2016 BVarsity All-Area Football Team
Player of the Year: Johnny Balderas, senior, Liberty
A standout and leader for Liberty in all three phases of the game, Balderas, who’s committed to UNLV, caught 29 passes for 569 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver and made 42 tackles and grabbed five interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown against Clovis-Buchanan, as a defensive back. And in the return game, he had a 44.6-yard kickoff return average, taking five kicks and one punt back for touchdowns.
Offensive Player of the Year: Jeremiah Foster, senior, Bakersfield Christian
A 6-foot-5 target with jumping ability (he won the section high jump title in track and field), Foster was too much for many defenses. He caught 88 passes for 1,652 yards and 20 touchdowns, helping lead Bakersfield Christian to the Central Section Division III title and a berth in the CIF State D-4AA title game. He was also a standout on defense with 10 interceptions, including two against Selma in the Southern Cal regional game.
Defensive Player of the Year: Ricky Leung-Wai, senior, Ridgeview
Ask any opposing coach this season, and the focal point in game planning was figuring out a way to stop, or at least slow down, No. 44 from Ridgeview. Leung-Wai filled up the stat sheet and made his presence felt with 16.5 sacks and 32 quarterback hurries. Had 72 tackles — 24 for loss — five forced fumbles and three blocked punts.
QB: Braden Wingle, junior, Bakersfield Christian
The junior set the Central Section single-season record with 4,392 passing yards as the Eagles advanced to the CIF State D-4AA finals. He threw for 46 touchdown passes with 16 interceptions and had a season-high 484 yards in the D-III playoff opener against Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial.
RB: Robert Cozine, senior, Taft
His total of 2,729 rushing yards set the single-season school record and is seventh in Central Section history. He rushed for more than 400 yards in two games and scored 28 touchdowns for the Wildcats.
RB: Eli’sha Ortiz, senior, Stockdale
The senior captain and first-team SWYL running back rushed for 1,260 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also caught 25 passes for 433 yards and another four TDs.
OL: Sean Hatten, senior, Garces
The first-team SWYL lineman, who is committed to Montana State, helped a balanced and explosive Rams offense that averaged 204 yards passing and 207 rushing yards.
OL: Daniel Schoene, senior, Bakersfield
A leading factor in the Drillers’ offensive resurgence, the 6-foot-6 guard was a menacing force in the run game and a key blocker for the BHS pass offense that averaged nearly 200 yards through the air. He is verbally committed to UNLV.
OL: Michael Bray, junior, Liberty
He was the leader of a young offensive line for the Patriots, who advanced to the D-I semifinals while playing two quarterbacks and three starting running backs.
OL: Maino Maino, senior, Taft
The leading blocker as Robert Cozine broke the school single-season rushing record, he paved the way for the Wildcats’ potent offensive attack and was named first-team all-South Sequoia League.
OL: Bryce Underwood, junior, Bakersfield
He played a crucial role for BHS as the Drillers used three quarterbacks this season. The offensive line helped steady the Drillers with each signal-caller as the team rushed for more than 250 yards a game and averaged 195 yards passing.
WR: Tahj Wright, sophomore, Bakersfield
The 10th-grader had enough big plays for his own individual highlight reel, with three one-handed catches and a bevy of big plays. He finished with 29 grabs for 711 yards and six touchdowns.
WR: Cole Beaty, senior, Centennial
Slowed early with an injury suffered during the summer, the senior led Centennial with 31 catches for 448 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also a standout on defense with three interceptions and an explosive playmaker in the return game. He is mulling over several Division I scholarship offers.
Util: Jamar Moya, senior, Ridgeview
The South Yosemite League offensive MVP led Ridgeview to a fourth consecutive Central Section title game. He led the Wolf Pack at quarterback and also lined up up at running back and defensive back. He’ll play college football at Sacramento State.
Util: Shane Jones, junior, Bakersfield
In his first season on varsity, he became a do-it-all playmaker for the Drillers, leading a deep backfield with 835 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Powerful but also speedy, he added 29 catches for 573 yards and another four TDs.
K: Brandon Villalobos, senior, Garces
Steady and calm, the senior was 8 of 9 on field-goal attempts with a long of 41 yards. He also converted 90 percent (49 of 54) of his PAT attempts for the explosive Garces offense.
DL: Gabe Cherry, senior, Centennial
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive lineman, who will play at Cal, was a force for the Golden Hawks. He recorded 50 tackles, 8 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks despite being double- and triple-teamed all year.
DL: Jacob Vasquez, senior, Bakersfield
A leader up front for the Drillers on defense, he was a key run-stopper with double-digit tackles for loss and was constantly in opposing backfields disrupting the passing game.
DL: Bryson McCathron, senior, Highland
The Southeast Yosemite League defensive MVP tallied 106 tackles and led the Scots with 15 sacks despite being undersized at 5-foot-9 and barely more than 200 pounds.
DL: Lorenzo Hidalgo, senior, Liberty
Stepped up as the leader on the defensive line for Liberty after Arizona-bound teammate Kurtis Brown was lost for the season with injury. Hidalgo tallied 30 tackles, had four sacks and was a key run-stopper for the Patriots.
LB: Jack Tobias, junior, Garces
The first-team all-SWYL linebacker was all over the field, leading the Rams with 110 tackles. He had double-digit tackles in seven of Garces’ 11 games, with a season-best 14 against Arroyo Grande.
LB: Zach Griffin, senior, Liberty
The Patriots’ emotional leader led the team with 84 tackles as a sideline-to-sideline linebacker. He also had a team-high five sacks and played a role on offense as a running back.
LB: James Thomas, senior, Independence
A two-way standout at offensive line and linebacker, he helped lead the Falcons to a share of the South Yosemite League title with three sacks and crucial play as a run-stopping specialist.
DB: Amir Knox, senior, Ridgeview
The three-year starter for Ridgeview was once again was one of the top defensive backs in the section. He was an all-SYL safety and will play college football at UC Davis. He has a 3.0 GPA.
DB: Navonte Demison, senior, Bakersfield
Playing football for the first time since his freshman year, the 138-pound state wrestling champion quickly became a shutdown corner for BHS. In the postseason, he also became a factor on offense — catching the winning touchdown against Fresno-Central in the Division I section title game — and as a kick returner.
DB: Chris Coleman, senior, Garces
In his only season at Garces, he was a two-way standout for the Rams. Coleman, who’s committed to Fresno State, had four interceptions and also was a key receiver on offense.
Util: Justin McGill, junior, Bakersfield
He was the leading receiver for BHS, but his contributions on the defensive side of the ball were just as spectacular. He had two interceptions and was an all-SWYL defensive back.
P: Carson Olivas, senior, Bakersfield
He averaged 37.4 yards per punt for the Drillers, with a season-best punt of 65 yards. He also dropped 18 of 36 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, a key to giving the BHS defense great field position.
QB: Aries Harris, senior, South
RB: Isaiah Martin, junior, Garces
RB: Cezar Prieto, senior, Wasco
OL: Lucas Bushnell, senior, Frontier
OL: Bobby Gallegos, senior, Tehachapi
OL: Brett Schuler, senior, Bakersfield Christian
OL: Jack Apodaca, senior, Centennial
OL: Jaime Duarte, senior, Independence
WR: Jaleyn Prevost, senior, Ridgeview
WR: Javier Fernandez, senior, Chavez
Util: Scott Boylan, senior, Garces
Util: Marcus Cornford, senior, Frontier
Util: Josh Maran, senior, Bakersfield
DL: Ryan White, senior, Bakersfield
DL: Gio Ramirez, senior, Stockdale
DL: Taeber Nylander, senior, Bakersfield Christian
LB: Dustin Reed, senior, North
LB: Jackson Caudle, senior, Tehachapi
LB: Elyjah Chester, senior, Bakersfield Christian
DB: Luke Fringer, senior, Liberty
DB: Caden Ochoa, senior, Bakersfield
DB: Cameron Williams, sophomore, Bakersfield
DB: Joe Robinson, senior, East
Util: Steven Figures, senior, Bakersfield Christian
Util: Steven Marks, senior, Bakersfield
Arvin: Rafael Velasquez
Bakersfield: Ryan Crowley, Trayvone Jackson, Isaiah Jernigan, Adrian Moreno
Bakersfield Christian: Tate Eenigenburg, Jason Gauthier, Brock Holloway, Jordan Smith, Alex Wallace
Centennial: Will Alexander, Cole Anderson, Brady Banuelos, Isaac Brown, Hunter Giulietti, Marcos Varela
Chavez: Humberto Cazares, Javier Esparza, Manuel Gamboa, Adrian Hernandez, Vincent Jacobo, Diego Manavilla, Clemente Montes, Deion Perkins, Juan Sandoval, Javier Silva
Desert: Jacarrie Banks, Scott Bonham, Lontrelle Diggs, Caden Hinton
East: Chris Allen, David Ceja, Richard Lara, Alan Lopez, Raymond Marquez, Ricardo Mendoza, Matt Serna
Foothill: James Ehoff, Gabriel Johnson, Mark Gallegos, Valetine Murillo, Hugo Santana
Frontier: Kobie Budak, Steven Garcia, Greg Smith, Greg Youngblood
Garces: LeBrevon Austin, Conor Bruce, Beck Dobrzanksi, Michael Georgino, Brian Pantoja, Cam Roberson, Joe Tobias
Golden Valley: Roberto Enriquez, Carl Jones, Da’vione Thomasson
Highland: Zeke Arambulo, Jason Carter, Isaac Garcia, Gabriel Johnson, Isidro Reyes, Rodney Rhoden, Joshua Yubeta
Independence: JR Layman, RJ Layman, Taryn Young, Devon Zinn
Kennedy: Eddie Carlson, Daniel Flores, Luis Perez, Devon Lee, Roman Prieto, Omar Sakr
Kern Valley: Zach Bushling, Hunter Ellis, Trevor Hurley, Kyle Kopperman, Conrad Miller
Liberty: Brock Anderson, Kurtis Brown, Isaiah Hill, Cameron Meek, Sam Stewart, Daniel Viveros
McFarland: Ribaldo Hernandez
Mira Monte: Cristian Rodriguez, Hahkeem Taylor, Angel Torres
North: Josef Davidson, Marley Garnett, James Johnson, Daniel Krasky, Bradley Mouser, Connor Whitbey
Ridgeview: Anthony Alcaide, Cayden Cox, Ruben Cruz, Keonte Glinton, Tye Johnson, Shon Stephens
Rosamond: Mario Aparicio
Shafter: Alex Aguilar, Mike Orsorio, Steve Perez, Juan Terraza
South: Ceyonte Bell, Jared Carter, Johnny Garcia, Gabriel Guinto, Antonio McThrow, Dorian
Mitchell, Eric Renteria, Johnny Sanders, Michael Williams
Stockdale: Brian Abbott, Austin Gutierrez, Nick Maiden, Spencer Nieblas, Jacob Ruley, Jalen Smith, Harrison Taylor
Taft: Jordy Cazares, Benjamin Gallegos, Cameron Ginn, Jacob Gonzales, Setefano Maui
Tehachapi: Favian Garcia, Tanner Herman, Troy Noda, Keyron Scott
Wasco: Isaac Bocker, Ricky Contreras, Zach Derington, Luis Solis, Bradley Tijerina