Palm Beach County Sports Commission Presents

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award

Palm Beach Sports

As part of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Awards program, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission assembles a panel of Palm Beach County High School football coaches and select members of the local media to select the winners of three awards given out for excellence in Palm Beach County high school football:

Near the end of the season, ESPN West Palm, who’s broadcast team covers the local football program all season, provides the nominees for each award. At the annual Lou Groza Awards banquet in December the top three finalists in each category are recognized and the winner is announced.

The Palm Beach County Player of the Year Award is given out annually to the top prep football player in Palm Beach County. The award is open to players of all grade levels and school classifications.

 

2015 PALM BEACH COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNER


Ahmmon Richards - Wellington High School

The only player in Palm Beach County selected as a U.S. Army All-American, Ahmmon Richards has become one of the nation’s most-heralded players. Coming off a junior year in which he caught 53 passes for more than 1,300 yards and 23 touchdowns, Richards not only had a lot to live up to; he also had the added pressure of knowing every opponent was game-planning against him. None of it mattered. In his senior season, the Wellington receiver hauled in even more catches for even more yards’ this time amassing 73 receptions for 1,442 yards, an average of nearly 20 yards per catch. Though his 6-foot, 2-inch frame makes him an easy red zone target, Richards showed off his speed more often, scoring long touchdowns week after week. He caught a 35 yard score against Atlantic and a short pass that turned into an 85 yard touchdown against Royal Palm Beach. He grabbed a 75 yard touchdown catch on the opening drive to set the tone in Wellington’s win over Seminole Ridge. Against Jupiter, he opened the game with a 61 yard touchdown and ended it with a 65 yard score. His longest touchdown of the year wasn’t a reception, but a kickoff return that he took back 96 yards against Boca, though he added 177 receiving yards for good measure. Against the vaunted Dwyer defense, Richards made eight receptions for 163 yards and three touchdowns, including long scores of 55 and 72 yards. After dominating opposing defenses again and again, the next stop for Richards is the U.S. Army All-America Bowl and then the national spotlight on college football Saturdays.

 

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
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Lamar Jackson
Travis Rudolph
Kelvin Taylor
Will Likely
Jacoby Brissett
Matt Elam
Matt Elam
Star Jackson
Brandon Pendergrass
Emanuel Cook
Antone Smith
Omar Haugabook
Ron Williams
Curtis Holley
Danny Embick
Abram Elam
Anquan Boldin
Brad Banks
Micah Mays
LaFann Williams
Johnny Rutledge
Fred Taylor
Andre Anderson
Boynton Beach
Cardinal Newman
Glades Day School
Glades Central
William T. Dwyer
William T. Dwyer
William T. Dwyer
Lake Worth 
Royal Palm Beach
Palm Beach Gardens
Pahokee 
Glades Central
American Heritage
Glades Central 
William T. Dwyer
Cardinal Newman
Pahokee
Glades Central
Palm Beach Lakes
Pahokee
Glades Central
Glades Central
Suncoast

 

 

Palm Beach County Place Kicker of the Year

The Palm Beach County Place-Kicker of the Year Award is given out annually to the top prep football place-kicker in Palm Beach County. The award is open to players of all grade levels and school classifications

2015 PALM BEACH COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL PLACE-KICKER OF THE YEAR WINNER

Ezekiel Hernandez - Pahokee High School

 

Though he’s only a sophomore, Ezekiel Hernandez showcased one of premier kicking performances, not only in Palm Beach County’s high school football history, but compared to all who ever played the game. Pahokee’s standout kicker booted a record-setting 63-yard field goal in a victory over Village Academy. This 63 yard field goal set the all-time Palm Beach County record and makes Hernandez one of just nine kickers in the history of Florida high school football with a kick from that long - a list that includes Pro Bowler Fuad Reveiz, two-time Groza winner Sebastian Janikowski, and Groza winner Graham Gano. With a leg that strong, it’s no surprise that 92% of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. Beyond the power, Hernandez also put together one of the most accurate kicking seasons of the year.  He connected on 12 of 14 field goal attempts and scored on all 27 of his extra point attempts.  Ezekiel’s performance contributed to Pahokee’s championship season that brought 8 wins and a district title.   

 

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
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Alex Ng
Paul Schumacher
Cameron Golob
Bobby Puyol
David Bicknell
Cody Parkey
Brendan Gibbons,Patrick O'Donnell
Daniel Riddle
Sal DiMauro
Matt Bosher
Matt Bosher
Tony Ciaravino
Brian Monroe
Brian Monroe
Bryan Bobo
Will Rhody
John Anderson
Taylor Northrop
David Pavich
Ryan Romano
Brandon Kornblue
Sean Holohan
Eric Meng

Wellington
The King's Academy
Palm Beach Central
William T. Dwyer
Boca Raton
Jupiter Community 
William T. Dwyer
Boca Raton 
Jupiter
Jupiter 
Boca Raton 
Palm Beach Gardens
Palm Beach Gardens
William T. Dwyer
Benjamin
Pope John Paul II
William T. Dwyer
Boca Raton
Cardinal Newman
Boca Raton
Spanish River
Jupiter

 

 

 

Sam Budnyk Coach of the Year

The Sam Budnyk Coach of the Year Award is given out annually to the top prep football coach in Palm Beach County. The award is named in honor of legendary coach Sam Budnyk, head football coach at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, FL.

2015 SAM BUDNYK COACH OF THE YEAR WINNER

T. J. Jackson - Atlantic High School

 

There are not many ways Atlantic could improve upon last season in which they knocked off perennial football power, Dwyer, for a district title and a surprise run into the playoffs, but T.J. Jackson found a way in a simple word: perfection. During the 2015 football season, Coach T.J. Jackson led the Eagles to an undefeated, 10-0, regular season, which included a District 10-8A crown.  Atlantic High School gained national recognition by ending the 2015 season as the #1 ranked 8A team in the entire state of Florida. Jackson’s team was dominant on both sides of the ball, outscoring their opponents by an average score of 4 touchdowns per game. Coach Jackson’s offense spread the ball around between four talented running backs who scored 24 rushing touchdowns between them. His defense shut out their opponents three consecutive times, and kept teams to single-digits in an incredible seven of ten games. In just three years, Jackson not only returned the Atlantic program to prominence; he’s led the Eagles to one of the greatest football seasons in Palm Beach County history.

 

 

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992

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Tom Abel
Alphonso Moran
Chris Bean
Willie Bueno
Matt Dickmann
Jack Daniels
Jack Daniels
Brian Dobbs
Eric Patterson
Kevin Fleury
Pete Walker
Larry Coffey
Leroy Foster
Brian Dodds
Tim Tharp
Verryl Floyd
Joe Marx
Milton Watson
Bob Bolinder
Sam Budnyk
Jay Minton
Rick Casko
Ron Ream
Wellington 
West Boca
Atlantic 
Royal Palm Beach
Seminole Ridge 
William T. Dwyer
William T. Dwyer
Park Vista 
Royal Palm Beach
Palm Beach Gardens
The King's Academy
Glades Central
Pahokee
Boca Raton
Palm Beach Gardens
Atlantic
Pahokee
Glades Central
Palm Beach Lakes
Cardinal Newman
Boca Raton
Glades Central
Benjamin

 

 

2015 PALM BEACH COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL TEAM OF THE YEAR WINNER

Atlantic High School

 

Two years ago, Coach T.J. Jackson took over at Atlantic team that won only 3 games. Last year, the Eagles surprised everyone by ending William T. Dwyer’s 15-year playoff streak and taking the District 13-7A title. During the 2015 season, Atlantic’s accomplishments were unrivaled.  The Eagles moved up a class, completed a perfect regular season, and finish the year as the AP’s #1 ranked 8A team in the entire state. As you might expect from a team that went 10-0, it’s hard to decide just where to start when describing Atlantic’s season. The offense averaged 36.1 points per game, scoring at least 21 in all ten contests. The Eagles featured not one, not two, not even three, but four top running backs. Dontavius Monroe, Shawndarius Phillips, Lamar Washington and Jerrod Ferguson all put up big yardage totals and each found the end zone at least five times. When quarterback Zavion Thompson went down with an ankle injury mid-season, Phillips went from taking handoffs to taking snaps, but Coach Jackson’s offense didn’t miss a beat and Phillips would go on to become a finalist for Palm Beach County Player of the Year. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles became county’s stingiest defense. In addition to an unprecedented string of three straight shutouts, Atlantic held opponents to single digits in an astonishing seven games and only allowed an average of 9 points per game. Despite the move up to 8A, Atlantic dominated their district opponents, winning their six district games by a combined score of 210-36. In the final week of the regular season, they faced their old foe Dwyer in a battle of unbeaten teams, and the Eagles remained perfect with a 32-21 road victory to cap one of the most impressive seasons in Palm Beach County history.

 

PREVIOUS WINNERS

2014 - Wellington
2013 - William T. Dwyer
2012 - American Heritage
2011 - Glades Central
2010 - William T. Dwyer
 

Groza Committee Chair, Bill Davis welcomes local awards candidates during 2007 Banquet.

 

 

Palm Beach County Sports Commission

Contact Us:
(561) 233-3180
Palm Beach County Sports Commission

1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
Suite 930
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Fax: (561) 233-3125

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