Seniors Headline Award Winners

Feb. 28, 2002

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    PULLMAN, Wash. --- Quarterback Jason Gesser and free safety Lamont Thompson were named Washington State's most valuable players on their respective sides of the ball Thursday night at the football awards banquet.

    Gesser threw for 3,010 yards and 26 touchdowns during his junior season, while Thompson picked off 10 passes, including a conference record-tying four against UCLA, en route to becoming the Pac-10's all-time interceptions leader.

    The Frank Butler Award, given annually to a senior member of the team that best exemplifies Cougar spirit, went to senior Jeremy Thielbahr. Thielbahr is now a student assistant with the program.

    Strong safety Billy Newman earned the J. Fred Bohler Award, which honors the inspiration provided by the legendary Cougar athletic director and head basketball coach.

    Dave Minnich took home the Laurie Niemi Award, while Josh Moen earned the Oz Dire Award, given annually to the walk-on that best exemplifies the former Cougar football player.

    In the trenches, junior Derrick Roche was named Offensive Lineman of the Year, while Rien Long earned the title Leon Bender Defensive Lineman of the Year.

    Freshman Jeremy Bohannon's punt return for a touchdown against Stanford earned the Richland native the Gamebreaker Award.

    Other award winners included Curtis Nettles, who grabbed both the Assassin and Ironman Awards, Specialist of the Year Drew Dunning, and Raonall Smith, who won the Tim Petek Strongest Man Award.

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