Shenendehowa football coach Brent Steuerwald has received numerous awards over his long career, but he said his most recent honor might be his biggest to date.
Steuerwald will receive the American Football Coaches Association's Power of Influence award at next January's AFCA convention in Dallas. The award goes to one high school coach who has had an impact on his players, school and community.
It's certainly a tribute to all the coaches and kids I've worked with over the years, and I share this [award] with them, said Steuerwald.
"It's a great honor for Brent, our athletic program and our school community that he was chosen for this prestigious national honor," said Shen athletic director Chris Culnan. "It shows the influence that Brent has had on the game of football, not only within the Shenendehowa community, but also at the state and national level."
Steuerwald " who is also a member of the New York State High School Football and Shen halls of fame " had been nominated twice before for the Power of Influence award before becoming the first northeastern high school coach to receive the honor.
"The last time I was nominated, I heard unofficially that I was the runner-up," said Steuerwald. "When I was nominated this time, I had high hopes because of what happened last time. I was told unofficially a month ago that it looked like I was the awardee, but you don't want to believe it until you see it in writing."
Steuerwald previously received a national coach of the year honor, but he said the Power of Influence award is more important in his mind.
"There's nothing that compares to this," said Steuerwald. "It's given by high school coaches and other high school football people, so it's a great honor to receive this award."
Steuerwald will look to add to his list of achievements this season as he guides the Plainsmen through a tough Section II Class AA league campaign.
"Awards and honors are wonderful but to the kids' perspective, all they want to think about is this season," said Steuerwald.