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Navy Football Team Honored At Annual Banquet

Feb. 9, 2018

ANNAPOLIS, Md.-The Naval Academy football banquet was held Friday evening at Alumni Hall where several prestigious awards were handed out.

Navy finished the 2017 campaign with 7-6 record, qualified for a bowl game for the 14th time in the last 15 years and defeated Virginia, 49-7, in the Military Bowl. The senior class finished with a record of 35-18 (.660), won a Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy (2015), shared the American Athletic Conference West Division title in 2015 and won the AAC West outright in 2016 and went 3-1 in bowl games, beating San Diego State as freshmen, Pitt as sophomores and Virginia this year.

Sophomore quarterback / slot back Malcolm Perry (Clarksville, Tenn.) was named the winner of the E.E. “Rip” Miller Award, which is presented to the season's most valuable player as voted on by his teammates.
Perry rushed for 1,182 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 138 carries (8.6 yards per carry), caught 13 passes for 303 yards (23.3 yards per catch) and two touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass. Perry started nine games as a slot back and three games at quarterback for the Mids.
In Perry’s first career start at quarterback, he rushed for 282 yards against SMU, which was the most rushing yards in American Athletic Conference history by any player and the fifth most in FBS history by a quarterback. Perry’s 92-yard run against the Mustangs was the longest in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium history and coupled with his 91-yard run against Air Force, he became just the third player in FBS history to have two runs of 90 yards or more in the same season.  His 8.6 yards per carry was a school record, while his four offensive touchdowns of 65 yards or more tied for the second most in the country in 2017. 
Senior outside linebacker and co-captain D.J. Palmore (Bartlett, Tenn.) was named the winner of the Roger Staubach Award, which is presented to the varsity football player who demonstrated consistent, outstanding leadership and an “Expect to Win” attitude in contributing to the team’s success during the season and embodied honor, courage and commitment on and off the playing field.
Palmore finished with 75 tackles for the Mids, which was the third most on the team, while recording a team-high 12.5 tackles for a loss. His 12.5 tackles for a loss was the second best mark on the team, while he led the Mids in fumble recoveries with three. Palmore started 38 games in his career, including the final 17 contests.  He was named Second-Team All-American Athletic Conference and Second-Team All-East.
Senior wide receiver Conrey Meagher (Oxford, Miss.) was named the Cmdr. Ralph Sentmann Award winner, which honors the member of the graduating class from the varsity football team who has achieved the highest ranking in academic order of merit.  Meagher carries a 3.34 grade-point average while majoring in operations research.
Meagher was also named the recipient of the First Lieutenant Ron Winchester Unsung Hero Award, which is presented to an unheralded senior recognized as an overachiever and role model as selected by a vote of his teammates.
Senior linebacker Micah Thomas (Cedar Park, Texas) took home the Jeffrey R. Korn Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award, which is given annually to the first classman on the team who has demonstrated excellence both in the classroom and on the football field. 

Thomas led Navy in tackles this year with 81, while also leading the Mids in interceptions with three. He also had four tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Thomas started 39 consecutive games before missing the bowl game with an injury. He was named Second-Team All-East and Honorable Mention All-American Athletic Conference.

Senior slot back Josh Brown (Lilburn, Ga.) won the Cooke Award, which is given to the player who has done the most to promote team spirit. Brown played in 11 games in 2017, which included two starts. He finished with 203 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 22 carries for the Mids.

Junior quarterback Zack Abey (Pasadena, Md.) was the recipient of the Joe Bellino Award, which is presented to the varsity football player whose inspiring on-the-field performance made a significant impact on the team and contributed to its overall success during the season.

Abey started nine games at quarterback for the Mids and rushed for 1,413 yards and 19 touchdowns, while throwing for 805 yards and seven touchdowns.  His 1,413 yards rushing was the second most in school history for a single season and the 12
th  most for a quarterback in FBS history.  He rushed for over 100 yards in a Navy-record eight straight games, while his 19 rushing touchdowns tied for the fifth most in the country by a player at any position. Abey capped off his senior campaign by rushing for five touchdowns in Navy’s 49-7 Military Bowl win over Virginia. The five rushing touchdowns tied him with Kareem Hunt, Barry Sanders, Terrence Ganaway and Neil Snow for the most rushing touchdowns in a bowl game in FBS history.
Senior fullback Chris High (Oklahoma City, Okla.) was named the winner of the Napoleon McCallum Award, which is presented to the Navy varsity football player of the graduating class who has gained the most all-purpose yards in his career. 
High finished his career with 1,236 all-purpose yards (1,198 rushing and 38 passing) and nine touchdowns on 235 touchdowns. He ran for 546 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior and 621 yards and two touchdowns as a senior.

Senior defensive end Tyler Sayles (Coral Springs, Fla.) was awarded the Outstanding Lineman Award, presented annually to a member of the graduating class who, as a football interior lineman, has excelled as a student-athlete and contributed to the overall team leadership and spirit

Sayles had a fantastic senior campaign, starting all 13 games and leading all defensive linemen in tackles with 55 (next closest finished with 32) and finished second on the team with seven tackles for a loss.
Freshman slot back Myles Fells (Bigelow, Ark.) was awarded the Collins/Roos Class of 1949 Junior Varsity MVP Award, presented annually to the most valuable player on the junior varsity football team as chosen by a vote of his teammates.

A 2017 graduate of Joe T. Robinson High School, Fells was a three-sport standout who earned letters in football (3), soccer (2) and track & field (2). As a senior,  he earned All-State (Ark.) and All-USA Arkansas honors.  He was one of three finalists for the 2016 Hootens Arkansas Football Defensive Player of the Year for Class 4A and was a member of the Pulaski Academy football team that won the 2014 state championship.



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