Skill Player of the Year - Skyler Stoker
Defensive Skill Player of the Year - Jamar Slade
Offensive Lineman of the Year - Carlin Landingham
Defensive Lineman of the Year - Brad Iskow
Most Improved Player - Adam Bennett
Special Teams Player of the Year - Austin Kantola
Newcomer of the Year - Corey Stone
Practice Player of the Year (Offense) - Trevor Bermingham
Practice Player of the Year (Defense) - Patrick Marner