McDonnell, Joseph headline annual Yukica grid dinner
The premier off-field event for New Hampshire's extended football community this year will honor one of the most successful college coaches in state history, one of its most revered officials and 31 high school scholar-athletes.
Sean McDonnell, head coach at the University of New Hampshire, and Butch Joseph, a longtime referee and retired director of athletics for Manchester's public high schools, will be the featured guests when the Joe Yukica-New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation holds its 26th annual awards dinner on May 7 at the Executive Court banquet facility in Manchester.
This year's dinner is in honor of the late Doug DiCenzo, the former Plymouth Regional High football and wrestling captain who gave his life while serving in Iraq in 2006.
McDonnell, who last fall completed his 14th season as the Wildcats' head coach, will receive the Anday Mooradion Award for outstanding contributions to amateur football.
Owner of a 104-66 career record, he has guided the Wildcats to nine straight NCAA Division I FCS tournaments, the longest streak in the nation. Since 2004, his program has been a top-25 team in 125 consecutive weekly polls, the second-longest streak in FCS football.
Joseph will receive the Distinguished American Award.
"To get this award is truly special for me and my family," said Joseph. "When I see the list of people who have already received this award, it's really an honor."
Joseph served as a football official for 20 years, his last eight as the state commissioner. He also officiated many playoff and Thanksgiving Day games, as well as the annual New Hampshire/Vermont Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, and served on the football committee of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Joseph served as vice principal at Nashua High for 16 years and was the athletics director in Manchester twice for a total of eight years. He also was interim high school athletics director at Nashua North and Londonderry.
DiCenzo went from team captain at Plymouth to U.S. Army captain after graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A roadside bomb in Iraq took his life at age 30. He left behind his wife, Nicole, and son, Dakin, now 8.
To honor DiCenzo's memory, his family established the Capt. Douglas DiCenzo Memorial Camp Fund, which serves underprivileged kids by sending them to various camps. The annual Power of Doug Golf Tournament, which raises money for the fund, will be held June 21 this year at Owl's Nest Golf Course in Campton.
The Yukica dinner also will honor the late Dan Duval of Manchester, a three-sport standout at Trinity High of Manchester who overcame drug and alcohol addiction to become a high school coach, mentor and renowned speaker on the dangers of substance abuse.
In addition, the chapter will recognize the Ippolito Brothers - Rick, Dave and Chip - of Ippolito's Furniture of Meredith with its Jim "Red" Hayes Award for community support.
Scholar-athlete award winners
Tyler Ford, Souhegan of Amherst, QB; Mitchell Jurius, Inter-Lakes of Meredith, QB; Tyler Grant, Exeter, HB/S; Michael Karpel, Winnacunnet of Hampton, OL/DL; David Hansen, Pinkerton Academy of Derry, G/LB; Jake Kennedy, Souhegan, DT; Justin Juranovits, Salem, OT/DE; Tyler Kretschmar, Somersworth, DE; Artem Aristov, Windham, DT/TE; Connor Borne, Milford, RB; Chris Bury, Bishop Guertin of Nashua, TE/DE; Colin Bouchard, Trinity of Manchester, DL; Daniel Cannone, Windham, RB; David Cannone, Bedford, LB; Dylan Drew, Lebanon, FB/LB; Christian Dyer, Winnacunnet, OT; Brandon Len, Souhegan, S/WR; Nyles Makarewicz-Connor, Winnacunnet, LB; Donovan Murby, Manchester Memorial, LB; Graham Nyhan, Laconia, TE/DE; Patrick Stap, Windham, C/DL; Troy Ward, Londonderry, FB/DE; Eric Wilson, Dover, TE/LB; Zach Ziemba, Manchester West, QB/CB; Derek Lotito, Monadnock Regional of Swanzey, LB; Ryan McCarthy, Timberlane Regional of Plaistow, WR/DB; Geoff Nye, Manchester Central, OL/DL; Rob Sabatelle, Hanover, OT/DT; Deric Wagner, Nashua North, LB; Zachary Williams, Winnacunnet, OT; Dylan York, Bedford, RB/CB