BEREA, Ohio – The Baldwin Wallace University football team announced its team awards at its annual season ending banquet last week in the Strosacker Hall on the BW campus.
First-year Head Coach Jim Hilvert and his staff recognized a total of 143 student-athletes for their efforts during the season. 12 players were honored with varsity awards and four student-athletes were recognized for contributions on the scout team.
The 12 top honorees were senior linebacker and team captain Sam Groff (Waynesburg/Sandy Valley), senior quarterback John Kromalic (Copley), senior offensive lineman and team captain Andrew Sierawski (Delaware/Hayes), senior defensive lineman Nigel Simmons (Lilbrun, Ga./Snellville Brookwood), senior running back Austin Smith (Broadview Heights/North Royalton), senior defensive back and team captain Trypp Washington (Eatonville, Fla./Orlando First Academy), junior running back and special teams player Robert Androyna (Exeter, Neb./Exeter-Milligan), junior defensive back Ty Fields (St. Augustine, Fla.), junior quarterback Jake Hudson (East Lake, Fla.), junior defensive lineman Wezlee Spence (North Canton/Hoover), junior wide receiver Rob Wolfington (Rapids City, Mich./Elk Rapids) and sophomore defensive back Kyle Kelly (Wadsworth/St. Vincent-St. Mary).
The four scout team award winners were sophomore offensive lineman Greg Bruenn (Buffalo, N.Y./West Seneca East), sophomore defensive lineman Jake Schrock (Rockport, Mass./Glouchester), freshman quarterback Chase Cooke (Galion) and freshman linebacker Ellis Moye (San Francisco, Calif./Lincoln).
Groff was selected as the Ray E. Watts Most Valuable Defensive Player and the Outstanding Linebacker Award recipient. He is a two-time All-OAC selection and he led the team in tackles for the third consecutive season and was third in the OAC with a career-high 95 stops. He recorded 6.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks, two quarterback hurries and recovered one fumble. Groff appeared in 37 career games and recorded 262 tackles, five sacks, four pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.
Kromalic was named as the Co-Eloise Tressel J-A-C-K-E-T Award winner for the most spirited teammate. He appeared in al 10 games as the holder and backup quarterback. Kromalic completed nine of 12 passes for 76 yards. He carried the ball five times for eight yards, including scoring his first career touchdown in season-opening win at Defiance. Kromalic is a Dean's List student.
Sierawski was selected as the Dick Van Alman Outstanding Offensive Lineman. He is a three-time Academic All-OAC selection in football, an Academic All-OAC selection in wrestling, a National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Scholar All-American, a Dean's List student, a Jacket Scholar and a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society For his career, Sierawski appeared in 30 games on the offensive line with two tackles.
Simmons was named as the Co-Eloise Tressel J-A-C-K-E-T Award recipient for the most spirited teammate. He appeared in one varsity game this season and was not credited with a tackle. Simmons was also a two-year member of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams as a thrower. For his career, Simmons appeared in three games and was credited with one tackle for a loss of four yards.
Smith was named as the Outstanding Offensive Back Award winner. He is a two-time All-OAC selection that led the team and was ninth in the OAC in rushing with 564 yards on 119 carries with three touchdowns and a 70-yard touchdown run. Smith also caught five passes for 144 yards with a career-long of 71 yards. He appeared in 35 career games, rushed for 1,720 yards on 385 carries with 21 touchdowns and caught 27 passes for 284 yards with one touchdown.
Washington was selected as the Roy Seitz Yellow Jacket Award recipient. He earned his first All-OAC accolade this fall. Washington was second on the team and 12th in the OAC with a career-high 74 tackles. He led the team and was tied for fifth in the OAC with a career-best tying three interceptions. Washington was second on the squad and tied for fourth in the OAC with seven pass breakups. He also tallied three tackles for loss, one quarterback hurry and forced one fumble. Washington appeared in all 40 of his career games and recorded 219 tackles, 19 pass break ups, nine interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick.
Androyna was named as the Most Valuable Special Teams Player. He appeared in all 10 games and recorded a career-high nine tackles, including a career-best five solo stops. Androyna also carried the ball one time for one yard. For his career, Androyna has appeared in 17 games with 15 tackles. He has returned three kickoffs for seven yards.
Fields was selected as Outstanding Defensive Back Award winner. He earned his first All-OAC accolade this fall. Fields led the OAC and the team with a career-high 12 pass break ups. He was fifth on the team with a career-high 45 tackles and was tied for second on squad with one interception. Fields also tallied one quarterback hurry and recovered one fumble. For his career, Fields has appeared in 19 games and has recorded 63 tackles, 15 pass break ups, made one interception and recovered one fumble.
Hudson was named the Ray E. Watts Most Valuable Offensive player. The two-year starting signal caller had career-highs in completions (145), attempts (244), yards (2,027) and touchdowns (18). Hudson was second on the team in rushing with 519 yards on 122 carries with four touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 95 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown. Hudson was named the OAC Offensive Player of the Week on October 2 selected the 40th Lee Tressel Shrine Classic Player of the Game after throwing a career-high five touchdowns, a career-best 278 yards passing in a victory over Marietta College on September 30. For his career, Hudson has appeared in 19 games and has completed 266 of 445 passes for 3,515 yards with 26 touchdowns. He has rushed for 1,1194 career yards on 252 carries with 11 touchdowns. Hudson has also caught four passes for 139 yards with two touchdowns.
Spence was selected as the Outstanding Defensive Lineman Award recipient. He appeared in and started in all 10 games this fall. Spence recorded a career-high 42 tackles, including career-bests of 25 solos, 17 assists and 5.5 tackles for loss. He also forced his first career fumble. For his career, Spence has appeared in 18 games with made 65 tackles and 3.5 quarterback sacks.
Wolfington was named as the Outstanding Receiver Award winner. He earned his first All-OAC accolade this fall. Wolfington had a breakout season as he led the team and was 13th in the OAC with a career-high 642 receiving yards. He was second the team with a career-best 34 catches and a career-high five touchdowns. Wolfington had a career-long touchdown reception of 78-yards against John Carroll University and tallied a career-best 131 yards against Muskingum University. He was selected as the Dick Miller Community and Family Day Player of the Game vs. John Carroll. Wolfington has appeared in 12 career games and had caught 34 passes for 642 yards with five touchdowns.
Kelley was selected as the Lee Tressel Academic award recipient. He is an Academic All-OAC selection and a Dean's List student that carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average in a pre-physical therapy. This season, Kelley appeared in 10 games with seven starts. He was fourth on the team with a career-high 47 tackles, including a career-best 19 solo stops.
Bruenn and Cooke were named as the Co-Scout Team Offensive Player of the Year. Schrock was selected as the Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year. Moye was named the Scout Team Special Teams Player of the Year.
The Yellow Jackets finished the 2017 season tied for fifth in the OAC standings with an overall record of 6-4 and a conference mark of 5-4. BW opens the 2018 season on Thursday, August 30 when they will host Alma (Mich.) College in their only non-conference game of the year on the Tressel Field inside Finnie Stadium at 6 p.m. The Yellow Jackets will open up 2018 OAC action with back-to-back home games against Otterbein University on Community and Family Night on Saturday, September 8 at 6 p.m. and against the University of Mount Union on September 15 at 1:30 p.m.