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Riley Sorenson honored at MTRWestern Sports Star of the Year Awards

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Washington State’s center accepted Wayne Gittinger Inspirational Award

Washington v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Riley Sorenson, the starting center for Washington State the last three seasons, received a much-deserved honor Wednesday night in Seattle. He was presented with the Wayne Gittinger Inspirational Award at the MTRWestern Sports Star of the Year Awards.

Sorenson has gone through tremendous hardship in the last year, losing both of his parents and being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Whether or not he would even play football in 2016 was in jeopardy just weeks before the start of fall camp

Through all that, Sorenson was an anchor along the Cougs offensive line and a leader on the team. The Wayne Gittinger award goes to an athlete who goes through a medical hardship and inspires others. I couldn’t think of a better recipient.

In his acceptance speech, Sorenson thanked family and friends along with coaches Mike Leach, Clay McGuire and Jim Mastro according to Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times. He also spoke about how Leach’s quote "play the next play," helped get him through the year.

Joining Sorenson at the event was WSU wide receiver Gabe Marks, who was nominated for the male sports star of the year award. That honor went to the Seahawk’s Bobby Wagner, but it looks like the two Cougs enjoyed their evening nonetheless.

Both players will now resume training for April’s NFL Draft. Sorenson is preparing in Pullman while finishing up some classes, while Marks has gone home to southern California.

*****

Football:

Huskies, Cougars each return three of the Pac-12’s top 10 highest-graded players in 2017 | The Seattle Times
UW's Jake Browning and WSU's Luke Falk are among the Pac-12's best, according to Pro Football Focus, which notes that UW's Greg Gaines was one of the most underrated players in the nation last season.

When it comes to ‘Coug It,’ Falcons win | Editorials | union-bulletin.com
Fans of Washington State University football have been hardened by the harsh realities of seeing their Cougars, year after year, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Men's Basketball:

Collette scores 22, Utah beats Washington State 74-70 (Feb 09, 2017) | FOX Sports
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said his team disrespected the game with some selfish second-half play that led to a double-digit lead disappearing. The Utes, however, were able to gather themselves and avoid a third straight loss.

Grip on Sports: There are some nice perks for college basketball players, including trips to warm places | The Spokesman-Review
Stefanie Loh had Gabe Marks write a letter to his younger self. After reading it, I wonder if the 14-year-old Marks would wonder how he got so serious.

Women's Basketball:

Hilltop Postgame Meet And Greet With Coach Daugherty Set For Sunday - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
Now is your chance to sit down and get to know the head coach of the Cougars' women's basketball team, coach June Daugherty, this Sunday, Feb. 12, at the Hilltop Meet and Greet.

Volleyball:

Catchin' Up with Casey - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
Junior outside hitter Casey Schoenlein shares her observations of Cougar Volleyball in her blog.