WASHINGTON – A pair of former Catholic University football players were honored at halftime of the Cardinals' football game vs. Bridgewater on Saturday, November 10. James Fucillo of Winthrop, Mass., was honored with the Anthony J. Bottoni Award, and Jeff Frusciante of Westport, Conn., received the Ronnie McManes Award.
The Anthony J. Bottoni Award was established in 2000 to honor the CUA football team's outstanding senior player. Fucillo was a four-year member of the Cardinals program, totaling 150 tackles, three interceptions and a pair of sacks during his career.
As a senior, Fucillo started all 10 games for CUA, and finished the year with 89 tackles, including six for loss, as well as two fumble recoveries, a sack and an interception. His 50 solo tackles tied for the team lead. For his efforts, Fucillo received All-Region and All-ODAC accolades.
Fucillo graduated from CUA with a degree in educational studies and is an assistant football coach at Curry College in Massachusetts.
The Ronnie McManes Award was established in 1998 to honor the "CUA football player who has risen above adversity to excel athletically and academically." Frusciante exemplified exceptional leadership skills on and off the field, overcoming a number of injuries throughout his career to develop into a potent part of the CUA offense. A three-year starter and two-time captain, Frusciante anchored the nation's fourth-ranked passing offense a season ago, catching 25 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner against Carnegie Mellon.
Frusciante, who missed most of the 2010 season due to injury, also hauled in a two-point conversion in the season opener to seal a win over McDaniel. He graduated from CUA with a degree in finance and was a member of the ODAC All-Academic Team.
The Bottoni Award is named in honor of Anthony J. Bottoni, a two-year (1998-99) starting right guard for the Cardinals who was killed in an automobile collision Dec. 28, 1999. Just a month prior, Bottoni helped CUA win its first league football championship with a 6-0 record in the ODAC. The 6-foot, 277-pounder played on three consecutive NCAA playoff teams (1997-99) that went 29-4 (.879) during his college career.
The McManes Award is named in honor of former Cardinal Coach Ronnie McManes, who in 1965 helped to rejuvenate football at CUA by becoming the school's first head football coach in 15 years. McManes (mick-maynz) had previously coached football, baseball, basketball and track for the No. 12 Metropolitan Police Boys Club in Washington, D.C. Former University of Notre Dame President, the Rev. Edward A. "Monk" Malloy, is among the boys club players he coached.