By Joseph Santoliquito
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CBS) — West Chester had a pretty amazing season this past year.
For the second time in school history, the Rams advanced to the NCAA Division Final Four in football, and smashed all kinds of records, including finishing with a single-season school record 13 victories.
The prestigious Maxwell Club honored two major components Friday night at its 77th annual gala at Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, awarding Rams’ coach Bill Zwaan with the Maxwell Club’s 16th Tri-State Coach of the Year and West Chester tailback Rondell White with the Maxwell Club’s 13th Brian Westbrook Tri-State Player of the Year, presented by the Philadelphia Insurance Companies.
It’s the third Maxwell Award for Zwaan, who was presented with a Mini-Max as a player in the 1970s for Sharon Hill and twice at West Chester, and as Tri-State coach in 2001 while at Widener University.
“This is really exciting, growing up in the area, being part of the Maxwell Club and to be honored by them, it’s what you shoot for locally, because you know this award is out there and it’s such a great banquet and award, it means a lot,” Zwaan said.
White enjoyed a season for the ages. The senior tailback, who came up from Houston, where he is working out with the aim of attracting an NFL team and get drafted in May, became the third player in NCAA Division II history to generate over 3,000 all-purpose yards, finishing with 3,107, just 53 yards off the all-time record held by the NFL’s Danny Woodhead, while he was at Chadron State (Neb.).
White also rushed for 1,989 yards and 21 touchdowns on an NCAA Division II-record 406 carries, caught 75 passes for 843 yards and three TDs and he averaged an astounding 207.1 all-purpose yards a game.
He simply did it all.
“Rondell has tremendous quickness, and above everything, he has tremendous durability, he did it all, there’s no question he carried us,” Zwaan said. “You have players that play beyond their statistics, like height, weight and speed and Rondell is certainly one of them. He’s fast on the field, that’s for sure, and he plays much bigger than he is. He did so many different things, and we can count on him all of time.”
White, a West Chester Rustin High graduate, was humbled by the star power he was seated with.
“This is awesome, being up there sitting with [Alabama star] A.J. McCarron, the whole experience has been awesome,” White said. “One minute, you’re playing college football, the next you have real life right there in front of you, with all of these big stars. It’s been pretty amazing. My aim is to be where a lot of these guys seem to be headed, and that’s the NFL. I know I have some work to do. Training went real well, and I finished my pro day on Monday. I think there’s a chance to be drafted. If not, I’m hoping to get a high PFA [free agent] signing.”