As a college athlete, there are many awards where you can be recognized for your community service, athletic talent, and academic ability. The William V. Campbell Award is one of the most prestigious and rewarding titles that names America’s top athletes in multiple divisions. It differs from other awards in that it includes all divisions within the NCAA. Divisions include NAIA, Divisions I, II and III for nominations; however, Division I is the most common.
The trophy is presented annually by the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame. This is a record-breaking prize for The Rock star Henry Litwin, adding to his long list of school records.
Slippery Rock football star and wide receiver Litwin is on a prestigious list of nominees and was recently informed that he is a national finalist for the 2021 award. As part of this recognition, Litwin will receive a graduate scholarship of $ 18,000 as one of 13 finalists. He has racked up quite a bit of history, entering as a full-fledged athlete alongside a now top-ranked footballer and a true all-around teammate.
The former Conneaut Area Senior High football player is in his fifth and final year with The Rock football program, while working on his Masters of Business Administration (MBA).
Head coach Shawn Lutz alongside Litwin’s teammates and family surprised him to share the good news. Litwin was overwhelmed with surprise and many smiles were shared during the celebration.
When asked why he thought Litwin was a good candidate for the award, Lutz noted how much of a resilient young man Litwin is.
“He never does anything on his own, works hard and is well liked by the other members of the team. People often admire him, he is always happy for his team even if it is not him who scores the touchdowns.
Litwin isn’t one of those guys who soak up the spotlight; he lives for the satisfaction of teamwork and football. As captain, Litwin is not very vocal, instead leading the team by example.
The Rock football family had 16 senior ghosts who took advantage of their extra year of eligibility and returned with hopes of winning another title. Some graduated and returned to complete a master’s degree, Litwin being one of them.
“All I can say is I’m proud of all those guys who didn’t give up and came back to complete their final season,” said Lutz.
The mindset always reverts to the phrase “relentless,” which is often Lutz’s favorite way of describing his team. “To be relentless, someone has to have a very passionate approach,” he added, provided by Slippery Rock football.
“Getting Henry to start early and often on catches brings the whole team together. The Rock uses every practice as if it were a game and that is a testament to their overall track record and continued success over the years, ”said Lutz.
However, off the football field, Litwin played a man who gave back to his community through the midget football league. Being from a tight-knit, rural region, sport was the center of his hometown. Litwin’s work ethic and willingness to help others on and off the pitch earned him the opportunity to be on the list of award recipients along with his cumulative GPA of 3.66.
“There are a lot of individual accolades that he’s rightly deserved,” Lutz said of Litwin.
Likewise, William V. Campbell was an amazing football player in his own right. Throughout his era in football, he decided on his legacy by giving back to the game he loved. The William V. Campbell Trophy is now awarded in his honor to a college football player with a good balance of education, volunteer work, athletic statistics and performance. Former NFL players Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning are both recipients of this distinguished award.
Football captain, coach and businessman, Campbell continued his legacy by awarding the winner of each year with a scholarship of $ 25,000 endowed by the HealthSouth Corporation. The late Campbell was an All-Ivy League student-athlete at Columbia University who devoted his life to coaching football and later becoming a businessman.
The Homestead native and Steel Valley High School graduate gave back to the school where his football career also began. Campbell donated a free iPad to every student in the school, invested in the renovation of sports facilities as well as a full scholarship for a high school student at Duquesne University.
The college award trophy is hosted at the New York Athletic Club, in partnership with Fidelity Investments. During his 32 years, the finalists will travel to Las Vegas for a celebratory dinner on December 7, where the winner of the award will be announced.
Another important category for the William V. Campbell Award is the athletic ability of the player and the team. Slippery Rock ticked all the boxes, back-to-back winning the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Title with Litwin on board.
This week, The Rock football team will continue their way to the Championship between East and West for a battle of the best in the PSAC. Winning this weekend unlocks a ticket to the national qualifying round and will only add to Litwin’s list of accomplishments.