W&L's WATSON NAMED ODAC FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
SALEM, Va. -- Washington and Lee junior tailback Marc Watson (Marietta, Ga./Walton) was named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Player of the Year on Monday afternoon in voting conducted by the conference's coaches. He is W&L's sixth player ever to be named the ODAC Player of the Year and the first since Robert Hull received the award following the 1995 season.
Watson was joined on the first team squad by senior offensive lineman Justin Holton (Pittsburg, Texas/Pittsburg) and junior linebacker Jeff Bahl (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Country Day). Senior offensive lineman Colin Fitzgibbons (Dallas, Texas/Hillcrest), freshman defensive tackle Brian Becker (Vienna, Va./Gonzaga) and senior free safety Will Baker (Birmingham, Ala./Mountain Brook) were named to the second team, while senior offensive lineman John Sensing (Hockessin, Del./Tutnall) and senior placekicker Andy Vendig (Arlington, Va./Washington-Lee) were both honorable mention selections.
Watson led the ODAC in all-purpose yards (199.7 ypg) and was second in rushing (132.5 ypg), kick returns (28.8 ypr) and scoring (8.6 ppg). He ran for a school-record 1,325 yards and 12 touchdowns on 220 carries and caught 26 passes for 205 yards and another score. In addition, he averaged 28.8 yards per kick return and ran one back 88 yards for a touchdown against Centre College. He accounted for 1,997 all-purpose yards (school record) and just over 50 percent of W&L's offensive output. His 382 all-purpose yards against Hampden-Sydney is the best all-purpose performance in Division III this season. Watson will enter next season already owning the school all-purpose yards record (3,950) and he is second in career rushing yards (2,482) and touchdowns (25). Watson was a First Team All-ODAC selection following the 1998 season, but missed the final seven games of the 1999 season with mononucleosis.
Holton earned his second straight First Team All-ODAC selection after helping lead the Generals to an average of 163.5 yards per game on the ground. He was a First Team All-State, Third Team All-South and Honorable Mention All-America selection following the 1999 season and earned Second Team All-ODAC honors after the 1998 season.
Bahl was named to the first team after leading the team and the ODAC in tackles with 108 stops, including 16 for a loss (-66 yds.). He also collected five sacks, one interception, three pass breakups and six fumble recoveries. He is a two-time Academic All-District selection.
Fitzgibbons teamed with Holton to help the Generals to an average of 163.5 yards per game on the ground. He was a second team selection last season as well.
Becker helped the Generals improve from seventh in the ODAC in total defense during the 1999 season to fourth this season. He recorded 33 tackles, including five for a loss (-14 yds.), and combined on one sack.
Baker finished his career in fine fashion, recording 73 tackles, five interceptions, six pass breakups and one sack. He stands fourth all-time at W&L with 413 career tackles and tied for fifth all-time with 11 career interceptions. He was a Second Team All-ODAC and Honorable Mention All-State selection last season after earning First Team All-ODAC and First Team All-State honors following the 1998 season.
Sensing was named the the honorable mention squad after helping solidify the offensive line. Vendig earned his honor after tieing for the conference lead in field goals made per game (1.0). He tied the W&L season record for made field goals, going 10-for-16. For his career, Vendig hit 18-of-25 attempts.