The Salem Sports Foundation honored the 2017 Group 4A football state champion Salem Spartans last Thursday with a banquet in the Salem High School cafeteria. A meal was followed by recognition of the players and some special awards.
Members of the local officials association were on hand to award the Spartans the Civitan Club “Sportsmanship Trophy.” This trophy goes to just one school served by the officials, and is voted on by the game officials. The Salem captains accepted the award.
Special recognition went to Salem trainer Chris Tucker and equipment manager John E. Jones, who both announced their retirement at the end of the season. Salem Sports Foundation president Van Gresham announced that a new annual award would be given in honor of Jones for dedication to the game. The first award went to Brandon Szymusiak.
The Sports Foundation sponsors two other awards. The Iron Spartan Award, for excellence in the weight room, went to Da’Jon Cardwell and the Bob Barnett/Roger Surber Award, for Senior Leadership, went to Thomas Farrell.
Lee Eubanks sponsored and presented the “Lead Mule Award” for top offensive lineman, and this year that went to senior Thomas Mundy. Joseph Quinn took home two awards, as he received the Scholar Athlete Award, sponsored by Spartan Silk Screen, as well as the Spartan Bell, which is sponsored by the Salem Times-Register. The Scholar Athlete Award goes to the player with the highest grade point average and the Bell is awarded to the player the coaches’ deem as the hardest hitter on the team.
The banquet wrapped up with funny gifts to the coaches by the players, officially wrapping up a third straight state championship season.