DAVIS, Calif. - Gabe Manzanares, who led the UC Davis football team in rushing including gaining 230 yards at Cal Poly on Nov. 15, was named the the Aggies' most valuable and most inspirational player for the second consecutive year during the team's annual banquet on Sunday evening at the Activities and Recreation Center on campus.
Manzanares, who also won the award last year, is the first back-to-back winner of the Jerry Norris Award since wide receiver Tony Kays in 2005-06, and only the third player named sole winner of the award in consecutive years since 1938. Quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan was named winner of the Jerry Norris Award in 2000 and 2001, sharing it in the former season with linebacker Kris Spraker.
Manzanares, who missed the first two games of the season with injury and didn't make his first start until the sixth game, led UC Davis in rushing with 831 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught 30 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns.
The Aggies presented 10 awards and honored their 15 outstanding seniors during the evening. Wide receiver Ramon Vargas, who didn't make his first appearance until the fifth game of the season but ended up leading UC Davis with 41 receptions for 670 yards and eight touchdowns, was named the teams' oustanding offensive player.
Safety Charles Boyett, limited to just five games because of injuries and called a "coach on the field" by head coach Ron Gould, was named the team's outstanding defensive player. Boyett averaged more than seven tackles per game, broke up a pass and forced a fumble.
Tight end Mark Martindale was named winner of the Bob Oliver Award as unsung hero after scoring four touchdowns and catching 14 passes for 290 yards. Defense end Marques Barron, who had 34 tackles and forced a team-high three fumbles, received the most improved player award on the defensive side while offensive guard Andrew Hunter, who started all 11 games, was recipient on the offensive side.
Linebacker Ryan Dimino and wide receiver Corey Galindo received the Coaches Award while linebacker Artice Nelson was named the special teams player of the year. The Aggie Pride Award was given to fullback Dalton Turay and linebacker Steven Pitts while wide receiver Keelan Doss and offensive guard Julian Bertero received the Mike Wise Award as oustanding freshmen.
UC Davis also honored its 15 seniors during the banquet which was attended by an estimated 250 people. This year's senior class was comprised of Asher Gotzmer, Ian Joseph, Joey Lagarbo, Jay Luchetti, Colton Silveria, London Lacy, T.J. King, Manzanares, Boyett, Martindale, Barron, Dimino, Galindo, Turay and Pitts.