Walter Camp Weekend Notebook: New Haven Register’s Joe Morelli Named Keish Award, American Hero Award, Honorary Members, and ESPN3 to Televise Saturday’s National Awards Dinner
Here are some newsworthy items from the 48th Walter Camp Football Weekend.
JOE MORELLI NAMED KEISH AWARD RECIPIENT
Joe Morelli, high school sports editor for the New Haven Register, is the recipient of the William Keish “Media Appreciation Award by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. The announcement was made at the Foundation’s Alumni/Media Brunch at the Omni Hotel as part of the 48th annual Walter Camp Weekend festivities.
The award is named after Bill Keish, who was the Foundation’s public relations chairperson for 25 years before his untimely death in 2001.
Morelli started his career at the Milford Citizen in 1993 before serving as editor of Elm City Newspapers from 1995-97. In 1997, he joined the New Haven Register and has covered everything from high school sports, professional and amateur golf to the Walter Camp Foundation. For the last eight years, Joe has served as high school sports editor at the new Haven Register, and led the development of its highly-successful high school sports website www.GameTimeCT.com.
He is a member of CIAC media advisory committee and Connecticut State Golf Association Hall of Fame committee. Joe is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and currently resides in Branford with his wife Megan.
CLEMSON’S DANIEL RODRIGUEZ NAMED “AMERICAN HERO AWARD”
Clemson receiver and Bronze Star Medal recipient Daniel Rodriguez will receive the “Walter Camp American Hero” award at the organization’s national awards dinner on January 17.
The special award is being given to Rodriguez for distinguishing himself in defense of American Freedom on foreign soil, having been awarded the Purple Heart and Medal of Honor by the US Government for his valor. Subsequently, having to overcome injuries incurred in the course of our defense, he was able to realize his dream and commitment to his fallen comrades, of walking on to the Clemson football team and participating as a valued member of that team for the last three years.
Rodriguez served in the Army from 2006-10 and fought in the Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan in 2009 where 38 U.S. troops faced 300 Taliban fighters. Eight Americans were killed in the fighting and 22 were wounded, including Rodriguez. He was also awarded the Purple Heart. In 2012, Rodriguez was offered a walk-on spot with Clemson and played in 35 straight games for the Tigers. He recently played in the Medal of Honor Bowl.
THREE NAMED ‘HONORARY MEMBERS”
Three people were named “Honorary Members” of the Foundation today. First Niagara Bank vice president Paul McCraven, along with WTNH TV-8 sports director Noah Finz and WTNH TV-8 sports reporter John Pierson were recognized during the Foundation’s Alumni/Media Brunch.
This status is reserved for non-WCFF members who have demonstrated over a sustained period of time a strong affinity for supporting the organization without having been an official member. These persons shall have consistently served as an ambassador for the organization and should have helped promote or financially support the efforts of the WCFF. There are no voting privileges.
ESPN3 TO TELEVISE SATURDAY’S NATIONAL AWARDS DINNER
For the fourth straight year, ESPN3 will carry live Saturday’s Walter Camp National Awards Dinner from the Yale University Commons. The dinner can be viewed at www.espn3.com. ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, giving fans a 24/7 online destination that delivers thousands of live sports events annually. It is available at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection or video connection from an affiliated service provider.
ESPN3 is currently available in more than 70 million homes. It is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.