LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College football team celebrated its best season since 1981, handed out its year-end awards and announced the captains for the 2013 season at its annual team dinner on Sunday.
Senior quarterback Trevor Smith (Malvern, Pa.) and senior cornerback Kyle Starr (Concord, N.H.) were the recipients of the Garnet Gridder Most Valuable Player awards for offense and defense, respectively. Smith guided Bates' triple-option offense with aplomb and was named Bates' first-ever All-NESCAC quarterback last month. Starr had 43 tackles (40 solo) in addition to two interceptions and a team-high nine pass break-ups.
Senior inside linebacker Josh Chronopoulos (Tyngsboro, Mass.) and senior running back Patrick George (Gloucester, Mass.) received the Alan C. Goddard ’53 Award for players who have shown the greatest improvement during their Bates playing careers. Chronopoulos led the Bobcats in 2012 with 58 tackles, while George was the team's lone captain and led the Bobcats in rushing for the fourth straight year, with a career-best 544 yards. George was also the team's NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team honoree.
The recipients of the Robert P. Schmidt Award, for the team members who best demonstrated exemplary physical or mental courage while bringing honor and achievement to himself and his team, were senior offensive tackle Ryan Weston (Bangor, Maine) and senior offensive guard Mark Sylvester (Everett, Mass.).
The team captains for the 2013 season were announced as well: slotback Shawn Doherty '14 (Mansfield, Mass.) and safety Andrew Kukesh '14 (Exeter, N.H.). Both players played big roles in Bates' 5-3 season. Doherty led the Bobcats with 783 all-purpose yards and scored seven touchdowns over the final five games of the season. Kukesh was named to the All-NESCAC First Team Defense and to the D3football.com All-East Region Second Team, on the strength of his 55 tackles and his team-best six interceptions.
The Stephen B. Ritter Academic Award for the top 10 cumulative grade point averages on the squad went to Matt Antonellis (Sudbury, Mass.), sophomore Derek Barnagian (Hampden, Mass.), Chronopoulos, senior Teddy Downs (South Boston, Mass.), senior Brian Gallagher (North Attleboro, Mass.), George, junior Michael Iannotti (North Haven, Conn.), Kukesh, sophomore David Kurey (West Chester, Pa.) and senior Kevin Regan (Manchester, N.H.).
Last month, four Bobcats were named to the All-NESCAC football teams, including Smith, Kukesh and Donahue as well as junior offensive tackle Liam O'Neil (Hingham, Mass.), while head coach Mark Harriman was named NESCAC Co-Coach of the Year with Trinity's Jeff Devanney.
Team records broken on the season included Donahue's nine field goals, 47 kicking points and 100% field-goal accuracy. Bates set several team defensive records, including 19 interceptions and 32 takeaways, while sophomore Gilbert Brown (Gloucester, Mass.) set the team mark for interception return yards in a season with 153.