The Foothill League showcased gridiron competition at its finest this year, and the annual All-Foothill League football team was no exception.
Out of all six teams, league-champion Valencia High had the most honorees. The Vikings boast 15 players on the list of the league’s best, including Player of the Year Aaron Thomas.
“It says how much work we put in in the offseason,” said Thomas, a senior quarterback. “We really tried to just play our hearts out in a way, to just ‘play for the man next you’ kind of mentality. We knew what we needed to do and that’s why we dominated, especially in league.”
The Vikes lost in a CIF-Southern Section Division 2 semifinal game against San Clemente on Friday. Thomas completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,136 yards, 29 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season.
Hart High quarterback Nick Moore took home Offensive Player of the Year honors. Moore returned to the Indians this year after enduring an ACL injury last season and threw for 2,102 yards and 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions while rushing for 713 yards and 15 touchdowns.
“I gained respect (this season),” Moore said. “Maybe some people didn’t think I’d be the player I was last year — that I wouldn’t be at full strength. But I feel like I’m a better player and I think I showed people that and they voted me accordingly.”
On the opposite side of the ball, Valencia defensive lineman Josh Washington (four sacks and 18 tackles for loss) was named Lineman of the Year.
Three players shared the title of Defensive Player of the Year: Saugus High defensive lineman Blake Walkowiak (19 tackles, four sacks), Valencia defensive lineman Ben Seymour (eight sacks, 19 tackles for loss) and Hart linebacker Charles Ike (84 tackles, four sacks).
“I think everybody knew that we were all going to have some pretty strong defenses,” said Walkowiak, who came back to the team after a concussion last year. “For our team specifically, we had a lot of guys coming back on defense from the 2015 season. So we were pretty much prepared and already situated for that.”