RICHMOND, VA-The Touchdown Club of Richmond has announced its 2015 award winners with Kyree Koonce (Charlottesville, VA/Monticello) being named the state's Offensive Back of the Year for NCAA Division II, III, NAIA, and USCAA and Sidney Henry (Haymarket, VA/Battlefield) tabbed as the Defensive Back of the Year. Koonce has also been named one of three finalists for the Lanier Award, given to the top player in the state of Virginia. Koonce is a finalist with Zachary Blair (linebacker, UVA-Wise) and Shawheem Dowdy (quarterback, Virginia Union).
The ODAC Rookie of the Year had an incredible debut season for the Tigers, putting together one of best rushing seasons in Hampden-Sydney history after leading the ODAC with 1,313 yards on the ground. At the end of the regular season, that total ranked 19th nationally and is the second-most in Hampden-Sydney history behind Jimmy Ferguson's 1,460 yards in 1977. Koonce ran for an ODAC second-best 12 touchdowns, adding two more receiving to tie for second in the conference with 14 overall scores. He found the end zone at least once in each game save for the season-opener against Wabash. Koonce cracked the century mark in seven contests, including a pair of 200-yard efforts. His 32-carry 220-yard showing in a 38-33 win at Shenandoah ranks as the second-most on H-SC's single-game rushing charts. That performance and his 203-yard outburst in a 38-21 victory over Catholic marked the ODAC's two highest individual rushing days of the season.
Henry, a two-time All-ODAC selection, finished the regular season seventh nationally with six interceptions. He recorded 73 return yards while breaking up eight more passes for 14 passes defended. Additionally, he ranked third on the team in total tackles with 62 and was tops on the unit with 53 solo stops. Three times this season he registered at least ten tackles. He also added 2.5 tackles-for-loss and one fumble recovery. Henry finished his career with 176 tackles, 14 interceptions, 31 pass break ups, 4.5 tackles-for-loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
The 14 position players of the year, along with the Dudley and Lanier finalists, will be honored at the Dudley & Lanier Awards Banquet on Wednesday, December 9, at the Hilton Richmond Hotel in Richmond. The banquet starts at 7:30 PM with a social at 6:30 PM. Tickets to the event cost $40.00 and may be purchased by calling Ron Axselle, 804-740-7055, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Touchdown Club of Richmond is a sports-social organization, based in Richmond, founded to promote the best interests of the American game of football and sports in general, under the guidance of elected officers with the predominate purpose being to recognize worthy athletes for their accomplishments and to encourage them to continue their education and athletic careers.
The Lanier Award is named after Willie Lanier, from Richmond, who played at Maggie Walker High School and Morgan State University. He was a star middle linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs and also is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Dudley Award, whose finalists are JMU quarterback Vad Lee, Richmond running back Jacobi Green, and William and Mary free safety DeAndre Houston-Carson, is named after Bill Dudley, who was a standout at the University of Virginia and with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Detriot Lions and Washington Redskins. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
To see all of the Touchdown Club of Virginia award winners, click here.