2016 TRIBUNE FOOTBALL ALL AREA TEAM PHOTO GALLERY
2016 TRIBUNE FOOTBALL ALL-AREA TEAM
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tyler Nevens, Los Altos
It was only fitting that Tyler Nevens carved a special place for himself in the storied history of the Los Altos High School football program. After all, you don’t just lead a team to two CIF finals appearances in a three-year span and have people not remember you.
But it wasn’t only the wins that guarantee Nevens long-lasting fame at Los Altos. The numbers also lock up a special place for him. Nevens finished his career as the school’s all-time leading rusher and figures to hold that distinction for quite a long time.
The final stats were simply outstanding: Nevens rushed for 2,533 yards and 40 touchdowns. As a result, the Conquerors went 13-1 and won the Hacienda League, which later named Nevens its MVP. For those reasons, Nevens is the Tribune’s Player of the Year.
“I would say it’s a true blessing,” Nevens said of the award. “I put in a lot of hard work and just knowing that my hard work paid off and I’m getting recognition for it is truly a blessing.”
It was hard not to consider Los Altos a one-man show on offense. Sure, the Conquerors had other capable weapons, but they kept things pretty simple. Los Altos preferred to pound Nevens behind their mammoth offensive line and just ground opponents to a pulp in the process.
Nevens had five games this season in which he rushed for over 200 yards. He scored in every game and twice scored five touchdowns in a game and twice more scored four touchdowns in a game.
“I would say the whole season was the highlight for me, because I rushed for over 2,000 yards this season,” Nevens said. “That was my goal, that I wanted to achieve before I end high school. Just the fact that I passed the 2,000 mark, it’s a really good feeling.”
Nevens rose to immediate fame after arriving on Los Altos’ varsity team as a sophomore. Nevens ran wild that year, too, and led the Conquerors to the CIF finals. But there was no league championship that season. And last year, the Conquerors underperformed and missed the postseason all together.
Los Altos came back a very determined group this season. Nevens served notice immediately by rushing for 287 yards and four touchdowns on just 10 carries in a season-opening rout of San Marino. He wound up averaging 8 yards per carry for the season and 180.9 yards per game.
Los Altos won the Hacienda League championship, taking every game by double figures on the final scoreboard. The Conquerors mashed their way through the playoffs but came up just short, losing a close game to Paraclete in the finals.
Nevens has seven college offers, but none of them are what he would call big schools. Nonetheless, he will be playing on Saturdays next fall. The 4.0 student figures to have a bright future no matter what football brings.
“Right now, I have seven offers, but none of them are big Division 1 offers,” Nevens said. “It’s kind of understandable how I don’t have any. It’s kind of hard because there are many kids who have the same talent as me, but there are other kids who are even better than me.
“High school was a grind. It was about getting your job done. I live off being the first man there and the last one to leave, being loyal to those who support you and everything else will come your way.”
COACH OF THE YEAR: Jim Singiser, Arroyo
Singiser gambled and won. The veteran Knights head coach bet on his team and it paid off with a successful two-point conversion to beat Rancho Mirage in overtime of the CIF Division 12 championship. It was Arroyo’s first CIF championship since 1986. Arroyo has been one of the area’s most-consistent winners under Singiser, but this year the Knights punched through for the biggest of all championships. Arroyo finished with 13 wins and also won the Mission Valley League. It wasn’t easy for Singiser and his staff, though. Their top defensive player was lost for the season early in September due to disciplinary action. And their quarterback was a sophomore, who early in the offseason had expected be on junior varsity.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Steven Comstock, Northview, Jr.
There were times when Northview High School quarterback Steven Comstock chose to burn opponents with his arm. Then, there were times he used his legs. And when Comstock did both in the same game, it was darn-near impossible to stop the Vikings.
Comstock, the junior dual-threat quarterback who is also a CIF champion wrestler, put on the show this season that so many expected of him. And because of it, his team was a league champion with several big victories to their credit.
After throwing for 2,679 yards and 30 touchdowns, and adding another 830 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns, Comstock is the Tribune’s Offensive Player of the Year.
“I’m a little surprised, but very humbled,” Comstock of the award. “I definitely couldn’t have done it without my team, my offensive line, my receivers and even the defense and coaches. That’s all something that pretty much got me there into this spot.”
With Comstock at the helm, Northview continued to be one of the top teams in the area. The Vikings won the Valle Vista League for the third consecutive season. Not surprisingly, Comstock was named league MVP.
Comstock hit the ground running this season. Against Charter Oak, he nearly threw for 400 yards and had three touchdown passes in a blowout loss. Undeterred, weeks later he rallied Northview back from a big deficit against Don Lugo to come away with a win after he hit receiver Antwaun Ayers on a touchdown pass in the closing minute.
In league, Comstock was a force that couldn’t be stopped. Against Covina, he rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown. Against San Dimas, he ran for 147 yards and three scores. When you throw in that he also had six touchdown passes combined against those teams, it becomes obvious that Comstock was a weapon that just couldn’t be stopped.
“That win over Don Lugo was definitely huge,” Comstock said. “It showed that we could come together in the last few seconds. The win over San Dimas was also a huge thing. We all played together in that game and really won it as a team.”
Northview stomped Chino in the first round of the playoffs, but came up short against finalist Burbank in the second round. Comstock threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in the loss, but it wasn’t enough.
With one more high school season ahead of him, Comstock is already thinking about all that’s to come. He’s already got four college offers in tow with more expected to come. Perhaps the next big accomplishment will be a CIF championship.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all,” Comstock said. “We just have to work hard during the offseason. We have some guys. We’re going to work hard and do our thing and see what happens. I’m not worried about colleges. I already have offers that I’m satisfied with. There’s no pressure, just having fun.
“I’m just excited to see what comes next in my football career.”
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brian Casteel, Charter Oak, Sr.
The Charter Oak High School football team coaching staff may show the game tape of Brian Casteel’s performance against Downey to future generations of Chargers as an example of what they need to live up to.
In that game, in the second round of the playoffs, Casteel did just about everything humanly possible to get his team into the semifinals with a road victory. Casteel had two rushing touchdowns, a touchdown receiving and returned an interception for a score.
It was the kind of all-around performance that he provided so often that almost felt normal despite the fact that very few players are able to pull it off. For reasons like that, Casteel is the Tribune’s Defensive Player of the Year.
“It’s surprising because defense is my secondary position because I’m offensive minded,” Casteel said of the award. “But if anything, I would rather have defense be the award. Growing up, defense was always one of the sides that I looked forward to playing. I do like the ball in my hands, but defense was always funner to me.”
The Downey game was just one example of what Casteel could do. On offense, he finished with 644 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns along with 766 yards receiving and eight scores. On defense, he tallied 72 tackles, three interceptions, two sacks and a caused fumble and a fumble recovery.
With original starting quarterback Bret Clemetson lost early in the season due to an injury, Casteel was forced to play a bigger role on offense in addition to his normal job on defense. The Chargers were still able to finish second in the Hacienda League and make the Division 4 playoff field. That’s when Casteel really came alive.
In Charter Oak’s first-round playoff win over Glendora, Casteel had 10 tackles and also scored four touchdowns on offense. Against Sierra Canyon in the semifinals, Casteel netted 11 tackles with two touchdowns on offense.
“This year, I prepared myself better than I had before because I knew I was going to have to play both ways,” Casteel said. “Yeah, it was exhausting. It was a lot to do. There was a lot o pressure. But last year when Zion Echols graduated he said he was passing the torch to me.”
Casteel will continue his football career next season at Arizona. Although the interest in him from other schools have picked up, he’s sticking with Wildcats for now and plans to make it official on Signing Day.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Ernesto Camacho, QB, Arroyo
Camacho, who had never played football until his freshman year, originally thought he was going to be the junior varsity starter this season. Instead, he was pressed into varsity action early in the season and promptly rose to stardom. By the time the season was over, Camacho had led the Knights to their first CIF championship in 30 years. He threw for 3,158 yards and 35 touchdowns. Camacho also ran for 529 yards and 11 scores. He was named Mission Valley League MVP.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback, Damien, Jr.
Bryan was one of the most electric players around as he guided Damien to a six-win season. He threw for 2,825 yards and 25 touchdowns while also rolling up 453 yards and nine scores on the ground. Bryan had multiple touchdown performances in every one of Damien’s games and was an all-Baseline League selection.
Running back, San Dimas, Sr.
Sykes capped off his stellar prep career with yet another huge season. The Saints’ feature back finished with 1,815 yards and 20 touchdowns. He had eight multi-touchdown games and nine games with 100 yards or more. Sykes was once again a first-team all-Valle Vista League selection. This is Sykes second-consecutive All-Area Team selection.
Running back, South El Monte, Jr.
Tovar spent the entire season near the top of the state’s rushing leaders. Tovar finished with 2,809 yards and 39 touchdowns. He averaged 215 yards per game as South El Monte posted its best season in a while, winning 11 games. Tovar rushed for over 100 yards in every game and had seven games with 200 yards or more. He was an all-Mission Valley League selection.
Receiver, Charter Oak, Jr.
Braddock stamped himself as the next big-time player coming out of Charter Oak. The junior managed to put up strong numbers despite the Chargers’ troubles at quarterback. Braddock caught 63 passes for 1,142 yards and 12 touchdowns. For his efforts, he was an all-Hacienda League selection.
Receiver, Northview, Sr.
Ayers proved to once again be one of the most explosive play makers in the area. The speedy receiver pulled down 68 receptions for 1,465 and 21 touchdowns. Ayers also stood out on defense where he intercepted six passes as a defensive back. For his efforts, Ayers was named Offensive MVP of the Valle Vista League.
Receiver, Damien, Sr.
Burchfield ranked among the area’s leading receivers after hauling in 53 receptions for 918 yards and nine touchdowns in Damien’s explosive offense. Burchfield’s top performance came against Claremont when he had seven receptions for 244 yards and two touchdowns. He was an all-Baseline League selection.
All-purpose, Duarte, Jr.
Hemsley tipped his hand as to what’s to come next season. The junior quarterback made a big splash by passing for 1,812 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also rushed for 378 yards and five touchdowns as Duarte won the wild Montview League. For his efforts, Hemsley was named Montview League MVP.
Line, Los Altos, Sr.
Garcia concluded his stellar prep as being arguably the best two way-lineman in the area this season. Garcia was a force up front for Los Altos’ offense, which rolled up nearly 3,000 yards rushing this season. On defense, Garcia tallied 102 tackles and seven sacks. Garcia was an all-Hacienda League selection on both offense and defense for the second straight year.
Line, CHARTER OAK, Jr.
Aceves was one of the most versatile linemen around and helped paved the way for a Charter Oak offense that averaged 35 points per game. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound guard and his line mates were faced with having to protect up to five different quarterbacks. For his efforts, Aceves was named Hacienda League Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Line, Northview, Sr.
Martinez was a key cog up front for a Northview offense that averaged 40 points per game. The Vikings put up huge numbers in both the pass and run games, and Martinez was integral in both. He also recorded 29 tackles on defense and three sacks. Martinez was named Valle Vista League Lineman of the Year.
Line, Glendora, Jr.
Arteaga lived up to the advanced billing that he was one of the top linemen in the area. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound junior helped pave the way for a GLendora rushing offense that ground up nearly 2,400 yards of production. For his efforts, Arteaga was a first-team all-Palomares League selection.
Line, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Espinosa was the Lancers’ top offensive lineman and helped his team average over 28 points per game in league play. Amat’s balanced offense required Espinosa to do well in both pass and run blocking. For his efforts, Espinosa was a second-team all-Mission League selection.
Kicker, Arroyo, Sr.
Ortiz had two of the most clutch kicks of the season, nailing a pair of 41-yard field goals in the CIF championship game against Rancho Mirage. Ortiz’s booming leg was a major reason why Arroyo averaged nearly 40 points per game. Ortiz made 10 out of 13 field goals and was later named first-team all-Mission Valley League.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Defensive line, Los Altos, Sr.
Manuele made his impact felt on both sides of the ball. On offense, he lead the Conquerors in receiving with 37 receptions for 599 yards and five touchdowns. On defense, Manuele had 94 tackles and 11.5 sacks. He also caused four fumbles. Manuele was named Hacienda League Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Defensive line, Los Altos, Sr.
The 285-pound Jones was a force up front for a Conquerors defense that allowed just 16 points per game this season. Jones lead the Conquerors in sacks with 12.5. He finished the season with 87 tackles and two pass deflections. Jones simply could not be blocked and was named Defensive MVP of the Hacienda League.
Defensive line, Bishop Amat, Jr.
Maldonado put on full display why he’s the top interior defensive lineman in the area. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound junior tallied 57 tackles and eight sacks. All that despite often being double teamed by opponents. Maldonado’s best game was a three-sack performance against Servite. He was named Defensive MVP of the Mission League.
Linebacker, Los Altos, Sr.
Salcedo was all over the field for a Los Altos defense that allowed just 16 points per game this season. Salcedo led the area in tackles with 158. He also had four fumble recoveries and an interception. Salcedo had nine games in which he reached double figures in tackles and was an all-Hacienda League selection.
Linebacker, Arroyo, Sr.
Carrillo was the rock in the middle of Arroyo’s defense. The senior headlined a Knights defense that allowed just 18.6 points per game. Carrillo finished with 119 tackles, 72 of which were solo. Carrillo had six games with double figures in tackles. He was a first-team all-Mission Valley League selection.
Linebacker, Bishop Amat, Sr.
Moya proved to be a tackling machine for Amat. The senior recorded a team-high 99 tackles. His best performance came against JSerra when racking up 17 tackles. In Amat’s big win over Chaminade, Moya had 15 tackles and picked up his sixth game of the season with double-digit tackles. Moya was a first-team all-Mission League selection.
Linebacker, Northview, Sr.
Quiroga was the rock in the middle of Northview’s defense, which allowed only 16.5 points per game this season as the team won 10 games. Quiroga finished with 114 tackles and five sacks. He also caused two fumbles, recovered a fumbled and blocked a punt. Quiroga was named Valle Vista League Defensive MVP.
Defensive back, Arroyo, Sr.
Marquez posted one of the best all-around seasons in the area while helping lead Arroyo to a CIF championship. On offense, Marquez led the Knights in receiving with 868 yards and 15 touchdowns. On defense, Marquez led the area in interceptions with eight. He also had 60 tackles and was an all-Mission Valley League selection.
Defensive back, Diamond Ranch, Sr.
Green was a force all over the field for the Panthers. As a receiver, he led the team with 43 receptions for 826 yards and seven touchdowns. On defense, Green had 23 tackles and an interception. Green finished with 1,007 all-purpose yards and was a first-team all-Hacienda League selection.
Defensive back, West Covina, Sr.
Alton proved his worth all over the field for the Bulldogs. On offense, he had 300 yards receiving and five total touchdowns. On defense, he was ball hawk as evidenced by his five interceptions. Alton also had 57 tackles and a fumble recovery. He was a first-team all-Hacienda League selection.
Defensive back, South Hills, Jr.
Lariviere was big a part of South Hills’ success on both sides of the ball. On offense, he had 39 receptions for 759 yards. On defense, he recorded 82 tackles and added two caused fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Lariviere was later named co-Athlete of the Year in the Palomares League.
Punter, Los Altos, Sr.
White’s booming leg helped the Conquerors win many field position battles. As a punter, he pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 23 times while averaging 40 yards per punt. As a place kicker, White was the only kicker in the state who attempted more than 50 PATs without a miss. He was an all-Hacienda League selection.
QB — Bryce Wooldridge, Glendora, Jr.
RB — Steven Ocariz, Arroyo, Jr.
RB — Kevin Thomas, Northview, Sr.
WR — Jarren Ford, Bishop Amat, Sr.
WR — Mikey McCauley, Damien, Jr.
WR — Tahron Tolbert, South Hills, Sr.
ALL — Quinton Groves, La Puente, Jr.
OL — Oscar Villa, Los Altos, Sr.
OL — Michael Chase, Glendora, Jr.
OL — Abbas Darwiche, San Dimas, Sr.
OL — Cristian Castillo, Arroyo, Jr.
OL — Zion Maae, Covina, Jr.
K — Shazel Sakr, Bishop Amat, Jr.
DL — Nick DiFiori, Bishop Amat, Sr.
DL — Alec Sanchez, Bishop Amat, Sr.
DL — Vincent Silva, South El Monte, Sr.
LB — Jacob Camargo, Damien, Sr.
LB — Joseph Romero, Charter Oak, Jr.
LB — Christian Northey, West Covina, Sr.
LB — Ruben Aguilar, South El Monte, Sr.
DB — Anthony Lopez, Los Altos, Sr.
DB — Josh Bryan, Damien, Sr.
DB — Daniel Mendoza, Arroyo, Jr.
DB — Larenzo Williams, Nogales, Sr.
P — Jared Arellano, Walnut, So.
GAME OF THE YEAR: Arroyo 35, Rancho Mirage 34 OT, Dec. 3, 2016
Championship games don’t always live up to the hype, but this one did. A back-and-forth game before a packed stadium at Arroyo High ended with Knights head coach Jim Singiser making a gutsy call to win the CIF Southern Section Division 12 championship. After scoring to get within one in overtime, Singiser decided to go for two points and the win … or a stinging loss. Quarterback Ernesto Camacho found receiver Devin Knight in the front corner of the end zone and Arroyo won its first CIF championship in 30 years. It marked the only CIF championship by an area team this season.
HACIENDA: Los Altos
MISSION VALLEY: Arroyo
OLYMPIC: Valley Christian
PACIFIC: Crescenta Valley
PREP: Pasadena Poly
RIO HONDO: Monrovia
VALLE VISTA: Northview
Division 1: St. John Bosco
Division 2: San Clemente
Division 3: Edison
Division 4: Sierra Canyon
Division 5: Calabasas
Division 6: Paraclete
Division 7: San Gorgonio
Division 8: Yorba Linda
Division 9: Valley Christian
Division 10: St. Anthony
Division 11: Valley View
Division 12: Arroyo
Division 13: Rancho Christian
FINAL TOP 10
1. Los Altos (13-1)
2. Charter Oak (11-3)
3. Bishop Amat (7-4)
4. Northview (10-2)
5. Arroyo (13-2)
6. Damien (6-5)
7. West Covina (6-5)
8. San Dimas (8-3)
9. South El Monte (11-2)
10. Covina (7-5)