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Last updated: Sun. Dec. 04, 2011 - 08:52 am EDT

Plenty of talent up for top awards

FORT WAYNE — Football and volleyball teams are honored at the Fall Athletic Awards Banquet, held annually for the All-SAC and All-Northeast Indiana squads.

But it will be the individual awards that steal the spotlight in the Marriott Marquis Ballroom on Monday evening.

The Euell Wilson Award has been presented since 1992 to the best senior football player in the conference.

Even before the presentation of the night’s final award, Wilson’s parents, Chris and Shirley Woods, bring tears to everyone’s eyes with their memories of the late Bishop Dwenger star and the motivation behind the award. Ex-Snider standout Courtney Davis won the first Euell Wilson Award.

Four years later, the Glass Spike Award was first awarded to the SAC’s top volleyball player. Northrop’s Stephanie Bishop won it the first two years.

Here’s a look at the top three candidates for the 2011 Euell Wilson and Glass Spike awards:

Euell Wilson

James Knapke, Bishop Luers: The quarterback is the SAC’s all-time leading passer with 5,974 career yards.

He threw for 2,170 yards and 29 touchdowns while guiding the Knights to a third straight Class 2A state championship this year.

John Nelson, Snider: The workhorse running back almost carried the Panthers to the 5A state finals.

Nelson rushed 291 times for 2,350 yards and 32 touchdowns to finish No. 2 on the school’s all-time career and single-season lists.

Marko Thomas, North Side: As a defensive tackle, Thomas had 37 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. More importantly, he provided the leadership for a Redskins team that knocked off Bishop Dwenger and Snider and was in the conference race until the last day.

Glass Spike

Marah Bradbury, Concordia: The senior setter led the Cadets’ run to the SAC regular-season and tournament championships, as well as a berth in the 3A semistate.

Bradbury had 1,086 assists, 210 kills and 70 aces for Concordia this past season.

Emily Hockemeyer, Concordia: Whenever the Cadets needed a big kill or a big dig, it always seemed to come from the senior outside hitter.

In Concordia’s championship season, Hockemeyer had 454 kills, 217 digs and 44 aces.

Maddie Mayers, Bishop Dwenger: The 6-foot-4 senior middle hitter stood high above the competition this year for the SAC runner-up Saints.

The Illinois recruit earned national honors with 267 kills, 87 blocks and 84 digs this year.

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