CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Players and coaches from conference champions dominate the 2022 New England Football Writers annual awards list. Four of the seven major award recipients either played on or coached teams that won conference championships.
Holy Cross quarterback Matt Sluka is the recipient of the Harry Agganis/Harold Zimman Award as the outstanding player in New England. Sluka, a junior, threw for 2,301 passing yards and 25 touchdowns, with only three interceptions on the year, while also running for eight touchdowns and a team-high 918 rushing yards. Sluka led the Crusaders to an 11-0 regular season record and their fourth consecutive championship of the Patriot League.
The Season Gold Helmet Awards to the most valuable player in each Division were earned by a championship quarterback and record setting wide receiver. UMass Dartmouth junior Dante Aviles-Santos was the selection in Division II/III. Aviles-Santos led the Corsairs to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference title with a 7-0 conference record throwing for 2,940 yards and 26 touchdowns with only six interceptions over 10 regular season games. Zay Flowers, will graduate from Boston college following a senior season with 78 receptions totaling 1,077 yards and a BC record 12 receiving touchdowns.
For the second straight year the Jack Grinold Division I Coach of the Year Award goes to Bob Chesney of Holy Cross. In his fifth year at the helm of the Crusaders, Holy Cross earned a 11-0 record, the Patriot League title and the 8thseed in the 2022 FCS playoffs.
Jeff Devanney of Trinity College is the recipient of the Division II/III Coach of the Year award. The Bantams won the Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference championship going undefeated (9-0).
The Jerry Nason Award to the senior football player in New England who has succeeded in football against all odds goes to Middlebury College linebacker Jordan Ramos.
Middlebury College Head Coach Bob Ritter is the recipient of the George Carens Award to the person who has made significant contributions to football in New England. Ritter has guided the Panthers since 2000 leading the team to a 112-61 record (.647).
Al the award recipients were honored at the New England Football Writers Captains and Awards Banquet presented by the Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts of the National Football Foundation in December 8, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center.