GV’s Johnathan Kaelin tops All-Foothill League football selections

Golden Valley senior Johnathan Kaelin runs the ball in a matchup with Newbury Park at Harry Welch Stadium earlier this season. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Golden Valley’s Johnathan Kaelin has been named the 2019 All-Foothill League football Player of the Year after excelling at multiple positions on the field for the Grizzlies in his senior season.

“It feels good because all I really wanted was to be the best player in the league,” Kaelin said.

Kaelin served as the main running back for the Grizzlies and racked up 1,254 yards and 18 touchdowns in the Foothill League season. Even though Golden Valley didn’t appear in playoffs, Kaelin still ranked second in the Foothill League in terms of rushing yards at the end of the prep football season.

The senior also added 301 receiving yards and three touchdowns this year on 16 catches.

His numbers on the ground broke two program records. He now holds the single-game rushing yards record with 366 against Newbury Park, surpassing Earl Johnson’s 2011 record of 345.

Additionally, he broke KJ Maduike’s 2016 single-season rushing touchdown record of 13.

“I grew up playing running back,” Kaelin said. “When they needed me to score, they’d get me there and I’d get in the end zone.”

On defense, Kaelin logged 24 tackles at safety and had two interceptions. On special teams, he tallied 197 yards on eight kickoff returns.

Kaelin is still uncommitted, but has received interest from Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

The Grizzlies finished in a three-way tie for second in the final Foothill League standings, but lost the coin flip in the league’s tiebreaking procedure and therefore failed to get an automatic bid to playoffs.

Hart quarterback Zach Johnson was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year. The University of California, Berkeley commit completed 221-of-371 passes for 2,788 yards and 27 touchdowns in his senior campaign and second year as starting quarterback.

Johnson added 246 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 109 carries.

The Indians reached the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs and lost to San Juan Hills.

After helping West Ranch to a historic season, Zach Van Bennekum was named the Foothill League Defensive Player of the Year. 

At linebacker, Van Bannekum ranked second out of all Wildcats and fourth in the league in tackles with 98, 53 of which were of the solo variety and 19 of which were for a loss. He tacked on three sacks and had six interceptions for 43 yards, two fumble recoveries for 92 yards, one blocked punt and one blocked field goal.

This season, the Wildcats accomplished the longest playoff run in program history when they reached the CIF-SS Division 7 semifinals. They fell 31-28 to Temecula Valley in the game.

Valencia’s Owen Hand was named Foothill League Lineman of the Year. Hand and the Vikings won their 11th straight league title this season, but fell in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs to San Clemente.

First Team Offense

Joseph Lahn, OL, Golden Valley, senior

Lendale Cervantes, OL, Golden Valley, senior

Taden Littleford, RB, Hart, senior

Ashton Thomas, WR, Hart, senior

Tyler Thompson, OL, Hart, senior

Josh Bond, RB, Saugus, senior

Ryan Morrison, QB, Valencia, senior

Jake Santos, RB, Valencia, senior

Nick Pham, RB, Valencia, senior

Zamondre Merriweather, WR, Valencia, sophomore

Walker Eget, QB, West Ranch, junior

John Collier, OL, West Ranch, senior

Ty Morrison, K, Valencia, junior

First Team Defense

Darnell Musgrove, DL, Golden Valley, senior

Tyler Walker, DB, Golden Valley, senior

Luke McCoy, LB, Golden Valley, junior

Travis Gill, LB, Hart, senior

Leighton McCarthy, LB, Hart, senior

Cade Gallagher, CB, Saugus, junior

Mitchell Torres, SS, Valencia, senior

Johnathan Tcheumani, LB, Valencia, senior

Diego Garcia, CB, Valencia, senior

Dean Miller, DE, Valencia, junior

Bryce Buchanan, LB, West Ranch, senior

Brandon Wyre, DB, West Ranch, senior

JC Cotti, DL, West Ranch, senior

Carson Farber, P, Saugus, senior

Second Team Offense

Aydyn Litz, QB, Canyon, senior

Carlos Meza, WR, Golden Valley, junior

Mahdi Bey, WR, Golden Valley, junior

Tommy Adame, Hart, OL, senior

Ryan Tomaszewski, WR, Hart, junior

Jordan Siousset, OL, Hart, senior

Tyler Ayers, OL, Saugus, senior

Julian Bornn, RB, Saugus, junior

Tristen Lachmar, OL, Valencia, senior

Vincent Casillas, OL, Valencia, junior

Nicholas Kohl, WR, West Ranch, junior

Reiger Burgin, RB, West Ranch, senior

Jarrett Reeser, K, Canyon, junior

Second Team Defense

Evan Cox, DL, Canyon, senior

Raysean Gilmore, DL, Golden Valley, junior

David Kim, DL, Golden Valley, junior

Dylan Vradenburg, DE, Hart, junior

Max Bjorkman, DB, Hart, senior

Seth Edwards, DL, Saugus, junior

Robert Vega, S, Saugus, junior

Jackson Stein, NG, Valencia, junior

Jordan Brentley, CB, Valencia, senior

Henry Samuelson, DL, West Ranch, junior

Max Macias, LB, West Ranch, senior

Jackson Reyes, DB, West Ranch, senior

Jacob Cipperly, P, Golden Valley, junior

Honorable Mention

Reno Sifuentes, Canyon, senior

AJ Hall, Golden Valley, senior

Drew Munoz, Hart, senior

Colton Fitzgerald, Saugus, junior

Tanner Bench, Valencia, senior

Nick Aquino, West Ranch, senior

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