Posted: 7:41 pm Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
Dwyer senior Matt Elam, a star on both sides of the ball, won this year’s Lou Groza award for Outstanding High School Football Player. Elam won the honor as a junior, too, and is first player to capture it twice.
Jack Daniels, Elam’s coach, became the first to repeat as Coach of the Year.
Jupiter senior Cody Parkey, a runner-up last season, won High School Place-Kicker of the Year.
Elam, who is committed to Florida, beat Park Vista running back Tre Mason, a junior, and Jupiter Christian senior Will Powers, a linebacker and running back.
Including playoff games, Elam has rushed for 1,529 yards and 22 touchdowns on 141 carries at running back. He also has 53 tackles and three sacks.
Elam and the Panthers host Seffner-Armwood on Friday in the Class 4A state semifinals.
Cleveland Browns defensive back Abram Elam, his brother, won the award at Cardinal Newman in 1999.
Jack Daniels, whose team is 12-1 and one win away from a state championship game, won Coach of the Year for the second straight season. He is the first repeat winner for that award. Daniels topped Glades Central coach Jessie Hester and Jupiter Christian’s Bill Powers. Hester’s Raiders beat Dwyer and Jupiter Christian this season.
“I feel like Coach Hester should’ve won this award because they beat us in the first week of the season and he’s undefeated,” Daniels said in his short appearance at the podium.
Parkey, an Auburn commit, won High School Place-kicker of the Year ahead of American Heritage senior Justin Haig and Boca Raton junior David Bicknell.
Parkey is considered the top kicking prospect in the nation and was selected for the Under Armour All-American Game.
The Lou Groza committee has been recognizing the top players and coaches in Palm Beach County since 1992.
This year’s awards were voted on by the county’s head coaches. Committee chairman Bill Davis said all 35 coaches were given the opportunity to vote and at least 80 percent of them cast a ballot.
Each of the three winners will receive a check for $1,000 for their athletic department.