Eagles honored at EWU Football Awards Banquet in the final send-off for 14 Eagle seniors
Junior Darriell Beaumonte joined departed running back Taiwan Jones and senior linebacker J.C. Sherritt as Eastern Washington University's Players of the Year from the 2010 football season at the Eagle Football Awards Banquet on Feb. 13. The awards were selected upon by their teammates.
Beaumonte was selected as the special teams MVP, while Jones was honored on offense and Sherritt recognized for the second-straight year on defense. That trio led the Eagles to a 13-2 record and the NCAA Division I Football Championship, beating Delaware 20-19 in the title game on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas.
The Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year went to lineman Jase Butorac and the same award on defense went to linemen Dylan Zylstra and Evan Day. All three are 2010 state of Washington high school graduates and redshirted this past season. Butorac and Day are both from Sammamish and graduated from Skyline HS, while Zylstra is from Kent and graduated from Kentridge HS.
Captains awards were presented to senior defensive tackle Tyler Jolley (Nine Mile Falls, Wash. - East Valley HS '06), senior tight end Matt Martin (La Crosse, Wash. - La Crosse-Washtucna HS '06); senior offensive guard Nikolai Myers (Seattle, Wash. - Ingraham HS '06); Sherritt (Pullman, Wash. - Pullman HS '06) and junior quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (Katy, Texas - Katy HS '08 & Southern Methodist University).
Also, the Pat Roberts Memorial Award was presented to Martin for achieving both academic and athletic excellence. In addition, the Tom Oswald Memorial Award went to former Eagle football player and Canadian Football League veteran Luke Fritz. Fritz was unable to attend the banquet, but his former teammate Greg Belzer accepted the award on his behalf.
Beaumonte is a 2007 graduate of Clover Park High School and is from Lakewood, Wash. An Eastern running back, he was a first team All-Big Sky Conference selection as a special teams player after finishing the season with 15 tackles and two blocked kicks, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He also rushed for 219 yards and a pair of scores and caught 11 passes for 65 yards and a TD. In his career, he has 26 total tackles, has rushed for 379 yards and has caught 16 passes for 132 yards.
Sherritt won the 2010 Buck Buchanan Award presented by The Sports Network to the top defensive player in the NCAA Championship Subdivision. He was also selected to six different All-America teams as a first team selection, and was the College Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year and the Big Sky Defensive MVP. He broke his own league and school records by finishing his senior season with 176 tackles, which ranks sixth in FCS history.
He closed his career with a school-record 432 tackles to rank second in Big Sky history and 10th all-time in FCS. As a junior, he finished second in the voting for the 2009 Buchanan Award. On his way to earning first team All-America honors on five different teams, he had a school and Big Sky Conference record 170 tackles, and led FCS with an average of 14.2 tackles per game.
Jones, who is from Antioch, Calif., and graduated from Deer Valley HS in 2007, finished fourth in the voting for the 2010 Walter Payton Award presented by The Sports Network to the top player in FCS. He was also selected to five different All-America teams as a first team selection, and was the Phil Steele Publications FCS Offensive Player of the Year, the College Football Performance Awards Running Back of the Year and the Big Sky Offensive MVP.
Despite missing three games and parts of two others because of injuries, he rushed for 1,742 yards and scored 17 total touchdowns to rank second in FCS in rushing (145.2 per game) and second in all-purpose yards (201.8 per game). Following his junior season, he declared himself eligible for the 2011 NFL draft after being projected by the NFL Draft Advisory Committee as a potential second or third round pick.
Martin is the only senior to have played in all 51 games for the Eagles in the past four seasons, helping the Eagles to a 36-15 record overall and 24-8 Big Sky Conference mark. He started 19 games at tight end, and had 13 catches for 116 yards in 2010 to go along with career totals of 39 receptions for 349 yards and three touchdowns.
Fritz concluded his ninth season in the CFL in 2010, including his second playing for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers after seven seasons with the Montreal Alouettes. In December 2010, he was the winner of a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant that will help end child hunger in Manitoba, and was awarded a check in Edmonton, Alberta, during the Grey Cup Weekend. (More information on the honor is listed below).
He has played as a right guard and right tackle for Winnipeg, helping the Blue Bombers to a 7-11 record in 2009 and a 4-14 finish in 2010. With Fritz on the roster, Montreal played in five Grey Cups – the Alouettes won in 2002 and lost in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008. He was one of four former Eagles on Montreal's team in 2007 – Fritz, Lamont Brightful, Dario Romero and Jesse Hendrix. In his seven seasons with Montreal, Fritz played in 103 games, including 53 starts.
Fritz was drafted by Montreal as the seventh pick in the first round of the 2001 CFL Draft, but he pursued NFL opportunities first before settling in the CFL. He spent the preseason in 2001 and 2002 with the Carolina Panthers before being released. Fritz also played the 2002 season as a backup guard for the Scottish Claymores in NFL Europa after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2002 allocation draft. He played two games at the end of the 2002 season as the Alouettes won the Grey Cup, then played six full seasons in Montreal. He started all 19 games for the Alouettes at right tackle in 2004 and received a tryout with the New York Jets of the NFL. Fritz helped start the Elite Football Camp in Montreal while he was there.
At Eastern, Fritz started 37 games as an Eagle and earned honorable mention All-America honors in 2000. Eastern selected him to its "100 for 100" All-Time Team in 2008. His brother Mitch played in the 2008-09 season for the New York Islanders in the NHL and is now a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.
Sherritt, Jolley, Martin and Myers were among the 14 seniors who were honored at the banquet after combining for 168 starts in their careers.
2010 EASTERN SENIORS
(Number - Name - Position - Ht. - Wt. - Yr. - Letters Won - Hometown (High School) - Career Starts
2 - Ashton Gant - WR - 5-10 - 180 - Sr. - 4L* - Pullman, Wash. (Pullman HS '06) - 7
4 - J.C. Sherritt - LB - 5-10 - 220 - Sr. - 4L* - Pullman, Wash. (Pullman HS '06) - 35
18 - Jason Harris - TE - 6-1 - 215 - Sr. - 2L* - Sammamish, Wash. (Skyline HS '06)
21 - Jesse Hoffman - DB - 6-2 - 210 - Sr. - 4L* - Seattle, Wash. (Shorecrest HS '06) - 16
23 - Ethen Robinson - DB - 5-10 - 200 - Sr. - 1L* - Spokane, Wash. (Lewis & Clark HS '06)
28 - Dante Calcote - DB - 5-8 - 160 - Sr. - 4L* - Seattle, Wash. (Renton HS '06) - 18
36 - Will Edge - DB - 6-0 - 180 - Sr. - 4L* - Tacoma, Wash. (Mount Tahoma HS '06) - 2
45 - Cameron Zuber - P - 6-0 - 180 - Sr. - 2L* - Chehalis, Wash. (W.F. West HS '06)
49 - Tyler Jolley - DL - 6-3 - 285 - Sr. - 4L* - Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (East Valley HS '06) - 31
58 - Clint Moquist - OL - 6-3 - 280 - Sr. - 2L* - Spokane, Wash. (University HS '06) - 2
63 - Levi Reynolds - DL - 6-3 - 295 - Sr. - SQ* - Tacoma, Wash. (Foss HS '06)
72 - Nikolai Myers - OL - 6-4 - 295 - Sr. - 3L* - Seattle, Wash. (Ingraham HS '06) - 26
79 - Brice Leahy - OL - 6-7 - 295 - Sr. - 3L* - Gig Harbor, Wash. (Gig Harbor HS '06) - 12
82 - Matt Martin - TE - 6-2 - 240 - Sr. - 4L* - La Crosse, Wash. (La Crosse-Washtucna HS '06) - 19
More on Luke Fritz and the Pepsi Refresh Project in Canada. . .
Fritz was among eight CFL players to partner with the Pepsi Refresh Project to come up with "refreshing" ideas to make Canada a better place. The coveted grant will go to Fritz's charity of choice, Winnipeg Harvest, to support the Hunger for Hope program, which supplies infant formula to thousands of babies in Manitoba who would otherwise go hungry.
Over the course of the CFL playoff season as excitement was building toward Grey Cup weekend, the field of eight team players was reduced to four, then two, and eventually Fritz was selected.
"This grant represents a big win off the field because giving back to the community is what it's all about. I'm so grateful to PepsiCo Canada for providing the grant, and I can't thank voters enough for supporting my idea," said Fritz. "No child, and certainly no baby, should ever go hungry, and this grant will help to make sure that doesn't happen.
In the final two showdown, Fritz was pitted against Saskatchewan Roughrider Rob Bagg whose idea was to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The two players went head-to-head, campaigning for votes from their fans. As runner-up, Bagg's charity, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, will receive a $2,000 Pepsi Refresh grant for diabetes research. Bagg's younger sister has juvenile diabetes.
"Kudos to Luke, to Rob, to all the other participating players, to PepsiCo Canada and to the fans for setting an incredible example for all of Canada to witness," said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. "The CFL couldn't be more proud to have participated in this initiative. Our players are more than great athletes. They also understand the importance of contributing to the community. Well done, and congratulations to all."
"What an incredible way to add another level of excitement to the CFL play-offs as these eight players stepped up to set an example for us all," said Dale Hooper, Vice President Marketing, PepsiCo Beverages Canada. "Luke earned the distinction as the Do Good Champion, but all eight players are winners and the Pepsi Refresh Project thanks each one of them for leading the way toward a better Canada."
In effort to support those who generate innovative, optimistic ideas, the Pepsi Refresh Project (www.refresheverything.ca; www.icicestmieux.com) will award over $1 million in grants. Every other month, individuals and organizations can apply for grants to benefit a variety of projects and site visitors can vote for the best ideas for funding. The Pepsi Refresh Project is an evolution of the Joy It Forward initiative Pepsi launched in 2009, which showed the brand as an optimistic catalyst for idea creation. Pepsi will fund projects that make a difference in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education.