PLAYER OF THE YEAR
TYLER GANGI, ST. FRANCIS, SENIOR
Tyler Gangi was regarded as the X-Factor for the St. Francis High School football team when the season began in September.
The senior was one of the few Golden Knights who wasn’t a returning starter. But he quickly proved to be the missing link for St. Francis, helping the Golden Knights enjoy one of their best seasons in the program’s history.
For his efforts, Gangi is Star-News Football Player of the Year.
Gangi played a major role in St. Francis winning its first eight games before finishing 10-3 and advancing to the CIF–Southern Section Western Division semifinals.
“I knew I was ready,” Gangi said. “I knew my team believed in me. I think that’s why we did so well, we all believed in each other. I think that’s why we got 10 wins.”
Gangi was another reason for that success.
The senior accounted for more than 3,500 yards and 38 touchdowns. He threw for 2,882 yards and 25 scores with only six interceptions. He ran for 12 scores, and also caught a touchdown pass.
Gangi also came up big when needed, throwing for 305 yards and accounting for six touchdown in an early-season victory over Monrovia before leading the Golden Knights to come-back victories during the first two rounds of the Wester Division playoffs.
The senior was also solid in losses to Serra, nearly pushing St. Francis to upset wins
“It was definitely fun to compete in those games,” Gangi said of the battles against highly-ranked Serra. “We put up a fight with them, we just came up short.”
Gangi now is looking to secure his college plans, which include looks from New Mexico, San Jose State, Harvard and Yale.
“I want to play college football,” Gangi said. “I’m hoping to play somewhere, whether it be an academic school or a D-I school.”
COACH OF THE YEAR
JOHN HARDY, MUIR
Hardy, in just his second season at Muir, has started a resurgence for one of the area’s top programs.
The Mustangs have dominated the Pacific League the past two seasons, combining to go 14-0 while winning back-to-back league crowns and appearances in the quarter and semifinals of the CIF-SS Southeast playoffs.
This season, Muir finished 11-2, with the only losses coming to Serra League champ Alemany in September and to Southeast Division finalist Norwalk in the semifinals.
“It’s a good feeling,” Hardy said of the team’s season. “Being part of the Muir program, we think a lot bigger than Pacific League and getting to the semifinals. We’d like to win a (division) championship. I think we’re on the right pace right now to (achieve) that main goal that we have as a school, as a community.”
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
DEJON WILLIAMS, MUIR, SR.
Williams played a major role in the Muir winning the Pacific League title for the second consecutive season and advancing to the Southeast Division semifinals. The senior averaged more than 200 yards passing and threw for more than 20 touchdowns. He also had arguably the play of the year, scrambling in the backfield for nearly 20 seconds before throwing 50-plus yards for a touchdown pass in a semifinal loss to Norwalk on Nov. 30. Williams was Pacific League MVP.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
LOGAN CRAIG, MONROVIA, SENIOR
Craig continued a long-standing tradition of great defensive players from Monrovia. It’s the second consecutive season the Wildcats have produced the area defensive player of the year.
Craig was also Rio Hondo League Defensive MVP. The senior linebacker ranked among area leaders with a 133 tackles, averaging more than 10 per game. He also had nine tackles for a loss, including three sacks.
Craig was the leader of a defense that gave up 153 points in 13 games, including scoring four shutouts in the Rio Hondo League.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
KURT SCOBY, MONROVIA, SENIOR
Scoby, who played at St. Paul last season, was arguably the top running back in the area. He led the area with 2,206 yards rushing and accounted for 39 touchdowns, including 35 on the ground. Scoby, who is expected to sign a Division I scholarship offer in February, saved his best for last, rushing for nearly 900 yards and 14 touchdowns during his final four games. He was Rio Hondo League MVP.
ELI SNYDER, MARANATHA, JUNIOR
Snyder, who has done some childhood acting, was a star on the football field, leading the area with 3,187 passing yards. He also threw for 22 touchdowns to help the Minutemen finish 8-3 and go undefeated in the Olympic League. He passed for more than 300 yards three times, including a season-best 392 in a 27-17 loss to Duarte in the first round of the CIF-SS playoffs.
NATE TAYCO, RIO HONDO PREP, SENIOR
Tayco has arguably been the area’s top running back over the past two years. He was area Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 after leading the Kares to a CIF-SS Northeast title and earned first team All-Area this season after rushing for 1,926 yards and 33 touchdowns. He led Rio Hondo Prep to the Prep League title and the semifinals in the Northeast Division.
JOE MUDIE, ST. FRANCIS, SENIOR
Mudie was part of the Golden Knights’ one-two punch that also featured quarterback Tyler Gangi. Mudie accounted for 1,962 yards and 18 touchdowns while helping St. Francis finish 10-3 and advance to the Western Division semifinals. The senior rushed for 1,350 yards and 14 touchdowns and had 39 receptions for 612 yards and four touchdowns. He was All-Mission League and All-CIF-SS Western Division.
STEFAN SMITH, FLINTRIDGE PREP, SENIOR
Smith is first team All-Area for the second consecutive season. He was one of the top running backs in the area, accounting for more than 1,500 yards. He rushed for 1,334 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also had 17 receptions for 242 yards and two touchdowns.
DYLAN CRAWFORD, ST. FRANCIS, SOPHOMORE
Crawford was the big-play target for the Golden Knights. He had a team-high 54 receptions for 993 yards and 10 touchdowns. The sophomore, who helped St. Francis to a 10-3 record and a trip to the Western Division semifinals, averaged nearly 20 yards a catch and had more than 100 yards receiving three times.
XAVIUS BOONE, MARANATHA, JUNIOR
Boone was a key factor in the Minutemen’s journey to the Olympic League title and a trip to the CIF-SS Northwest Division playoffs,
The junior led the area with 60 receptions. He had 882 yards and five touchdowns.
Boone, who averaged 15 yards a catch, also rushed for 244 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, he had 49 tackles and two interceptions.
ZAREH HAIRPETIAN, SAN MARINO, SENIOR
Hairpetian is on the all-area tea for the second consecutive season.
The senior was a mainstay for an offensive front that provided support for one of the top offenses in the area. Hairpetian, who was Rio Hondo League Lineman of the Year, helped the Titans to a 9-3 season. He paved the way for San Marino to rush for 2,932 yards and 49 touchdowns. San Marino also gained 4,907 yards and scored 583 points.
EDWARD CANO, MONROVIA, SENIOR
Cano was the rock of what might have been one of the better offensive lines in the area. The senior, who was first team All-Rio Hondo League anchored a line that paved the way for the Wildcats’ Kurt Scoby to rush for an area-best 2,206 yards. Monrovia also averaged nearly 300 yards a game on the ground with a per carry average of nearly 10 per attempt,
TREVOR PROVENCIO, ST. FRANCIS SENIOR
Provencio was the anchor of a frontline that helped the Golden Knights gain nearly 6,000 yards and average close to 40 points a game. He help St. Francis rush for 2,804 yards and a was a big part in the Golden Knights finish 10-3 and advance to the Western Division semifinals. He was All-Mission League and All-CIF-SS Western Division.
ADRIAN MALDONADO, MONROVIA, SENIOR
The senior was a key part of Monrovia’s offensive front. He helped the Wildcats rush for nearly 300 yards a game and 10 yards a carry. Monrovia, helped by Maldonado, went 11-2, won its sixth consecutive Rio Hondo League crown while also advancing to the Mid-Valley semifinals for the sixth straight year. The senior was first team All-Rio Hondo League.
ZACH STIVER, RIO HONDO PREP, SENIOR
Stiver shined on offense and defense. On offense, he paved the way for the Kares to rush for 3,405 yards and gain 4,943. Rio Hondo Prep scored 567 points.
Stiver was also stout on defense. He had 115 tackles, with 11 sacks and 29 tackles for a loss.
KAREEM ZEENNI, ST. FRANCIS, JUNIOR
Zeenni was a key weapon for the Golden Knights, who finished 10-3 and advanced to the Western Division semifinals.
He scored 54 points while making 33 of 33 conversion kicks and 7 of 11 field goals. Zeenni also had an area-best 54 touchbacks. He a 42-yard field goal, which ranked second-longest in the area.
ANDREW FERRACO, SAN MARINO, SENIOR
Ferraco was the most-versatile quarterback in the area, accounting for 2,635 yards and 40 touchdowns.
The senior, in his first as a starter, keyed the Titans run to a 9-3 finish and a spot in the Mid-Valley quarterfinals. Ferraco rushed for 1,374 yards and 25 touchdowns.
He was Rio Hondo League Offensive Player of the Year.
MARKO TINOCO, ST. FRANCIS, SENIOR
Tinoco was dominant up front for the Golden Knights, who were 10-3 and advanced to the Western Division semifinals.
The senior had 58 tackles and ranked among the area leaders with 13 sacks and 21 tackles for loss.
TIM PHUN, GABRIELINO, SENIOR
Phun was the anchor to the Eagles defensive front.
He ranked among the leaders in the Mission Valley League with 105 tackles. He also led the area with 13 1/2 sacks. Phun also had 21 1/2 tackles for a loss.
JASPER IHEASO, MUIR, SENIOR
Iheaso combined speed and strength to be a key factor for the Mustangs up front.
He ranked among the leaders in tackles for Muir and in the Pacific League. He helped the Mustangs go undefeated in the Pacific League and advance to the CIF-SS Southeast Division semifinals.
TERRY WILSON, MUIR, SENIOR
Wilson was the anchor for the Mustangs defense and played a big part in Muir going undefeated in the Pacific League and finish 11-2.
He earned Pacific League defensive MVP after averaging just over four tackles per game.
KENNY GILES, LA SALLE, JUNIOR
Giles was the anchor of the defense for La Salle, which won its second consecutive Del Rey League title and advanced to the CIF-SS Northwest Division playoffs.
The junior, who also saw limited action as a receiver, has 53 tackles, including seven for a loss. La Salle coach Russell Gordon described him as a player you can build a defense around.
MICHAEL SAHAGUN, ROSEMEAD, JUNIOR
Sahagun was key player for a Rosemead defense that yielded 19 points a game and helped the Panthers win eight consecutive games between September and November.
He led the team with 101 tackles, including 11 for a loss. The total also included two sacks and three fumble recoveries.
JARED AKINS, LA SALLE, SENIOR
Akins played a major role in the Lancers winning the Del Rey League title for the second consecutive season.
He was one of the more versatile players in the area. He keyed the defense with 39 tackles and two interceptions. Offensively, he was La Salle’s top receiver, catching 25 passes for 586 yards and seven touchdowns. He was All-Del Rey League.
TONY CLAXTON, MUIR, SENIOR
Claxton helped Muir to its second consecutive Pacific League title and advance to the Southeast Division semifinals.
The senior combined speed with football smarts to become one of the top defenders in the area. He was All-Pacfiic League.
TAEON MASON, MUIR, JUNIOR
Mason was one of the more versatile players in the area.
He was a key to Muir’s secondary, which prevented the big play. Mason also made big plays on offense, being Dejon Williams primary throwing target. He was All-Pacific League and will likely be one of the top recruits in the area next season.
DEXTER MYERS, MARANATHA, SOPHOMORE
Myers is one of the top up-and-coming players in the area and showed it while helping the Minutemen to the Olympic League title.
The sophomore had 50 tackles from his defensive back position and ranked among the leaders in the area in interceptions with six. He also averaged more than 12 yards a return and had two pass deflections.
TYLER SPITZER, SAN MARINO, SENIOR
Spitzer was a key player on offense and defense for the Titans, who went 9-3 and advanced to the Mid-Valley Division quarterfinals.
On defense, he led the area in interceptions with eight and was steady with 38 tackles. He was the go-to receiver on offense, with 38 receptions for 510 yards and eight touchdowns. He also averaged 31 yards per kickoff returns.
STEPHEN CANSINO, ROSEMEAD, JUNIOR
Cansino proved to be a key weapon for the Panthers, who finished 8-3 and were second in the Mission Valley League.
The junior averaged 44 yards per punt to lead the area. He also was a solid placekicker, making 32 of 36 conversion kicks and 9 of 15 field goals, with an area-best long of 49 yards.
Quarterback: Elijah Peters, Gabrielino, Jr.
Running backs: Alec Zavala, Rosemead, Sr.; Tenny McFarlane, San Marino, Jr.
Receivers: Darron McWhorter, Sr.; Mark Pachorek, Arcadia, Sr.
Tight end: John Carroll, St. Francis, Jr.
Line:Joe Loubier, St. Francis, Sr.; Jake Ferntheil, Temple City, Sr.; D’Andre Sims, La Canada, Sr.; Cole Mace, San Marino, Jr.; Tanner Richter, Maranatha, Sr.
All-purpose: Deshawn Potts, Sr., Monrovia
Placekicker: Chris Rabine, La Salle, Jr.
Line: Larsen Cobb, San Marino, Sr.; Eddie Escobar, San Gabriel, Sr.; Ricky Urzua, St. Francis, Sr.
Linebackers: Nate Chandler, La Salle, Jr.; Christopher Montoya, Gabrielino, Sr.; Anthony Marquez, LB, Monrovia, So.
Backs: Avery Williams, St. Francis, So.; Robbie Hillier II, Arcadia, Jr.; Michael Cuda, Rio Hondo Prep, So.; Darius McClain, Monrovia, Sr.; Marceles Clash, Muir, Sr.
Punter: Carlos Monjaras, Gabrielino, Sr.,
Alhambra: Nick Giambalvo, QB, Jr.
Gabrielino: Calvin Chen, WR, Jr.; Patrick Gallagher, LB, Sr.; Joshua Villalobos, LB, Sr.
La Canada: Jadon Henry, RB, Sr.; Guillermo Padilla, DL, Sr.; Samuel Brown, DB, Jr.
La Salle: Milan Acquaah, RB, So.; Will Pyburn, QB, So.; Bryce Harvey, Sr.
Maranatha: Baile McDavid, RB/DB, Sr.; Matt Hall, LB, Sr.
Monrovia: Cravon Gillespie, WR, Sr.; Jacob Ramos, TE, Sr.; Christian Walton, DL, Jr.; Alejandro Vega, DL, Sr.; Blake Cusick, P, Jr.
Pasadena Poly: Griffin Carter, RB, Jr.; Michael Bowman, QB, Sr.
Rio Hondo Prep: Johnny Bolinger,QB, Jr — 1437-24; Isaac Holguin, LB, Sr.
Rosemead: Steven Nava, QB, So.; Oscar Noriega, WR, Sr.; Seven Rubaculva, DB, Sr.;
San Marino, Justin Hill, DL, Sr.; Daniel Walsh, LB, Sr.;
St. Francis: Brodie Felkel, P, Jr.; Areg Nazarian, RB, So.; Kevin Maloof, DB, Sr.
South Pasadena: Heven Gomez, RB, Sr.
Temple City: Nathan Ruiz, LB, Jr.
1. St. Francis (10-3)
2. Monrovia (11-2)
3. Muir (11-2)
4. Rio Hondo (11-2)
5. San Marino (9-3)
6. La Salle (8-3)
7. Rosemead (8-3)
8. Duarte (7-5)
9. Maranatha (8-3)
10. Gabrielino (7-4)
11. Pasadena Poly (7-3)
12. La Canada (5-6)
13. Arcadia (5-5)
14. Temple City (3-7)
15. South Pasadena (4-6)
DEL REY: La Salle
MISSION VALLEY: Arroyo
PREP: Rio Hondo Prep
RIO HONDO: Monrovia
GAME OF THE YEAR
St. Francis 48, Monrovia 14
Tyler Gangi threw for 305 yards and accounted for six touchdowns as the Golden Knights easily won this battle of the top two teams in the area.
St. Francis led 21-7 after the first quarter and 35-14 at halftime.
The Golden Knights also got 162 yards receiving and two touchdowns from Dylan Crawford and 65 yards rushing from Joe Mudie.
Kurt Scoby rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown for Monrovia.