(Editor’s note: Montana Tech athletics release)

BUTTE — Montana Tech head football coach Chuck Morrell announced Ed F. Simonich Award winner today. Tyler Sanders is the Orediggers Ed F. Simonich Award recipient for 2017.

The Ed Simonich Award has been given annually since 1966 to a senior student-athlete on the football team. The award is given to the student-athlete who represents what it means to be an Oredigger both on and off the field. Ed Simonich was Montana Tech’s Athletic Director and Head Football Coach from 1957-1965.

“Tyler has embodied what it means to be an Oredigger throughout his time here at Tech,” said head coach Morrell. “He has displayed leadership, toughness and immense work ethic at every turn in his career. I am proud to have had the opportunity to coach Tyler as he has set an outstanding example for future Orediggers to follow.”

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Sanders, a 6-foot-2 nose tackle, has been the stalwart in the trenches for the Orediggers for the past four seasons. The defensive lineman started every game the last three years and played in every contest as a true freshman. Sanders controlled the interior finishing his career with 126 total tackles, 6.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss.

Tech won two conference championships during his tenure as the Oredigger defense led the Frontier in most defensive categories including rush defense, scoring defense and sacks. Sanders was named to the Frontier All-Conference three times and was selected to the Victory Sports Network 2017 NAIA All-American team this past season.

“Being named the Ed Simonich Award winner is truly an honor,” said Sanders. “Accepting such an award that embodies leadership and dedication is both humbling and rewarding.”

Originally from Helena, Mont., Sanders played prep at Capital High School. Sanders was an All-State selection and played in the East-West Shrine Game.

Sanders will be honored at the Montana Tech Hall of Fame and Awards Weekend next fall.

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