JERSEY?SHORE?- The parents, players, and coaches gathered one last time as a football family to celebrate their accomplishments and recognized the seniors. The banquet which was sponsored by the Bulldog Booster Club was held at the Wheeland Center in Jersey Shore.
The afternoon started with keynote speaker, Lou Cella, Owner of the Flexbone Association and Assistant Coach at Lackawanna College, giving an inspiring speech. He challenged the players to make the necessary commitment to help the program move to the next level.
Following the keynote speaker, everyone enjoyed a great meal served by Cara's Catering from Montoursville.
Jersey Shore seniors are honored at the team’s annual football banquet
Booster Club treasurer, Theresa Harer presented the end of the season financial report to the audience; identifying fundraisers, money raised, and a list of things that the booster club provides the program, players, and coaches.
The coaches and players presented a framed team picture and a letter of appreciation to the Jersey Shore Masonic Lodge as a way of saying thank you to the organization for their continued support of the Bulldog football program throughout the past two years.
"We have been very lucky to have such a solid relationship with the Mason's," head coach Tony Confer said. "They opened their doors and cooked eight of our weekly team dinners in 2011. They provided their lodge for our homecoming block party, donated proceeds from their annual Super Bowl wing sale in February to the football program, supplied workers for our concession stand at the homecoming game so the parents could watch the game, and donated funds for our golf tournament fundraiser."
The awards portion of the banquet saw freshman Tim Wool being named Offensive Scout Player of the Year; freshman Dominic Loffredo as Defensive Scout Player of the Year; sophomore Utoafili Agae-Naipo as Underclassman of the Year; freshman Logan English as JV Player of the Year; senior MacKenzie Kershner as Most Improved Player of the Year; senior Jared Fisher as Lineman of the Year; senior Ryan Harer as Skill Player of the Year; senior Jon Eck as Versatility Player of the Year; senior Ryan Dauber as Special Teams Player of the Year; senior Caleb Barnhart as Offensive Player of the Year; junior Jeff Dincher as Defensive Player of the Year; senior Nate Sanso as The Nick Lopez Courage Award; and senior Caleb Barnhart as The Prototype "Bulldog Warrior" Award.
The final award of the night, the Kasey Kemmerer Award, was awarded to senior Colton Thompson The award given to the senior Bulldog each year by the parents of former Bulldog standout Kasey Kemmerer. The award is given to a player who embodies the same passion and respect for the game as Kasey did in his playing days.
"Colton was the first choice of the coaches for this award as he was for Mr. and Mrs. Kemmerer," Confer said. "He is a special type of football player. He shows up every day with his hardhat on ready to work. He never complained or made excuses in the two years I coached him . He returned this season from a devastating ACL injury that would keep a lot of kids out and Colton didn't miss a beat".
Each senior received their home game jersey as well as a framed picture of themselves with a personalized letter from one of the varsity coaches. "This has been one of the hardest if not the hardest working group of seniors that I have coached in the 16 years I have been coaching," Confer said.
The assistant coaches were presented with game day bags with the Bulldog logo and their names on them.
"These guys deserve something for all of the time they put in and sacrifice away from their families; I could not do this without having a dedicated group of coaches," Confer said.
The night ended with Coach Confer giving his annual state of the program speech to the audience. He acknowledged since the end of last season the program has been able to purchase badly need items, including $8,000 for field equipment, $8,000 for new jerseys, $2,000 for white game pants.
The Bullgogs recently were able to secure funding from the Jersey Shore State Bank to replace the scoreboard, as well as a neck machine in the fitness center and some other minor purchases.
Confer discussed, in terms of wins and losses, that the team did not improve from last year but that there was a lot of improvement in terms of team speed and strength, being more competitive with teams on schedule, and more offseason commitment.