Awards, High School & NFL

by Ken Hurst, February 9, 2012

Last week the AVA and the Press Democrat published the small school football awards for the 2011 season. They are as follows: All league offensive players, quarterback: Anderson Valley Panther Senior Garrett Mezzanatto, running back: Anderson Valley Senior Panther Omar Benavidas, tight end: Anderson Valley Panther Senior Salvador Gutierrez. All league defensive players: Linebacker: Anderson Valley Panther Senior Marcos Espinoza, Linebacker/defensive back: Anderson Valley Panther Senior Jason Sanchez and Honorable Mention Offensive Guard: Anderson Valley Panther Senior Eduardo Torales, and defensive end: Anderson Valley Panther Senior Kevin Kisling.

Congratulations to Coach John Toohey and his team. They finished second in the league standings by a heartbeat to a fine Point Arena team. The highest awards went to the champs, the fog eaters. MVP Defense: linebacker Dylan Johnson; MVP Offense: running back Harlan Bailey.

Coach Toohey’s Panther team had the best passing attack I have seen in the league in a long time. Mezzanatto was an excellent passer and all ‘round quarterback, but the top players are all “saying goodbye” senior players.

But, Pop Warner Coach Tony Pardini is doing a fine job coaching the local Pop Warner kids. He not only teaches his new players the basics of playing football, but also to enjoy the game, so it will be fun to see the Panthers in the 2012 Season.

NFL 49ers & MVP Awards. 

SF 49er’s Head Coach Jim Harbaugh won the Coach of the Year in his first season in the NFL. Quarterback Alex Smith accepted the award for him February 4th in Indianapolis and said in part, “Coach would say he doesn’t deserve this award. But, I have had one or two of them (coaches) and I can tell you he does deserve it” — to applause and knowing laughter in the audience.

Harbaugh clearly deserved the award. He turned a dispirited team that lacked confidence into the fastest all ‘round team in the NFL with the best defense and the finest special teams in pro football. Plus, they are young and will become younger still in the upcoming draft of college players. I hope they draft a top wide receiver and also bring in a wide receiver as a free agent.

The NFL is no longer loaded with super teams. They are all flawed. Witness the Sunday Super Bowl game won by the New York Giants over the New England Patriots 21-17.

It was a good game, but, both teams were very vulnerable in the defensive backfield and in tackling.

Aaron Rogers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, won the MVP of the NFL. Rogers is from Chico, California, and went to the NFL after playing quarterback at Cal Berkeley.

Added note: I am old enough to recall when the late Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders was great. Now, I believe that his son Mark Davis will give Raider fans hope because he hired Reggie Mackenzie from the Packers to run the on-field play and player acquisitions for the Raiders.

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