2009 All-Great West Conference Football Team Announced
Nov. 24, 2009
NAPERVILLE, Ill. -
Chris Carter started out his collegiate career at UC Davis as the Great West Rookie of the Year in 2006 after catching 54 passes for 703 yards and five touchdowns, earning second-team All-Great West accolades. After losing most of the 2007 season due to injury, Carter came back strong in 2008 with 69 catches and 768 yards, earning first-team honors. This year, he went another step further with 85 catches for 889 yards to become the Aggies' all-time reception leader with 213. For all he did on the field in helping UC Davis win its second Great West title, Carter was named Great West Offensive Player of the Year in a vote of the coaches.
Other major award winners were Mike Morales of UC Davis as Defensive Player of the Year, punter Trevor Ward from Southern Utah as Special Teams Player of the Year, running back Mitch Sutton from North Dakota as the Rookie of the Year and Bob Biggs from UC Davis as Coach of the Year.
"Chris Carter, as I've been quoted, I think he may be the finest wide receiver that's played here," said Biggs. "He just seemed to come up big even though everybody knew he was the intended receiver and intended target for Greg Denham often times. He still was able to manage to get open. He caught everything that was thrown his way. He just made so many big plays. And I don't mean big plays in the sense that they were touchdowns, or big scoring plays, but I just mean critical first downs and getting the extra yardage to get a first down to keep the drive going. And certainly it's well-deserved."
Morales, a senior from Los Altos, Calif., led UC Davis with 81 tackles, 44 of those solo, 4.5 tackles for loss and five passes defended, and was named Great West Defensive Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks late in the season as the Aggies beat Cal Poly and North Dakota to clinch the title. He is the second straight Aggie to win the league's top defensive honor after John Faletoese took home the 2008 award.
Ward, a senior from Ogden, Utah, should be on every all-America list after averaging 48.0 yards per punt this season, but his 35 attempts is not enough to rank him among the national leaders. While his average would lead the country, Ward's punting efforts have Southern Utah leading the country in net punting at 45.50, a whopping 5.8 net yards ahead of the second-ranked team.
Sutton, a 6-0, 201-pound running back from Plover, Wis., is currently at 661 yards for the season (with a game at Central Arkansas on Nov. 28), which ranks second in the Great West. He is averaging 4.9 yards per game with six touchdowns. In league play, he led the conference by averaging 107.3 yards per game, including a 190-yard game vs. South Dakota and a 143-yard effort vs. Cal Poly, both North Dakota victories.
Biggs was named Great West Coach of the Year for the first time as he led the Aggies to their first winning season in three seasons and the first outright Great West title. A winner of 130 games in 17 years at UC Davis, Biggs was named a finalist for the prestigious Eddie Robinson Award, given annually to the top coach in the FCS ranks.
Counting Carter and Ward, there were nine individuals who repeated as first-team all-conference members - WR Tysson Poots, LB Robert Takeno, DB Akeem Anifowoshe and DB Colin Pretlow from Southern Utah, C Tommy Hernandez and TE Dean Rogers from UC Davis and DB Asa Jackson from Cal Poly.
In total, UC Davis led first-team selections with 10 members while Southern Utah followed with eight and South Dakota had four. Cal Poly placed seven members on the second team, while North Dakota and South Dakota had seven each.