Despite subpar season,
Cougars earn recognition
Daily Cougar Staff
There may be those of you who think a team
that goes 3-8 couldn't possibly possess any players who merit accolades.
It is precisely because the Cougars finished
with such an abysmal record that these players deserve recognition. They
never quit, and their performance never wavered.
With that said, it's time to present The
Daily Cougar's football postseason awards.
Senior linebacker Wayne Rogers wins the
Most Valuable Player award in a blitz. The All-American from Waco set a
new Cougar record with 24 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
The play of
UH senior Wayne Rogers, shown here with his family before the Louisville
game Nov. 18, earned the linebacker numerous accolades -- including The
Daily Cougar's "Most Valuable Player" award.
The Daily Cougar
Rogers was twice named Conference USA Defensive
Player of the Week. The heart of the Cougar defense accomplished his consecutive
C-USA awards in a league that had four defensive units ranked in the top
Needless to say, Rogers also wins the team's
Defensive Most Valuable Player Award.
Who can ever forget the sight of Rogers
jumping up and down in the opening minutes of the second half against Louisville
when the Cougar defense stopped the Cardinals cold on their first possession
of the half?
Rogers never quit. It didn't matter to
him that the stands were empty, or that the rain and gusting winds made
life miserable for everyone.
In the last game of his career, Rogers
played with a passion and enthusiasm above and beyond the call of duty.
The excitement and determination he carried onto the field each game is
what makes him the runaway MVP.
Senior quarterback Jason McKinley wins
the Offensive Player of the Year. The Austin native threw for 2,696 yards
Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar
Though at times
UH senior quarterback Jason McKinley found himself running for life, the
seasoned passer guided the Cougars through numerous late-game drives that
gave fans reason to believe.
McKinley was the yin to Rogers' yang. He
led the offense with his quiet presence and unflappable composure.
Directing the team with head coach Dana
Dimel's offensive schemes, McKinley had the best year of his career.
Odds and sods
The "Give Me a Break" award goes to the
entire special teams. They couldn't get one all season, so I'll give them
I'll only say that they kept the people
on their feet and holding their breath with fingers crossed every time
special teams stepped on the field.
The "I Coulda Been a Contender" award goes
to the entire team.
A goal line stand on fourth and goal here,
a caught pass in the end zone there, a field goal here and a tackle there,
and the Cougars could have finished with a respectable 6-5 or even 7-4
The "Outstanding Game" award goes to the
team's magnificent effort against Southern Miss. It was a 6-3 smash mouth
game that the Golden Eagles snatched from the Cougars by a field goal.
Here's to the coach
The "Most Disillusioned" award goes to
the "Cowboy," head coach Dana Dimel.
Nobody said it was going to be easy to
resurrect the Cougar football program from the moribund abyss into which
it had plunged.
A coach who never had a losing season established
a career record this year, one that wasn't easy to endure.
Every player that gutted it out this year,
especially the seniors on the team, deserve our applause.
Dimel redshirted a lot of players this
year, players that could have made the difference between a winning and
a losing season. The 2000 Cougars were asked to sacrifice the glory of
today for the brilliance of tomorrow.
Make no mistake about it, Dimel will bring
Cougar football back to the heady heights of the Bill Yeoman and Andre
Ware eras. The Cowboy does not like losing.
The Cougar fans that were in the stands
during the last game of the season against the Louisville Cardinals deserve
The coveted "Color Me Scarlet and White"
award goes to these hardy Cougar fans. Wind and rain and cold couldn't
drive them away from watching their gridiron heroes' last game.
From sparse fan support, a 3-8 record and
a players' rebellion, Dimel will build a football program that will fill
the stands, game after game.
Losing doesn't go down easy with a winner,
but even a cowboy gets thrown during a wild ride every once in a while.