BALL STATE ANNOUNCES TEAM AWARDS
January 12, 2013Richmond High School
The Cardinals completed the 2012 season with a 9-4 overall record and a 6-2
Mid-American Conference mark plus competed in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St.
Petersburg. The nine wins tied for the third most in Ball State history, while the
six MAC wins marked the second most for the Cardinals since the 1996 campaign.
The John Magnabosco Award, which goes to the team's Most Valuable Player, was
presented on offense to Keith Wenning and on defense to Travis Freeman. The
Magnabosco Award is named in honor of Ball State's head football coach from 1935-52.
Magnabosco is the winningest football coach in Ball State history with 68 victories.
Wenning completed 301-of-460 passes for 3,095 yards with 24 touchdowns and only 10
interceptions. He completed 65.4 percent of his passes in 12 games, while averaging
257.9 yards per contest. Wenning's 3,095 passing yards ranks as the third best in
Ball State history, while his 2,786 in 2011 is the fourth best in school history.
His 301 completed passes set the school standard, breaking his previous mark of 287
in 2011, while the 460 pass attempts is the second best single season mark in Ball
State history. Wenning started 12 games for the Cardinals, missing only one game
with an injury. He has started 34 games in his career. Wenning threw for a career
high 445 yards with five touchdowns at Kent State in 2012. The passing yards tied
for the second highest single-game total in Ball State history, while the five TDs
tied the Ball State school record. He set school records with 71 pass attempts
(third most in MAC history) and 42 completions vs. Northern Illinois, while throwing
for 434 yards vs. the Huskies. Wenning was named to the All-MAC Second Team.
Freeman led Ball State's defense with 129 total tackles, while adding 2.5 tackles
for loss, two pass breakups, one forced fumble and two quarterback hurries. Freeman
completed his collegiate career as the NCAA leader among current players for total
tackles in a career with 465. He averaged 9.5 tackles per game in his career.
Freeman started all 13 games in 2012 and 46-of-49 in his four seasons. Freeman led
the Cardinals in tackles in seven games in 2012, and tied for team high honors in
two more games. He ranked 22nd in the nation in tackles per game with 9.92 a
contest. Freeman was a 2011 and 2012 selection to the All-MAC Second Team.
KeVonn Mabon, a true freshman wide receiver, was named the recipient of the John
Hodge Award as Ball State's Most Valuable Freshman. The Hodge Award is given in
memory of the 1974 Cardinal Varsity Club Chairman who died in 1977. The CVC is an
organization of benefactors to Ball State's intercollegiate athletics program.
Mabon registered 23 catches for 335 yards with two touchdowns in his 12 games. He
averaged a team high 14.6 yards per catch plus managed 27.9 receiving yards per
game. Mabon caught a career high four catches for 45 yards at Toledo, and had a
career long 44-yard catch vs. Northern Illinois. He had two catches for a career
best 60 receiving yards vs. Northern Illinois. Mabon's TD catch in the back of the
endzone at Army was featured as one of ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day.
Steven Schott and Jamill Smith were named co-recipients of the Bill Reynolds Special
Teams Award. The award is named in memory of Reynolds, who spent 31 years as a
volunteer in the Ball State athletics department with an emphasis on the football
program prior to his death in the summer of 2000.
Schott, a 2012 All-MAC First-Team choice, made 25-of-32 field goals and 50-of-51
extra points as a senior. His 25 field goals made tied for the second best mark in
the NCAA in 2012, and tied for the Ball State single-season record. Schott kicked a
42-yard field goal as time expired to give Ball State a 41-39 victory at Indiana -
the second game winning kick of his career in the final minute of play. His 50
extra points made is the second best single-season mark in Ball State history.
Schott completed his career with 41 field goals made, the fifth best mark in Ball
State's record books, and 93 extra points made, which ties for the fourth best in a
Ball State career. Schott was a 2012 All-MAC First-Team selection and was one of 20
semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, which goes to the nation's top collegiate
Smith started 12 games and was Ball State's top punt and kick return specialist in
addition to ranking second on the team with 69 receptions, 706 receiving yards and
six touchdown catches. He tallied 11 punt returns for 152 yards and a 13.8 average
plus managed 33 kick returns for 844 yards and a 25.6 average. Smith ranked 26th in
the country in kickoff returns plus tied for 29th in the nation with 135.15
all-purpose yards per contest. Smith was named to the All-MAC First Team as a wide
receiver and the All-MAC Third Team as a punt and kick return specialist. This
marks the second straight season Smith has been a co-recipient of the Bill Reynolds
Special Teams Award.
Scott Kovanda, a senior punter with a 3.884 grade-point average on Ball State's 4.0
scale as a finance major, was named the recipient of the Gene Booker Academic Award.
The Academic Award has been given annually since 1978 and was named in honor of
Gene Booker for the first time in 2011. Booker was a member of Ball State's 1949
football team, which is the only unbeaten and untied team in the school's 87 years
Kovanda, one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award which goes to the nation's
most outstanding collegiate punter, tallied 47 punts for 1,892 yards and a 40.3
average in 2012. He helped Ball State rank third in the nation in punt return
yardage defense, allowing only six returns on the season for an average of 1.0
yards. Kovanda forced opponents to start inside their own 20-yard line 27 times,
and had six punts of 50 or more yards. In his career, he punted 229 times for 9.381
yards and a 41.0 average. He completes his Ball State career ranked fourth all-time
in punt yards and punts and third in punt average.
Cameron Lowry, a senior offensive lineman, received the Mark Hays Inspiration Award,
which is given to the person who demonstrates the greatest ability to motivate and
inspire his teammates. The award is given in the memory of the late son of Kermit
and Mary Ellen Hays, who are longtime fans and supporters of Ball State's athletics
Austin Holtz was awarded the Paul Schudel Strength and Conditioning Award, which is
given to honor Ball State's football coach from 1985-94 who led the Cardinals to the
1989 and 1993 MAC Championships. He guided Ball State to its first ever NCAA
Division IA bowl games with appearances in the 1989 California Raisin Bowl and the
1993 Las Vegas Bowl. Schudel completed his career with 60 wins, which was second in
Ball State history, and ranked fifth in the Mid-American Conference with 47
Holtz and Lowry anchored an offensive line that blocked for Wenning's record setting
season plus paved the way for Jahwan Edwards to rush for 1,410 yards and 14
touchdowns in 2012. Lowry earned All-MAC Third Team honors after starting 11 games
in 2012 and 31 in his career. Holtz was an All-MAC First-Team selection after
starting all 13 games in 2012 and 33 in his career.
The Bill Meitzler Scout Team Players of the Year were Jeremiah Harvey and Brandon
Kish. This award is given in honor of the former Cardinal Varsity Club Board member
and longtime fan and supporter of Ball State football. Harvey was a freshman
defensive tackle for the Cardinals in 2012, while Kish was a junior safety for the
Armand Dehaney and Kelly Page were named co-recipients of the Dave McClain
Leadership Award. The McClain Award is given in memory of the deceased Dave
McClain, who was Ball State's head football coach from 1971-77 and guided the
Cardinals to a 46-25-3 overall record. He guided the Cardinals into the Mid-American
Conference and NCAA Division I football. McClain led Ball State to the 1976 MAC
Championship in only the Cardinals second season in the conference. McClain's final
three Ball State teams posted a combined 26-7 overall mark and a 13-4 MAC mark.
Dehaney started four games and played the first five in 2012 before missing the
remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. He started six games in 2011 and
tallied a career high 13 tackles at Northern Illinois. Dehaney played in all 24
games in his first two seasons. Page, who started nine games in his career, saw his
first snaps from scrimmage in 2012 after coming in for relief for an injured
Wenning. He completed 5-of-7 passes with two touchdowns and rushed for one TD to
help the Cardinals to a 52-27 win over Ohio. He started the following week at Miami
University and completed 11-of-21 passes for 137 yards in the victory.
Fourteen senior members of the team were awarded Ray Louthen Senior Participation
Awards, in honor of Ball State's head football coach from 1962-67 and the school's
athletics director from 1970-81.
Justin Cruz, Andre Dawson, Dwayne Donigan, Harold Hogue, Donavan Jarrett, Dan
Manick, Tony Martin, Brooks Medaris, Aaron Mershman, Brandon Newman, Kitt O'Brien,
Jason Pinkston, Jared Scaringe and Chris Sparrow received the Louthen Awards.
Ball State will open the 2013 football season Thurs., Aug. 29, in Scheumann Stadium
vs. Illinois State. The Cardinals will remain home for their second game of the
season, a Sat., Sept. 7, home game vs. Army.