Kirby Named Coors Player of the Year at Annual Football Banquet
Cody Kirby was named the 2008 Missouri State Coors Player of the Year, announced Sunday evening (Dec. 14) at the annual Missouri State University Football Banquet, held at Plaster Student Union. The Coors Player of the Year Award, voted on by area media, was presented along with a number of other awards at the event.
Kirby was the Missouri Valley Football Conference's preseason all-conference quarterback and earned MVFC Offensive Player of the Week honors on October 18 for his role in leading the Bears to a fourth-quarter, come-from-behind rally to defeat Illinois State. He was ultimately named to the All-Valley Second Team after seven passing efforts of 190 yards or better this season, including five 200-yard games, to finish the year with 2,014 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was second in the Valley in total offense this season (202.45) and 53rd nationally, while finishing third on the squad in rushing (213) and points scored (54). Kirby led the Bears to three go-ahead or tying scores in the fourth quarter this season, two of which ultimately led to Missouri State victories. After his sophomore season, he is fourth on MSU's career list in passing attempts (566), second in completions (330), sixth in passing yards, fourth in touchdown passes (26), and fourth in total offense (4187). The Bears' co-captain also was a two-time MSU Coors Player of the Week recipient this season. In 2007, he was a two-time Valley Player of the Week and was named to the All-Newcomer Team.
The Missouri State players also voted Roger Wright as the team's Most Valuable Player for the 2008 season. Wright was also presented with the squad's Defensive MVP Award, named by the team's coaching staff.
Wright was an All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Second Team selection this season after leading the Bears' defense with 92 total tackles, including 45 solo stops and 3.5 tackles for loss. He was named MVFC Defensive Player of the Week on October 11 after posting 12 tackles and 2.5 TFLs in the team's home win over Youngstown State. He was fifth in the conference in tackles and tied for 55th nationally. The Missouri State co-captain had four games with double-figure tackles, including 14 stops at both Illinois State on October 18 and at South Dakota State on November 1. Wright was a 2007 Valley Football honorable mention pick on the all-conference team.
The MSU coaches presented tight end Clay Harbor with the team's Offensive MVP Award.
An All-Valley First Team honoree in 2008, Harbor had 40 receptions for 457 yards this season for the Bears (4-7), both tops on the squad. He was the Valley preseason all-conference tight end, while earning second-team preseason All-America honors. He was also a 2007 All-Valley tight end and finished sixth in the conference this year in receptions per game (3.64) and receiving yards per game (41.55), both tops among league tight ends. He extended his active streak to 22 consecutive games with at least one pass reception this season and posted a career high eight catches for 113 yards against preseason league favorite North Dakota State on November 15. He became the 15th Missouri State receiver to eclipse 1,000 career yards and was a two-time Coors Player of the Week recipient this year.
Chris Geisz was presented with the Arthur Briggs Award for athletic and scholastic achievement. Geisz was a four-time Valley All-Academic Team selection and was named to the league's honorable mention all-conference team this fall. He led the MSU receiving corps in receiving touchdowns, including the game-tying catch as time expired against Indiana State on November 22. He was third on the squad in receptions (25) and second in receiving yards (344), while posting six touchdowns -- in six different games -- to finish third on the squad in scoring.
The Bears Team Award for excellence and leadership on and off the field was shared by Seith Reichert and Cedric Alvis. Reichert was a senior co-captain on the 2008 squad and Alvis, a junior, was named as an honorable mention selection on the 2008 All-Valley football squad.
Other Awards presented were as follows:
Special Teams Player of the Year: Jeff Sargent
Offensive Lineman of the Year: David Arkin
Defensive Lineman of the Year: Cory Harbor
Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year: Harrison Menke
Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year: Joe Day
Training Room Award: Seth Reichert and Stephen Johnston
Weight Lifter of the Year: Waylon Richardet
The coaching staff also recognized the team's 12 seniors and five co-captains as well as the 2008 All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selections, All-Valley Academic Team honorees and All-Valley Newcomer Teams as well as the individual Coors Player of the Week honorees.