The Whitworth University football team celebrated the 2019 season with its annual post-season banquet last Saturday at Graves Gymnasium. Post-season awards were announced and 24 seniors were individually honored after leading the Pirates to a 6-3 regular season record and second place finish in the NWC. This senior class finished their four years with a total record of 32-8, including a Northwest Conference Championship and one NCAA D-III Play-Off appearance.
Highlighting the many awards was the winner of the 2019 Torchbearer Leadership Award – senior captain Zach Hillman.
Other winners included:
Mind & Heart Academic Award = Senior QB Leif Ericksen
12th Man Award: Offensive scout player = Freshman FB Logan Kitselman
Defensive scout player = Freshman LB Derrick Platt
MDM (special teams) Award = Junior K/P Noah Alejado
Team Player Award = Senior LB Gunnar Swannack
Committed to Excellence Award = Junior WR Taylor Kolste
ALL MY LOVE Season Theme Award = Senior OLB Kale Wong
During the course of the evening the coaching staff also honored this year's team captains: Leif Ericksen, Taylor Hall, Kale Wong and Zach Hillman. The 2020 captains will be voted on by the team at the end of the off-season at the conclusion of spring practices.
The 2019 Season Highlight video was also revealed for the first time. To view game by game highlights, go to our Whitworth Football YouTube page. Click here to view Season Highlight Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GZ1TPGO2yU
At the conclusion of the evening, Forrest Buckner, Dean of Spiritual Formation & campus pastor had all the seniors come up to the front of the room, gave them a parting challenge, and then prayed for their future success.
Head coach Rod Sandberg said, "This is a really large and special senior class. They have poured their heart and soul into this program and are leaving behind a rich legacy of excellence. The character and resiliency they showed in leading us through one of the most adverse season in my 28 years of coaching was astounding. Whitworth Football will be forever in their debt."