For IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 13, 2002
CONTACT: JEFF HODGES - (256) 765-4595


--  Grand Valley State University quarterback Curt Anes claimed the Harlon Hill Trophy Friday  as  the Division II College Football Player of the Year, with the second highest vote total in the award's 17-year history.  Anes received 271 total points in the voting and 63 first-place votes.  The award winner is determined in voting by the Division II sports information directors and was presented in front of a crowd of almost 500 at the seventeenth annual Harlon Hill Trophy award banquet at the Florence Conference Center.

The Harlon Hill Trophy is sponsored  by Coca-Cola, First Metro Bank, The North Alabama Bone and Joint Clinic, and The Johnson Companies - Industrial and Commercial Contracting.

Anes, a senior  from Kentwood, Michigan, was the runner-up for last year's Hill Trophy, finishing just eight points behind 2001 winner Dusty Bonner. This year he has quarterbacked Grand Valley State to an undefeated regular-season and No. 1 ranking all season, while ranking third nationally in passing efficiency and third in total offense. He ranks fourth in Division II history for career touchdown passes (100) and total offense (10,692) and is fifth all-time in career pass efficiency. He threw for 2,560 yards and 33 TDs in the 2002 regular-season alone and has led the Lakers to a 13-0 record and to the Division II National Championship Game tomorrow.

C.W. Post senior running back  Ian Smart was second with 180 points and 31 first-place votes,  and St. Cloud State junior quarterback  Keith Heckendorf  was third with 93 points and 7 first-place votes.  Following that trio in the voting were Carson-Newman senior quarterback Leonard Guyton at 43,  Central Arkansas junior quarterback  Zak Clark and Texas A&M-Kingsville senior quarterback  Abel Gonzalez  both at 26, UC Davis senior wide receiver Michael Oliva  at 24, Winona State junior running back  Kevin Curtin at 21 and Midwestern State junior quarterback Phillip Boggs at 0.  A total of 38 players were nominated for the 2002 Harlon Hill Trophy in their respective NCAA regions, with the top two players from each of the Northeast, South and Midwest regions and three from the West due to ties in voting.

Smart, a senior from North Babylon, New York, became college football's all-time leader in touchdowns this season with 92, and points scored with 564. He led Division II in rushing in 2002 with 171.3 yards per game and was also tops in scoring with 15.8 points per game. His 184.5 yards of total offense per game also ranked him fourth nationally. Also a finalist for the Hill Trophy in 2001, Smart rushed for more than 100 yards in nine of his team's 11 games this season in helping lead C.W. Post to a perfect 11-0 regular-season record and into the Division II playoffs.

Heckendorf, a junior from Mosinee, Wisc., threw for 2,817 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2002 to rank eighth nationally in pass efficiency and 10th in total offense. In leading St. Cloud to the best season at the school since 1989, Heckendorf  set nine school records, completing 58.2 percent of his passes and throwing just 12 interceptions in 349 pass attempts.

North Dakota State quarterback Jeff Bentrim won the initial Hill award in 1986, followed by three-time winner - Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) running back Johnny Bailey in 1987, 1988 and 1989.  Another North Dakota State quarterback, Chris Simdorn, claimed the 1990 award, followed by Pittsburg State's Ronnie West in 1991 and Ronald Moore in 1992, New Haven running back Roger  Graham in 1993, Valdosta State quarterback Chris Hatcher in 1994, North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon in 1995 , Truman State running back Jarrett Anderson in 1996, Bloomsburg running back Irvin Sigler in 1997, Emporia State running back Brian Shay in 1998 , Northern Colorado  quarterback Corte McGuffey in 1999 and Valdosta State quarterback Dusty Bonner in 2000 and 2001.

TOTAL 1st 2nd 3rd
Points Player Place Place Place

271 Curt Anes SR QB Grand Valley State 63 36 10
180 Ian Smart SR RB C.W. Post 31 30 27
93 Keith Heckendorf JR QB St. Cloud State 7 21 30
43 Leonard Guyton SR QB Carson-Newman 5 10 8
26 Zak Clark JR QB Central Arkansas 2 5 10
26 Abel Gonzalez SR QB Texas A&M-Kingsville 4 3 8
24 Michael Oliva SR WR UC Davis 1 5 11
21 Kevin Curtin JR RB Winona State 1 4 10
0 Phillip Boggs JR QB Midwestern State 0 0 0

2002 Harlon Hill Trophy Winner
Click on Players Name for Bio, Stats, and Photographs

   Name Pos Ht. Wt. Cl School

Top Three


Curt Anes QB 6-2 210 SR Grand Valley State

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Harlon Hill Award Committee
Florence, AL
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