By Matt Noonan
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Melikke Van Alstyne had nothing, but praise for his Framingham State teammates, especially his offensive line yesterday at the New England Football Writers’ Gridiron Club of Greater Boston luncheon, which was held at Harvard University. The senior tailback, who eclipsed the 6,000-yard mark in his career on Saturday against Worcester State, was one of two recipients of this week’s Ray Gallant Insurance Golden Helmet award.
“It’s definitely an honor,” said Van Alstyne, who collected his second Golden Helmet. “I know great players that have won this award (before me), so it’s definitely an honor to be here and (be around players like Harvard quarterback) Conner Hempel, so it’s obviously a pleasure.”
Van Alstyne registered 146 yards on 35 carries with three touchdowns in his team’s final regular season contest against the Lancers, and now holds the record for most rushing yards in his team’s program history with 6,025 yards.
“It was just an awesome feeling,” Van Alstyne said of eclipsing the 6,000-yard mark.
“When he gets an award like that it’s a team award,” said head coach Tom Kelley. “When you bring in a player like (Melikke), he represents the team, institution and his family most importantly. We’re real proud of him and I am real proud of what we’ve accomplished over his four years.”
Maine Maritime’s Steve Tardif (6,093 yards) and Jim Bower (6,060 yards) were the only two rushers to register 6,000-yards before Van Alstyne surpassed the mark.
“(This achievement) was in the far distance,” Van Alstyne said when asked about reaching this milestone. “I was definitely just trying to get better every year, so hopefully I did so to reach this award.”