BY GENE NARDI
The 24th annual Lou Groza Awards Banquet got underway Monday, Dec. 7 with two Wellington High School football standouts nominated for key awards: senior receiver Ahmmon Richards and junior placekicker Logan Robinson.
The event, held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, was hosted by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission and presented by the Orange Bowl.
Richards received Player of the Year honors. He was in good company, up against a talented group of athletes, such as Suncoast quarterback Matt Dane, Oxbridge Academy running back Travis Homer, Atlantic running back Shawndarius Phillips and American Heritage running back Devin Singletary.
“This is the biggest honor for me,” Richards said. “I’m just glad I am able to represent my family in this way. I’m so happy right now.”
Richards added to his accolades over the past two seasons. Last year, he was the Sun-Sentinel’s large school player of the year. This season, he added to his honors by being the only Palm Beach County player selected to participate in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas on Jan. 9. He has become one the nation’s most sought-after players, with offers from Miami, Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee, to name a few.
Coming off his junior season, Richards is credited with 53 pass receptions for more than 1,300 yards and 23 touchdowns. Knowing he had a bull’s-eye on his back, as opposing teams keyed on him, his senior year was even more impressive. Richards totaled 73 receptions for 1,442 yards.
Wellington is no stranger to the Lou Groza events. Last year, Wellington won the District 9-8A title and earned a regional finals appearance. The Wolverines finished last season with a school-best 11-2 record, receiving the Lou Groza Team of the Year award, and Wellington’s Tom Abel received Coach of the Year.
“We’re grateful to be here, and it shows that Wellington football is headed in the right direction,” Richards said.
Abel and several of Richard’s teammates were on hand to support the senior receiver. “It’s another big year for the school,” Abel said. “Logan was huge for us this year, and I can’t say enough about Ahmmon — he’s going to be a three-time MVP for us this year.”
The Groza awards also direct their focus to off-the-field successes. Both Ahmmon and Robinson maintain over a 3.0 GPA in the classroom and put a lot of emphasis on their academics.
Robinson was a nominee for the Placekicker of the Year but was edged out by Pahokee’s Ezekiel Hernandez. Robinson was one of the top kickers in Palm Beach County. He went six-for-eight on field goals and 33-for-35 on point after kicks. He kicked a 42-yard field goal, which proved to be the decisive points in a 30-28 victory over Boca Raton. In a close 42-35 loss to perennial power Dwyer, Robinson kept the Wolverines in the game due to a staggering three successful onside kicks.
“As a junior, it’s an honor to be considered for an award of this stature,” Robinson said.
Robinson returns next year as placekicker for the Wolverines, and has one more year to make another run at adding to his impressive stats. He hopes to contribute in big ways for the Wellington program for one more season.
ABOVE: Wellington placekicker Logan Robinson, coach Tom Abel and receiver Ahmmon Richards with his player of the year award.