The Duxbury Youth Football Pee Wee 6th grade team recently held its end-of-season banquet and presented their awards. The Black Lion Award is a national award given in the memory of Major Don Holleder, a former West Point All-American who died in combat in Vietnam in 1967 and the men of the Black Lions 28th Infantry Regiment, who died with him that day. The award is intended to go to the person on the team “who best exemplifies the character of Don Holleder: leadership, courage, devotion to duty, self-sacrifice, and above all an unselfish concern for the team ahead of himself.” The recipient of this award for the 2011 season was Sean MacKinnon. Head coach Rick Davis praised Sean for his drive and desire to excel and help his team. “Sean is a smart football player who worked hard in practice, and set the same example for effort, determination, and leadership as the other Black Lions on the team, and played in pain the whole season, knowing that he could not let his teammates down.” Assistant Coach Gary Smith added that Sean showed incredible toughness, playing in pain over the entire season—“he never complained and always came ready to play, setting a great example for his teammates.” Previous Black Lion award winners on the team include Jack McKim, Cam Smith, and Brad Backlund.
The next award presented was the Al DiBona Green Dragon Award given to Teddy O’Connor. This award is given in honor of Al DiBona, a long-time DYF coach, to the player who demonstrates great coachability, enthusiasm, leadership, and unselfishness. Teddy’s coaches noted that they were “truly impressed with the many accomplishments as a football player and person that Teddy has made over his years of playing DYF. He is a great listener, very coachable, and is well respected among his teammates. Teddy is one of hardest working kids on this team. He may not be the biggest kid, but he is tough as nails and gives it his all.” Teddy was a team leader and signal caller on defense and as one of our smartest players on the field, was always helping his teammates with their assignments. Coach Davis noted that it was tough choosing these awards on a team that had a 14-3 record during the season. “We have a lot of hard-working, and committed players on our team. Both Sean and Teddy were instrumental in setting a great tone for their teammates with their work ethic and focus on doing what was best for the team.” For more information on DYF, please go to duxburyyouthfootball.com. For more information on the Black Lion award, go to coachwyatt.com.