Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Armwood athlete, scholar a finalist for national Rudy award


Kyle Wilcox and his Armwood teammates played in the state championship Dec. 18, but in the bigger picture, the senior fullback has reached a far more important final.

Wilcox was named a national finalist this week for the High School Football Rudy Awards, an honor named after Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger of the movie Rudy that's given to those who have the ability to inspire on and off the football field.

"Kyle is an incredible kid," Armwood coach Sean Callahan said. "He is a very special person in addition to being an excellent football player."

Wilcox was one of 12 chosen from a pool of 250 nominees for the award. The final four recipients will be named Jan. 18, with the winner to receive a $10,000 academic scholarship to the college of choice.

"These 12 finalists are amazing," said former NFL All Pro quarterback Drew Bledsoe, chairman of the selection committee. "I'd like to meet each and every one of them so I can shake their hand and let them know how much they've inspired me."

Finalists were chosen based on their ability to inspire others, their courage and character, and their commitment to the game while overcoming personal or physical challenges. Wilcox, who was at one time in foster care, carries a 6.1 GPA and is in line to become Armwood's valedictorian this year.

"The kid is just brilliant," Callahan said. "He is truly deserving of this award."

Wilcox rushed for 616 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010 after transferring from Wharton after his junior season. He helped Armwood reach the state final Dec. 18 before losing to Tallahassee Lincoln 17-14.

"Of all the kids I've had for one year, Kyle stands out," Callahan said. "I was cracking to the coaches the other day that 'how amazing would it be to have a team full of Kyles? Someone who is intelligent, doesn't cause any issues and is always on time?' "

You can vote for Wilcox through Jan. 17 online at

Newsome girls ranked: Newsome's girls soccer team was ranked No. 16 in the most recent edition of the ESPN/RISE Powerade Fab 50 national poll. The Wolves, winners of the recent Sarasota Holiday Classic Elite Division, are 16-0 this season.

"It is definitely something the team is excited about because of all the hard work they have put in over the past two seasons," coach Kelly Townsend said. "But at the end of the day, it's what they still have to do on the field that matters. But I am very happy for them because they deserve it."

Boys Soccer: There is a heated district tournament right around the corner in 5A-8. Newsome, Durant and Plant City are all bunched up at the top of the table, with only two teams advancing through the tournament.

If all ends as expected over the next two weeks (none of the three teams will play each other during that span), Plant City will enter the tourney with the No. 1 seed. The Raiders are 6-1-1 (5-1 in the district) and after losing the opener against district foe Newsome, Plant City has not lost a match since (six wins, one tie). Jorge Martinez and A.J. Black lead the Raiders with five goals apiece.

Durant (6-3-1, 4-1) and Newsome (7-1-2, 3-1-1) will vie heavily for the title when the tournament begins. Andres Plata leads Durant with nine goals, while the Wolves' Joey Perfetto paces Newsome with nine as well.

Brandon Wright can be reached at

Armwood athlete, scholar a finalist for national Rudy award 12/30/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 30, 2010 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Before Janessa Shannon's death, parents traded accusations of abuse


    TAMPA — Long before Janessa Shannon's remains were discovered in a Hillsborough County nature preserve, her parents tried to convince court officials that she was in danger.

    From her own family.

    Janessa Shannon, 13, was found dead July 12 in the Triple Creek Nature Preserve in Hillsborough County. [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]
  2. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  3. ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 16, 2017


    Seems like Broward County has started a domino effect. It was the first school board to commit to filing a lawsuit against the state and its controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. Then, the St. Lucie County School Board signed on, too. A running tally of school boards that have reportedly expressed interested in …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
  4. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.