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TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Duane Brooks celebrates his record-breaking kickoff return for the Portland Thunder.More honors came Thursday night for Duane Brooks of the Portland Thunder.


The Arena Football League gave Brooks, a wide receiver and the AFL’s leading kickoff returner, its J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Year Award at the league’s awards ceremony in Stockton, Calif., site of Saturday’s championship game between the San Jose SaberCats and Jacksonville Sharks.

Brooks, 5-10 and 185 pounds, set an AFL record with eight regular-season kickoff returns for touchdowns. He was first i the league in kickoff return yards (1,994).

Brooks is a three-year veteran from Stephen F. Austin. He also caught 60 passes for 559 yards and seven touchdowns this season.

Philadelphia Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh was named offensive player of the year and league MVP.

Jacksonville defensive end Joe Sykes was voted defensive player of the year, and Sharks defensive back Greg Reid earned rookie of the year honors.

Philadelphia’s Clint Dolezel was named coach of the year, with Orlando Predators offensive coordinator Siaha Burley chosen as the assistant coach of the year.

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