Loyola's 2016 varsity football team celebrated its season at the team awards' banquet on the evening of December 14.
While the win-loss record was not what the Cubs had hoped it would be after two of the squad's top returning players did not suit up when one moved to Tennessee and the other left the program during the summer, the hallmark of this season's Loyola squad was its refusal to allow adversity to overcome its considerable resolve and never-say-die effort. Four of the team's losses were by a combined total of just eight points - remarkable given the odds stacked against it when the campaign kicked off.
A great deal of credit must go to fourth year head coach MARVIN SANDERS and his staff for keeping Loyola in the CIF Southern Section Division I playoff race until the very end.
To be sure, the incredible 24-23 victory over longtime archrival Bishop Amat in the Mission League opener marked the high point of the season. The huge victory, which saw the Cubs score 10 points in the final 20 seconds of the contest, will go down as one of the most dramatic in Cub Football lore.
The 2016 Loyola varsity football award winners:
Most Valuable Player: senior linebacker WINSTON ANAWALT
Offensive Excellence: senior quarterback SEAN O'MALLEY
Defensive Excellence: junior linebacker JACOB McBRIDE
Special Teams Player-of-the-Year: senior kicker GEORGE CARATAN
Scout Team Player-of-the-Year: junior running back/defensive back MICHAEL GRAVES
Most Inspirational: senior defensive back JACK McNAMEE
Lineman-of-the-Year: senior CAMERON HANSON
Rookies-of-the-Year: junior wide receiver/defensive back ALEX JOHNSON and junior linebacker TOMMY VANIS
Student-Athletes-of-the-Year: senior linebacker WINSTON ANAWALT and senior tight end GABRIEL WILD
All-MIssion League: First team: senior linebacker WINSTON ANAWALT, junior wide receiver/defensive back ALEX JOHNSON, senior wide receiver/defensive back JACK WEBSTER
Second team: senior quarterback SEAN O'MALLEY, junior linebacker JACOB McBRIDE, junior linebacker TOMMY VANIS