All-State FB 2019: Small Schools

Ripon teammates Caleb Delgado (72) and Nico Ilardi (holding plaque) celebrate after team won CIF D4AA regional title. At right, UC Davis-bound nose guard Princeton Toki (330 pounds) jumps for joy during team’s CIF D6A state championship contest triumph over Bishop Union. Photos: Mark Tennis & Salesian.com.

League rivals Ripon and Escalon both won CIF state titles and in the highest divisions for small schools this season. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the Indians and Cougars both lead the way with four honorees for this year’s Cal-Hi Sports All-State Teams for schools in our small schools classification. These teams also include state’s leading passer and a freshman.

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To order a commemorative, official All-State Football patch for those who’ve been named to one of our all-state teams for the 2019 season, go to this link from our friends at Billy Tees, which has been the official merchandiser of the CIF for many years.

The 41st annual Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football Teams roll on with the small schools honors for the 2019 season.

CIF Division 4AA state champion Ripon and CIF Division 4A state champion Escalon both have four honorees to lead all other schools and it wasn’t easy to put limits on either squad. Both were strong on offense and defense and up front and both won state titles despite playing schools that are considered medium due to enrollments and section playoff divisions. The Indians won their state final on a last-second field goal over Highland of Palmdale while the Cougars had an easier time of it in their triumph against La Jolla.

Ripon did have one player who was nearly the Small Schools State Player of the Year. Senior Danny Hernandez, chosen all-state on defense, led the team with 1,233 yards rushing. He also had 84 tackles and three interceptions plus he caught 35 passes. Teammate Caleb Delgado also has been named first team all-state for his work up front while the other two Indians to gain second-team all-state slots are tight end Troy Brogan (who also had seven sacks on defense) and quarterback Nico Ilardi (had seven rushing TDs to go with more than 2,000 yards passing).

Kaden Christensen of Escalon gallops through the secondary during early-season game. Photo: FrontRowPreps.com.


Escalon had three 1,000-yard rushers, a group that was led by senior Kaden Christensen, who rushed for 1,681 yards and had 32 total touchdowns (counting returns and receptions). Three of the team’s linemen — one named for offense (Damien Tom) and two honored for defense (David Camacho and Jacob Waldon) — have also joined Christensen with all-state honors.

Ripon’s Chris Musseman already has been announced as the Small Schools State Coach of the Year while the player of the year honor already has gone to Will Omey of Eureka St. Bernard’s. In leading St. Bernard’s to the CIF D6AA state title, Omey passed for 3,664 yards and 40 TDs and rushed for 1,516 yards plus 20 more scores. His partner in crime, so to speak, senior Lane Thrap, is on the all-state first team for small schools as well. Thrap caught 75 passes for 1,550 yards and 23 TDs and he also led the defense in interceptions with five.

Omey was placed on this year’s all-state team in the multi-purpose category due to his rushing yards. Another reason for that was to have state leading passer E.J. Kreutzmann of La Jolla Country Day on first team. Kreutzmann passed for 5,083 yards and 57 TDs.

La Jolla Country Day had several other stat stars, but didn’t win its league title due to a 58-50 loss to Francis Parker of San Diego. And looking over the possible all-state candidates from that team revealed freshman Chris Williams. He was selected all-state (second team) for leading the Lancers with 1,663 all-purpose yards. He also led them with six interceptions so it was on defense where he fit best as an all-stater.

Note: Schools broken down into large, medium and small based on section playoff divisions but also on where they’ve been traditionally. We also will not generally consider a school close to or above 1,500 enrollment small school at all no matter what section or state playoff division that school is placed. This means schools like El Monte and Lincoln of San Francisco, which won CIF state titles, can’t ever be a “small” school. Medium, yes. Small, no. Many of the CIF L.A. City Section playoff teams, including D2 and D3, can’t be small schools, either, for same reason. This year, we also have had to move up several schools that previously were “small” but played in much higher section or state playoff divisions. McClymonds of Oakland is one of those schools this year.

Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football
Small Schools

It’s only been three seasons of the new program at St. Pius X-St. Matthias of Downey and one of the reasons for the team going 12-1 in 2019 was the play of linebacker Bruce Walker. Photo: pmawarriorsathletics.com.


FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
WR L.J. Holmes (La Salle, Pasadena) 6-1, 180, Sr.
WR Harim Reynolds (Highlands, North Highlands) 6-0, 165, Sr.
WR Lane Thrap (St. Bernard’s, Eureka) 6-3, 175, Sr.
OL Inigo Baxter (Amador, Sutter Creek)
6-5, 255, Jr.
OL Caleb Delgado (Ripon) 6-3, 235, Sr.
OL Bryce Driver (Sutter) 6-2, 280, Sr.
OL Jesse Tello (Mary Star, San Pedro) 6-2, 290, Sr.
OL Damien Tom (Escalon) 6-2, 220, Sr.
QB E.J. Kreutzmann (La Jolla Country Day)
5-11, 180, Sr.
RB Kaden Christensen (Escalon) 6-0, 185, Sr.
RB Tyler Harrison (Paradise) 6-1, 180, Soph.
PK Ronan Donnelly (Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton) 6-1, 170, Sr.

FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL Gio Antonini (St. Vincent de Paul, Petaluma)
6-3, 250, Sr.
DL Baraquiel Fimbres (Vincent Memorial, Calexico) 6-0, 230, Jr.
DL Princeton Toki (Salesian, Richmond) 6-0, 330, Sr.
LB Cade Lambert (West Valley, Cottonwood) 5-11, 190, Sr.
LB Noah Short (The King’s Academy, Sunnyvale) 6-0, 180, Jr.
LB Anthony Slayton (Del Norte, Crescent City) 6-2, 220, Sr.
LB Bruce Walker (St. Pius X-St. Matthias, Downey) 6-2, 220, Sr.
DB Brandon Baker (Cornerstone Christian, Wildomar) 5-11, 175, Sr.
DB Andre Bravo (Strathmore) 5-11, 165, Sr.
DB Danny Hernandez (Ripon) 5-10, 180, Sr.
DB Jake Palmer (Nordhoff, Ojai) 5-11, 165, Jr.
P Michael Harkins (Linfield Christian, Temecula) 5-11, 165, Sr.

FIRST TEAM MULTI-PURPOSE
RB/LB Tristan Hofmann (Half Moon Bay) 6-0, 175, Jr.
RB/LB Tevita Moimoi (Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton) 6-0, 205, Sr.
QB/RB/DB Gavin McAuliffe (East Nicolaus, Nicolaus) 5-11, 185, Sr.
QB/RB/DB Will Omey (St. Bernard’s, Eureka) 6-1, 185, Sr.
RB/LB Bobby Staley (Caruthers) 5-7, 175, Sr.
KR/DB Kamron Young (Kennedy, Richmond) 5-8, 165, Sr.

We don’t do an all-state freshman team, but there is a chance a freshman can break through on small schools and that happened this year with Chris Williams from Parker of San Diego. Photo: Hudl.com.


SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
WR Semaj Clark (Lower Lake) 6-1, 160, Sr.
TE Troy Brogan (Ripon) 6-3, 215, Sr.
TE J.T. Byrne (Carmel) 6-6, 225, Jr.
OL Preston Dimas (Half Moon Bay) 5-11, 200, Jr.
OL Ricky Freymond (Ontario Christian)
6-4, 225, Sr.
OL Aldo Sanchez (Marquez, Huntington Park)
6-3, 285, Sr.
OL Chris Soderlund (Wheatland) 6-2, 270, Sr.
OL Blake White (Paradise) 6-2, 225, Sr.
QB Cole Lourd (Brentwood, Los Angeles)
6-2, 190, Jr.
RB Ivan Robledo (St. Helena) 5-11, 210, Soph.
RB Daniel Trujillo (Lindsay) 5-10, 175, Sr.
PK/MP Cory McIntyre (Sutter) 5-8, 165, Sr.

SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL Dakari Bell (Bradshaw Christian, Sacramento) 6-4, 215, Sr.
DL David Camacho (Escalon) 6-0, 220, Sr.
DL John Velasquez (Kerman) 6-0, 260, Jr.
DL Ashton Wagner (Paradise) 6-2, 255, Soph.
DL Jacob Waldon (Escalon) 6-0, 210, Sr.
LB Zach Alligood (La Jolla Country Day) 6-5, 190, Sr.
LB Mario Ayotte (Sutter) 5-11, 200, Sr.
LB Thomas McConnell (Poly, Pasadena) 6-2, 190, Sr.
DB Tre Maronic (Bear River, Lake of the Pines) 6-3, 195, Sr.
DB Sean McGovern (Ripon Christian) 6-1, 190, Sr.
DB Chris Williams (Parker, San Diego) 5-10, 160, Fr.
P Hugo Torres (Corning) 5-11, 180, Sr.

SECOND TEAM MULTI-PURPOSE
RB/LB Levi Cox-Cooley (Del Norte, Crescent City) 5-8, 175, Jr.
QB/RB Ahmir Ford (St. Pius X-St. Matthias, Downey) 6-1, 190, Sr.
QB/RB Nico Ilardi (Ripon) 6-1, 170, Sr.
QB/RB/DB Luke McClean (Bishop) 6-0, 175, Sr.
QB/RB Kaden Preston (Kern Valley, Lake Isabella) 6-1, 175, Jr.
RB/MP Korey Stevens (Nordhoff, Ojai) 6-0, 175, Sr.

SMALL SCHOOLS STATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (previously announced):
Will Omey (St. Bernard’s, Eureka)

SMALL SCHOOLS STATE COACH OF THE YEAR (previously announced):
Chris Musseman (Ripon)

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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2 Comments

  1. Tyler Harrison
    Posted February 7, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Just wondering if you guys had the stats on Tyler Harrison,? He had over 2500 rushing yards and 30 TDs, And he is a Sophomore. He Broke his High school Rushing Title, and Was first in MaxPreps Rushing for the entire Northern Section.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted February 7, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Yes, of course we do. Saw him against West Valley.
      Have written about him and team many times.

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