National High School Coaches Association

High School Football Rudy Award Nominee's Amaze

Dazmond Patterson
Plant City HS (Plant City, FL)

Nominated By: Kenyatta Shaw, Mother
Click  to see Nominee Page


At 5’8”, Dazmond Patterson may be undersized for a running back; but as a true student-athlete Dazmond is confident in his strength both on and off the field. He posts a 4.8 grade-point average and has been selected as a Home Town Player of the Week. Dazmond was shown the value of a good education by his mother, Kenyatta Shaw, who held him out of middle school football to write book reports after he earned three C's in the fifth grade. Dazmond is now an exceptional student who helps his single mother with two younger siblings and nine foster children Kenyatta has taken into her therapeutic foster care over the past five years. Dazmond's father was incarcerated when Kenyatta was pregnant with Dazmond, and he will not be released until 2023. As the oldest of his siblings, Dazmond's leadership has enabled Kenyatta to work teaching special education and earn her master's degree in educational leadership while caring for twelve children.



Andrew Thomas
Garnet Valley High School (Chadds Ford, PA)

Nominated By: Richard Thomas, Father
Click to See Nominee Page 


Andrew Thomas has many roles: captain of his football team, coach of a local youth club and a leader at the Historical Society. However, his most important role is as care-taker, mentor, counselor and leader to his family. Several years ago, Andrew's two year old brother was struck by a car in front of their family home. As one of six children, Andrew stepped up to counsel his siblings and was instrumental in his young brother's recovery. When his father lost his job of 13 years, Andrew played the role of provider, creating a lawn care business that generated $1,000 per month. When Andrew's father took a job out of state, Andrew became the man of the house. Two weeks later when his mother suffered a stroke, Andrew became the guardian of his siblings. Now that their landlord has defaulted on the mortgage, Andrew is on the search for a new home, not to mention the right college at which he would like to study history and education. It's a lot to balance while maintaining a B-average, especially for a young man who suffers from Attention Deficient Disorder and requires learning support, but Andrew always finds a way to fill every role.



Anthony Vasquez
W.B Ray Texan High School (Corpus Christi, TX)

Nominated By: Anita Vasquez
Click to See Nominee Page 


Unable to hear the crowd roar, fans chanting, and coaches calling out plays hasn’t held Anthony Vasquez back from dedicating his heart to the game.  Relying solely on American Sign Language to converse with others, Vasquez has proven that he can do just about anything he sets his mind to.  He doesn’t let his inability to hear affect his life.   He works to help adolescents struggling with hearing loss and has aspirations to become a football coach himself someday. His positive attitude assures friends and family that he will succeed.



Collin Nordstorm
Seton Hall Prep High School
(Montclair, NJ)

Nominated By: Andrea Nordstrom
Click to See Nominee Page


Getting back on the football field was something Collin Nordstrom wasn’t sure would ever happen again. Having been diagnosed with a form of cancer so rare doctors feel is should have been named after him, Collin’s life came to a sudden halt in 2010.  Though he underwent four surgeries, eight rounds of chemotherapy, and twenty-five radiation sessions, Collin remained positive. Through it all, his attitude reassured those around him that everything was going to turn out okay. And it did. This past September, Collin returned to the game he loves and even became the team’s “defensive player of the game” during their second game of the season.  Collin has proven that positive attitude and passion can get you through just about anything.  He is a true inspiration.



Addison Marshall
Foster High School
(Richmond, TX)

Nominated By: Mark Wiatrek
Click to See Nominee Page


Hurricane Katrina forced Addison Marshall’s family to move from Covington, Louisiana to Richmond, Texas. Transferring schools alone can be hard for a child, but Addison Marshall soon found other more drastic,hurdles he would have to overcome. Having been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2009, Addison was forced to drop football in exchange for an IV. A positive attitude kept this athlete fighting his illness until April of last year, when Addison’s Leukemia relapsed and spread to his central nervous system. Throughout everything, Addison feels that his life was average before cancer, and after his diagnosis, he sees how privileged he was to be able to do the simple things. Today, Addison is playing a part of the Foster High School Falcon football team. His determination to never give up is what truly inspires anyone who hears Addison Marshall’s story.


Michael Thomas
Lyons Township High School (La Grange, IL)

Nominated By: Jason Brauer
Click to See Nominee Page 


A steel plate replaced what was once a tumor growing on the front left temporal lobe of Michael Thomas’s brain.  Having been the MVP of his freshman football team, all-star athlete and roll model Michael Thomas isn’t going to let his condition stop him from doing what he loves.  After undergoing surgery to remove the tumor in 2009, Michael rejoined his high school football team as a sophomore. Although unable to participate in any physical activity, he was actively engaged in every practice and game.  Finally, during Michael’s junior year, he got the go-ahead to return to the field and play with his team. His coach, in reference to Michael’s remarkable comeback, “He came back with a passion for the game that you do not see very often in high school football”.  Michael is an inspiration to all of his coaches and teammates, not simply for his athletic ability, but also for his determination to never give up.



Jeremiah Eaton
James Madison High School
(Houston, TX )

Nominated By: Lelia Eaton
Click to See Nominee Page


Suffering from the loss of ten family members upon entrance into high school is a huge hurdle Jeremiah Eaton had to overcome.  Determined to live life to the fullest after undergoing such a horrible, life-changing tragedy proves how strong he really is. Jeremiah doesn’t let anything take him away from playing football, not even physical injury. In 2009 he was injured while playing baseball.  Within months, he was back in action playing wide receiver on his high school football team. Undergoing another sports related injury in 2010 postponed his football career. Hard work and dedication got Jeremiah back on the field four weeks later. It is safe to say Jeremiah Eaton can’t and won’t be stopped.



Sean McGrath
Cistercian High School (Irving, TX)

Nominated By: Steve McCarthy
Click to See Nominee Page


A foot insert may disguise Sean McGrath’s clubfoot while walking through the halls of Cistercian High School, but it is clear he is not your average high school athlete when seen on the football field.  Sean’s left leg is significantly shorter than his right, and he is lacking calf muscles. Throughout everything, Sean holds a positive attitude and is currently the backup linebacker for the Cistercian Hawks football team. The risk of potentially breaking his leg every time he participates in physical activity hasn’t stopped Sean from doing what he loves. He was recently the recipient of the “Flying Hawk Award” which honors the most outstanding practice player on the team. Receiving this alone shows how much Sean inspires his teammates every day. 



James Manning
Wamego HS (Wamego, KS)

Nominated By: Lisa Burgess
Click to See Nominee Page

Eagle Scout, Honor Roll student, member of the Future Farmers of America, and volunteer for local food drives, tornado relief efforts and community restoration projects: James Manning cannot be slowed down on or off the football field. Not even with a diagnosis of testicular cancer in July of 2010. James underwent surgery shortly after his diagnosis and was told he would not play football this fall; however James defied the odds and was released five weeks later, in time for the first game of the season. James has played every game since and was recently named Hy-Vee Scholar Athlete of the Week. James has stayed positive and remained a pillar of strength and inspiration to his family, teammates and community throughout this challenging time. 



Taylor McKnight
Golden Valley HS (Canyon Country, CA)

Nominated By: Robert Fisher
Click to See Nominee Page


Off the football field, Taylor McKnight can often be found tutoring his fellow teammates, serving as a mentor tutor and helping coach his local youth football program. Taylor is always there to help his community and team and inspires his peers with his tireless work ethic, selflessness and strong leadership. However, Taylor had his own challenges to overcome before he could take his position leading his team. Taylor was born with Cranial Synostosis so that his skull was fused along his temple where his soft spot should be. Without surgery Taylor's eyes, mouth and brain could not develop. When Taylor was three months old he underwent 11 hours of surgery with a neurosurgeon, plastic surgeon and a cranial facial team and experienced a cardiac arrest from the amount of morphine in his small body. Taylor was released from the hospital ten days later but was left without peripheral vision. Idiopathic tendencies kept him from walking until he was nearly two years old. With determination and hard work, Taylor has overcame a rocky start to life and has developed into a fine athlete, student and member of the community.




Drew Haugen
Sheldon High School (Eugene, Oregon)

Nominated By: Lane Johnson
Click to See Nominee Page


Drew Haugen has always had plenty of heart despite his small size, even when he was born 14 weeks premature and weighed only two pounds. After fighting 70 days for his life, Drew was released from the hospital; but the battle wasn't over yet. Drew has worn glasses since he was just a year old due to retinopathy of prematurity, and he experienced severe muscle tightness associated with Cerebral Palsy, which kept him from walking until the age of three. Drew loved football even as a toddler and asked to try out every fall until his parents let him participate in off-season training where there was no risk that he would be hit. Drew overcame the soreness of the increased activity and he developed a sense of fulfillment beyond the happiness he had known before. Drew was permitted to play the following fall and the coaches at Sheldon High School welcomed Drew as an inspiration to his teammates. After his sophomore and junior season Drew was selected a captain for the junior varsity team, and during his senior season Drew scored his first touchdown in a varsity game. Drew doesn't accept any excuses and as a member of the honors program, Leadership, National Honor Society and a peer mentor, he expects excellence from himself and his peers in all areas of life.



Anthony Bagliano
North High School
(Eastlake, OH)

Nominated By: George Burich, Coach
 Click to See Nominee Page 


Anthony was born with Holt-Oram Syndrome, which is sometimes referred to as “hand-heart syndrome.” The disease is characterized by abnormalities of the upper limbs and heart. Anthony has four digits on his left hand and three digits on his right hand, both of which are very close to his shoulders. In his short life, Anthony has also had four heart surgeries. Through all of this, he remains ever the positive force on his team, as the extra point and short field goal kicker for the North High School Rangers. Additionally, Anthony is in the process of starting a charity that will benefit cancer care and research, called “Kicking for a Cure.”



Nickolas McManigle
Luverne High School
(Luverne, AL)

Nominated By: Tammy McManigle, Mother
Click to See Nominee Page 


In May of 2011, Nick, a normal football playing teen, traveled to Oregon to visit family. While there, Nick was doing chores - lifting heavy mats to be placed in a barn - when he heard a pop. What he thought was a pulled muscle turned out to be an extensive blood clot that had blocked all of the blood flow moving into his right arm. Nick immediately underwent a total of four surgeries to remove the clot and restore blood flow to his arm. While in the hospital, however, his doctors found that a genetic anomaly had severely restricted the flow of blood to his heart and that he also had a condition called thorasic outlet syndrome. Though Nick’s vein was able to be ballooned open and the rib that had been affected by the syndrome had been fixed, he was told that he would never be able to play contact sports again. Nick told his doctors that he wouldn’t accept their opinions, and in fact, he was cleared by those same doctors to return to the field in time for the Luverne High game on the 9th of September – just two and a half months after his final surgery.



Ryan Anderson
Theodore Roosevelt High School
(Kent, OH)

Nominated By: John Nemec, Coach
Click to See Nominee Page


During the winter of 2011, Ryan Anderson was considered to be among the best football players to come out of the state of Ohio. Following a college combine workout in April, Ryan complained of having sore knee. The checkup that ensued revealed the worst - Ryan was diagnosed with osteogenticCo sarcoma, otherwise known as bone cancer. The news was devastating to Ryan’s family, teammates, and community, but through it all (the diagnoses, chemotherapy treatments and surgeries), Ryan remains the positive force that keeps everyone around him from falling apart.



Rashawn King
Middle Creek High School (Apex, NC)


Nominated By: Sean Crocker, Coach
Click to See Nominee Page 


Upon entering high school, Rashawn (Ray) King was a promising two sport athlete with college prospects and varsity letters. In the June after Ray’s sophomore year, following complaints of sluggishness, weakness and unexplained pains, he was diagnosed with leukemia. He was immediately checked into the hospital, where he remained for five weeks for treatments including chemotherapy and kidney dialysis. Throughout it all, the community rallied behind Ray, who provided inspiration to his teammates behind the battle cry “Pray for Ray!” “Pray for Ray” became “Play with Ray!” as Ray was recently cleared for full contact football.



Shane Halpin
Gulf Breeze High School (Gulf Breeze, FL)

Nominated By: Chris Nemith, Coach
Click to See Nominee Page 


When Shane Halpin was just 7 months old binocular dysfunction and developmental delays hampered  his development of fine and gross motor skills. Even simple functions like running were a major task. Shane's limited coordination forced him to give up basketball and baseball but he was able to prove himself as a starter for the football team despite his small size. In 2008, Shane was faced with yet another challenge when he was struck and pinned beneath a truck while attending the Florida Senior Bowl Game. Shane's mother and the frightened crowd shoved the unresponsive driver and his truck off of Shane before he was rushed to the hospital. Shane's battle continued as he overcame two infections during his recovery. However, with resolve and commitment Shane made it back on the field for his junior season.



David Perez
Miami Beach High School (Miami Beach, FL)

Nominated By: Ralph Jimenez, Coach
Click to See Nominee Page 


Despite undergoing five open heart surgeries in his short lifespan David Perez has not missed a single summer or spring training session since his 10th grade year. David sets an example for his team to never make excuses to not work your hardest. Through his personal demonstration of conviction, resolve and dedication David always finds a way to be with his team and make every practice. David's commitment to his team also carries over to his communities as he volunteers time with the Miami Dolphins “Special Teams” Project and passes out food to the less fortunate on Thanksgiving.



Colby Lufkin
St Edwards High School (Vero Beach, FL)

Nominated By: Kelly Lufkin, Mother
Click to See Nominee Page 


Although Colby Lufkin will be off the field for his senior season due to a back injury incurred during summer workouts his commitment to his team is unwavering. As a team-captain Colby daily provided rides to summer practices for every person in his training unit and has not missed a single practice or game despite his inability to play.  As a freshman Colby formed a youth committee with the Gaurdian Ad Litem (GAL) program, which provides support for abused, abandoned and neglected children. During the first year Colby raised enough money to provide Christmas and feelings of safety, love and care for hundreds of children, many of which had never experienced the holiday before. By Colby's junior year 1,600 children received the gift of Christmas and for his senior year Colby has approached the Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA) about taking his cause to a national level. For his work with GAL Colby was recognized as the first youth winner of the Florida State Advocacy Award.



JT Webb
Scotch Plains- Fanwood High School (Scotch Plains, NJ)

Nominated By: Coach Russell J. Yeager
Click to See Nominee Page

It’s hard to believe that Football could save a persons life, but this is true in the case of JT Webb.  Learning to deal with Aspergers Syndrome and ADHD at a young age left JT in lack of social skills and friends. During the 7th grade, JT gained control of his illnesses, worked with an athletic trainer, lost a significant amount of weight and went out for the football team.  His team was very successful that year, and even made it to the NYFC Championship.  Here JT gave an emotional speech and let his team know exactly what they mean to him.  He told them “ Before I came here, I almost didn’t want to live… Thank you for my life, I love this game and what it’s done for me.”  JT continues to inspire people everyday. He volunteers with autistic children, coaching them through athletics and was recently elected as “captain for a week” on his freshman football team. 



Cody McCloud
Monrovia High School (Monrovia, IN)

Nominated By: Marcy McCloud
Click to see Nominee Page

Determined to play football after receiving life-changing news is what makes Cody McCloud a true inspiration to all. After suffering from a concussion, undergoing a CT scan and discovering he had a brain tumor, Cody’s first question was “can I still play football?” Fortunately the growth speed of the tumor allows Cody to continue participating in the game that he loves. He is a constant reminder to his teammates of what dedication really is.



Zach Henshaw
Fisher Canyon Lake High School
(Fisher, TX)

Nominated By: Jeff Maynard
Click to See Nominee Page

After a sudden tragedy this past year, Zach’s primary focus switched from football to family.  The unexpected loss of his father provided Zach with a huge hurdle to jump over. Throughout everything, Zach continued to play football. His passion for the game is identified through his perseverance during practice, and his performance off the field is said to be equally extraordinary.  He continues to be a leader on and off the field.  With his positive attitude and determination to do the best he possibly can, it is safe to say that Zach Henshaw is a true inspiration.