All Empire football selections


Offensive Player of the Year
POUEU PELETI-GORE, senior, Rancho Cotate, RB

Poueu Peleti-Gore, Casa Grande, large-school offensive player of the year. Photo by Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat

Running back Brian Dworkin had the gaudy yardage for Rancho Cotate this year. Lineman Nick Reynolds had the attention of the scouts. But if any one person made the Cougars’ offense go, it was Peleti-Gore, who handled Ed Conroy’s system with uncommon dexterity.

“Poueu is the best option quarterback I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some good ones,” Conroy said.

Other North Bay League coaches agree.

“I think Peleti-Gore is maybe the best Rancho quarterback we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Cardinal Newman’s Paul Cronin said. “He’s tough, he runs real well and he has a great feel for the option. We beat ’em eight straight games. This year, they didn’t change anything tactically. He and Dworkin were just able to change the numbers.”

Behind Peleti-Gore, the Cougars not only vanquished Newman en route to the NBL championship. They stormed through the North Coast Section Division 2 playoffs and fell 16 seconds short of beating Concord in the title game.

— Phil Barber, The Press Democrat

QB: Nick Sherry, Casa Grande, Sr.
RB: Carson Seanor, Healdsburg, Sr.
RB: Brian Dworkin, Rancho Cotate, Sr.
WR: Aaron Dhuyvetter, Ukiah, Sr.
WR: Joe Douglass, El Molino, Sr.
TE: Roman Jennings, Petaluma, Jr.
OL: Nick Reynolds, Rancho Cotate, Soph.
OL: Pete Winters, Santa Rosa, Jr.
OL: Ben Rhoades, El Molino, Sr.
OL: Thomas Kupelian, Casa Grande, Jr.
OL: Dante Cattaneo, Montgomery, Jr.
K/P: Lee Aranda, Windsor, Sr.

QB: Mike Pierson, El Molino, Sr.
RB: Stephen Tomasin, Cardinal Newman, Jr.
RB: Javonie Oden, Casa Grande, Sr.
WR: Chris Quock, Cardinal Newman, Sr.
WR: Aaron Maher, Analy, Soph.
TE: Tyler White, Casa Grande, Sr.
OL: Christian Alvarez, Cardinal Newman, Sr.
OL: Daniel Schennone, Windsor, Sr.
OL: Justin Oxford, Windsor, Sr.
OL: Joe Munayer, Rancho Cotate, Sr.
OL: Jimmy Conklin, Maria Carrillo, Sr.
K/P: Adrian Rubio, Cardinal Newman, Sr.


Defensive Player of the Year
MAKANA GARRIGAN, senior, Casa Grande, DB

Makana Garrigan, Casa Grande, large-school defensive player of the year. Photo by Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat

The toughest decision this year was not whether Garrigan deserved an honor; it was where to put him.

He could have been Offensive Player of the Year (53 receptions, 776 yards, 11 touchdowns) or, if we included such a category, Special Teamer of the Year (three TDs on punt and kickoff returns, excellent punting).

On defense, Garrigan directed a tough Gauchos unit from his safety position.

“Makana was our heart and soul,” Casa coach Trent Herzog said of the three-year varsity starter. “Look at the games in which we were down — Windsor, Carrillo. He brought us back. We were losing to Ukiah in the third quarter, and he returned a punt 77 yards. In the Analy game, they had just upset Healdsburg and were really fired up, and he returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown.”

Garrigan had 124 tackles and four interceptions.

— Phil Barber, The Press Democrat

DL: Mike Tuaua, Rancho Cotate, Sr.
DL: Gary Randolph, Healdsburg, Sr.
DL: Garrett Guanella, Cardinal Newman, Sr.
LB: Sam Atoe, Maria Carrillo, Sr.
LB: Mike Ielmorini, Casa Grande, Sr.
LB: Kevin Brown, Windsor, Sr.
LB: Ben Brooks, Ukiah, Sr.
DB: Tim Moreno, Cardinal Newman, Sr.
DB: Brian Albin, Cardinal Newman, Sr.
DB: Anthony Poole, Casa Grande, Sr.
DB: Cooper Maloney, Analy, Sr.

DL: Matt Hunn, Rancho Cotate, Sr.
DL: Mat Floerke, Casa Grande, Sr.
DL: Matt Spillane, Healdsburg, Sr.
LB: Vaimaa Taito, Rancho Cotate, Jr.
LB: Darrian Roman, Windsor, Jr.
LB: Matt Bowman, Cardinal Newman, Sr.
LB: Jonathon Cole, Casa Grande, Sr.
DB: Alex Ciudad-Real, Montgomery, Sr.
DB: Justin Martin, Rancho Cotate, Sr.
DB: Adam Nazibian, Petaluma, Sr.
DB: Nick Pinney, Maria Carrillo, Jr.

Paul Cronin, Cardinal Newman


Offensive Player of the Year
DAVID PIKE, senior, Middletown, RB

David Pike, Middletown, small-school offensive player of the year. Photo by Jeff Kan Lee / The Press Democrat

Middletown didn’t just achieve this year. The Mustangs stampeded through small-school football like their tails were on fire.

Check out this four-game stretch in the middle of the 2010 season: 56-0 over Kelseyville, 51-0 over Lower Lake, 49-0 over Willits and 56-0 over St. Helena.

The focal point of the offensive mayhem was Pike, who ran for 1,810 yards and 33 touchdowns on 176 attempts. All told, the 190-pound halfback with the great vision and quick first step scored 36 touchdowns, a new Lake County record.

“What’s impressive is that in eight of 14 games, David only played in the first half,” said his coach, Bill Foltmer. “Against all those NCL I South schools, the games were really over in the first quarter.”

Middletown took a 12-1 record into the North Coast Section Division 4 championship game, but fell 28-21 to Salesian in overtime.

— Phil Barber, The Press Democrat


QB: Brandon Freitas, Fort Bragg, Sr.
RB: Charles Bertoli, St. Helena, Jr.
RB: Caleb Cunha, Fort Bragg, Sr.
WR: Cody Ryden, Fort Bragg, Sr.
WR: John-Wesley Davis, Middletown, Sr.
TE: Chris Oatman, Middletown, Sr.
OL: Nick Dellia, Middletown, Jr.
OL: Ian McCaffrey, St. Helena, Jr.
OL: Julio Gonzalez, Clear Lake, Jr.
OL: Rafael Cendejas, Calistoga, Sr.
OL: Josh Nelsen, Fort Bragg, Sr.
K/P: Danny Cardenas, Middletown, Sr.

QB: Michael Blackburn, Anderson Valley, Sr.
RB: Nick Rodrigues, Kelseyville, Sr.
RB: Geno Poloni, Kelseyville, Sr.
WR: Josh Mehta, St. Vincent, Sr.
WR: Alphonsos Daniels, Lower Lake, Jr.
TE: Ricky Becerra, Tomales, Sr.
OL: Sean Thornton, Fort Bragg, Sr.
OL: Mike Sutton, Upper Lake, Sr.
OL: Michael Ventresca, Clear Lake, Sr.
OL: Cody Torres, Lower Lake, Sr.
OL: David Whalin, St. Helena, Sr.
K/P: Danny Sanchez, Tomales, Sr.


Defensive Player of the Year
JAKE DAVIS, senior, Middletown, LB

Jake Davis, Middletown, small-school defensive player of the year. Photo by Jeff Kan Lee / The Press Democrat

If Davis hadn’t missed five games with an injury, he might have ended up edging his teammate for offensive player of the year. As it was, by the time the two-way star returned to action, Pike had already established himself as a dominant runner. So Davis, while rushing for 490 yards and leading interference as a physical fullback on offense, focused on the linebacker position.

“I think he showed against El Molino and Healdsburg (in NCS playoff victories) that he’d be an impressive linebacker at any size school, which makes him even tougher against small schools,” Middletown coach Bill Foltmer said.

“He’s one of the best players we’ve ever had. He’s a student of the game, he works hard in the weight room. He worked with the track team to increase his speed. And he lives and breathes football. It’s the only sport he plays.”

Davis is a three-time all-league selection.

— Phil Barber, The Press Democrat

DL: Charlie Kain-Williams, Tomales, Sr.
DL: Luke Parker, Middletown, Sr.
DL: Jacob Gallagher, St. Helena, Jr.
DL: James Green, Kelseyville, Jr.
LB: Jeremy Hoefer, Middletown, Sr.
LB: Tyler Lander, Fort Bragg, Jr.
LB: Devin Baker, Kelseyville, Jr.
DB: Michael Davis, Kelseyville, Sr.
DB: Connor Chick, Middletown, Sr.
DB: Devante Scott, Lower Lake, Sr.
DB: Vinnie Magliulo, St. Vincent, Sr.

DL: Jamie Lopez, Clear Lake, Sr.
DL: Justin Kehoe, Tomales, Jr.
DL: Michael Allen, Kelseyville, Sr.
DL: Ky Laiwa, Point Arena, Sr.
LB: Alex Quirici, St. Helena, Jr.
LB: D.J. Brookshire, Middletown, Jr.
LB: Jose Vega, Calistoga, Jr.
DB: Tanner Mansell, Clear Lake, Sr.
DB: Brian Begerow, St. Helena, Jr.
DB: Victor Haro, Cloverdale, Sr.
DB: Steven Edwards, Clear Lake, Jr.

Bill Foltmer, Middletown