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Wildcats Football Holds End-of-Year Team Banquet

Courtesy:           Release: 01/19/2013

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Bethune-Cookman University football team held its 2012 Championship Team Banquet on Saturday night inside the North Tower Ballroom at the Hilton Hotel on beachside in Daytona Beach, Fla. B-CU finished ranked 22nd in the final FCS poll released by The Sports Network.

B-CU CatEye Network radio member Larry Wesley served as master of ceremonies for the event.

"This was a very elegant evening," said Larry Wesley. "It typified the 2012 season and the entire football program. It showed the leadership that took place on the season, and we set a stage for the young men that are coming back and for the men coming in to continue to uphold the legacy before them and raise the bar even higher as we move forward at B-CU."

In a private affair for the Bethune-Cookman football season ticket holders, athletic department staff, football staff and players, the North Tower Ballroom was at capacity with more than 350 attendees during the end-of-year event honoring the 2012 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion Wildcats. It was also a chance to honor head coach Brian Jenkins - the 2012 MEAC and AFCA FCS Region Two Coach of the Year.

Several individual awards were handed out as well, while a special award from Coach Jenkins and the B-CU football team/staff went to longtime Wildcats band director Donavan Wells for his dedication to the Marching Wildcats and the football team as a whole.

Several season ticket holders were astounded at the magnitude of the event, while also saying the event was something truly needed to honor such a special team and coach after the first 8-0 MEAC record for the Wildcats in school history.

"It's a wonderful feeling and looking back at the number of years that I've been an alumnus of Bethune-Cookman University, it's a pleasure to see these young men do what they do," said longtime ticket-holder Ed "Creamy" Hayes. "It was really just an outstanding event, and we're going to keep doing what we do - as alumni - to make sure we keep supporting this team and school."

After Coach Jenkins honored the seniors with championship belts similar to the one he donned following the Cats' victory over rival Florida A&M in the Florida Blue Florida Classic, a special video recapping the season was shown to the audience to make sure they understood the amount of time, energy and focus put into capturing the school's second conference title in three years under Jenkins. It was also the second time in the Jenkins' era the Wildcats hosted its opening-round game in the NCAA FCS playoffs at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach.

Season ticket holder John Bryant co-signed with Hayes about the event and how it was orchestrated by B-CU Director of Athletics - Lynn W. Thompson, as well as B-CU football Chief of Operations - Jeff Fagan. The videos were all courtesy of B-CU CatEye Network Video coordinator - Darian McCaskill.

"As a season ticket holder, I'm extremely proud of this banquet that was put on for the student-athletes," said Bryant. "We're so proud of the coaching staff and players for all the hard work they put into this season and how they preserved all obstacles in front of them throughout 2012. Not everyone knows what the team had to go through, and this was a way to make sure everyone understood the challenges this team overcame."

Name of Honoree Award Received
Rashard Brown Donavan Wells Excellence Award
LeBrandon Richardson Willie "Foots" Lee Defensive Lineman Award
D.J. Howard Jack "Cy" McClairen Trailblazer Award
Eugene Solomon Charles Bingham Leadership Award
Jarkevis Fields Lee Bryant Outstanding Leadership Award
Tevin Toney Lee Williams Workman Award
Nick Addison Mathis-Collins-Weems Perseverance Award (Defense)
Isidore Jackson Mathis-Collins-Weems Perseverance Award (Offense)
David Blackwell Unsung Wildcat Award
Rashard Brown Scholar Award (3.9 GPA)
Rashad Payne Larry Little Workman Award

The next event for B-CU football will be the national signing day bash on the evening of Feb. 6 inside the President's Banquet Hall in the Center for Civic Engagement on the campus of B-CU. The event will begin at 6 p.m.

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