BUTTE — Montana Tech linebacker Connor Wines has been on the cusp of winning the Frontier Conference defensive player of the week award this season, which he finally did following his performance in the Orediggers’ 38-31 win over Southern Oregon on Saturday.
Wines, a fifth-year senior, has 43 tackles, six sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception on the season. In the Diggers’ overtime win against Southern Oregon, Wines racked up eight tackles and three sacks, which made him a clear choice for the league’s weekly defensive award.
Wines was happy to finally receive the recognition he’s worked all season for, but being the leader he is, his focus now lies with the team and defending its home turf against rival Carroll College. Prior to Saturday’s win, the Diggers had difficulty closing out games they chances to win, dropping games to the College of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Now the team, fueled by great performances, has a new life for the rest of the season.
“Really just proud of him in terms of what he’s doing for us in terms of vocal leadership and backing it up on the field, and I thought he had a heck of a game last Saturday,” said Tech head coach Chuck Morrell.
“It’s good; I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s not. I was pretty happy to get it, because there were a couple times I thought I’d get to but I didn’t,” Wines said.
“Combination of everything, let the whole team kind of mold each other together, and it starts this week with Carroll, Carroll College at home, which is sweet. We love it at home, too, just to protect Bob Green (Field) that’s been our big thing all year,” Wines added when asked what the Diggers need to do in order to stay on the winning track.