Editor's note: 2010 was my third year covering football for West Valley Preps and the first year I had it together enough to put together an All West Valley Preps. This was posted Dec. 23, 2010 about five websites and three servers ago. So I was thrilled to find this online recently. Enjoy - Richard Smith
For the all westvalleypreps.com team, we decided to honor three running backs on the first and second team, owing to the run-heavy offenses most Northwest Valley teams employ. Because of the popularity of spread offenses, fullbacks and tight ends are now listed under specialists. The defense is a 3-4 thanks to the number of top linebackers at local high schools. Players may only be selected for offense or defense and are listed at the position they played most of the season:
QB — Andre Gattie, junior, Liberty.
RB — Casey Jahn, junior, Northwest Christian.
RB — Trae Armstrong, junior, Deer Valley.
RB — Lashunn Norris, senior, Cactus.
WR — Gary Ross, senior, Centennial.
WR — Gary Chambers, senior, Ironwood.
C — Jake Abbott, senior, Centennial.
G — Denzel Dotson, junior, Cactus.
G — Travis Linser, senior, Northwest Christian.
T — Ryan Nowicki, senior, Cactus.
T — Travis Seefeldt, seniior, Liberty.
DT — Cody Harris, senior, Cactus.
DE — Dylan Contreras, senior, Peoria.
DE — Mark Grant, senior, Valley Vista.
LB — Tevin Ray, senior, Centennial.
LB — Austin Hasquet, senior, Liberty.
LB — Tony Troftgruben, senior, Sunrise Mountain.
LB — Spencer Hammitt, senior, Mountain Ridge.
CB — Julien Singleton, senior, Centennial.
CB — Chris Chapman, junior, Peoria.
S — Zach Hoffpauir, junior, Centennial.
S — Chris Morales, senior, Peoria.
QB — Hunter Young, senior, Mountain Ridge.
RB — P.J. Sparks, senior, Mountain Ridge.
RB — Vegas Johnson, senior, Centennial.
RB — Garrick Shelton, senior, Willow Canyon.
WR — Wes Meridith, junior, Mountain Ridge.
WR — Paul Panaccione, junior, Liberty.
C — Willam Hurst, senior, Willow Canyon.
G — Colton Varner, senior, Peoria.
G — Connor Sterett, senior, Liberty.
T — Hunter Finn, senior, Centennial.
T — Stephen Arnold, junior, Deer Valley.
DT — Jesse Brown, senior, Mountain Ridge.
DE — Jon Moeck, senior, Cactus.
DE — Ceaser Garcia, senior, Dysart.
LB — Jebron Harrington, senior, Centennial.
LB — Ben Kullos, junior, Liberty.
LB — Guy Williams, junior, Cactus.
LB — John Reed, junior, Deer Valley.
CB — Chris Jennings, junior, Cactus.
CB — Lucas Gardona, senior, Mountain Ridge.
S — Streeter Turner, junior, Willow Canyon.
S — Hayden Anderson, junior, Northwest Christian.
FB — Patrick Pontarelli, junior, Willow Canyon.
TE — Jason McAuley, senior, Peoria.
K — Ryan Hawkins, junior, Sunrise Mountain.
P — Bryce Perez, junior, Peoria.
KR — Andrew DiCarlo, senior, Ironwood.
PR — Gary Ross, senior, Centennial.
Offensive Player of the Year: Casey Jahn, RB, Northwest Christian — The state’s leading rusher with 2,583 yards had one of the best years of any Arizona player, regardless of classification. First-year coach Dave Inness built his offense around the Peoria native, who rewarded him with a 12-1 record and the school’s first 2A state championship. Jahn now has the single-season state rushing record and is only 767 yards short of the career mark.
Runner-up: Gary Ross, WR, Centennial — Deadly with the ball in his hands, Ross could have put up bigger numbers but, as one of the state’s top cornerbacks, was needed to lock down opposing wideouts.
Defensive Player of the Year: Dylan Contreras, DE, Peoria — After starting the season at his natural linebacker position, Contreras agreed to move into the trenches to shore up the Panthers’ undersized defensive line. The results (107 tackles, 12 sacks) were impressive, but this award was about more than stats. His position change allowed Peoria to move around other players and get its fastest, best 11 on the field.
Runner-up: Zach Hoffpauir, S, Centennial — Possesses great anticipation, hands and brings the hammer. His 68-yard interception return against Marcos de Niza with the Padres threatening to break a 3-3 tie in the 5A-II quarterfinal is hands-down the play of the year locally.
Newcomer of the Year (award for first-year varsity player): Jalen Ortiz, Soph., RB, Centennial — Made his presence felt in the season-opening shootout with Chandler, scoring on an 83-yard scamper. Finished the season with 838 yards, 11 touchdowns and an average of nearly 11 yards per carry. Also lethal on punt returns, look for Ortiz in an expanded role next year.
Runner-up: Antony Thompson, Soph., RB, Willow Canyon — Filled in for bangerd-up star Garrick Shelton off-and-on all year. Was the lead back in the final two games against Boulder Creek and Deer Valley, and gained 394 yards in those two games.
Coach of the Year: Doug Clapp, Peoria: Larry Fetkenhier and Richard Taylor continued to win in pressure situations, Jim Carter (Sunrise Mountain) and Joe Kersting (Deer Valley) took their teams to the playoffs in their first year. Dan Filleman (Liberty) and Bobby Green (Mountain Ridge) put together top regular seasons — though first-round playoff losses put a damper on them. So why does Clapp win? Because Peoria improved more than any other team during the course of the season. Narrow wins over Buckeye and Copper Canyon, and convincing losses to Cactus and Saguaro portended a middling finish. But Clapp moved some pieces around — Contreras to defensive end, Jeremy Dang from safety to linebacker, Ira Rojas from receiver to tailback — which kick started an eight-game winning streak and another region title. Peoria pushed Cienega to the limits in the quarterfinals, too.
Runner-up: Dave Inness, Northwest Christian: What a head coaching debut for the longtime Valley assistant. With only five seniors returning, Inness reinvented the Crusaders program and was running out a dominant team by the end of the year.