SPRINGFIELD, Mass., January 12, 2007 – Junior quarterback Chris Sharpe of Springfield College has been selected winner of the Joseph P. Zabilski Award by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston for the 2006 season. Sharpe is sharing the award with Sean Crowley, linebacker from Curry College. Both were honored at the annual Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night on Thursday, January 11 at the Marriott Hotel in Burlington, Massachusetts.
The Zabilski Award is named in honor of Joe Zabilski (Boston College ’43), former coach of Northeastern University and former Gridiron Club President. The award, which has been presented to two players (one offense, one defense) each year since 1996, goes to New England’s best collegiate players in Divisions II and III.
Sharpe, a junior quarterback from Derry, N.H., has been already well-decorated this post-season. The 5-9, 204-pounder led the nation in rushing (161.8 yards per game), scoring (17.7 points per game) and touchdowns (35). He set six NCAA Division III records and 12 Springfield College school records during the past season. As a team, Springfield finished 10-2, won the Empire 8’s automatic NCAA tournament berth, and reached the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament before bowing to St. John Fisher.
Sharpe has already been named winner of the Melberger Award, emblematic of the NCAA Division III Player of the Year. He was also named winner of the New England Football Writers Association Division II/III Gold Helmet Award for the season. He had earned three Gold Helmet Awards during the past campaign, only the second known player to win three Gold Helmets in one season. He was also named co-winner of the ECAC Division III Northwest Offensive Player of the Year, AP Little All-American (Second Team), D3football.com All-America (honorable mention), and Empire 8 Offensive Player of the Year.
Springfield Head Football Coach Mike DeLong was able to fly back in time from the American Football Coaches Association convention in San Antonio that ended Wednesday night to present Sharpe to the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston banquet attendees.