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Montana Tech’s Tyler Sanders, right, and DeAngelo Bell deliver a blow to Carroll College quarterback Mac Roche during a Frontier Conference game in 2015. 

Walter Hinick, The Montana Standard

Helena native Tyler Sanders has been rewarded for his work on the football field and in the classroom, winning the 2017 Ed F. Simonich Award at Montana Tech. 

Tech coach Chuck Morrell announced the award Wednesday. 

"Tyler has embodied what it means to be an Oredigger throughout his time here at Tech," Morrell said in a release. "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."

The award has been given annually since 1996 to seniors on the Tech football team. Simonich, who the award is named for, was Montana Tech's athletic director and football coach from 1957-65. 

Sanders, who played his prep ball at Capital High School, started every game his last three years at nose tackle and finished his career as an Oredigger with 126 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss. 

Sanders was named to the Frontier All-Conference team three times and was selected to the Victory Sports Network 2017 NAIA All-American team last season. 

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Tyler Sanders

The 6-foot-2 lineman led the Frontier in most defensive categories, including rush defense, scoring defense and sacks. 

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

Follow Chance Cook on Twitter, @ChQCook. 

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