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Durland considered among the best
REGION -- Every football player must be willing to put in the time in an effort to succeed and Christian Durland certainly did, so his performances were considered to be among the best.
The Mountain Valley senior was a runner-up for the inaugural Frank J. Memorial Offensive and Defensive Lineman Awards, which was presented to one offensive and one defensive lineman in the state.
“The banquet went great,” said Durland. The event was held January 23 at the Augusta Civic Center.
“It was a very good atmosphere with all of the talented people present in the room (current and past linemen and players).”
The award "epitomized the character, leadership and perseverance of the late Gaziano," the founder of National Distributors and a former college All-American and pro football player.
Durland was one of 11 semi-finalists who wrote an essay and were interviewed by the selection committee to choose one offensive and one defensive lineman. The Falcon standout was in the running for the defensive award and Durland and Chris Desmond of John Bapst each received a trophy, leather jacket, and $500 scholarship. The winner from Bonny Eagle received a trophy and a $2,500 scholarship.
“The interviews went great and I felt very comfortable talking to the committee.” said Durland. “I felt that the outcome of the awards was very fair. Coach (Jim) Aylward has been a large part of my life and big influence on me.”
The guest speaker was Gerry Raymond, who is the only lineman to have ever won the Fitzpatrick Trophy, in 1978. Raymond was all-pro for the New York Giants in the National Football League.
“I very briefly knew who Gerry Raymond was before this process, but now know about his entire career and life,” said Durland, who won the Bruce Campbell award as the most valuable player in the Class B division of the Campbell Conference.
“He is a great man and was also a great player. I have all the respect in the world for that man," said Durland.
Talking to Raymond, he talked about how he coached in Texas and that at some of those high school football games there would be well above ten thousand people there.
Durland was durable, who, except for minor injuries (broken fingers), never missed a game. He recorded a team-high 13 sacks, this season and was also named all-state defensive end this season.
Durland was a starter on the 2008 and 2010 state championship teams.