A banquet event usually held on campus, Weber State’s athletic department revealed the winners of its 2020 Waldo Awards by live stream Thursday night due to measures to fight the new coronavirus pandemic prohibiting large gatherings.
The football team, Jerrick Harding, Emily Morgan-King and Takesha Saltern were multiple-time winners as WSU honored the best of the Wildcats with awards encompassing the 2019 spring seasons for track and softball through the completed 2019-20 seasons.
These are the winners:
Male Play of the Year: Football defensive back Ja’Kobe Harris blocks a punt and recovers it for a touchdown during a playoff quarterfinals win over Montana.
Female Play of the Year: Softball outfielder Landi Hawker immaculately robs a Southern Utah home run during a series sweep.
Female Record-Breaking Performance: Emily Morgan-King sets two school records to win the 60 meters and 200 meters at the 2020 Big Sky indoor track championships.
Male Record-Breaking Performance: Jerrick Harding scores 25 points in the first half of a Feb. 6 win to become the men’s basketball all-time leading scorer, then finishes that game with 44 points to set a new Dee Events Center single-game scoring record.
Male Individual Performance: Cross country runner Christian Allen wins All-American status and sets a new high-finish record for WSU with a 14th place mark at NCAA nationals.
Female Individual Performance: Emily Morgan-King for the aforementioned indoor track feats, plus winning the 100 meters in the 2019 Big Sky outdoor meet and setting a new school record for that event.
Male Team Performance: Football wins 11 games in 2019, reaches FCS semifinals for the first time.
Female Team Performance: Volleyball tallies 26 wins and plays for Big Sky title for the first time in 30 years.
Female Newcomer: Dani Nay records 401 kills and is named Big Sky volleyball newcomer of the year.
Male Newcomer: Isaac Buerger posts top WSU golf marks and is Big Sky freshman of the year in shortened 2020 season.
Female Career Achievement: Takesha Saltern becomes softball’s new hit queen with 248 hits, was the 2019 Big Sky MVP and led the team to three straight Big Sky titles.
Male Career Achievement: Jerrick Harding becomes men’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer, third best in Big Sky history, and finishes in the top 10 in 12 career categories at WSU.
Comeback Athlete: Eddie Heckard returned from a serious leg injury that cost him most of the 2018 season to start all 15 games at cornerback for football as a redshirt freshman in 2019, totaling three interceptions and 62 tackles.
Female Team of the Year: Softball goes 17-2 against Big Sky opponents in 2019, wins the conference regular-season and tournament titles, and defeats Cal State Fullerton in an NCAA Regional game, the first such win in program and Big Sky history.
Male Team of the Year: Football wins its third straight Big Sky title in 2019 and finishes with a school-record No. 3 final national ranking.
Coach of the Year: Jay Hill wins AFCA district honors and leads football to even higher heights in 2019.
Female Athlete of the Year: Outfielder Takesha Saltern starts all 48 games in 2019, batting .403 with 42 runs scored and 19 stolen bases to win Big Sky MVP.
Male Athlete of the Year: Despite drawing major attention from offenses, football defensive end Jonah Williams earns All-American status by totaling 62 tackles, 11 for loss, 7.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble to win Big Sky defensive MVP honors, and signs as a free agent with the Los Angeles Rams.