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EWU dominates SWABS awards

J.C. Sherritt (with trophy) and his EWU coach and teammates dominate the annual SWABs awards. (Jesse Tinsley)
J.C. Sherritt (with trophy) and his EWU coach and teammates dominate the annual SWABs awards. (Jesse Tinsley)

Eastern Washington University’s national championship football team captured the imagination of the Spokane area community. Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters rewarded its success.

The SWABs nearly unanimously chose the Eagles winners in three of five categories in their 2010 senior awards balloting.

EWU, which captured the Football Championship Subdivision title game in Frisco, Texas, was voted Team of the Year and Beau Baldwin is Coach of the Year.

Record-setting tackler and national Buck Buchanan Award winning linebacker J.C. Sherritt earned Amateur Male Athlete of the Year.

They, along with Amateur Female Athlete of the Year Courtney Vandersloot from Gonzaga University and Professional Athlete of the Year Kyle Rowley of the Spokane Shock, will be acknowledged Wednesday during the annual Spokane Regional Sports Commission Youth Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. in the Spokane Convention Center Ballroom.

During the luncheon, junior athlete, coach and team award winners will be announced and SWABs 25-Year Awards, Certificates of Excellence and Achievement, Spokane Hoopfest Sportsmanship of the Year and Rockwood High School Sports Medicine Student of the Year will be presented.

The luncheon is hosted by the SRSC and SWABs. Major sponsors are Spokane Hoopfest, State Farm Insurance and Rockwood. SWX television is the media host.

Randy Ryan is lunch chairman. Ed Sharman and Sam Adams are masters of ceremonies.

A total of 33 businesses help underwrite the cost of the luncheon for the award finalists and 1,000 area high school athletes in attendance.

For ticket information contact Barb Anzivino, 893-5447 or email

The Eastern Eagles, who finished the season with 11 straight wins and a 13-2 overall record, rallied from a 19-0 deficit to win the FCS championship 20-19 over Delaware.

Baldwin, in his third season as head coach, improved to 27-11 overall and was national coach of the year. Sherritt, who compiled a school-record 432 tackles over his career, including 176 this season, was the Buchanan defensive national player of the year. He is one of five EWU All-America selections.

Point guard Vandersloot guided the 29-5 Bulldogs to their first NCAA women’s basketball national Sweet 16. She had 321 assists and was the team’s second leading scorer with 478 points (14.1 ppg).

Rowley quarterbacked the Shock to the championship in their first year of the Arena Football League. He obliterated the team touchdown record with 100 during the regular season and threw for 22 more in the playoffs, including a record nine in the 69-57 title win over Tampa Bay in Arena Bowl XXIII.

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