Last night The Ragin’ Cajun Football awards banquet honored the team’s graduating seniors, along with a number of other standout players from the historic 2011 campaign, culminating with the New Orleans Bowl Championship ring ceremony.
The event, held at the Cajundome, drew nearly 500 people, including former Ragin’ Cajun Football standouts Brian Mitchell, Jake Delhomme, and featured a special video presentation from current Chicago Bears Defensive Back, Charles Tillman.
Intermixed between the numerous awards presented last evening was a Top 10 video countdown of highlights from the season. As the count down reached number one, few people in the jam-packed ballroom were surprised by the top play. The Winner? The infamous “kick”. Brett Baer nailed a 50-yard field goal edging the Cajuns past San Diego State in the waning seconds of the New Orleans Bowl, solidifying his eternal place in UL football history.
Just prior to the ring ceremony, the seniors were presented with their framed jersey from Coach Hudspeth, followed by an emotional video mosaic, celebrating the careers of each senior to the tune of George Jones, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”.
To lighten the mood after the senior ceremony, video coordinator, Darren Walker compiled the best post game dance moves from the 2011 season. Among the finalist were Head Coach Mark Hudspeth, Defensive Lineman Justin Hamilton, and Defensive Back Jemarlous Moten; However, none of our finalist could hang with the fantastic post bowl game dance styling’s of banquet favorite, UL’s own, President Dr. Joseph Savoie.
As the evening was drawing to a close, it was finally the moment all players, coaches, and administration had been waiting for, the ring ceremony. Nearly every other annual football awards banquet in school history ended with a simple, “thanks for coming”, but not this year. This year marked the best season in school history under first year staff and Head Coach Mark Hudspeth. The Culmination of this season was not “better luck next year”, but rather a massive bowl championship ring celebrating a storybook season with a promise engraved on its side, “Hold onto the rope”, for this is only the beginning!
The List of awards includes:
MVP (Offense): Blaine Gautier & Ladarius Green
MVP (Defense): Lance Kelley & Dwight "Bill" Bentley
MVP (Special Teams): Brett Baer
Captains Award: Brad McGuire & Ladarius Green (Offense), Devon Lewis & Derrick Dean (Defense)
Scout Team Player of the Year (Offense): Effrem Reed
Scout Team Player of the Year (Defense): Christian Sager
Brian Mitchell Special Forces Special Team Player of the Year: Nick Barnfield
Newcomer of the Year (Offense): Alonzo Harris
Newcomer of the Year (Defense): Jemarlous Moten
Off-Season Training Award: Ross Goodlet
Defensive Lineman of the Year: Bernard Smith
Linebacker of the Year: Lance Kelley
Defensive Back of the Year: Lionel Stokes
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Daniel Quave
Offensive Skill Player of the Year: Javone Lawson
Utility Player of the Year (All-Purpose): Darryl Surgent
Big Hit Award: Melvin White
Hardy Edmiston Sportsmanship Award: Harry Peoples
Robert Trahan Exceptional Award: Chris Masson
Awardmasters Academic Excellence: Andre Huval
Gridiron Alumni Blue Collar Award: Chris Tucker (Defense), Tyrell Gaddies (Defense) & Kyle Plouhar (Offense)