Football: Black Lion Award given in honor of first LA coach

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By The Staff

Los Alamos High School Athletic and Activities Director Vicki Nelms and head football coach Bob Scott have announced that the Hilltoppers are instituting The Black Lion Award, effective the 2009 football season.

Los Alamos High School will be the third school or team to institute the award.

The Black Lion Award was established in 2001. The award honors the memory of Major Don Holleder, U.S. Army and former All-American football player at West Point, who died in combat in Vietnam on Oct. 17, 1967, and the men of the 28th Infantry – the Black Lions – who died with him that day.

Initiated by Washington veteran high school football coach, Hugh Wyatt, in cooperation with former members of the 28th Infantry, the Black Lion Award is intended to go to that football player on any coach’s team, who in the opinion of his coach “best exemplifies the character of Don Holleder: leadership, courage, devotion to duty, self-sacrifice, and – above all – an unselfish concern for the team ahead of himself.” Every high school, middle school and youth football team in America is eligible to participate.

According to a biographical essay by Hugh Wyatt for the Black Lion Award program, Holleder played varsity football with West Point’s nationally-ranked 1953 and 1954 teams on both offense and defense.

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