CAPE COD, Mass. - Wesley College is the 2009 winner of both the Lambert Meadowlands Award and the ECAC Team of the Year Award in Division, the ECAC announced.
It is the second time the Wolverines have been honored with both distinctions as the team was presented with both awards after the 2007 season.
This fall, Wesley advanced to the NCAA Division III Semifinals and tied a school record with 13 victories. It was the Wolverines fifth straight trip to the NCAA postseason and fifth straight Atlantic Central Football Conference Championship.
In Division I FBS, Penn State won its 28th Lambert Meadowlands Trophy and ECAC Team of the Year for the 13th time. Villanova was the recipient of both honors in Division I FCS. In Division II, California (Pa.) was the winner of the Lambert Meadowlands Trophy, while West Chester takes home ECAC Team of the Year honors.
Wesley dominated the Lambert Meadowlands Poll in Division III throughout the season, occupying the top spot from wire to wire. The Wolverines also featured the ECAC Southwest Player of the Year in junior quarterback Shane McSweeny (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) and nine other student-athletes were named ECAC Southwest All-Stars.
"It is a great honor to be recognized with other programs, like Penn State and Villanova," Wesley Head Coach Mike Drass noted. "We are humbled by the prestige of this award. To be recognized as the best team in the east is a step towards our goal of being the best team in the nation."
The winning teams will be presented with their Lambert Meadowlands Awards during the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet, which will be held in the Pegasus Restaurant at the Meadowlands Sports Complex on Thursday, February 18, 2010.
Established in 1936 as the Lambert Trophy to recognize supremacy in Eastern college football, the award has since grown to recognize the best team in the East in the Bowl Subdivision. In 1957, the Lambert Cup was created to recognize non-Division I-A teams, and in 1966 a Division III award was added. In 1983, the Lambert family decided the Meadowlands Sports Complex would be the best organization with a sincere and involved interest in college athletics to sponsor and manage the award, and since that time, the awards have been known as the Lambert Meadowlands Awards.
To be eligible for the Lambert Meadowlands Award, a school must be located in the East or play at least half of its schedule against eligible Lambert Meadowlands teams. The territory includes New York, New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania, while teams in the bordering states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia qualify if at least half of their schedule features eligible teams. Teams in Eastern-based football conferences, regardless of location, qualify if at least half their schedule is against Lambert Meadowlands eligible teams.
About the ECAC®
The ECAC is the nation's largest athletic and the only multi-divisional conference in the country with approximately 300 Division I, II, and III colleges and universities. The ECAC stretches from Maine to North Carolina and westerly to Illinois. Established in 1938, the ECAC, a non-profit service organization, sponsors nearly 100 championships in 37 men's and women's sports and assigns more than 4,400 officials in 12 sports. The ECAC also administers nine affiliate sports organizations and six playing leagues, and through the public relations arm of the conference, more than 2,000 student-athletes are recognized annually. Finally, the ECAC serves as the primary conference for select members in the sports of men's ice hockey, women's ice hockey, and men's lacrosse.
ECAC® Lambert Meadowlands Bowl
Subdivision (FBS) Football Poll presented by FieldTurf
1. Penn State
4. West Virginia
8. Boston College
9. South Florida
ECAC® Lambert Meadowlands
Championship Subdivision (FCS) Football Poll presented by
2. William & Mary
4. New Hampshire
5. Holy Cross
ARV: James Madison, Central Connecticut State.
ECAC® Lambert Meadowlands Division
II Football Poll presented by FieldTurf
1. California (PA)
4. East Stroudsburg
7. West Chester
10. Southern Conn. State
ECAC® Lambert Meadowlands Division
III Football Poll presented by FieldTurf
2. Johns Hopkins
4. Delaware Valley
4. Thomas More
6. Montclair State
7. Washington & Jefferson
ARV: Lebanon Valley, Dickinson