Mount Olive Football Player Wins SFC Young Man of the Year AwardFeb 17, 2022 12:39PM ● By Joe Nicastro
Mount Olive High School, senior student, Cooper Anderson, is the man of the year in his hometown, after winning a SFC Steve DiGregorio (Super Football Conference) award. The esteemed award is given to an individual who has displayed outstanding leadership and dedicated service to their school and community. There is also an academic requirement to the award nominee, as the recipient is required to be in good academic standing with their school.
Anderson said that he found out about his nomination during the last week of the regular season, in a game against Sparta High School.
“It was during one of the last games we played of the season away at Sparta in late October, that I found out I was nominated for the award,” said Anderson. “They announced my name over the loudspeaker, and everyone cheered for me. It was a cool experience. I also received the actual plaque during the halftime period of that game.”
Anderson has played the sport of football since he was a freshman on the Mount Olive varsity team. He has started at both the wide receiver and safety positions and was an integral member of the team’s successful season. He is also an avid lacrosse player.
“Growing up as a kid I always loved the game of football. I was around five or six years old when I started playing the sport recreationally and I was always on a flag football team or another league throughout my life,” said Anderson.
The Marauders had a good season in Anderson’s last campaign, attaining an 8-3 regular season record and placing second in the North Jersey Super Liberty Red League.
The team made it past the first round of the divisional playoffs, beating Morris Knolls High School 41-13, before falling to Northern Highlands High School 28-7 in the second round.
Anderson said that his most memorable moment as a football player came against Irvington High School in the first game of the season on September 3rd.
“It was one of the best games that I had because I scored two touchdowns and had an interception against them in the second half,” said Anderson.
This was the first year that the SFC Steve DiGregorio ‘Young Man of the Year’ award was handed out to a player who has shown outstanding leadership and commitment to both their community and team.
The award is not performance-based but is given to an individual from each high school who excels in certain areas. These include community service, selflessness before selfishness, creating a positive school/team environment, leadership on and off the field and setting a positive example for teammates and peers. There is also an academic requirement, as the recipient must be in good academic standing.
A banquet awards dinner was held on January 19th to honor Cooper and other members of the team for their achievements. The event was coordinated by the MOHS Football Parent Club. An awards ceremony is also scheduled to be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, where a press conference will be held to announce the district ‘Young Man of the Year’ award.