Success was not equally distributed among the Crescenta Valley, Glendale and Hoover high football programs during 2013 season.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that awards weren’t equally disbursed when the Pacific League recently released its all-league honors list.
The Falcons, Nitros and Tornadoes totaled 11 first- and second-team honorees with Crescenta Valley earning the lion’s share of praise.
Yet, being the only local squad with any first-teamers, let alone four, was small consolation for Falcons Coach Paul Schilling, whose team was not selected to postseason despite an 8-2 record, which tied the Falcons for second place in the Pacific League.
“It’s been most difficult for the seniors because they had no real closure to the season. You work hard and finished tied for second in league — which was a better finish than for any other potential wild-card team — and you don’t make the playoffs?” Schilling said. “I just never had any doubt in my mind that we’d get chosen for the playoffs. Maybe that’s the one thing I could have done differently is at least remain a little open to the possibility that we wouldn’t make it.”
Junior Brian Gadsby was elected to the Pacific League first team after the quarterback paced his school to its most wins since 2009.
Gadsby was one of the area’s elite quarterbacks, completing 170 passes out of 284 tries for 2,465 yards and 33 touchdowns versus only eight interceptions. Gadsby also had two rushing touchdowns.
“Brian was one of these roll-of-the-dice players that made things happen,” Schilling said. “He was very much like his baseball persona where he would walk three guys in the league championship game and then turn around and strike out the side. It seemed like whenever we needed a big throw, he delivered.”
One Gadsby’s biggest protectors was junior offensive lineman Davo Hakobyan, who was also lauded for his strong play by being named to the first team.
The Falcons’ quarterback on defense was senior linebacker Austin Brines, who along with defensive back Jordan Lobianco, was named to the league’s first-team defense.
“Like I said before, Austin never had a B in any of his classes. He was a straight A guy,” Schilling said. “He took that excellence with him into the field.”
Brines paced the team with 89 tackles, while tallying an interception and a fumble recovery.
Lobianco finished second on the Falcons with three interceptions, while he totaled 16 tackles and returned 14 kickoffs and 12 punts for 1,028 yards. On offense as a receiver, he had 39 catches for 563 yards and six touchdowns.
Falcons second-teamers consisted of offensive skill players Kevin Hello (549 rushing yards and eight touchdowns, 35 tackles, two sacks and five interceptions) and Chase Walker (43 receptions for 677 yards and seven touchdowns) and defensive lineman Matt Erickson (74 tackles, seven sacks, one caused fumble and fumble recovery).
Like Crescenta Valley, Glendale also showed progress in 2013, as the Nitros finished with a 4-6 mark, which was an additional win from the 2012 campaign.
“It sounds strange to say it, but this was a really successful season,” Nitros Coach John Tuttle said. “Our goal is to continue to improve and we did that.”
Two of the team’s bigger catalysts, senior wide receiver Martin Marin and junior running back Daniel Jung, were recognized for their strong play by being placed on the second team offensive skills squad.
“Those two did a lot of work for us,” Tuttle said. “They both just wanted to play and there was no ego.”
Jung was the Nitros’ leading rusher, finishing with 914 yards on the ground on 120 carries with nine touchdowns. Jung also hauled in nine receptions for 130 yards and three touchdowns, while as a defensive back, he racked up 36 tackles, two interceptions, three caused fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Marin proved to be the Nitros’ best receiver, as he caught 38 passes for 590 yards and six touchdowns. On defense, Marin added 29 tackles with two interceptions and one caused fumbled.
Glendale senior offensive lineman Richard Vorobyev, one of the squad’s leader, was also selected to the league’s second team.
Hoover High, which concluded 2013 with a 2-8 record under first-year coach Matt Andersen, will look for improvement next season.
“Since taking over as Hoover’s head coach in May, I realized how much work we had to do and I demanded a lot out of our players,” Andersen said. “Our practice and workout schedule was very demanding.”
One such player who kept up with the rigors was senior all-purpose player Andres Perez, who was named to the league’s second-team list.
Perez, Hoover’s lone first- or second-teamer, did a little bit of everything, including catching 19 passes for 370 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 31 yards per punt and returning eight kickoffs for 139 yards.
Crescenta Valley’s Ben Rees and Juho Kim, Glendale’s Luis Ruiz and Carlo Maquiddang and Hoover’s Joshua Lee and Vaughn Parawan were tabbed as honorable mentions.
Overall, league champion Muir received three prestigious awards as John Hardy was named the coach of the year, quarterback Dejon Williams was the player of the year and linebacker Terry Wilson was selected the defensive player of the year. Burbank star running back James Williams was chosen the offensive player of the year and Burroughs’ Hawkins Mann was voted the lineman of the year.