Tigers' Robinson earns top football nod
CASTLETON — Middlebury Union High School senior quarterback and safety Austin Robinson earned top honors on Sunday at the 22nd annual National Football Foundation Vermont Chapter Awards Dinner, held at Castleton State College.
Robinson, already named the Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year after helping Middlebury Union to its second straight Division I state title, earned the PRIDE of Vermont Award presented to the state’s premier football player.
The ninth annual award is sponsored by the Dolphin Foundation of South Burlington, with PRIDE being an acronym for “Personal Responsibility for Individual Daily Effort.”
Other finalists for the award were Chris Jansen of Division II state champ Rice and Luke Langelier of Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax, the Division III state champion.
Two other local athletes were among six high school seniors who were named Vermont High School Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame inductees and were awarded $500 scholarships: Connor Quinn of MUHS and John Winslow of Otter Valley. They were joined by Jeff Carter of Mount Mansfield, Grant Cummings of Colchester, Brendan Gleason of Essex and Jordan Godfrey of Rutland were all recognized for academic and athletic prowess.
Judah Ward of Missisquoi Valley Union High won 2015 Most Courageous Athlete Award and Scholarship. Ward, who as a youth was the main caregiver for his ill mother, played on his first athletic team as a senior for the fledgling T-Bird football team last fall.
Matt Larose, a senior three-sport standout at BFA-Fairfax, won the Robert Stafford High School Athlete Community Service Award.
Four Vermont college football players were named Vermont Collegiate Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame inductees: defensive back Matthew Benedict (Eden, N.Y.) of Middlebury; Zachary Howe (Bellows Falls), a wide receiver from Castleton State; defensive back Dane Pallotto (Westbrook, Conn.) of Norwich; and J.P. Benoit (Shelburne), a running back and wide receiver for the University of Vermont club program.
Former Hartford and current Norwich assistant coach Mike Stone, a Wilder resident, earned the Contribution to Amateur Athletics Award.
The state’s high school coaches’ organization presented its 2014 Vermont Coach of the Year Award to Mike Williams of BFA-Fairfax for leading the school to its first-ever state title in only its eighth season as a varsity program.
The Vermont Football Officials Association presented its season-long team sportsmanship awards for the North to BFA-Fairfax and for the South to Mount Anthony.