WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 2018 edition of the National Football Foundation's Honors Dinner will have a very distinctive Purdue quarterback flavor as well as a new location.
Celebrating the inductions of two former Boilermaker QBs into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame and the recognition of two current Purdue QBs as award winners will be a primary focus of the NFF's Joe Tiller Chapter of Northwest Indiana at its "Celebrating Our Legends XIV" Dinner. This event is on Sunday afternoon June 10 and, for the first time, will be at the Grand Ballroom of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in West Lafayette.
The new Indiana Football Hall of Fame members are a pair of former Purdue quarterbacks from the 1950s, Dale Samuels and Len Dawson, while current Boilermaker QBs David Blough and Elijah Sindelar will receive two of the chapter's top annual awards, the Citizenship Award and the Drew Brees Mental Toughness Award, respectively.
The chapter awards slated for presentation this year are ...
Drew Brees Mental Toughness Award - Roosevelt Barnes and Caleb Swanigan (2017 winners) and Elijah Sindelar (2018 winner)
Bernie Flowers Award for Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Sports - Brad Cohen and Orlando Itin
Citizenship Award - David Blough
Legends Award - Jeff Washburn
Patrick Mackey Courage Award - Tyler Trent
Outstanding Game Official Award - Dr. Todd Clark
Arnette Tiller "Service to Football" Award - Jan O'Shea
NFF and J&C Scholar-Athletes of the Year - Still to be determined and announced as surprises June 10
For the 14th straight year, the top football scholar-athletes of Northwest Indiana, who were nominated by their schools for the NFF's scholarships, will be featured during this marque event.
Those 14 scholar-athletes are all high school seniors who are headed to college next fall. Academically, it is an outstanding group. Seven of them have 4.0 grade-point averages or better, eight are ranked among the top 10 percent in their senior classes, six are in the top five percent and three are on course to be valedictorians at their schools. Their collective GPA is 3.94.
Six of those young men have been singled out by judges as finalists for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award and the winner will be announced June 10 making him a candidate for the Indiana Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. The "competition" is based 40 percent on academics, 40 percent on athletics and 20 percent on citizenship, leadership and character. The scholar-athletes' names and high schools are Kyle Colbert (Tri-Central), Jimmy Cravens (Portage), Keon Dillon (Harrison). Vince Ivetich (Munster), Ethan Jones (North White), Ben Korniak (Rensselaer Central), Ethan Larason (Maconaquah), Drew Moseley (Tri-County), Andrew Page (Lafayette Central Catholic), August Schott (West Lafayette), Nicholas Schutkovske (Andrean), Jadrid Segal (Lafayette Jefferson), Kyle Wade (Kokomo) and Colton Wagner (North Newton).
Also, this year for the first time, the Honors Dinner will serve as a platform for recognition of the Lafayette Journal & Courier's Scholar-Athletes of the Year. A male and female winners will be selected by the J&C sports staff from a list of nominees from athletic directors of the schools in the newspaper's coverage area. Scholarship money is being raised to provide monetary support for these winners as well. Nominees for the J&C honors have not yet been announced.
In addition, the Journal & Courier annually select Players of the Year in several sports among both the small schools and the large schools. Those athletes also are being invited to this year's Honors Dinner and will be introduced during the program. Nominees for the J&C Student-Athlete of the Year honors include: Nicole Brindle and Mason Hartman of Attica, Andrew Page and Sami Royer of Central Catholic, Anna Albaugh and Mitch Coapstick of Clinton Prairie, Colton Crum and Elizabeth Rhoda of Frankfort, Kate Cunningham and Pete Newton of Harrison, Jay Segal of Lafayette Jeff, Will Persin and Bear Wood of McCutcheon, Justin Clary and Caroline McClaskey of North Montgomery, Leevin Ball and Maci Heimlich of North White, Parker Jordan and Hailey Henry of Rensselaer Central, Drew Moseley of Tri-County, Mallory Gardiner of Twin Lakes and Kylie Martin and August Schott of West Lafayette.
In addition, the Journal & Courier annually select Players of the Year in several sports among both the small schools and the large schools. Those athletes are also being invited to this year's Honors Dinner and will be introduced during the program. They include: Grace Balensiefer (McCutcheon), Olivia Geswein (Harrison), Jakub Hall (Harrison), Maci Heimlich (North White), Dalton Justice (Tri-County), Ben Korniak (Rensselaer), Kiara Lewis (Lafayette Jeff), Robert Phinisee (McCutcheon), Spencer Pettit (Covington), Sami Royer (Central Catholic), Luke Staton (West Lafayette) and Mathew Wilkerson (Lafayette Jeff).
Also, the Honors Dinner crowd will pay tribute to the high school players and managers chosen from Regions 1 and 4 to compete on the North Squad in the annual North-South All-Star Game this summer in Indianapolis.
Purdue head football coach Jeff Brohm will be part of the program.