SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- The Sacramento State football team handed out its season awards at the annual football banquet on Sunday, Nov. 21, at the Marriott Hotel in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The team presented awards in 13 categories.
Senior wide receiver Fred Amey was named the Team MVP after leading the squad with a school-record 76 catches for a career-high 1,186 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Amey ends his career as the most prolific receiver in school history and also holds the career receiving yards record in the Big Sky Conference. His total of 4,049 career yards ranks fourth in Div. I-AA history.
The Offensive MVP was given to freshman running back Ryan Mole. The Santa Maria, Calif., native paced the Hornets with 858 rushing yards in just nine games. Mole averaged 95.3 yards per game and 5.9 yards per carry. He also scored five touchdowns, including three which were longer than 50 yards.
Senior cornerback Ramon Payne was awarded the Defensive MVP. Payne tied for the Big Sky Conference lead with five interceptions. He also ranked fourth on the squad with 63 tackles, had two sacks, six tackles-for-loss, 12 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Earlier this year, he was named the Div. I-AA National Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting three passes and forcing two fumbles at Idaho State.
The Special Team MVP award was given to sophomore kicker/punter Mitch Lively. The Susanville, Calif., native led the team in scoring with 37 points. Lively was 5-of-7 on field goals and 22-of-24 on extra points. On kickoffs, he had 13 touchbacks and finished third in the Big Sky with an average of 40.8 yards per punt.
Quarterback Ryan Leadingham won the Outstanding Offensive Back. The senior, who was a four-year starter at QB, threw for 1,962 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Outstanding Defensive Back/Linebacker was given to linebacker Jimmy Ellingson. The Lake Elsinore, Calif., native led the Big Sky and finished fifth in Div. I-AA with 132 total tackles. That mark is tied for the third-best in school history.
Junior college transfer Jacob Houston earned the Outstanding Defensive Lineman. Houston, who transferred from Fresno City College, led the team and the Big Sky with 10 sacks. He also ended the year with 33 tackles, including 14 for loss.
A Coaches Award was also presented to defensive lineman Chris Bessinger. The two-year starter tallied 40 total tackles (including eight tackles-for-loss) in 2004 and also served as one of four co-captains.
The Outstanding Offensive Lineman award was shared by juniors Chris Samuels and Dustin Nicolodi. Samuels started 10 of 11 games and was a fixture up front for the team. Nicolodi missed the first eight games of the season with a broken leg but returned to take over at center.
Senior Brian Herman, who started the first eight games at center in place of Nicolodi, was named the Most Improved. A fifth-year senior, Herman had played just 30 plays in his first four seasons before taking over in the middle of the line.
The Offensive and Defensive Scout Team MVPs were given to Torrell Baker and Marucs Canela, respectively. A true freshman from Long Beach, Calif., Baker served as a running back during the fall. Canela, who walked on to the team, played at linebacker for the scout defense.
The Most Inspirational award was given to senior Mohammed Warrad. The fifth-year fullback saw limited playing time during his career but was always supportive of his teammates and worked hard in practice.
The team awards were voted on by the players and coaching staff.
The program also honored its 16 seniors who completed their eligibility during the 2004 season. The list of seniors is comprised of Amey, Bessinger, Antone Bogetti, Cameron DeBruycker, Ellingson, Harry Filo, Herman, Fred Kelley, Leadingham, Traison Lewis, Todd Marshall, Kelly Micco, Mason Mitchell, Payne, Heath Villarreal and Warrad.