The 12th Man TD Club held its final dinner of the 2019 season on Dec. 4 at Massimo’s Restaurant in Robbinsville to honor its top football players in the Mercer County area.
The Frank “Mammy” Piscopo Memorial Award for the Non-Prep Player of the Year was presented to Kevin Boswell, Hamilton West High School’s running back.
In the trenches, the Hopewell Valley Central High School secured its second straight Charles J. “Fuzzy” Falzone Memorial Award for the Non-Prep Lineman of the Year when junior Terrance Peterson earned the honor.
Patrick Allex won the award for Hopewell Valley in 2018.
Boswell had a breakout season for the Hornets, setting a new program single-season rushing record with 1,665 yards and 20 touchdowns in just nine games played. The junior averaged 185 rushing yards per game and scored a touchdown in every contest this season to be the first Hamilton West player since Pierre Odom in 2001 to receive Player of the Year honors.
“It feels good,” Boswell said. “My teammates helped me out a lot throughout the season. This was a big year for our team with it being coach (Mike Papero) first year as head coach. Making the playoffs was a big point in our season. It was a special year.”
In the Hornets’ season finale against rival Steinert High School in their 61st annual Thanksgiving Day game, Boswell broke the program’s old single-season rushing record mark of 1,439 yards on a 68-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the game. He finished with 278 rushing and two touchdowns in the team’s 24-0 victory over Steinert.
Boswell is now just 52 yards shy of the program’s career rushing record.
Hamilton West finished the season 8-2 and made it to the state sectional playoffs for the first time in three years.
Boswell, who is also a sprinter on the school’s track and field squad, believes his dedication to the weight room and running track helped him have a terrific season and hopes it’ll help him have an even better season next fall.
“The weight room and track helped me out a lot this season,” Boswell said. “Getting stronger and having a stronger mind will help me improve for next season. We have a lot of guys returning next year. Should be a fun season.”
Peterson was a relentless force on the defensive line and at linebacker for Hopwell Valley this fall, racking up 71 tackles, 18 of which were for a loss with five forced fumbles and four sacks.
On special teams, he recorded two blocked punts and two blocked kicks.
“It’s a testament to the program and how the program is run,” Peterson said. “There are individual awards that are given out, but it’s the culture of the program that allows guys like me and Pat (Allex) to win awards like this. It’s just a testament to the culture we have at Hopewell Valley.”
Hopewell Valley went 6-3 this season and fell to Woodrow Wilson High School of Camden in the first round of the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 3 sectional playoffs.
For the sixth time, The 12th Man TD Club gave out Prep Player of the Year and Prep Lineman of the Year awards to recognize the four prep schools in the area.
Winning the Prep Player of the Year was The Hun School’s running back, Ian Franzoni.
Having to wait till his senior year to be the starting tailback for the team, Franzoni relished the opportunity, rushing for 1,178 yards and 12 touchdowns in seven games this fall.
Coming out of the backfield, the senior racked up 322 receiving yards and four touchdown catches to help Hun go 7-2 this season.
Franzoni had 300 total yards against Cheshire Academy in one of Hun’s biggest games, helping Hun earn a 44-7 victory.
“It’s a huge honor,” Franzoni said. “A lot of good players in the past have won it, so just to be considered for the award is a huge honor. This year was my only opportunity to start, so I tried to make the most of every rep. I worked really hard the past four years to have the success that I did.”
Franzoni will attend Brown University next fall.
The Prep Lineman of the Year was awarded to The Peddie School’s Chris Mayo.
Mayo anchored a Peddie offensive line that helped the Falcons’ offense average 46 points per game. Peddie averaged 10 yards per carry on the ground with 24 rushing touchdowns in large part to Mayo’s play in the trenches
The senior gave up only one sack all season and didn’t miss a start as a three-year starter.
Mayo will be attending West Virginia University next fall and can’t wait to play for a Power-5 conference school at the Division 1 level.
“I’m extremely excited about playing for a Power-5 program,” Mayo said. “It’s an honor to win this award. It’s great to see not just my peers, but people around the state of New Jersey see me as a pretty good offensive linemen. Any type of recognition means a lot to me.”
Peddie went a perfect 10-0 this season.
Also honored at the event were Steinert’ High School’s Josh James and Hamilton West’s Joey Laezza for their play in the Thanksgiving Day game.
James was the Defensive Lineman of the Week honoree, racking up eight total tackles, two tackles for a loss and had three receptions at tight end in the team’s loss to Hamilton West.
Laezza record 12 total tackles, three tackles for a loss to win the Defensive Back of the Week honor to help Hamilton West win its eighth game of the season.
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