Mr. President. I rise today to recognize and congratulate Geoffrey “Rocky” Myers, the senior strong safety at Wesley College in Dover who has been named the recipient of the 12th annual Gagliardi Trophy. This award is given annually to the outstanding football player in the NCAA Division III and is the Division III equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. His recognition demonstrates the success that comes from hard work, perseverance, and the experience of a remarkable team as well as a dedicated coach, and the support of an outstanding college.
The Gagliardi Trophy was presented to Rocky on December 16, 2004, in Salem, VA, in the presence of his proud parents, Gilbert and Cheryl. Unlike the Heisman, this trophy, sponsored by Jostens, Inc. and administered by the SJU J-Club, recognizes excellence in academics and community service, as well as athletics.
A native of Bowers Beach, Rocky attended W.T. Chipman Middle School and Lake Forest High School through his sophomore year and finished his high school career, graduating second in his class, at Caesar Rodney High School in Camden. At Wesley, Rocky played in all 10 games of the 2004 season for the 8-2 Wesley College Wolverines and totaled 124 tackles, 62 of which were solo tackles, along with 62 assists. Rocky also had 6.5 tackles for a loss of 20 yards and five interceptions for 84 yards. A “Football Gazette” National Player of the Week, ECAC Co-Defensive Player of the Week and three-time ACFC Defensive Player of the Week, Rocky ranks 11th nationally with 12.4 total tackles per game, 13th with 1.7 passes defended per game and 30th with 6.1 solo tackles per game this season.
Rocky was named to the All-ACFC and All-ACFC Academic Team for all four years of his college career. One of only three Division III players and 15 total scholar athletes, Rocky was named to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's 2004 National Scholar-Athlete Class. He is the only Wolverine to be named a team captain three consecutive years.
In addition to his expertise and agility on the football field, Rocky is a 4.0 academic record student who is majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. He was selected for his academic achievements and leadership on campus and in the neighboring communities. Rocky has done volunteer work with the youth reading program at North Dover Elementary and in the Guidance Office of the Dover Central Middle School. He has also spent time helping the senior citizens of Frederica relocate to their new senior facility and was a camp counselor at the St. Thomas More Middle School Youth Basketball Camp.
At Wesley, Rocky was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the past three years, as well as a Wesley College tutor for four years. Rocky's academic achievements include a nomination to the “USA Today” Academic All-American, National Dean's List and U.S. Achievement Academy College All-American Scholar.
The Gagliardi Trophy is named for John Gagliardi, legendary head coach at St. John's University (SJU) in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he became the most successful coach in college football history with 409 wins on November 8, 2003. Gagliardi currently has 421 career victories in his 56 years of coaching, 52 of those being at SJU. College Presidents nominate their top student athletes for this award. The J-Club Board of Directors narrows the field to 10 finalists and a national selection committee selects the winner.
Dr. Scott Miller, President of Wesley College, nominated Rocky. In the words of Dr. Miller, “Rocky is a student leader of significant note. Students like him emerge only once in a generation. The fact that he is an athlete makes his accomplishments even more noteworthy.”
Today, I rise to extend congratulations and best wishes to Rocky Myers and his family and all of the fine students, athletes, coaches and faculty at Wesley College that helped to make this award possible. We wish him fun times relaxing in the California sun this summer and the best of luck as he pursues graduate school in the fall.