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Bulldog football players, coach to receive honors at awards dinner

By: Matt Long
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Folsom High’s varsity football team is still receiving honors nearly three months after winning the Division II state championship. On Thursday Jordan Richards, Stephen Sippel and Dano Graves, coach Kris Richardson and announcer Rich Payne will receive awards at the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame scholar-athlete awards dinner at the Elks Club in Sacramento. At the black tie affair, Richards, Sippel and Graves and 23 other high school players from the Sacramento area will be honored as scholar-athletes. “It’s a pretty big deal,” Folsom High coach Kris Richardson said. “Most programs only get one guy so to have three is a big deal for the program and a great honor for the guys.” Richardson will also be honored with the Rowland P. Smith Distinguished Coaching Award and will also receive an award for leading Folsom to a 14-1 season and a state championship. “Anything selected by fellow coaches is a great honor to me,” Richardson said. “I’ve got great kids and I’ve surrounded myself with great coaches and again, it’s a great honor for the program.” That’s not all. Folsom High’s announcer, Rich Payne will also be recognized for his contributions to amateur football. Payne has been announcing Folsom games since 1977 and has likely called more than 170 Bulldog games. “It’s fantastic, like Christmas,” Payne said. “It was a pleasant surprise when I found out about it. My love for the game goes back to my childhood and like somebody told me once, my eyes turn into footballs during football season.” Richardson is also happy that Payne is being honored. “Rich is our voice and to me he’s the best in the business,” Richardson said. “I’ve been at Folsom High for 16 years and have been to a lot of high schools and I don’t think there’s another guy out there close to Rich.” The honors don’t end Thursday. On Friday the team will travel to the state capitol and be recognized on the senate floor.