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Local football players who made 2016 an unforgettable year
Turlock Football 1
Turlocks Danny Velasquez was selected as a Co-MVP in the Journal/Courier All-Football team. - photo by Journal file photo


Co-Most Valuable Players: Devan Bass (Pitman) and Danny Velasquez (Turlock)

1st team — Offense

Quarterback: Chris Lubinksy (Ceres)

Running back: Cody Rentfro (Hilmar), Jonathan Barragan (CV)

Fullback: Jesse Flores (Delhi)

Wide Receiver: Marcellus Boykins (Ceres), Klay Farris (Hilmar)

Tight End: Conner Johnson (Ceres)

Tackles: Chris Martinez (Pitman), Erik Mejia (CV)

Guards: Brendan Tallent (Pitman), Ethan Jones (Hilmar)

Center: JT Mercer (Pitman)


1st team — Defense

Defensive Ends: Gabriel Quezada (CV), Oso Fregoso (CV)

Defensive Tackles: Juan “Mango” Lopez (Turlock), Mustafa Noel-Johnson (Turlock)

Inside Linebackers: Dom Silva (Turlock), Wyatt Amaral (Hilmar)

Outside Linebackers: Nasson Sanchez (CV), Tyler Amarante (Hilmar)

Safeties: Brendan Patterson (Pitman), Estevan Barragan (CV)

Defensive Backs: Brenden Curnow (Denair), German Lua (Delhi)


Special Teams: Angel Lopez (CV)


2nd team

2nd team —Offense

Quarterback: Chase Kindberg (Hilmar)

Running back: Justin Steeley (Denair), Alecxis Miranda (Delhi),

Fullback: Gerardo Solorzano (CV)

Wide Receiver: Dustin Grein (Turlock), Kelby Peres (Hilmar)

Tight End: Dylan Mann (Denair)

Tackles: Joey Pereira (Hilmar), Joe Brasil (Denair)

Guard: Hector Obando (Denair), Cipriano Salazar (CV)

Center: Nicolas Berry (Turlock)


2nd team — Defense

Defensive Ends: Xavier Burke (Hilmar), Elias DeLeon (Hilmar)

Defensive Tackles: Anthony Carbajal (Pitman), Julian Barrera (Pitman), Zach Ramaley (Denair)

Inside Linebackers: Scorpio Castorena (Delhi), Dan Padilla (Pitman)

Outside Linebackers: Brandon Pacheco (Pitman), Samuel Cortez (Delhi)

Safety: Zyier Harrison (Ceres)

Defensive Backs: Chase Pritt (Denair), Fabian Garcia (Delhi)


Special Teams: Dallin Tilby (Turlock)



High school winter sports will soon begin their respective league runs but before fully taking in the end of fall, Courier sports editor Dale Butler and I wanted to first take a look back at the prep football season.

With such a historic season this past fall for both Turlock and Ceres teams, Butler and I decided to combine the powerful players from our respective coverage areas and make a prep All-Football team with players from the eight schools.

The schools from the coverage area included Ceres, Central Valley, Hilmar, Denair, Delhi, Turlock Christian, Turlock and Pitman.

All but two of those teams made the playoffs this past year proving that the competition within the area is strong.

The 2016 season was a year that saw Turlock and Pitman finish atop the Central California Conference for the first time in over a decade while Hilmar clinched the Trans-Valley League title with an undefeated record despite falling in the first round of the Division V Sac-Joaquin Section tournament.

The Journal launched the fourth season of its ‘Blitz’ video series, reaching out to new audiences each week.

Turlock won its first CCC title since 2003, while the Pride (10-2) made a historic regular season run, winning nine consecutive games for the first time in program history en route to a first round playoff win before falling to the powerhouse St. Mary's in the second round of the Division I tournament.

CV enjoyed its best season to date with an overall record of 9-2, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the Western Athletic Conference, winning the league crown and earning a spot in the Division-II bracket. The defense racked up 33 sacks and surrendered just 11.8 points per game. CV averaged 30.3 points thanks to its dominant rushing attack.

Ceres, 4-6 overall and fourth in the WAC standings (2-3), experienced a turnaround this year despite missing out on the playoffs. The much-improved Bulldogs had their conference championship and playoff hopes dashed during the second to last week of the regular season. Ceres averaged 295.8 yards passing and 28.6 points per game.

Delhi made a postseason history run, earning the most wins in a single season for any recent Hawks team at 8-3. Denair, with as few as 12 players at times, made its way into the Division VI bracket and tallied an overall record of 6-5.

These players who made up both the first and second-team selection were hand-picked by the coaches of the respective teams as nominees for their positions in regards to their individual performance for the year.