Everyone gives out Player of the Year and Coach of the Year Awards. So do we.
But sometimes there are players, coaches or circumstances so extraordinary, they necessitate some sort of honor unto themselves.
Introducing Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Big Central Football Specialty Awards for 2020.
Tech Wizards of the Year: Bernards Coaching Staff
Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano said COVID-19 was his team’s Number One opponent. In reality, the same could be said for any sports team.
And it hit the Bernards football team when the coaching staff found out Offensive Coordinator Dave Carmen would have to sit out the Mountaineers’ Week 7 game against St. Thomas Aquinas.
After discussion about options on the staff, Carmon wound up calling the offensive plays from his couch, thanks to the web-conferencing app Zoom. The following week, head coach Jon Simoneau would wind up doing the very same thing.
Listen below to Jon Simoneau talk about his staff’s coaching (tech) wizardry in 2020:
Record Setter of the Year: Bernards QB Teddy Gouldin
The Bernards coaching staff wasn’t the only part of the Mountaineer season that was exceptional.
Senior quarterback Teddy Gouldin – a three-year-starter – ended his scholastic efforts as the holder of seven career Bernards records:
- Passing Yards: 4,733
- 1,000 Yard Passing Seasons: 3
- QB Rating: 114.4
- Completion Percentage: 52%
- Passing TDs: 54
- Rushing TDs by a QB: 14
- Total TDs: 68
Listen below to Teddy Gouldin talk about his stellar career in crimson and white:
Mr. Consistency: Woodbridge RB Ali Lee, Jr.
The 5-10, 170-pound senior running back had a stellar career for the Barrons. The things he could do weren’t always measured in the stat column, though his stat column was impressive.
He had electrifying runs. There’s no way to tally that.
He scored momentum-changing touchdowns. There’s no category on MaxPreps for that.
But they do keep track of rushing yards and touchdowns. And of those, Lee had a lot, and was Mr. Consistency.
Try this on for size: Lee played 26 varsity games for the Barrons. In each of his last 18 games, he ran for at least 100 yards, and scored in all of them. That streak dates back to the final game of his sophomore season; he hit the century mark in all 11 games last year, and all 6 this year.
Lee will head to Stony Brook with 3,918 career rushing yards to his name, 44 rushing TDs, and 53 total.
Listen to Ali Lee Jr. recap his career with the Barrons:
Jack of All Trades: North Plainfield’s Khan-Yae Stevens
An Honorable Mention for CJSR’s Two-Way Player of the Year, that award simply was not enough to encompass everything Khan-Yae Stevens could do.
He plays wide receiver and defensive back, but also returns punts. And he excelled at all of them.
On the offensive side of the ball, he caught 21 passes for 481 yards and 11 touchdowns, while rushing 22 times for 194 yards and a score. He also threw two passes, completing both for touchdowns, racking up 50 aerial yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, he was disruptive. Stevens logged 6 interceptions – two of them for scores – totaling 244 yards. he also logged 34 tackles, 2 TFLs, and a forced fumble.
Then, there was special teams, to complete the trifecta: 13 punt returns for 248 yards and a touchdown, averaging 19 yards per return.
Stevens was one of many whose efforts contributed to a 7-1 season, the Canucks’ best since 2010, when they finished 9-1.
Listen below to Khan-Yae Stevens talking about his all-around season for North Plainfield:
Medical Comeback Award: Bernards LB Luke Burns
From nearly losing a leg, to an all-stater who finished his high school career with nearly 300 tackles: that’s the story of Luke Burns in a nutshell.
Bernards head coach Jon Simoneau says the senior “nearly had his leg amputated as a freshman” after he suffered a lacrosse injury that led to compartment syndrome, a condition that occurs when pressure in the muscles reaches dangerous level, dangerously decreasing blood flow.
He rebounded, however, despite suffering another unrelated leg injury this year. That limited him to six of the nine games Bernards played, but he still managers 70 tackles (11.7 per game), 8 TFLs and 4 1/2 sacks.
He finished off his Mountaineer career with 296 tackles (91 solo, 10.6 per game), 19 TFLs, 8 1/2 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles.
Click below to hear Luke Burns talk about recovering from injury to finish off a great high school career: