WESTMINSTER -- In his 30 plus years teaching physical education to middle and high school students, spending much of his time as a coach, Bob Lockerby knows the burden of exceptional athleticism and how a team performs on the field can never squarely rest on the shoulders of its players, or the coaching staff.
Win or lose, it’s a team effort.
In this sense of comradery, the Bellows Falls Union High School football team was awarded the Jim Howard Southern Vermont Sportsmanship Award by the Vermont Football Officials Association (VFOA) for 2012 at the Vermont Interscholastic Football League Meeting on Monday evening at Hartford High School.
Coach Lockerby, whose Division 2 Terriers finished their season with a 9-2-0 record, accepted the award from VFOA secretary treasurer Phil Zalinger. The ceremony was for Vermont coaches and officials only.
"It is always nice to receive such an award," said Lockerby. "It means our coaching staff and student athletes are all doing a great job."
Lockerby attests much of the Terriers’ recent successes--like climbing all the way to the top of the standings this year to face No. 1 Rice Memorial in the state final--to its star players.
At the helm was team captain and senior Zachary Rawling, who wrapped up his season with over 1300 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns.
To add to those already impressive numbers, the team’s Michael LeBeau had over 400 yards receiving, while quarterback Ethan Illingworth completed over 600 yards, throwing for over 50% on the season.
On defense, Eddy Rodriguez had 88 tackles, and teammate and nose guard Nate Turner had nearly as many.
"They all had a great year," noted the coach. "Every team has their own personality -- their own way of doing things. The guys on the team this year made it easy to go to practice, and I think we all enjoyed working together. We had some great seniors that understood the game, who were there to get the job done. The trick is that they also had a lot of fun doing it."
Lockerby is a 1976 alumni of BFUHS.
David Aquino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.