ALL-AREA STORY, PICTURES: ALL-AREA ONLINE WITH VIDEO
ALL-AREA PORTRAITS: TRIBUNE ALL-AREA FIRST TEAM OFFENSE AND DEFENSE PICTURES AND BIO’S
2012 TRIBUNE ALL-AREA FOOTBALL
TRIBUNE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brandon Martinez, El Monte, SR, QB
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Koa Haynes, Bishop Amat, Jr, QB
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Eric Ortiz, Charter Oak, Sr, LB
COACH OF THE YEAR: Albert Sanchez, Gladstone
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Antonio Hull, West Covina, So, QB
TRIBUNE FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE
KEVIN AMEZQUITA, Gladstone, Sr., QB
REGGIE TURNER, Bonita, Sr., RB
JAKE PAYTON, San Dimas, Jr., RB
JACK AUSTIN, Chino Hills, Sr., WR
BRYCE BOBO, Charter Oak, Sr. WR
DARREN ANDREWS, Bishop Amat, Sr. WR
AAREN VAUGHNS, Charter Oak, Sr., ALL
CHRISTIAN SCHNEIDER, Glendora, Sr., OL
JAMES RIVERA, Arroyo, Sr., OL
LAKE AIONO, South Hills, Sr., OL
JARED TRUJILLO, San Dimas, Jr., OL
RILEY DEEN, South Hills, Sr., OL
MARIO GIRAN, Diamond Ranch, Jr., K
TRIBUNE FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE
MATT LOPEZ, Bishop Amat, Sr., DL
ERIC PREVOST, Charter Oak, Jr., DL
ADAM ROMERO, West Covina, Sr. DL
ANDREW HAUSER, Charter Oak, Sr. LB
SAL VELASQUEZ, Bishop Amat, Sr., LB
DENZEL TALIFERO, Duarte, Sr. LB
JUSTIN BUGH, San Dimas, Sr., LB
DIONZA BLUE, Bishop Amat, Sr., DB
JORDAN ROBINSON, Ayala, Sr., DB
PABLO OCEGUEDA, South El Monte, Sr., DB
CHAZZ ELDRIDGE, Chino Hills, Jr., DB
DOMINIC SALAS, Rosemead, Sr. P
By Aram Tolegian
Brandon Martinez is one of the those rare players who has the ability to leave his name all over not only his school’s record books, but the Valley’s as well.
With Martinez at the helm, El Monte’s dormant football program experienced one of its best seasons ever. The Lions won their first league title since 1979. They also won their first playoff game in over 20 years.
At the center of it all was the Lions’ dynamic senior (TO CONTINUE READING CLICK THREAD)
GLADSTONE COACH ALBERT SANCHEZ
ANTONIO NOODLES HULL
quarterback who proved anything is possible with the ball in his hand. For instance, Martinez delivered a last-second touchdown pass to beat Montebello in the first round of the playoffs. It was one of six he threw in the game.
Martinez ended his career as the Valley’s single-season record holder in passing yards with 4,286 yards. He also broke the old record for single season passing touchdowns previously held by Bishop Amat’s Pat Haden and Los Altos’ Felipe Aguilar with 44. He also added 723 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
For those reasons, he is the Tribune’s Player of the Year. “We had been through a lot,” Martinez said. “We were close to losing and we came up with a lot of close wins. I really appreciated those the most. We had a lot of fun.”
Martinez the quarterback almost never happened. El Monte coach Joel Sanchez made a gut decision prior to Martinez’s junior season to replace an incumbent starter with a once-chubby prospect who was able to do things with the football that most Lions players could not.
The rest was history. El Monte played its way into a chance at the Mission Valley League title last season in Week 10, but lost to Arroyo. The Lions would not make the same mistake again.
Martinez guided El Monte to a win over Arroyo this season that sent the Lions on their way to a share of the league title.
“The highlight of the year was our first Mission Valley League title,” Martinez said. “Last year, we came up a little short. But this year, we came back and got it.”
Martinez didn’t break Aguilar and Haden’s record until the second round of the playoffs during a road game at Paraclete. It proved to be El Monte’s final game of the season as the Lions were eliminated with a loss. Still, though, the game was halted to honor Martinez’s accomplishment and that’s something he will never forget.
“It was amazing,” Martinez said of the moment. “At first, I wasn’t really keeping track of my records. I had goals of breaking some school records. But when my coaches brought up Pat Haden, after that, I had my mind set on it.”
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: KOA HAYNES, BISHOP AMAT, QB, JR.
Koa Haynes entered the season as most people’s biggest concern about the Bishop Amat offense. He replaced a two-year starter and all the other pieces appeared to be in place with running back Dionza Blue and receiver Darren Andrews at his disposal. Turns out, Haynes was the biggest strength, and not the concern, of the offense. The junior came out of the gate firing and led Amat to a win over Servite in the season opener. He then was unstoppable in the first half in a 30-point outburst against Charter Oak’s vaunted defense as Amat rolled to a 30-7 lead after two quarters. Haynes’ ability to move around the pocket and scramble gave opponents fits. Haynes was named to the all-Serra League first team at quarterback after throwing for 2,413 yards and 20 touchdowns. Haynes also rushed for 300 yards and six scores. A Covina resident, Haynes was a big reason why Amat averaged 32.7 points per game this season. He will be the early favorite to be the Tribune Player of the Year next season.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: ERIC ORTIZ, CHARTER OAK, LB
Eric Ortiz did something darn near impossible. The senior linebacker distinguished himself as the best player on a defense that was loaded with some of the top talent around. But if you ask his coaches or watch the films, Ortiz clearly set himself apart. The Chargers were the top defense in the area and allowed just 11.5 points per game this season. Domination like that led the Chargers to a second consecutive sweep of the Sierra League and a return visit to the second round of the Inland Division playoffs. Ortiz, game in and game out, was at the heart of it all. Ortiz led the Chargers in tackles with 80. He also recorded three sacks and recovered a fumble. In Charter Oak’s playoff win over Chaparral, Ortiz made 11 tackles. The all-league voting saw Ortiz be named co-Sierra League Defensive MVP with teammate Eric Prevost. “It was such an honor to play on a great defense,” Ortiz said. “All those guys, everyday, they challenged me and I challenged them. It was just a great experience.”
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Antonio “Noodles” Hull, West Covina
When Hull arrived at West Covina two years ago, his reputation as a top youth league player preceded him. Nobody knew when exactly Hull would be given the keys to the West Covina offense, but due to injury and ability, it happened this season. Hull, a sophomore, played quarterback, running back and receiver. He also played safety on defense. As the season wore on, Hull became the Bulldogs’ most explosive player and led the team to wins in the first two round of the Southeast Division playoffs. Surprisingly, Hull was only a second-team Hacienda League selection on offense despite clearly being one the most feared players in the division by season’s end. Hull finished with 609 yards passing and six touchdowns. He added 870 yards rushing and five scores. Hull’s future is at quarterback and after a dynamite sophomore season, the best is yet to come.
COACH OF THE YEAR: ALBERT SANCHEZ, Gladstone
Sanchez went out in style, to say the least. In his final season at Gladstone, Sanchez led the Gladiators to a 10-win season, share of the Montview League championship and the school’s first postseason win since 1977. All of Gladstone’s accomplishments came as a major surprise since the Gladiators went 3-7 in 2011 and weren’t picked to even make the playoffs after several key players bolted the program in late summer. Sanchez won four Montview League titles in his 14-year career and his teams made the playoffs 10 times. “I couldn’t have written any better,” Sanchez said. “It’s one of those situations where you know you’re going to go out and the stars aligned. The kids bought into what we had to do. It was just magical.” Sanchez resigned to spend more time with his family.
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
Matt Simko, Chino Hills, Sr., QB
Peter Aholoka, Arroyo, Sr., RB
Cade Lindsay, Glendora, Sr., RB
Abel Barajas, El Monte, Sr. , WR
Kanya Bell, Diamond Bar, So., WR
Joseph Lara, Chino Hills, Sr. WR
Javon Taylor, Northview, Sr., ALL
D.J. Theard, Bonita, Sr., OL
Kammy Delp, Diamond Ranch, Jr., OL
Joshua Buchholz, Diamond Ranch, Sr., OL
Henry Duoung, La Puente, Sr., OL
Andrew Lopez, Bishop Amat, So., OL
Jack Schneider, Charter Oak, Sr., K
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
Greg Lawton, Rowland, Sr., DL
Alex Hernandez, Charter Oak, Sr., DL
Louie Barrera, Los Altos, Sr., DL
Ben Kane, South Hills, Sr., DL
Aaron Sanchez, Gladstone, Sr., LB
Azeem Victor, Pomona, Sr., LB
Bradley Ojala, West Covina, Sr., LB
Khari Garcia, Charter Oak, Sr., DB
Muleck Henderson, West Covina, Sr., DB
Diego Arias, Rowland, So., DB
Mike Peters, Covina, Sr., DB
Brandt Davis, Bonita, Sr., P