By Jeffrey Jen
Foothill High School senior linebacker Mitchell McCarthy can tack on his biggest football honor yet to a list of them: Northern Section Defensive MVP.
McCarthy and seven other Cougars were named to All-Northern Section football team as selected by various media outlets from the section that ranges from Yreka down to East Nicolaus.
Paradise senior running back Jordan Dobrich was named the section Offensive MVP, leading a wave of nine Bobcats on the all-section squad. Durham’s Ryan Richardson was the Coach of the Year.
Shasta and D-II section champion Lassen had five selections apiece.
The all-section volleyball team had more of a southern bent this year as Pleasant Valley outside hitter Kiley Mansfield was the section MVP and Paradise’s John Parks the Coach of the Year. Only five of the 21 players hail from the north state, though Central Valley middle hitter Bre Mackie, Fall River setter Lauren Vestal and West Valley outside hitter Paige Adkins were first-team selections.
For football, Foothill was honored with five first-team selections after a 10-2 season that saw the Cougars reach the section D-I finals.
McCarthy was instrumental in that run, leading Foothill in tackles (135), sacks (9), forced fumbles (4) and fumble recoveries (3). He also had two interceptions and is a repeat first-team selection.
He is joined on the first-team defense by senior Josh Latham, who flexed from linebacker to defensive end on the Cougars’ 3-5 front. Though Latham is part of Foothill’s strong linebacking corps, he earned all-section honors at end after recording 84 tackles, six sacks and three forced fumbles.
The rest of the first-team defense features Lassen’s Cammo Miller and Paradise’s Brandon Larson at defensive tackle and Pleasant Valley’s Geoffrey Swaim at the other end. Paradise’s Dylan Franchi and Lassen’s Richard Murphy join McCarthy at linebacker while the cornerbacks are Maxwell’s Steven Perry and Live Oak’s Dylan Williams. Paradise’s Austin Thayer and Sutter’s Philip Robledo are the first-team safeties with Pleasant Valley’s Smith Heath the top punter.
Foothill had three first-team all-section choices on offense in wide receiver John Choate, quarterback Zach Ray and tackle Zach Alford.
Shasta also had two first-team choices as quarterback Clay Cavender was chosen as the top all-purpose player while Josh O’Dell earned a nod at tackle.
Cavender greatly improved as a passer as a senior, completing 64.6 percent of his passes for 1,767 yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions. But his running ability set him apart as he ran for 981 yards and 21 touchdowns on the season.
Ray had a strong season with his arm, completing nearly 51 percent of his passes for 2,210 yards, 24 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. Choate was his top target as the junior hauled in 46 catches for 961 yards and 10 scores.
The rest of the first-team offense featured Lassen Trevor Baum as the other wide receiver, Paradise’s Trevor Edgecomb at eight end, Paradise’s Kameron Brey at center and Pleasant Valley’s Jordan Rigsbee and Lassen’s Luke Peterson at guard. Wheatland’s Derick Seward joined Dobrich at running back and Hamilton’s Rigoberto Sanchez was the top kicker.
Shasta and Foothill had three all-section second-team players as well.
For the Wolves, guard Cody Ramage, linebacker Jacoby Oates and cornerback Nate Stephens were selected, while center Joey McKenzie, defensive tackle Luke Roi and safety Tucker Wilson were recognized for the Cougars.
West Valley linebacker Mitch Kinyon, the Northern Athletic League Defensive MVP, was a second-team choice while Corning running back Tyler McIntyre, the NAL Offensive MVP, also was on the second team.
Mansfield was the volleyball MVP after leading the section with 684 kills to go with 57 aces and even led the 43-6 Vikings with 362 digs. The senior outside hitter is headed to New Mexico State next season.
Mackie, a Long Beach State signee, landed on the first-team all-section team for the third straight year after helping the Falcons to a 19-7 season with 361 kills, 80 aces and 224 digs.
Vestal got the nod as a setter, but she split setting duties so she could hit the ball to the tune of 473 kills in leading the Bulldogs to their second straight D-VI section crown. Vestal also had 88 aces, 82 blocks, 312 assists and 158 digs.
Adkins was named the NAL MVP in helping the Eagles to another section title. Adkins had 317 kills, 37 aces and 337 digs on the season.
The rest of the first-team included Paradise outside hitter Paige Adkins, Pleasant Valley setter Daniella Lacroix and Hamilton’s Aubrey Bekendam as the top all-around player.
No area players were on the second team.
Adkins’ teammate, middle hitter Jessica Wilcox and Shasta outside hitter Mariah Gibson were third-team all-section choices. Wilcox had 237 kills and 38 blocks while earning all-league honors. Gibson led the 24-15 Wolves with 267 kills and was All-Eastern Athletic League North.
Pleasant Valley and Hamilton had three selections each, while West Valley, Chico and Paradise also had multiple players on the team.
Offensive MVP: Jordan Dobrich, Paradise
Defensive MVP: Mitchell McCarthy, Foothill
Coach: Ryan Richardson, Durham
FIRST TEAM Offense
QB — Zach Ray, Sr., Foothill
RB — Jordan Dobrich, Sr., Paradise
RB — Derick Seward, Sr., Wheatland
WR — Trevor Baum, Sr., Lassen
WR — John Choate, Jr., Foothill
TE — Trevor Edgecomb, Sr., Paradise
C — Kameron Brey, Sr., Paradise
G — Jordan Rigsbee, Sr., Pleasant Valley
G — Luke Peterson, Sr. Lassen
T — Zach Alford, Sr., Foothill
T — Josh O’Dell, Sr., Shasta
AP — Clay Cavender, Sr., Shasta
K — Rigoberto Sanchez, Jr., Hamilton
FIRST TEAM Defense
DT — Cammo Miller, Sr., Lassen
DT — Brandon Larson, Sr., Paradise
DE — Geoffrey Swaim, Sr., Pleasant Valley
DE — Josh Latham, Sr., Foothill
LB — Mitchell McCarthy, Sr., Foothill
LB — Dylan Franchi, Sr., Paradise
LB — Richard Murphy, Sr., Lassen
CB — Steven Perry, Sr., Maxwell
CB — Dylan Williams, Sr., Live Oak
S — Austin Thayer, Sr., Paradise
S — Philip Robledo, So., Sutter
P — Smith Heath, Sr., Pleasant Valley
SECOND TEAM Offense
QB — Nelson Fishback, Sr., Durham
RB — Alex Easley, Sr., Quincy
RB — Tyler McIntyre, Sr., Corning
WR — Jesse Holmes, So., Chico
WR — Jose Huerta, Sr., Orland
TE — Mario Rodriguez, Sr., Portola
C — Joey McKenzie, Sr., Foothill
G — Cody Ramage, Sr., Shasta
G — Tyler Neisen, Sr., Sutter
T — Colby Rice, Jr., Paradise
T — Drew McCowan, Sr., Lassen
AP — Tyler Wells, Sr., Maxwell
K — Jason Peck, Sr., Chico
SECOND TEAM Defense
DT — Luke Roi, Sr., Foothill
DT — Danny O’Brien, Sr., Paradise
DE — Ryan Valdez, Sr., Paradise
DE — Toby Auer, Jr., Durham
LB — Jacoby Oates, Sr., Shasta
LB — Mitch Kinyon, Sr., West Valley
LB — Thomas Aiono, Jr., Wheatland
CB — Nate Stephens, Sr., Shasta
CB — Lacarlis Moore, Sr., Wheatland
S — Tucker Wilson, Jr., Foothill
S — Cameron Brown, Sr., Sutter
P — Carlos Velazquez, Sr., Williams