Football: Tigers fare well in regional postseason awards
December 5, 2012
The All-Northern Division I football awards were announced last week with a number of Douglas athletes earning high marks.
The awards were voted on by coaches at the 11 Division I schools.
Douglas senior Conner Peterson was named the Sierra League Co-Player of the Year, along with first team All-Northern Division I running back honors, and first-team All-Sierra League running back and second-team all-league linebacker nods.
The accolades came on the heels of Peterson’s record-breaking career during which he rushed for 3,883 yards and 42 touchdowns in three seasons. During the past season, he ran for 1,471 yads and 15 touchdowns and caught 36 passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s hard to put things into words with Conner,” Douglas coach Ernie Monfiletto said. “Here’s a kid that has anchored our running game for three years. He’s really grown as a player.
“After his sophomore year, I think some people just assumed his production would be automatic. But there was nobody that worked harder in the weight room or in the offseason than he did.
“I think sometimes you get a kid who has all the talent in the world but doesn’t do anything with it. This was a kid that had all the talent, but committed himself to getting every ounce of ability out of it. He was a threat running the ball and he was a threat catching it. As a one-back offense, our opponents made it a focus to defend him, and he overcame a whole lot to put up the numbers he did.”
Also claiming first-team all-region honors was senior wide receiver Dusty Fisher (65 catches, 1,167 yards, 15 touchdowns). He earned first-team all-league honors at receiver and second-team all-league honors as a return specialist.
“All you could do was shake your head with some of the circus catches he would make,” Monfiletto said. “He was fantastic for us and was just a major cog in the wheel.”
Senior quarterback Michael Nolting was edged out in all-region voting by Reed senior Mark Nowaczewski, but Nolting locked down first-team All-Sierra League honors after completing 177 of 246 passes for 2,504 yards and 23 touchdowns.
“Michael is a kid that stumbled on an opportunity as a junior and then just took it and ran with it,” Monfiletto said. “His ability to throw under duress was unparalelled. He had great vision down the field and just had an uncanny ability to make things happen. When you brough him in and he was focused, there was just none better.”
Also getting first-team all-league mentions were senior tackle Sean Jones and junior defensive tackle Zach Kinder.
“Sean, I think in many ways, was the heart and sould of this team,” Monfiletto said. “He was our emotional leader, just comes from a fantastic family and he has great faith, speaking spiritually. I’m not sure we get where we were without him.
“Zach is a two-year starter for us and we’re going to be looking to him to fill a lot of the roles Sean did this year for us. He put in the work and got better every game.”
Kinder was a second-team all-league center while receiver Wes Hundley, guard Conner Miller, kicker Conner Greth, defensive tackle Zach Moehle, defensive end Cody Hayes and defensive back Taylor Souza all made the second team as well.
“Zach Moehle was probably one of our most improved players from the end of last year to the end of this year,” Monfiletto said. “He had a lot to prove coming into the summer and ended up being one of our most productive linemen.
“Cody Hayes is a kid that started out at running back and linebacker, we moved him to defensive end, ended up moving him to offensive guard as a backup at one point and he finished the year playing some fullback for us. Everything we asked him, he was eager to do. Just the ultimate team player.”
Wrapping up the all-league honors were AJ Pfaffenberger at wide receiver, Greth at punter and Jones at defensive end.