Allentown, PA: The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks are proud to announce that their star quarterback has been named National Arena League’s Most Valuable Player for the 2017 season. In addition, the team was also honored with the Head Coach of the Year Award, and Most Improved Player of the Year award in wide receiver Warren Oliver Jr.
In addition to being named 1st Team All-NAL, QB Warren Smith Jr. also took top honors in 2017, being named the league’s first ever MVP. Smith led the league in most passing categories including passing yards, touchdowns, completions and completion percentage.
Head Coach Chris Thompson was also named Coach of the Year in the NAL’s inaugural season. The award comes after leading the Steelhawks to a 9-1 regular season and their 6th straight playoff appearance. While Thompson is the Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach, the rest of the coaching staff is a part of the team’s success and so a part of this award as well – Defensive Coordinator Bob Kohler, Special Teams Coordinator/OL Coach Ken Miller, WR Coach Dan Kelly, DL Coach Todd Shimko, LB Coach Lo Locust, Offensive Quality Control Vinnie Elskamp, and Strength & Conditioning Coach Mike Cerimele.
Wide receiver Warren Oliver Jr. came away with the award for Most Improved Player. After seeing limited action last season, usually as the number four receiver, Oliver Jr. came into the 2017 season and earned a starting position from day one. He played in all eleven games for the ’Hawks and more than doubled his production from a season ago, finishing the season with 15 touchdowns on 50 catches and 575 yards. His 23 career touchdowns are good for third most in franchise history.
Head Coach Chris Thompson is proud to have his two players honored. “I can’t say enough about both of these Warren’s and the seasons they had for us. It is a credit to their work-ethic and professional approach each week to the task at hand. They are two big reasons why we had arguably the most talented and potent offense in all of the National Arena League this year. They both have bright futures and will continue to do well in everything they do. They definitely
have qualities we look for in our players here in the Lehigh Valley.”
League awards were presented on Sunday, July 9th at the 1st Annual NAL Banquet held prior to the NAL Championship game.
2018 season tickets can be reserved now! Keep checking for the latest news and events from the Steelhawks. For further information please call Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Clark at (610) 282-3100, or visit our website at www.LVSteelhawks.com for the latest Steelhawks news. Reserve your seat now by calling the Steelhawks office at 610-282-3100. The Steelhawks play all of their home games on Embassy Bank Field inside the PPL Center.
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