Chavez coach John Ward has been selected to coach the 2015 Lions North All-Star football team. (MICHAEL MCCOLLUM/RECORD FILE PHOTO)
The 2015 Lions All-Star Football game, which will be played Saturday, June 13, at Wayne Schneider Stadium in Tracy, is having its media banquet Saturday and the rosters have been unveiled.
After guiding Chavez football to its first-ever league championship (the Titans went 4-1 in San Joaquin Athletic Association play), coach John Ward will be guiding the North, which is made up of 29 players, most of which are from The Record’s coverage area. Here’s a look at the list. Expect lots of Lions coverage as we get into June and the big game gets closer.
2015 NORTH ALL-STARS
Labron Alofaituli (Sierra LB, 6-2, 220)
- Alofaituli was a second-team All-Area defensive lineman, and Sierra coach Jeff Harbison said he vastly improved as the year wore on.
Chavez High tailback Priest Jennings (left) runs the ball as Edison's Kiante Bell tries to bring him down by his hair. (RECORD FILE PHOTO)
Kiante Bell (Edison UT/DB, 5-9, 160)
- Bell’s talents were hidden in a difficult year for Edison. This guy can run, catch, and thrive in special teams, tackling and pass coverage. He’ll play at NCAA Division II Chadron State in Nebraska with longtime friend and Chavez senior Priest Jennings (also a Lions All-Star).
Nate Brown (Tracy OL, 6-4, 250)
- Brown was a senior leader on a vastly underrated line for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I runner-up Bulldogs, as a first-team All-Area offensive lineman.
Edison High quarterback Sean Buligon (right) runs in his team's win over Stagg. (CALIXTRO ROMIAS/THE RECORD)
Sean Buligon (Edison QB, 6-0, 200)
- Buligon was the focal point of the Vikings’ run-heavy, offset veer offense, and was nails for them.
Chris Cannady (Lincoln WR/DB, 5-10, 170)
- Cannady was another underrated senior. He was quick and could catch, and was a viable sweeper option for the Trojans after transferring from Weston Ranch.
Darrell Clemons (Manteca OL, 6-2, 260)
- Clemons, a second-team All-Area offensive lineman, was a beast for the Buffaloes’ protection.
Kimball senior Rashaad Cooper is headed to Dartmouth College. (RECORD FILE PHOTO)
Rashaad Cooper (Kimball UT,/RB, 5-11, 190)
- Cooper, bound to play football at Dartmouth College, was an underrated running back for a struggling Jaguars team. He scored four rushing touchdowns in a loss to three-time defending state champion Central Catholic.
Tyler Cornwell (Stagg OL, 6-4, 330)
- Cornwell, who just signed with Sterling College in Kansas, teamed with fellow senior Tristen Taylor to block for a prolific Delta Kings offense.
Tokay football quarterback Grayson Dillon (front) threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers' 48-12 win over rival Lodi at the Grape Bowl. (JERRY R. TYSON/LODI NEWS-SENTINEL)
Grayson Dillon (Tokay QB, 5-10, 180)
- Dillon was a constant dual-threat quarterback, helping lead the Tigers to a program-record third consecutive playoff berth and a 7-4 record.
Demetrius Ferguson (St. Mary’s WR, 6-0, 160)
- Ferguson played like a college-caliber wide receiver, but his most electric play may have been on special teams: with a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Rams’ 21-14 Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II finals loss to Grant at Sacramento State. He was a first-team All-Area selection.
Sergio Fernandez (Chavez DB, 5-10, 155)
- Fernandez, also a talented wrestler for the Titans, was one of the defensive foundations as a cornerback. The SJAA was a highly-offensive league, and Fernandez helped facilitate some key stops.
Connor Hamilton (Calaveras RB/DB, 5-10, 180)
- While it was a down year for the Redskins, Hamilton was still well over a 1,000-yard rusher, and was a second-team All-Area player for Calaveras.
Owen Iniguez (Amador OL, 6-2, 270)
Chavez football senior tailback Priest Jennings was a first-team All-Area pick. (CALIXTRO ROMIAS/THE RECORD)
Priest Jennings (Chavez RB, 5-9, 165)
- Jennings stunned the section with his outstanding senior season, running for over 1,700 yards, leading the section in rushing for most of the second half of the season. He and Sierra’s Mark Paule Jr. were the All-Area first-team running backs.
Hunter Johnson (Sierra WR, 6-4, 200)
- Johnson, a first-team All-Area wideout after being a second-team wideout as a junior, was unselfish but dominant when need-be for the co-VOL champion Timberwolves.
Bradley Kazmierczak (Tokay LB, 5-9, 180)
- Kazmierczak played much bigger than his size, and was a tackling machine for the Tigers’ defense.
Serge (Billy) Kiriluk (Sonora LB, 5-10, 220)
Hawaii Leaf A Teao (Lathrop LB, 5-7, 180)
- Leaf a Teao was a key piece of a resurgent Spartans group, as both a ball carrier and a linebacker.
Dustin Littlefield (Amador LB, 6-2, 225)
Trevon McCray (Sierra LB, 6-2, 220)
- McCray, an absolute hitter in the middle of the Timberwolves’ defense, was a first-team All-Area linebacker and the VOL’s defensive player of the year.
Tracy senior Brandon Russell (left) protects the football in his team's Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinal win at Granite Bay. (TIM LLOYD/SPECIAL TO THE RECORD)
Brandon Russell (Tracy LB/WR, 5-10, 185)
- Russell, a two-time first-team All-Area linebacker, was part of a senior core that was the heart and soul of the Bulldogs, who reached their first section finals in 27 years. He’ll play at NCAA Div. II Concordia University in Minnesota with his older brother Bruce Russell III.
Javonte Norman (St. Mary’s DB/WR, 5-10, 160)
- Norman was one of the best cover corners in the area, if not the section, and a talented wide receiver when the Rams needed him to be, too.
Bear Creek High senior Craig Perkins (right) had four touchdown runs in the Bruins' 44-37 win over the Stagg Delta Kings. (ROGER WOO/THE RECORD)
Craig Perkins (Bear Creek DB/UT, 6-1, 175)
- Perkins did anything the Bruins needed him to. When Brice Weber got hurt, he was a dual-threat quarterback. He could run and catch. And he killed it as punter in SJAA play, and became our first-team All-Area punter.
Zerek Salvidar (Sonora OL, 6-3, 220)
Stagg High offensive lineman Tristen Taylor (center) is an Eastern Washington commit. (PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK)
Tristen Taylor (Stagg OL, 6-6, 305)
- Taylor, bound for NCAA Div. I FCS Eastern Washington, is a two-time first-team All-Area offensive lineman, and was a blocking force for the Delta Kings.
T.J. TiaTia (Lincoln OL, 6-0, 320)
- TiaTia was one of many strong but agile mashers on both sides of the ball for the Trojans.
Jacob Wall (Tokay OL, 6-2, 240)
- Wall and Clint Schallberger were pivotal to the Tigers’ offensive line.
Kahale Warring (Sonora WR, 6-6, 200)
Ja’Quan Williams (Edison LB, 6-0, 215)
- As Vikings coach Andre Horace said, “Quanie” was the heart and soul of his team. He was best known as a linebacker, but could be a bruising ball carrier as well.
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