Trent Merriman (centre) with CoM coach Dan O’Shea and former Jack Eilliott Courage Award winners Jake Simkins (second left) and Jack Johnston. (Photos: OC Sports Zone, Tim Burt).
Corona del Mar football players and coaches continued to carry on the legacy of former player Jack Elliott with the presentation of an award in his honor Friday evening on the grounds of the CdM campus.
Tight end Trent Merriman received the Jack Elliott Courage Award. He will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
The award ’embodies strong character and commitment to his team’ and is named after the former CoM football player who, according to his father Brett Elliott, died in 2019 just two months into the year school at Texas Christian University. He didn’t play college football.
“I couldn’t be more honored, I didn’t think it was going to be me but I’m proud to wear it (number two) and let’s have a great season this year, I’m excited,” said Merriman, who was a tackler. left last year wearing No. 77. This year he will be the last Sea King to wear No. 2 in honor of Elliott.
Merriman, a senior, said he hasn’t committed to playing college football next year, but added “I’m very interested in the military.”
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Merriman has had a tremendous impact with the program on and off the field.
“I remember when Trent came here as a freshman,” Sea Kings head coach Dan O’Shea said. “He had this unique energy, this unique smile. Every little youth camp we’ve had, every little volunteer activity, Trent is the first to raise his hand and say, “How can I help?
“He is literally the embodiment of what we want a Corona del Mar Sea King to be in terms of social decision-making and academics; he yearns to go to West Point and has his candidacy pending. He would be perfect there because he is a leader of men and the best this country has to offer when it comes to an 18 year old from Corona del Mar high school and the perfect winner this year to carry on the legacy by Jack Elliot.
“The sky is the limit for him as a man, a leader and a football player.”
O’Shea told football players and fans that the characteristics embodied by Jack Elliott should never be forgotten.
Elliott’s father cited his son’s exceptional work ethic and dedication, saying “character is what you do when no one is watching”.
A former CoM coach, Tony Thornton, who remained a friend of the family, praised Elliott’s “joie de vivre”.
CoM Booster President Jack Ford and Newport Beach Councilman Will O’Neill also highlighted the impact Elliott has had on the CoM program.
The two previous winners, Jack Johnston and Jake Simkins, were also introduced and spoke, expressing their gratitude for receiving the award.
An intra-squad visit took place before the ceremony.
“I think we looked good, based on our performance today at scrimmage I think we did very well and I’m excited to continue that,” Merriman said.
—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; [email protected]