Cannone, Upton named Bates football's Garnet Gridders

Quarterback Matt Cannone '15 received Bates football's Garnet Gridder award as the Bobcats' offensive MVP in the 2014 season. (File photo by Sarah Crosby/Bates College) 

LEWISTON, Maine -- Senior quarterback Matt Cannone and sophomore linebacker Mark Upton were named the Bates College football team's Garnet Gridders, as offensive and defensive MVPs, highlighting the team awards handed out at the team's end-of-season dinner in December.

Senior linebacker Gilbert Brown (Gloucester, Mass.) and senior defensive lineman Sam Hundley (Cheshire, Conn.) received the Alan C. Goddard '53 Award for career improvement.

Senior defensive tackle Joe DiPalma (Salem, N.H.) and senior offensive tackle Owen Mahan (Camden, Maine) collected the team's Robert P. Schmidt Award, given to the team members who best demonstrated physical or mental courage while bringing honor and achievement to themselves and the team.

The team's Stephen B. Ritter Academic Award (top-10 cumulative grade point average) recipients included sophomore defensive lineman Sean Antonuccio (Boxford, Mass.), sophomore linebacker Sam Francis (Newburyport, Mass.), senior linebacker Pat Gilligan (Acton, Mass.), senior center Larry Guinee (Peabody, Mass.), Hundley, senior punter David Kurey (West Chester, Pa.), junior quarterback Zach Radford (Wolfeboro, N.H.), junior offensive lineman Lyle Seebeck (Chicago, Ill.), sophomore offensive lineman Andrew Segal (Glencoe, Ill.) and sophomore slotback Ryan Spillane (Medfield, Mass.).

Cannone (Windham, N.H.) played through a series of injuries to lead Bates to four wins, as the Bobcats recorded their third straight season of .500 or better for the first time since 1979. He started seven games for the Bobcats, winning four of them, completing 55.3 percent of his passes and averaging 132.1 passing yards per game. He also rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns on the season. Cannone and the 17 other members of Bates' Class of 2015 finished their four years in garnet with a 16-16 record, making them the winningest Bates class since the 18-14 Class of 1983.

Upton (Winthrop, Mass.) was a force in the middle of Bates' defense all season long, recording at least eight tackles in every game. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound inside linebacker finished second in the NESCAC in tackles (84), first in forced fumbles (4) and third in tackles for a loss (13). Upton also led the Bobcats in sacks (3.5) to go along with four pass breakups and a fumble recovered and returned for a touchdown in Week 8 against Hamilton. Upton ranked third in all of Division III in forced fumbles per game (0.50).

Upton was the only sophomore on the 14-man All-NESCAC First Team Defense, and he was Bates' first sophomore to receive All-NESCAC honors in football since Kurt Chapman '04 in 2001 (although Andrew Kukesh '14 was named as a freshman in 2010).

Head coach Mark Harriman said the team will announce its captains for the fall 2015 season until the end of preseason practices.