Eight-man football awards announced
Western 1A all-division
Co-Players of the Year: Corey Huber, sr., Whittell; Jordan Sequeira, sr., Virginia City.
Offensive MVP: Isaiah Womack, jr., Whittell
Defensive MVP: Evan Breckenridge, sr., Virginia City
Coach of the Year: Todd Sceirine, Smith Valley
Team Sportsmanship: Coleville
Quarterback: Yoni Covarrubias, sr., Smith Valley.
Running back: Wyatt Pieretti, jr., Virginia City; Robert McFalls, jr., Mineral County.
Receiver/Tight end: Tanner Uken, sr., Virginia City; Vic Montoya, sr., Mineral County.
Offensive Line: Riley Carbiener, sr., Virginia City; Connor Huber, sr., Whittell; Isaiah Yonehiro, sr., Smith Valley; Michael Buis, sr., Excel Christian.
Linebacker: Tabor Fletcher, jr., Virginia City; Gunnar Barnwell, jr., Whittell; Dalton Warswick, jr., Whittell; Evan Myers, sr., Smith Valley.
Defensive line: Joe Avendano, jr., Virginia City; Bastion Elkins, sr., Whittell; James Allen, sr., Mineral County.
Defensive Back: Genaro Mena, sr., Whittell; Tanner Uken, sr., Virginia City.
Place kicker: John Miles, so., Sierra Lutheran.
Punter: Gavin Meares, sr., Virginia City.
Returner: Robert McFalls, jr., Mineral County.
Quarterback: Andrew Robles, sr., Coleville.
Running back: Austin Tweedy, sr., Mineral County; Jeshua Fixel, jr., Excel Christian.
Receiver/Tight end: Gavin Meares, sr., Virginia City; Nick Buchholz, sr., Whittell; Kaleb Denson, jr., Excel Christian.
Offensive Line: Peyton Hedwall, sr., Sierra Lutheran; Nate Harrison, sr., Virginia City; Caleb Howes, sr., Excel Christian.
Linebacker: Alejandro Gomez, jr., Coleville; Connor Huber, sr., Whittell; Damian Rainbow, sr., Virginia City; Yoni Covarrubias, sr., Smith Valley.
Defensive Back: Nathan Waite, jr., Sierra Lutheran; Tony Torres, so., Mineral County.
Defensive line: Alex Byer, sr., Whittell; Riley Carbiener, sr., Virginia City; Trevor Gregg, jr., Smith Valley.
Sierra Lutheran High’s John Miles earned first-team honors as a placekicker and Coleville received the Team Sportsmanship Award as part of the recently announced Western 1A 8-man football all-division list.
Coleville (3-5 overall, 2-5 league) places high emphasis on the Sportsmanship Award, coach Will Sandy pointed out.
“I have always believed that athletics is important because it allows us to emphasize life skills such as hard work, discipline, and ethical values,” said Sandy, whose 162 career wins at Coleville since 1990 now ranks among the top seven all-time in the NIAA football record book. “For the most part, I have just continued with what I learned from my mentor, Jackie Giorgi (former Coleville coach and athletic administrator). She always emphasized being a scholar-athlete and sportsmanship to her athletes.”
Miles was honored for the second straight year at kicker. The 5-foot-9, 150-pound sophomore converted 6-of-8 PAT attempts and 2-of-4 field goal attempts this season. He kicked a 33-yard field goal against Excel Christian and a 35-yarder at Coleville.
“We’re very proud of him,” Sierra Lutheran’s first-year head coach Delbert Bugg said. “He’s an incredible kicker, he kicks 40-yarders in practice. And the good news is, he has another two years to grow and get better for us.”
By the way, kickers are not frequently seen in 8-man football. Virginia City’s Price Poston was 3-of-6, including what is believed to be a state 8-man record 52-yarder in 2015.
“Everything is a lot closer, a lot tighter, so there is very little room for error. Everything has to be just right,” said Bugg, who added that Austin Stone was the snapper and Nathan Waite the holder for the team’s kick attempts.
Miles led Sierra Lutheran (1-7, 1-6) in scoring with 30 points, including a team-best 11 pass receptions for 190 yards (17.3-yard average) with three touchdowns.
“He is very fast and has good hands; he has developed as a good all-around football player,” Bugg said.
Coleville also had two players selected to the second-team: Andrew Robles at quarterback and Alejandro Gomez at linebacker. Sierra Lutheran offensive lineman Peyton Hedwall and Waite as a defensive back were also second-team selections.
Robles, a three-year starter for the Wolves, was a dual threat at quarterback as he completed 91 of 187 passes for 1,139 yards and 14 TDs and rushed for 457 yards (8.2-yards per carry) with 10 TDs.
“The plan was for Andrew to gradually learn the ropes of being a quarterback his sophomore year and then take over as a starter his junior year,” Sandy said of Robles. “He was thrust into a starting role the first game of his sophomore year when the senior ahead of him was removed from the team. He learned under fire his sophomore year and really played well his last two years.”
Gomez led the Wolves in tackles with 82 (50 were solo) and sacks with 4.5. The 5-10, 189-pound junior also led the team in rushing with 790 yards, plus he scored 62 points with nine TDs.
“We are very proud of Alejandro,” Sandy said. “He was unable to participate in the sports program last year because of some bad choices, but has really turned it around and is now succeeding in all aspects of his life.”
Hedwall, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound senior, was a mainstay on the offensive line and recognized as the Most Inspirational Player at the team’s awards banquet on Tuesday night.
“Peyton is a special kid who exemplifies the attitude of this team,” Bugg said of Hedwall, a four-year varsity veteran who also anchored the defensive line. “He’s a big guy who has worked very hard in the weight room to get stronger, and more important, he has a lot of heart.”
Hedwall also served as co-captain for the Falcons, along with fellow seniors Ethan Brough and Stone.
Waite, a junior, led the Falcons in tackles with 70 (50 solo) and interceptions with three. Waite played as a hybrid linebacker and defensive back in Sierra Lutheran’s defensive scheme.
“Nathan is an incredibly hard worker and a student of the game,” Bugg said of Waite. “He hates to come off the field … he always wants to help the team whenever possible.”
Four-year veteran Judson Roberts — an “undersized” lineman who plays with “dedication, according to Sandy — and sophomore Jacob Anderson — the “toughest nosed player on the team” — were honorable mention selections for Coleville.
Quinn Cummings and Rocky Dimartino were honorable mention selections for Sierra Lutheran.