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Stepinac's Taps Selected for Golden Dozen Honor

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Austin Taps, a standout two-way football star for Stepinac High School, has been selected to the 2011 Golden Dozen.

The “Golden Dozen” are selected by the Westchester Chapter of the National Football Foundation every year and include the top scholar-athletes on the football field from the recently completed fall season. The players will be honored at the National Football Foundation Awards Banquet at Westchester Country Club in Harrison on Jan. 26.

Taps, a defensive end and tight end who lives in Mahopac and is committed to attending William & Mary next fall, helped the Crusaders to a perfect 12-0 record and Catholic High Schools Football League AA title in 2010 and a 9-3 season and the CHSFL AAA title game against eventual champion St. Anthony’s this fall.

He had 22 catches for 358 yards and four touchdowns and recorded 52 tackles and 31 assisted tackles on defense. He was also a member of the Crusaders varsity basketball team last year. Taps also recorded 10 quarterback sacks and was chosen as the CHSFL’s Vincent O'Connor Award winner for the league's defensive player of the year.

A total of 38 students were honored from Westchester and Putnam counties, including the “Golden Dozen,” and the 26 honorable mention honorees.

Patrick Donohoe (Mahopac High School), Caleb Gilligan-Evans (Archbishop Stepinac), Joseph Hanley (Somers), Andrew Miller and  Chibueze Nwakeze (Rye Country Day School), Brett Poniros (Mamaroneck High School), Kyle Ricciardi (Croton High School), Daniel stein (Ardsley High School), Austin Taps (Stepinac High School), August Wolf (The Hackley School) and John Yozzo-Scaperrotta (Dobbs Ferry High School).

Golden Dozen Honorable Mention

Jeffrey Avery (White Plains High School), Alex Bennett (Irvington High School), Matt Berni (Iona Prep), John Brennan (Croton Harmon High School), Daniel Caiola (John Jay High School), Eric Cooley (Yorktown High School), Travis Coleman (White Plains High School), Justin Combs (Iona Prep), Brian Connolly (Ossining High School), Jackson Conway (Bronxville High School), John Conway (Pleasantville High School), Ray Dann (Brewster High School, Matthew DeGraw (Rye High School), Christopher Groton (Somers High School), Joe Gambino (Mahopac High School), William Johnson (The Hackley School), Michael Kaplan (Lakeland High School), Tim Leone (Scarsdale High School), Jesse Mainiero (Croton Harmon High School), Sebastian Montenegro (Ossining High School), Brendan O’Connor (Briarcliff High School), Colin Orr (Briarcliff High School), Ryan Sanders (John Jay High School), Danny Schulman (Pleasantville High School), Samuel Stern (Rye Country Day), Adam Tavolilla (Brewster High School).

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