PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College football team announced its annual award winners and team captains at its traditional season-ending banquet Sunday, Jan. 29, at Quail Hollow Resort in Painesville Township.
Head Coach Mark McNellie and staff handed out awards for scout team, offensive, defensive and special teams players of the year, as well as the scholar-athlete award. The program also gave special recognition to the 27 senior players, many of whom were part of the inaugural club team in 2007.
The most prestigious award of the day was the introduction of the 2011 team captains. Unlike most schools, which name team captains prior to the start of the season, Lake Erie has always announced its captains at the conclusion of the year. The captains, like the player of the year awards, are voted on by the players on the team.
The captains for the 2011 season are seniors Sean Bedevelsky (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick), Kevin Chapman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) and David Romeo (Willoughby, Ohio/Eastlake North). It was the third straight season Bedevelsky was named a captain and the second year in a row for Chapman. Romeo was also named a team captain for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
The Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year award went to freshman defensive lineman Louis Duranda (Pontiac, Mich./West Bloomfield) while the Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year honor was shared by freshman quarterback Ryan Bitzer (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Orange) and receiver Shane VanFleteren (Shelby, Mich./Utica).
Freshman linebacker Kyle Herth (Harrison, Ohio/LaSalle) was named Special Teams Player of the Year. Herth played a role on all kickoff and punt teams as well as the field goal/extra point squad and was a leading tackler on the special teams units.
The Offensive Player of the Year award went to fifth-year senior receiver Brandon James (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor). The all-time leading receiver in school history, James was a second-team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) pick in 2011 after earning honorable mention as a junior. He set single-season LEC highs with 72 receptions for 879 yards and also caught four touchdowns.
Chapman was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year after leading the team in total tackles (81), tackles for loss (11) and quarterback sacks (5.5). An honorable mention All-GLIAC pick, Chapman took home conference and D2football.com national Defensive Player of the Week honors after his performance in the Storm's season-opening win over rival Gannon University.
The team's Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to the player with the overall highest grade point average on the team, went to senior center Mike Hounshell (Willoughby, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin).