The Final Awards: Pawlowski and Stevenson are best in ODAC

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Courtesy of Guilford College Athletics

Guilford College’s junior quarterback Matt Pawlowski is the best.

At least, that is what voters for the J. Stokely Fulton Offensive Player of the Year Award thought.

The award is presented annually to the best offensive player in the ODAC.

On the other side of the football, senior defensive back Satiir Stevenson earned the Lou Wacker Defensive Player of the Year Award, handed out to the best defensive player in the ODAC.

“Their leadership has been a major part of the success of this program,” said head coach Chris Rusiewicz, “This is very exciting for Guilford College.”

The award-winning players were integral to the Guilford football team’s 8–2 record.

For the second time in league history, the two prestigious ODAC awards go to members of the same team.

Stevenson, a native of Roselle, New Jersey, has been a dominant part of the Guilford defense since his arrival on campus four years ago.

“He works hard,” said senior defensive lineman Jordan Farmer.

“There were times this summer when he was out there working out twice a day. He deserves this award because he gets everybody else involved, and he works really hard.”

Stevenson has a booming voice and approachable demeanor. Whether in the classroom, in the Grill or on the football field, it is easy to be aware of his presence.

His determination permeates everything he does.

Both recipients made it clear that despite their gratitude for the awards, this is not why they play football.

“This award is not that important to me,” said Stevenson. “It is an accomplishment, but great players lead their team to a championship. In that department I failed.”

Stevenson has been invited to play in the National Bowl Game in Miami, Florida. There he can advertise his talent to scouts of professional football teams, including the NFL.

“I see myself playing football somewhere in the future,” said Stevenson. “I have all-star games coming up that can open doors, depending on how I do.”

Teammates agree that the talent and work ethic of these players is motivating.

“Those two are playmakers,” said junior defensive lineman Reggie Bullard. “They make plays when they need to be made, and that’s what champions do.”

On the national chart for passing yards, only one name remains higher than the Greensboro local Pawlowski’s. He is on track to becoming the most successful quarterback in school history.

“I knew that the offense had potential to do big things,” said Pawlowski. “I put up good statistics, but it was never a goal to be player of the year. The goal was always to win a conference championship.”

The only other player in school history to win this award is Guilford’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Chris Barnette.

He was an All-American receiver while playing at Guilford.

“It’s valuable for me to win this award having been taught by coach Barnette and to see his work pay off,” said Pawlowski.

This was a groundbreaking year for the Guilford College football program. This matches the school’s best record finishing at 8–2.

“We will miss Satiir Stevenson,” said coach Rusiewicz. “But, we are excited to have Matt Pawlowski back with many of the other great players we have for 2015.”