Spring-game efforts receive a little recognition


Funds have increased since the Steve Berklund Berkies were handed out toward the end of basketball season. With the financial increase, the Berkies has decided to give football awards after the annual spring game Saturday.

Let’s recap for those who did not get to read about the Berkies during basketball season.

What are the Berkies, you ask? Well, the Berkies are the most sought after acknowledgement in all of sports. Don’t get me wrong – those other awards like the Wooden, the Heisman and the ESPY’s are all decent awards – but if you ask me, I’d tell you I would rather have a Steve Berklund Berkie.

All right, if the Berkies are so great, what are the qualifications for winning a Berkie? Well, when the awards were first given out, they were only given to K-State men’s basketball players. Now that finances have increased, we on the panel – me – have decided the Berkies should also be given out to K-State football players and staff.

After much discussion, we the panel (I) have come up with several awards that we (I) think would be great awards to hand out.

During Bill Snyder’s first spring game back since his retirement in 2005, a lot of players proved themselves worthy of winning a Berkie, so for the first football Berkies, here we go.

Offensive player of the year goes to none other than Brandon “speed demon” Banks for what he showed during the 2008 season and his 114-yard receiving in the spring game.

Best quarterback has to go to Carson Coffman for his 334-yard, three-touchdown performance after many K-State fans had doubts about the quarterback position after Josh Freeman’s departure.

Best tight end was a toss-up, as both Travis Tannahill and Jeron Mastrud played well, but senior Mastrud wins it. Mastrud is going to be a four-year starter this fall and has proven himself in a K-State uniform.

Best offensive lineman could go to any of the five starting linemen, so that’s why we are giving out five Berkies to the five starting lineman: Nick Stringer, Brock Unruh, Wade Weibert, Colton Freeze and Clyde Aufner.

Best wide receiver goes to the obvious choice, Banks. Enough said.

It was harder to choose winners for the defense than the offense since the entire starting defense played solidly. The front four is scary good with Brandon Harold, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Daniel Calvin and Eric Childs. They’re so scary, in fact, that all four win the best defensive lineman award and most valuable defensive player award.

Best linebacker goes to Alex Hrebec for his 19-tackle performance.

Best sideline cord holder goes to Clint Wilson for his work holding the coaches’ cords during games.

Best defensive back goes to Josh Moore, who can cover anyone in the nation.

Best ‘ball hawk’ award goes to the guy who just always finds the football, and that’s Courtney Herndon. Herndon once again found the football during the spring game, intercepting a pass.

Best coach goes to the future Hall of Famer and K-State legend Bill Snyder. The name speaks for itself.

There you have it folks. The first annual football Berkies are in the books. Good luck this fall, gentlemen, and get us back to a bowl game.

Steve Berklund is a junior in mass communications. Please send comments to sports@spub.ksu.edu.