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Valencia dominates All-Foothill League superlatives

Vikings receiver, Mykael Wright (2), gets vertical to catch a pass before running it in for a touchdown against Great Oak High School in a playoff game in Valencia, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. Christian Monterrosa/ The Signal

With the way Valencia handled the Foothill League for a ninth straight season, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the Vikings scooped up a hefty portion of the All-Foothill League honors.

Junior Mykael Wright was voted the league’s Player of the Year, starring at cornerback and wide receiver for the Vikings.

“It was a big honor for me,” said Wright, who cited the team’s win over Hart to seal a ninth straight league title as his favorite moment of the year. “It’s really cool to see all my teammates that made it, too. It just shows all the work we put in.”

Wright, who holds offers to several Pac-12 programs, along with Nebraska, ended the year with 1,317 yards receiving to go with 18 touchdown catches. He also led the Vikings with four interceptions – all coming in league play.

“He’s one of the best football players I’ve been around in my 25 years of coaching,” said Vikings coach Larry Muir. “The impact he has on both sides of the ball is pretty incredible.”

Wright’s four rushing touchdowns all came in league play as well, including a 146-yard, two-touchdown performance against Saugus on just three carries.

MORE: Valencia and Golden Valley reflect on chances at CIF titles

Valencia senior quarterback Connor Downs won Offensive Player of the Year, senior defensive lineman Josh DeNeal won Defensive Player of the Year and senior offensive lineman Justin Aguirre won co-Lineman of the Year.

“A very deserving group,” Muir said. “They were as successful and as fun of a group as I’ve ever had.”

Downs had 13 passing touchdowns through Foothill League play – most of any quarterback – and threw just two interceptions in that span – both coming against Saugus. DeNeal led the Vikings with 9.5 sacks and was second with 19 tackles for a loss, per MaxPreps, tallying six in their win over Golden Valley.

Aguirre helped pave the way for a rushing attack that collected over 3,600 yards in 14 games, including 66 touchdowns.

Golden Valley’s CJ Ravenell, who was the Grizzlies’ left tackle and top defensive end, also won co-Lineman of the Year.

“It was good to see my name up there because Valencia was all up over the awards,” Ravenell said. “It was definitely nice to get my school some recognition.”

Ravenell led Golden Valley with 13 sacks, 22 tackles for a loss and three fumble recoveries. He’s still awaiting his first collegiate offer but is garnering interest from San Jose State, UNLV, Wyoming and Sacramento State.

“He’s a kid destined to play on Saturdays,” said Golden Valley coach Dan Kelley of the 6-foot-5, 230-pound senior. “With his size, ability and attitude, I absolutely believe he’ll get there.”

Valencia led all teams with eight first-team performers. Jayvaun Wilson, Parker Kernek, Zachary Semko and Cole Edwards made it on offense and Ben Seymour, Reilly Royce, Josh Washington and Anthony Hernandez on defense.

Golden Valley senior lineman CJ Ravenell makes a tackle against Fullerton on Sept. 22, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Hart was second with seven first-teamers. Its wide receiver tandem of DJ Palmer and Da’Von Jones, along with offensive lineman Nathan Bradder, made the offensive team. C.J. McMullen, who set the school’s single-game and single-season sack records this year, made the defensive team, as well as Julian Salazar, Trevor Laibl and punter Aaron Rodriguez.

Saugus running back Quinn Sheaffer’s 1,000-plus yard season on the ground helped earn him first-team honors. Offensive lineman Nathan Tripp and kicker Tanner Brown, who made 16 of 18 field goals with a long of 47 yards, also landed on the first team.

Centurion linebackers Tyler Hampsten and Jimmy Stirwalt, who combined for 156 tackles on the year, made the defensive first team. DeMaurea Pride-Ruiz joined them on the first team defense as well.

Golden Valley had two players make each first team, with running back DJ Turner and Jalin Lewis on offense, and DeGabriel Floyd and Ahvie Harris on defense.

Canyon’s Shawn Gallagher was named the league’s first-team quarterback. West Ranch’s Ryan Camacho was selected as a first-team cornerback.

First Team Offense

Shawn Gallagher QB Jr. Canyon

DJ Turner RB Sr. Golden Valley

Jalin Lewis WR Sr. Golden Valley

DJ Palmer WR Sr. Hart

Da’Von Jones WR Sr. Hart

Nathan Bradder OL Sr. Hart

Quinn Sheaffer RB Sr. Saugus

Nathan Tripp OL Jr. Saugus

Jayvaun Wilson RB Jr. Valencia

Parker Kernek OL Sr. Valencia

Zachary Semko WR Sr. Valencia

Cole Edwards OL Sr. Valencia

Tanner Brown K Sr. Saugus

Canyon’s quarterback, Shawn Gallagher (7), stiff-arms Hart’s Trevor Laibl (21), during the 50th game between the two at Canyon High School on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal


First Team Defense

Ahvie Harris SS Sr. Golden Valley

DeGabriel Floyd FS Jr. Golden Valley

Julian Salazar LB Sr. Hart

Trevor Laibl LB Sr. Hart

CJ McMullen DL Sr. Hart

Jimmy Stirwalt LB Sr. Saugus

Demaurea Pride-Ruiz CB Sr. Saugus

Tyler Hampsten LB Sr. Saugus

Ben Seymour DL Jr. Valencia

Reilly Royce LB Sr. Valencia

Josh Washington DL Sr. Valencia

Anthony Hernandez LB Sr. Valencia

Ryan Camacho CB Jr. West Ranch

Aaron Rodriguez P Jr. Hart

Saugus’ Tyler Hampsten (25) brings down St. Francis running back, Elijah Washington (25) for a loss at COC on Friday. Dan Watson/for The Signal


Second Team Offense

Jacob Lopez OL Jr. Canyon

Aaron Castaneda OL Sr. Golden Valley

Johnathan Kaelin WR So. Golden Valley

JT Shrout QB Sr. Hart

Ben Rosen RB Sr. Hart

Marc Caporal OL Sr. Hart

Richard Meza OL Sr. Saugus

Devin Thompson RB Jr. Saugus

Moises Haynes RB Sr. Valencia

Cody Paul OL Sr. Valencia

Jovan Camacho WR Jr. West Ranch

Dylan Joscak OL Sr. West Ranch

Hart quarterback JT Shrout (16) jukes Ventura player Kaine Miranda (11) during a football game at Canyon High School on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Second Team Defense

Richard Bueno DL Sr. Canyon

Henry Vera DB Jr. Canyon

Derrese Morganfield LB Jr. Golden Valley

Corey Neal LB So. Golden Valley

Josh Clark DB Sr. Hart

Thomas Bambrick DL Sr. Hart

Jordan Durden DL Sr. Saugus

Gabriel Velasco LB Sr. Saugus

Luring Paialii LB Jr. Valencia

Zion Dunson DB Sr. Valencia

Jake Killingsworth LB Sr. West Ranch

Matthew Heinrich P Sr. Valencia

Valencia’s Zion Dunson (16) takes Notre Dame quarterback Erik Zimmerman (11) during their CIF-Southern Section first-round playoff game at Valencia on Nov. 11. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Honorable Mention

Luke Stuart Fr. Canyon

Alex D’Ambrosio Sr. Golden Valley

Michael Colangelo Jr. Hart

Matthew Ballentine Jr. Saugus

Kyle Quintal Sr. Valencia

Giovanni Nicolazzo Sr. West Ranch


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