The Washington Huskies announced last night the winners of their annual post-season awards for the 2015 football season. Among them, Tani Tupou was honored with the Guy Flaherty Award, the team's highest honor, while true freshman Myles Gaskin, senior Travis Feeney and true freshman Ben Burr-Kirven were recognized as players of the year for offense, defense and special teams, respectively.
Awards programs like this are akin to making sure every kid on a little league team gets a trophy. Still, they provide some insight into the inner workings of the program that might be interesting for fans to observe. For example, the Don James Award, recognizing a player's perseverance, was shared by both Budda Baker and Scott Lawyer. While we don't fully understand the context, this might indicate that Baker, in particular, may have been more banged up all year than previously understood.
Other examples of interesting insight include Brian Clay and Sifa Tufunga both winning awards for Academic Achievement, DL Bryce Sterk winning the "Dirty Dawg" award for weight room achievement (recall that Sterk was not a weight lifter in high school), Coleman Shelton - who showed his worth in running down a Cougar defensive back following a long interception return in the Apple Cup - winning Offensive Lineman of the Year, Sean Constantine taking home the "Husky Fever" award for sideline leadership and Cory Littleton getting recognized as both the "Front 7" player of the year and for the "Hit of the Year" - presumably his big sack of Mike Bercovici in the ASU game.
The full UW press release is included below:
SEATTLE - Senior defensive lineman Taniela Tupou won the 108th annual Guy Flaherty Award, the Washington football program's oldest and most prestigious team award while Myles Gaskin, Travis Feeney and Ben Burr-Kirven won Most Outstanding Player honors at the Husky football team's postseason awards ceremony.
Tupou, from Marysville, Wash., served as a team captain for the 2015 season. He was also honored with the Iron Husky Award for his efforts in the weight room. The Guy Flaherty Award, given to the UW's most inspirational player and voted on by the players, was first awarded in 1908.
Gaskin, a true freshman from Lynnwood, Wash., finished the regular season with 1,121 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, setting UW freshmen records for both. He was named the team's Offensive MVP. Feeney, a senior from Richmond, Calif., earned the Defensive MVP honor after having won Special Teams MVP last year. He led the Huskies with 15.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Burr-Kirven, a true freshman from Menlo Park, Calif., who finished the season with 34 total tackles, earned the Special Teams honor.
Sophomore offensive lineman Coleman Shelton (Pasadena, Calif.) won the John P. Angel Offensive Lineman of the Year while senior Cory Littleton (Spring Valley, Calif.) was named winner of the L. Wait Rising Front 7 Man of the year. Offensive tackle Trey Adams (Wenatchee, Wash.) and quarterback Jake Browning (Granite Bay, Calif.), shared the Travis Spring Freshman of the Year Award.
Littleton was also honored with the Chuck Niemi Big Hit Award, for a sack in the Arizona State game, while freshman tight end Drew Sample (Bellevue, Wash.) and junior linebacker Azeem Victor (Compton, Calif.) were co-winners of the Earle T. Glant Tough Husky Award.
The Husky Fever 12th Man Award was presented to junior linebacker Sean Constantine (Hunts Point, Wash.), senior center Siosifa Tufunga (Long Beach, Calif.) went home with the Academic Achievement Award. Senior safety Brian Clay (Vacaville, Calif.) won the 101 Club Academic Excellence Award while sophomore safety Budda Baker (Bellevue, Wash.) and senior linebacker Scott Lawyer (San Jose, Calif.) were co-winners of the Don James Perseverance Award.
The Bob Jarvis Offensive Scout Squad Player of the Year went to sophomore tailback Ralph Kinne (Shelton, Wash.), the Mark Drennan Defensive Scout Squad Player of the Year was given to senior defensive lineman Jarret Finau (Kirkland), Wash.) and the Brian Stapp Special Teams Scout Squad Player of the Year Award was presented to junior wide receiver Drew Before (Spokane, Wash.).
For his work in the weight room, freshman defensive lineman Bryce Sterk (Lynden, Wash.) was presented the Ultimate Dirt Dawg Award and junior offensive lineman Michael Kneip (Bellevue, Wash.) was presented with the Tyee Sports Council Community Service Award.
The Kurt Gegner Memorial Award, given to student staff members, went to David Hansen (equipment), Kyle Lindgren (video), Mackenzie Marques (training room).
2015 Washington Football Awards
Guy Flaherty Most Inspirational
Most Outstanding Offensive Player
Most Outstanding Defensive Player
Most Outstanding Special Teams Player
Don James Perseverance Award
Budda Baker & Scott Lawyer
101 Club Academic Award
Academic Achievement Award
John P. Angel Lineman of the Year
L. Wait Rising Front 7 Man of the Year
Earle T. Glant Tough Husky
Drew Sample & Azeem Victor
Chuck Niemi Big Hit Award
Cory Littleton (ASU game)
Tyee Sports Council Community Service Award
Bob Jarvis Offensive Scout Squad MVP
Mark Drennan Defensive Scout Squad MVP
Brian Stapp Special Teams Scout Squad MVP
Travis Spring Most Outstanding Freshmen
Trey Adams & Jake Browning
Husky Fever 12th Man Award
Iron Husky Award
Ultimate Dirt Dawg Award
Apple Cup Play of the Game
Sidney Jones (69-yard interception return)
Kurt Gegner Memorial Award
David Hansen (equipment), Kyle Lindgren (video), Mackenzie Marques (training room)