Ernie Davis Award nominees announced for fall 2021 season

Four high school footballers added their names to the Elmira legend to mark the 60th anniversary Ernie Davis’ Heisman trophy triumph.

Seniors Noah Bennett at Thomas A. Edison, Riley Loomis, Tyler Marks, Tyler Marks, Elmira High School, and Tyler Richards, Elmira Notre Dame were announced Saturday as nominees to the Ernie Davis Award. The award, which is presented annually since 1963, recognizes a Chemung County player based upon character and performance.

The ceremony took place at Center Court, Arnot Mall. Children gave Santa Claus their Christmas wishes nearby.

“This is a special day, a special moment for four young men, but really for the Southern Tier,”Horseheads Athletic Director Charles DeTaeyeCoordinator of the award.

The 2021 fall nominees for the Ernie Davis Award, left to right: Noah Bennett of Thomas A. Edison, Tyler Richards of Elmira Notre Dame, Tyler Marks of Elmira and Riley Loomis of Horseheads.

Luncheon: Winner will be announced

The winner of Ernie Davis Award at Elmira Kiwanis Club will be announced Dec. 16 at the Holiday Inn Elmira. The winner will be decided by coaches and media members.

Each player was nominated by his or her coach and each letter recognized the academic achievements, character, and significant impact they had on their team.

This will be the second award presentation this year. Ryan Scott of Horseheads won it in the springThe pandemic forced the 2020 football season to be rescheduled.


Davis was a star football player at Elmira Free Academy and Syracuse University who died of leukemia in 1963 at the age of 23. He was named college football’s greatest player with the Heisman Trophy in 1961.

His bravery in facing death, as well as the way he lived, have made him an important figure in Elmira and Syracuse.

More:Ernie Davis’ best friend, ‘Buzzie,’ an Elmira icon. How he spread ‘Express’ legend

More on the nominated candidates

Noah BennettHe was a running back and cornerback for Edison. He led the team with 604 yards of rushing and six touchdowns on just 89 carries (an average of 6.8 yards per carry). He had six pass completions, a total of 113 yards, and two touchdowns. Bennett was defensively strong with 108 tackles, three interceptions and three sacks.

“It’s a great feeling, one of the best feelings in the world,”He spoke out about being nominated. “I can’t put it into words.

Riley Loomis: Loomis, a running back and safety, rushed for 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns on 181 carries this season for Horseheads, which won a division title and advanced to the Section 4 Class A final. He was second on the team with 59 tackles, along with one interception. Loomis missed the second half of the sectional final against Union-Endicott with a sprained collarbone suffered in the opening quarter.

“It’s something I’ve seen in the past with Horseheads players, and it’s an honor being up for the award.” he said.

Loomis added of being part of some of Horseheads’ top teams over the last 20 years: “We all worked hard as a group of kids and definitely was a special group my four years with everybody and it was fun getting to know everyone and work hard every day.”

Tyler Marks: Marks was sidelined for the final four games but made a significant impact at fullback, wingback and linebacker.

“It feels great.” he said of the nomination. “It’s one the most rewarding things a high school football team can do. It’s an honor being nominated.”

Marks played four seasons of varsity football for Elmira, whose home games were played at Ernie Davis Academy, which has a statue of Davis near its entrance. Marks said Davis’ presence carries a great deal of weight in the school district.

“It sets a standard that we all must live up to. But, it also sets a precedent for us to play for him in our own way.” Marks said.

Tyler Richards: Mike Johnston Sr., Notre Dame’s head coach, wrote of Richards in his nomination letter: “Tyler Richards shares the same qualities Ernie had. Tyler’s high standards on the field and off it reflect the best qualities in competition, sportsmanship, and scholarship.”

Richards played receiver, linebacker and defensive end. He is a three-sport athlete and has been class president for the last three years.

“It’s a great honor to represent my school, my team and to be able to embody who Ernie Davis was – his character, him playing on and off the field, how he was as a person,” Richards said.

Ernie Davis Award winners

1963: Ray Fratarcangelo, Elmira Free Academy

1964: Mike Malone, Elmira Notre Dame

1965: Jack Leonard, Notre Dame

1966: Joel Ramich, Notre Dame

1967: Charley Collins, Elmira Southside

1968: Dana Carpenter, EFA

1969: Jim Savino, Southside

1970: Mark Riopko, Thomas A. Edison

1971: Sam Crumpton, Southside

1972: Jim Greene, EFA

1973: A.J. Nassar, Notre Dame

1974: Jamie Krum, Southside

1975: Brad Clark, Horseheads

1976: George Swan, EFA; and Matt Riordan, Notre Dame

1977: Steve Ramich, Notre Dame

1978: Bruce Stayments, EFA

1979: Marty Chalk, EFA; and Eric Rice, Edison

1980: Blaine Fowler, EFA

1981: Tony Prettyman, EFA

1982: Pete Curkendall, Southside

1983: Pete Curkendall, Southside

1984: Dan Callahan, Southside

1985: Jim Polcyn, Notre Dame

1986: Joe Paradis, Edison

1987: Bob Grosvenor, Notre Dame

1988: Bert Conklin, Horseheads

1989: Kevin Murphy, EFA

1990: Geoff Woodworth, Notre Dame

1991: D’Andre Fulmer, EFA

1992: John Maio, Notre Dame

1993: Orlando Smith, EFA

1994: Joel Stephens, Notre Dame

1995: Josh Trexler, EFA

1996: Brad Polk, Notre Dame

1997: Nate Watkins, Horseheads

1998: Matt Tunison, Horseheads; Chris Mallette, Edison

1999: Cory Kilpatrick, Notre Dame

2000: Cory Kilpatrick, Notre Dame

2001: Pat Manuel, Notre Dame

2002: Paul Harnas, Edison

2003: Joel Coon-Ribble, Elmira

2004: Matt Manganaro, Horseheads

2005: Pat Schweiger, Edison; Zack Manuel, Notre Dame

2006: Luke Herrington, Horseheads

2007: Mike Ficarro, Southside

2008: Matt Buice, Notre Dame

2009: Terrell Brown, EFA

2010: Jordan Shay, Southside

2011: Trevor Maycumber, Elmira

2012: Tom Agan, Notre Dame; Glen Watson, Horseheads; Jerry McPeak, Elmira

2013: Eli Thomas, Elmira

2014: Jerry McPeak, Elmira

2015: Allaah Sessions, Elmira

2016: Derrick Stark, Notre Dame

2017: Dan Fedor, Elmira

2018: Maurice Rankins Jr., Horseheads

2019: Gavin Elston, Horseheads

2021 spring: Ryan Scott, Horseheads

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