Players and coaches from conference champions dominate the 2021 New England Football Writers annual awards list. Five of the seven major award recipients either played on or coached teams that won conference championships.
Sacred Heart University running back Malik Grant is the recipient of the Harry Agganis/Harold Zimman Award as the outstanding player in New England. Grant, a junior, rushed for 1,347 yards and nine touchdowns and added two receiving scores in leading Sacred Heart to the championship of the Northeast Conference.
The Season Gold Helmet Awards to the most valuable player in each Division were earned by two championship quarterbacks. Holy Cross sophomore Matthew Sluka was the selection in Division I. Sluka led the Crusaders to the Patriot League title with a 6-0 conference record. Holy Cross will play in the second round of the NCAA Division I FCS Championship on Friday evening at Villanova.
Bobby Maimaron from New England Small College Athletic Conference titlist Williams College is the recipient of the award for Divisions II and III. A senior, Maimaron guided Williams to the only undefeated regular season of any college team in New England in 2021 leading the Ephs to a 9-0 record.
The Jack Grinold Division I Coach of the Year Award goes to Bob Chesney of Holy Cross. In his fourth year at the helm of the Crusaders, Holy Cross has earned a 10-2 record and the college’s first NCAA FCS Playoff victory.
Chris Pincince of the University of New Haven is the recipient of the Division II/III Coach of the Year award. The Chargers won the Division II Northeast-10 championship going undefeated (8-0) in conference play and losing games to only nationally ranked foes Bowie State and Kutztown University.
The Jerry Nason Award to the senior football player in New England who has succeeded in football against all odds goes to Nichols College running back Josh Pierre-Charles.
Retiring University of New Hampshire Head Coach Sean McDonnell is the recipient of the George Carens Award to the person who has made significant contributions to football in New England. McDonnell has guided the Wildcats since 1999 leading the team to 14 consecutive FCS tournament bids from 2004-2017.
Al the award recipients will be honored at the New England Football Writers Captains and Awards Banquet presented by the Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts of the National Football Foundation on Thursday, December 9, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center. The evening begins with a reception at 6:00 with dinner and the awards presentations to follow at 7:00. Reservations are $60.00 per person and available here. Reservations are available by credit card only and must be made no later than Friday, December 3. Any and all interested parties are invited to attend.
2021 Weekly Gold Helmet Recipients
Sept. 4 - Phil Jurkovec, Boston College
Sept. 11 - Evan Horn, University of New Hampshire
Sept. 18 - Kasim HIll, University of Rhode Island
Sept. 25 - Westin Elliott, Merrimack College
Oct. 2 - Jake Smith, Harvard University
Oct. 9 - Malik Grant, Sacred Heart University
Oct. 16 - Derek Kyler, Dartmouth College
Oct. 23 - E.J. Perry, IV, Brown University
Oct. 30 - Spencer Alston, Yale University
Nov. 6 - Isaiah Johnson, Dartmouth College
Nov. 13 - Matthew Sluka, College of the Holy Cross
Nov. 20 - Derek Kyler, Dartmouth College
Sept. 4 - Errol Breaux, Dean College
Sept. - Justin Felder, Stonehill College
Sept. 18 - Brendan Albert, Bridgewater State Univ.
Sept. 25 - Joey Mauriello, Salve Regina University
Oct. 2 - Alex Cohen, Anna Maria College
Oct. 9 - Brendan Costa, Bates College
Oct. 16 - David Estevez, Wesleyan University
Oct. 23 - Oakley Dehning, MIT
Oct. 30 - Mack Driver, Western Conn. State University
Nov. 6 - Spencer Fetter, Trinity College
Nov. 13 - Jarrett Henault, University of New England
NOv. 20 - Dante Aviles-Santos, UMass Dartmouth