Several standouts were honored at the 2017 Grizzlies football awards banquet on Sunday.
The banquet was held to honor the Mariposa County High School football players and their success this season. Varsity head coach Ryan Oliphant as well as the other coaches at MCHS presented the winners of each award with plaques.
The event was held at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. Parents and friends enjoyed it with a hamburger lunch, provided by the local Lions Club.
The academic excellence award, given to the student athletes with the highest of the season grade point average (GPA) at each grade level, was awarded to freshmen Lane Holt, Tyler Richards and Trevor McClard, sophomore Ramiro Marquez, junior Jaq Quinn and senior Jesse Williams.
The Most Improved Player (a JV award only) was given to Marquez.
The Outstanding Defensive Lineman award was given to Colton Hopman at the JV level and Anthony Patterson at the varsity level.
The Outstanding Offensive Back was given to Logan Donati.
“He was undersized,” said Oliphant, “but he was not afraid to make contact.”
The Outstanding Special Teams players was given to Hopman at the JV level and Colton Weidner at the varsity level.
Weidner had 14 punts which landed inside the 20-yard-line of opponents.
“He takes pride in special teams,” Oliphant said.
The Outstanding Linebacker was Jake Swift at the JV level and Ryan Leonard at the varsity level.
Assistant coach Robert Stitt said Leonard has “great instincts” and “did a great job for us.”
The Outstanding Receiver was Christian Stockwell at the JV level and Leo Kari at the varsity level.
“He’s a likable young man with a ton of potential,” Oliphant said of Kari.
The Oustanding Defensive Back was Marquez at the JV level and Dalton Talbot at the varsity level.
“He was our best cover corner and one of our better tacklers,” Oliphant said of Talbot.
The Outstanding Offensive Lineman was Holt at the JV level and Jaq Quinn at the varsity level.
“It was a tough choice,” Stitt said of the varsity nomination.
The Most Inspirational Player (a JV only award) was Hopman, who JV coach Don Stein said “made a difference on the field with his attitude.” The award is issued to the player who displayed the most heart and passion for the game, as well as leadership and work ethic.
The Next Man Up Award (a varsity only award) was given to Aleks Radonic. This is for the player that was not projected as a starter but earned significant playing time through hard work.
The Quarterback Club Award Winner was Carson Arebalo at the JV level and Johnathan Chapman at the varsity level.
This is selected by the coaches as the unsung hero of the team. These players did not necessarily receive the same attention as others on the team, but were valuable to the team’s success.
The Grizzly Pride Award Winner was given to Swift at the JV level and Quinn at the varsity level.
This award is selected by coaches as the player that displayed outstanding sportsmanship, leadership and school pride on and off the field. These players also have exemplary character and commitment to teammates, school and community.
The Tommy Holt Memorial (a varsity only award) was given to Leonard.
This award honors former Grizzly great Tommy Holt, who embodied pride, hard work and determination.
“He’s one of the grittiest players on the team,” Oliphant said of Leonard.
The Offensive Player of the Year for the JV level was Stockwell and for the varsity level was Weidner.
“He’s very coachable,” Oliphant said of Weidner.
The Defensive Player of the Year at the JV level was Hopman and at the varsity level was Alden Dutrey.
Stitt said the award was between Leonard, JC Davies and Dutrey.
“Alden is our game changer,” Stitt said.
In a lighter moment, Oliphant joked that Dutrey also led the team in personal fouls.
The Most Valuable Player at the JV level was Hopman. At the varsity level, there were Co-MVPs, Leonard and JC Davies.
It was the first year on the varsity level for Davies, a wide receiver and utility player on defense.
Griz land several All-Leaguers
Some of the Grizzly football athletes were honored as All-Southern League performers.
This means they were voted as some of the best players in the league.
Mariposa County High School’s Ryan Leonard and Leo Kari were First Team selections, while Jaq Quinn, Colton Weidner, Alden Dutrey, Dalton Talbot and JC Davies were Second Team Selections.
Logan Donati and Casey Miller were honorable mention selections.
Leonard (lineman/linebacker), Kari (wide receiver), Quinn (offensive lineman), Weidner (quarterback), Dutrey (defensive end), Talbot (defensive back), Davies (utility defender), Donati (running back) and Miller (wide receiver) helped MCHS to a 4-3 league record and propelled the Grizzlies to a playoff appearance.
Gustine running back Oliver Perez and Orestimba middle linebacker Octavio Perez were named co- MVPs. The awards were determined through a vote of the league’s coaches.
Orestimba’s Aaron Souza was named Coach of the Year after helping to lead his team to the Southern League title and 7-0 league record.