By Mallory Allen
ASHWAUBENON – The Green Bay Blizzard have chosen the recipients of their 2023 team awards, voted on annually by players, coaches and staff after the completion of every Indoor Football League (IFL) season.
Wide receiver Marquise Irvin earned the team’s Offensive Player of the Year award. Over the course of the season — his second in the IFL — Irvin developed into a dominant threat for the Blizzard offense, hauling in 71 receptions for 886 yards and 16 touchdowns. “Quise is a bigtime playmaker that you can always rely on in any situation,” said Offensive Coordinator Matt Behrendt. “He’s as consistent as they come. Our offense was scary when he was on the field.”
Rookie defensive back Ravarius Rivers was named Green Bay’s Defensive Player of the Year. Despite not signing with the team until six weeks into the season, Rivers quickly established himself as a force in the Blizzard secondary. He ended the year as the team leader in total tackles and second in interceptions. Head Coach Corey Roberson said Rivers was “a great addition to a secondary that needed some help, adding that his eagerness to learn and understand the game “quickly translated to his performance on the field.”
Due to injuries, the Blizzard’s offensive line rarely looked the same week-to-week. However, the one piece that remained consistent all year was the man in the middle, center Trent Clark, who didn’t miss a single game. Clark’s unwavering dependability and leadership as a team captain earned himself the title of Lineman of the Year. “Trent epitomizes mental and physical toughness, and his character on and off the field is exactly what the Blizzard organization looks for in their players,” said Offensive/Defensive Line Coach Dean Picotte.
Mike Green & Shaq Curenton
The dynamic duo of Mike Green and Shaq Curenton were awarded Co-Special Teams Player of the Year honors. Green was electric on kick returns, racking up 646 total yards — averaging 17.5 per runback — including a 55-yard touchdown return. “Mike is a selfless and coachable player who showed everyone just a glimpse of his natural playmaking ability this season,” said Special Teams Coordinator Mike Bonner.
As for Curenton, his multifaceted special teams efforts were on display throughout each game in his blocking, tackling and long snapping capabilities. “Shaq leaves it all out on the field for his teammates. I love watching him block players bigger than him,” Bonner said.
Running back Terrence Smith was named the team’s Servant Leader — a player who makes a difference on the field, in the locker room and in the community. Traded to the Blizzard mere days before training camp began, Smith’s contributions to his team throughout this season cannot be overstated, accumulating 742 total offensive yards and 26 touchdowns (22 rushing, four receiving). “Terrence is the type of player you look forward to coaching every day,” Behrendt said. “He’s as professional as they come, doesn’t complain at all and just loves the game of football.”
Fifth-year defensive lineman Deldrick Canty won the team’s Joe Lunch Bucket award, given to a player who shows up to work hard every day. Canty played in all 15 games for the Blizzard and provided a veteran presence to the team. Roberson praised Canty’s consistency and leadership, calling him “a top contributor” who “has been the ultimate team captain/player, especially when it comes to accountability.”