Versatile Dickerson named Warrior MVP
By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stephen Tsai
University of Hawai'i football player Ross Dickerson, a political science major who aspires to a career in politics, was voted the winner of the Alec Waterhouse Most Valuable Player Award last night at the team banquet.
The MVP was the most prestigious of the awards presented during the annual ceremony at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Dickerson, a fifth-year senior from Saint Louis School, has played right wideout, right slotback, kick returner and, in Saturday night's game, running back.
He caught 54 passes for 726 yards and a touchdown, and averaged 26.2 yards per kickoff return.
Dickerson opened the season as the starting right wideout, then moved to right slotback as the injury replacement for Ryan Grice-Mullins.
When Grice-Mullins returned, Dickerson volunteered to cede the starting job.
Dickerson started at running back against Oregon State despite practicing only four days at that position.
He was such a feared kick returner OSU pooched its final three kickoffs.
Left tackle Tala Esera, who was Colt Brennan's back-side blocker, won the Ben Yee Most Inspirational Award. Esera also called the chants during the Warriors' performances of the haka.
The Most Outstanding Warrior awards went to Brennan, who leads the nation with 53 touchdown passes, and running back Nate Ilaoa for offense; defensive ends Ikaika Alama-Francis and Melila Purcell III for defense; and Timo Paepule for special teams.
Center Samson Satele, free safety Leonard Peters and special teams member Michael Malala each received a Captain's Award.
Right tackle Dane Uperesa was named the Scholar-Athlete winner.
Scout awards went to Will Brogan, Ryan Perry and Jayson Rego.
WARRIORS DROP OUT
As expected following the 35-32 loss to Oregon State, the Warriors dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today coaches poll. They were ranked No. 24 and No. 23, respectively, last week.
"It's disappointing," Brennan said. "You can't blame the polls or the people for moving us back. That was our responsibility to rise above. ... Because we didn't get it done (Saturday) night, on the grand scale, in front of national TV, you can understand what happened."
Head coach June Jones said: "You miss a couple of field goals and drop a pass here or there, and bust a couple of things, and (allow) the kickoff return (for a touchdown), that's 20 something points right there. We didn't get it done. We'll give it another try in the Sheraton (Hawai'i) Bowl, and hopefully send out our seniors as winners."
By winning the Christmas Eve bowl, the Warriors would tie the school record for most victories in a season, set by the 11-2 team in 1992.
Asked if the OSU loss would dim Brennan's chances as a Heisman Trophy finalist, Jones said: "I have no way of knowing. I thought he showed enough on TV that everybody saw what we had been saying. He did a lot of good things. He was under duress a lot more than he usually was, and he still got it done."
Against OSU, Brennan completed 37 of 50 passes for 401 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted twice and sacked a season-high six times.
Reach Stephen Tsai at email@example.com.