For Gryphon commit Simon Chaves, winning the Nick FitzGibbon Award as the most outstanding player in the CWOSSA District 10 Guelph high school football league was extra special.“It means a lot,” Chaves said moments after being presented with the award." Having known Nick and having his dad be my Grade 8 French teacher, it’s pretty cool to win that award just knowing his family, too."The award is named after Nick FitzGibbon, a star running back who played for the Gryphons from 2006 to 2010 before joining the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for a season. A Puslinch native who was a CIS and OUA all-star during his Gryphon days, he was also a D10 standout with the Centennial CVI Spartans. He was on hand Thursday to present The Fitzy.D10 football’s major awards were handed out at a Thursday luncheon hosted by the Gryphons at the Cutten Fields golf club.Chaves was a two-way player with the league champion Guelph CVI Green Gaels, playing both quarterback and defensive back. He’ll be joining the Gryphons to play on the defensive side of the ball.“I’ll be going for defence — DB, safety,” he said. “One of those.”A D10 all-star at quarterback, Chaves thinks that might help his defensive play as he might be quick to see what play the opposition is running.“I hope so,” he said. “I like to see it as I just like to play.”Chaves will take fond memories away from his five years of high school football at GCVI. Not surprisingly, his favourite memory will be the final drive of the D10 season when he guided the Gaels from deep in their own zone to within striking distance where they would win the league title with a rouge on the final play of the game.“The drive — the last drive we had in the D10 final,” Chaves said. “I think it was the last 37 seconds, or something like that.”Good news for the Gryphon wrestling team, he’s hoping to be a two-sport athlete on the University of Guelph campus as he plans to join that team, too. Chaves is an accomplished wrestler who’ll be a favourite to win a medal in next month’s D10 championship meet.Chaves does have a few goals to achieve before finishing his high school days.“(I’ve got to) keep up my marks, also do good in wrestling still and then hopefully come and play football, too,” he said.And he’s also hoping to be on the football field this summer with the Guelph Junior Gryphons senior varsity team in preparation for the university team’s training camp.“I’ll be playing summer football and hopefully that goes well, too — and really training hard to play at Guelph,” he said. “That’s my plan.”The Gryphons are a big supporter of D10 football and Gryphon coaches and players are regularly seen at the games checking out the action. They’re also hoping to help D10 get more night games at Alumni Stadium.“It’s a reflection of our program, for sure,” Gryphon head coach Kevin MacNeill said. “You utilize football as a tool to help positive growth within these young men’s lives and to see that happening at the level before us just makes our job that much easier when they come up for us.”The Gryphons are also appreciative of the work put in by the coaching and managerial staffs of all the local high school football teams.“I think it’s the sense of community,” Gryphon head coach Kevin MacNeill said of the importance of the high school league. “I think the fact that all these guys know each other, all the coaches have been doing it for a long time and that’s critical to any team’s success, having long-term coaches. All the high school coaches have been at their respective high schools for some time now and continue to develop and grow the community of football here in town.”Other winners of the D10 football’s individual awards were receiver Tommy Nield of the Centennial Spartans as the offensive player of the year, linebacker Brandon Ferigo of GCVI as the defensive player of the year, two-way lineman Tavius Robinson of GCVI as the lineman of the year and offensive lineman Desmond McGregor of the St. James Lions as the rookie of the year. Nield is weighing his university options while the other three are to return for another season of D10 football in the fall.