AU Press Releases

Alfred University football team presents 2009 season awards

ALFRED, NY — The Alfred University football team announces its 2009 awards, handed out at the team banquet Saturday, Feb. 20.

For the second straight year, Jared Manzer (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. The senior wide receiver/free safety led the team in receptions (65) and receiving yards (1,046). He had a school single-season record 15 receiving touchdowns and led the team with six interceptions (two returned for TDs — one a school-record 98 yards). Manzer was named an American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-American, the ECAC Northwest Player of the Year, the Empire 8 Conference Player of the Year and an Empire 8 First Team all-star as a wide receiver, free safety and all-purpose runner and a Second Team pick as a return man. His 195 all-purpose yards per game ranked second in all of Division III. Manzer, a four-time Empire 8 all-star and team captain this season, will leave AU as the career and single-season record holder for pass receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches.

Junior outside linebacker Chad Pieri (LeRoy, NY/Caledonia-Mumford) was presented the Alex Yunevich Award as Defensive MVP. Pieri, in his first season back after missing the 2008 campaign with an injury, had 51 tackles, including 6.5 for loss and three sacks, to go with an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. A team captain, Pieri was named Second Team Empire 8 all-star, the third time in as many seasons he’s earned all-conference recognition. For his career, he has 216 tackles (25.5 for loss) and 14 sacks.

Senior tailback Vinson Hendrix (Rochester, NY/East) was named recipient of the Hal Brown Award as Offensive MVP. Hendrix rushed for 1,339 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 17 passes for 170 yards and two scores en route to earning First Team Empire 8 honors. He had eight games with 100 or more yards rushing, tying his own single-season record. His 133.9 rushing yards per game led the Empire 8 and ranked ninth in the nation. He holds the school single-season record for rushing yards (1,406, 2007) and will leave Alfred with 3,535 yards rushing (which ranks second all-time at AU) and 36 rushing touchdowns.

Other team awards presented include:

Special Teams MVP — Senior punter Peter Marley (Warsaw, NY/Warsaw). Marley averaged 38.5 yards per punt (long of 68 yards) and placed nine kicks inside the opponents’ 20-yard line en route to being named an Empire 8 First Team all-star. He earned Second Team Empire 8 honors in 2008 and is the Saxons’ only two-time all-conference punter.

Bob Carley Memorial Award — Senior left tackle Dave Carletta (Webster, NY/Webster Schroeder). The Carley Award is given to a player who displays a positive attitude and exceptional work ethic. Carletta, a team captain, has earned All-Empire 8 honors two times in his three years as a starter. He was a First Team selection this season, when he anchored a line that helped the Saxons produce 410 yards of offense per game while allowing only 15 sacks.

Pete DeRose Memorial Award — Sophomore cornerback Roland O’Brien (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls). The award recognizes character, heads-up play and scrappiness. O’Brien started at cornerback and returned punts for the Saxons. He finished the year with 50 tackles and an interception and shared the team lead in passes defended with seven. He also averaged 13.5 yards on four punt returns with one touchdown and forced a fumble on a punt return, recovered the ball and scored in a key Empire 8 win at St. John Fisher.

Fred Yanni Award — Freshman tailback Chris Lopez (Rochester, NY/Pittsford Sutherland). The award is given to a freshman who shows great enthusiasm and love for the game and is a team player. Lopez was a backup to Hendrix and finished his freshman campaign with 261 yards on 55 carries (4.7 yards per carry).

Saxon Club Award — The award is given to players who have at least seven outstanding games throughout the course of the season. The lone winner this season is Hendrix.

Purple and Gold Awards — The awards are given to top players on the scout teams. Senior quarterback Tim Hudson (Oneida, NY/Oneida) won the award for offense and sophomore defensive back Ryan Quinliven (Endicott, NY/Union-Endicott) won for defense.

The Saxons finished the 2009 season with an 8-2 record and earned the team’s first-ever Empire 8 Conference title and its second-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III championship tournament. Fourteen Saxons earned all-conference recognition and head coach Dave Murray was named Empire 8 Coach of the Year.