Total of 20 local players make All-League
They may have not won the East Sequoia League, but Strathmore High School football showed that they were still one of the best teams in the league with players taking four of the top eight spots in All-ESL honors.
Seniors Jadon Guire and Damian Valencia repeated as Lineman of the Year and Defensive MVP, respectively, while senior Alonso Acevedo was named Offensive MVP and senior Osvaldo Ibarra was selected Kicker/Punter of the Year.
Also taking one of the All-ESL’s top spots was Lindsay junior Mario Diaz, who was named the Specialty Player of the Year.
From Strathmore, Lindsay and Granite Hills, a total of 20 players received All-ESL honors.
Strathmore (13-2, 5-1 ESL)
Playing on both sides of the ball, Damian Valencia was one of the team’s linebacker, as well as their left guard. At linebacker he finished with 48 tackles, 27 tackles for losses, two interceptions and one sack in league.
Two other Spartan linebackers, senior Eduardo Lopez and junior Aaron Estrada were also second team selections. Lopez recorded 30 tackles and Estrada had 21 tackles.
On the defensive line, Jadon Guire had 29 tackles while junior Angel Colunga was a second team selection with 26 tackles.
Osvaldo Ibarra was a first team selection as a defensive back, with the corner recording 15 tackles, a league-high six interceptions and five pass deflections. Senior safety Fabian Alcantar was a second team selection with 25 tackles, four pass deflections, two interceptions and one sack.
Along with Guire, the only returning offensive linemen, Colunga also made first team offensive line while Estrada made the second team. Guire was the left tackle, Colunga the right tackle and Estrada the center. Junior Cutter Zeller was used as a blocking tight end and was a first team selection.
As the Spartans No. 1 rusher, Alonso Acevedo rushed for 678 yards and 13 touchdowns on 78 carries while averaging 8.68 yards per carry and 18.4 points a game. He also scored a total of 15 touchdowns through five games.
Doubling as the team’s kicker, Ibarra made 23 of 29 extra points in league, and had an average starting field position inside the 20-yard line on kickoffs.
All-ESL honorable mentions for the Spartans were brothers Cristian Rodriguez and Amando Rodriguez. A senior wide receiver, Amando had 115 yards on nine receptions. Playing safety as well, Amando had 29 tackles, two tackles for losses, two pass deflections and one fumble recovery. Cristian was one of the team’s quarterback and had 408 yards on 23 of 46 completions. He also rushed for 172 yards on 31 carries.
Strathmore finished second in the ESL, but still outscored opponents 266-72 while forcing running clocks in four of six games.
The Spartans season extended farther than nearly any other team in the Central Section and were one of three Valley teams that made it to the CIF State finals. En route to their third-straight state finals’ appearance, the team won a Div. VI Valley championship and a CIF Regional championship for the third year in a row.
Strathmore defeated Southern Section Div. XIII Adelanto (13-2) for their second CIF SoCal Regional championship but lost to Sac-Joaquin and NorCal Regional champion, Hilmar (13-2) in the CIF State Div. 6-AA championship game.
Lindsay (6-5, 3-3 ESL)
Mario Diaz did it all for Lindsay as the team’s kickoff and punt returner, wide receiver and defensive back. In league, the junior had 321 yards and two touchdowns on 26 receptions. On defense he had 30 tackles and three interceptions. He also had a total of 286 yards on returns.
A first team selection at quarterback, junior Ethan Natera threw for 1,170 yards and nine touchdowns on 87 of 141 completions. Second team wide receiver, senior Aundrey Tapia, caught 12 of Natera’s passes for 170 yards and one touchdown.
For the Cardinals’ offensive line, senior center Esteban Gonzalez was a first team selection and junior guard Alonso Moreno made the second team.
On defense, senior Juan Lara was a first team linebacker with 40 tackles and one sack. Tapia was a second team linebacker with 42 tackles and one interception. Making first team defensive back for the team was senior Manuel Torres with 30 tackles and two interceptions.
In league, Lindsay finished tied for third with Sierra Pacific (7-6, 3-3 ESL). In the Div. V Valley playoffs, the 13th-seeded Cardinals upset fourth-seeded Liberty (9-2). However the team lost a close game to ESL champion, fifth-seed Woodlake (11-2, 6-0 ESL) in the quarterfinals.
Granite Hills (2-8, 2-4 ESL)
From Granite Hills, senior Michael Martinez was a first team linebacker with a league-high 65 tackles.
Editor’s Note: All stats and inforamtion provided from All-ESL spreadsheet or MaxPreps.com, and refer to league play only.