April 20, 2005
"We are very pleased with these four young men," Doba said. "They are all excellent leaders and genuinely good people. Their teammates voted and elected four great guys to lead us through next year."
Derting was voted captain for a second year while Bienemann, Harrison and Basler take on the leadership roles for the first time.
Derting, a 6-0, 228-pound linebacker, racked up 93 tackles in 2004, including 11.5 behind the line of scrimmage with 3.5 sacks. Derting earned second team All-Pac-10 honors despite a preseason wrist injury that forced him to play the season in a cast. The Okanogan, Wash., native was recently named to the 2005 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List and the fully recuperated senior is expected to lead the Cougar defense in 2005.
Bienemann established himself as a top Cougar target in 2004 with 26 receptions for 288 yards. The 6-5, 255-pound tight end had five receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown at New Mexico in the season's opening game. Bienemann earned first team Pac-10 All-Academic honors and was named to the CoSIDA District VIII academic first team in 2004.
"Earning the respect of the guys you are out there with all year is every player's goal," Bienemann said. "To know your teammates trust you as a leader is that much more special. It's a tremendous honor."
Harrison used the spring to continue establishing himself as premier running back, ripping off touchdown runs of 70 and 40 yards in the off-season scrimmages. The 6-0, 198-pounder played in 11 games for the Cougs in 2004, averaging 81.8 yards per game on 174 carries for 900 yards. Harrison stormed into WSU history racking up 247 yards on 42 carries against UCLA in 2004, ranking him first in single-game rushing attempts and third in single- game rushing yards in the Washington State record book.
Basler, a 6-3, 238-pound punter boasts a 42.7 yard career average. The 2004 honorable mention All- Pac-10 honoree boomed a historic 87-yard punt against Arizona, the longest in WSU history and the second longest in Pac-10 history. Basler was twice named Pac-10 Player of the Week last season for performances against New Mexico and Arizona.
"I am truly honored that my teammates elected me," Basler said. "It is something that will stick with me for the rest of my life."
The Cougars open the 2005 season at Martin Stadium against the Idaho Vandals Thursday, Sept. 1.