Inaugural LoProto Award Highlights Yale Football Banquet

Jan. 28, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale held its annual football banquet Saturday night in Commons, saluting its senior class and handing out the team awards. Among the honors was the inaugural Ryan LoProto Award, given to the team's best defensive back in honor of the former Yale safety who passed away last summer in Spain. Mike Holben was selected as the winner of the award.

The award's inscription was written by LoProto's teammates and reads as follows:

Awarded to the player on the Yale Football Team who best exemplifies Ryan's passion and competitive spirit, skill in the defensive secondary, and devotion to teammates.

"Ryan was one of the most intense players we've ever had in this program," Jack Siedlecki, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football, told the crowd of over 300 Yale football players, alums and supporters. "At the same time, he was one of the most outgoing, friendly people that was on this campus."

Siedlecki read some of the highlights of LoProto's career, including interceptions in back-to-back victories over Harvard in 1999 and 2000 along with two interception returns for touchdowns against Columbia in 2000.

LoProto's father, Mike, joined defensive coordinator Rick Flanders in presenting the award to Holben. Several of LoProto's former teammates, who organized an endowment for the award, were on hand for the presentation as well.

A complete list of Yale's awards:

Ted Blair Award
Given to the most valuable player on the varsity team in memory of Edwin Foster (Ted) Blair '24.
QB Jeff Mroz '06
(Greensburg, PA)

Jordan Olivar Award
Given to that senior, other than the captain, who, through his devotion to Yale football, has earned the highest respect of his teammates.
S Matt Handlon '06
(Valparaiso, IN)

Woody Knapp Memorial Trophy
Given to that outstanding member of the football team who best typifies the cheerful disposition, leadership qualities, and unselfish devotion to others which characterized Woody's life and accomplishments at Yale.
DL Andrew Ralph '06
(New Braunfels, TX)

Robert Gardner Anderson Award
Given to the player who best exemplifies Bob's interest in the sport by combination of skill, spirit and pride in accomplishment.
CB Andrew Butler '06
(Los Angeles, CA)

Norman S. Hall Memorial Trophy
Given to an individual for outstanding service to Yale football, in memory of Norman Hall '30.
TE Alex Faherty '06
(New York, NY)

Gregory Dubinetz Memorial Trophy
Given to the lineman who best exemplifies the spirit of Greg Dubinetz as a player and person.
OL Brice Wilkinson '06
(Houston, TX)

Charles Loftus Award
Given to the most valuable freshman.
TB Mike McLeod '09 (New Britain, CT)

Chester J. LaRoche Award
Given to that senior who, by his character, academic talents and concern for others, did the most for Yale.
S Matt Handlon '06
(Valparaiso, IN)

Ledyard Mitchell Award
Awarded for proficiency in kicking.
WR/P Ashley Wright '07
(Mobile, AL)

Jim Keppel Award
(Offensive Back of the Year)
Given to the offensive back who best exhibited Jim's work ethic, pride and dedication to Yale Football, as well as his ability to enrich the lives of his friends and teammates.
WR Todd Feiereisen '06
(Westlake Village, CA)

Ryan LoProto Award
(Defensive Back of the Year)
Awarded to the player on the Yale Football Team who best exemplifies Ryan's passion and competitive spirit, skill in the defensive secondary, and devotion to teammates.
CB Mike Holben '06
(Lansing, MI)

Offensive Lineman of the Year
(Ted Turner Award)
OL Ed McCarthy '07
(Fairfield, CT)

Defensive Lineman of the Year
DE Brandon Dyches '06
(Chapin, SC)

Hammer of the Year
LB Lee Driftmier '07
(Bellevue, WA)

Specialist of the Year
LB Bobby Abare '09 and DB Larry Abare '09
(Acton, MA)

report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity

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