Coach Mendenhall honored the captains and seniors.
PROVO -- The seniors and departing players on the 2009 BYU football team were honored Wednesday evening during the team’s awards banquet.
Held in the Wilkinson Center, the annual event was attending by Cougar players and coaches, staff members, family, former players and special guests.
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall expressed his appreciation to the team’s seniors, acknowledging their many contributions and solid leadership. The senior class leaves with many accomplishments, including being part of the first BYU teams to ever win 10 or more games four straight seasons and the first Cougar teams to win three bowl games in a four-year span since 1981-84.
Former BYU wide receiver Ben Cahoon was honored with the LaVell Edwards Distinguished Alumni Award. A veteran of the Canadian Football League, Cahoon helped the Montreal Alouettes win the 2009 CFL Grey Cup while earning the prestigious honor as the Most Outstanding Canadian for the third time. He also received the honor in 2002 and 2003. Cahoon holds the CFL record for the most career Grey Cup receiving yards with 633 and is sixth overall in career CFL receiving yards with more than 12,000 total yards.
Former BYU and NFL tight end Chad Lewis presented the award to Cahoon, while former Cougar running back and current KJZZ sports broadcaster Alema Harrington emceed the event.
BYU’s five captains on the 2009 team—Max Hall, Dennis Pitta, Jan Jorgensen, Matt Bauman and Scott Johnson—were recognized for their leadership. Each took a moment to speak, thanking the coaches and staff and recognizing their teammates.
“I was humbled and honored to be elected a captain,” Pitta said. “It’s special to be elected by your teammates.”
“On behalf of the team, I want to thank our coaches,” Bauman said. “We have great coaches that work hard to help us be successful.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Coach Mendenhall, not only for what he does for us on the field but also off,” Hall said. “Thanks for all the great experiences.”
“I want to thank Coach Mendenhall for his attitude, enthusiasm and unwavering commitment,” Johnson said.
“It was an honor to play at BYU,” Jorgensen said, who made a point to recognize the contributions of the staff’s graduate assistants. “I wouldn’t trade the opportunity and experience to play at BYU for anything.”
After being collectively praised by Coach Mendenhall as not only a great class but also outstanding people, the team’s 20 departing seniors were individually recognized and honored to conclude the event.
The following players were honored:
Tevita Hola, defensive lineman
Steven Fisher, defensive lineman
Brett Denney, defensive lineman
Jan Jorgensen, defensive lineman
R.J. Willing, offensive lineman
John Pace, deep snapper
Terrance Hooks, linebacker
Dan Van Sweden, linebacker
Shawn Doman, linebacker
Coleby Clawson, linebacker
Matt Bauman, linebacker
Scott Johnson, defensive back
Andrew George, tight end
Dennis Pitta, tight end
Neal Watterson, running back
Manase Tonga, running back
Parker Mangum, wide receiver
Brenden Gaskins, quarterback
Max Hall, quarterback