Palm Springs, OL
The Indians’ top lineman anchored a veteran offensive line, starting every game at left tackle while also compiling 5.5 sacks and 71 total tackles for a defense that held five opponents to six points or less.
“He was our most improved player from last season, became very aggressive on both sides of the ball and reached the potential that we saw in him.” — Palm Springs head coach Dan Murphy
Cathedral City, OL
A force on both sides of the ball for the resurgent Lions, Holdman was Cathedral City’s vocal leader. He had seven sacks, 40 total tackles and a fumble recovery on defense, while helping the Lions average 275 yards rushing on offense.
“He really took a leadership position this year, and did whatever it took to help the team. And his presence was big for us on both sides of the ball.” — Cathedral City head coach Richard Lee
La Quinta, OL
The coveted Division I recruit led a youthful yet powerful offensive line that helped the Blackhawks rush for 302 yards per game. Known for his strength, he also showed versatility, lining up at defensive end.
“Ben was our leader, both vocally and by example. He hit the weight room hard, practiced hurt and played hard all the time. He justified the hype.” — La Quinta head coach Dan Armstrong.
Palm Desert, OL
At left tackle, Meyer was the stalwart for an offensive line that allowed Palm Desert to average 9.2 yards per carry and score a whopping 20 rushing touchdowns in five league games.
“Jake was a consistent performer all year. He was a really good pass protector and opened up a lot of holes for our run game.” — Palm Desert head coach Pat Blackburn
La Quinta, OL
The powerful two-way lineman was a key component to La Quinta’s standout offensive and defensive lines, helping the Blackhawks rush for 3,584 yards and 41 touchdowns in 12 games.
“His down blocking was unbelievable. He had a lot of big blocks and would often de-cleat guys. You should see some of the blocks he had.” — La Quinta head coach Dan Armstrong
Palm Desert, QB
All-league at four positions (QB-DB-K-P), Kabeary accounted for 2,230 yards and 23 touchdowns on offense, returned two of three interceptions for scores, had 97 total tackles, and was a perfect 8-for-8 on field goals, with a long of 50 yards.
“He’s a great athlete, and his development and confidence really grew over the course of the season. What a weapon. He can kill you in so many different ways.” — Palm Springs head coach Dan Murphy
La Quinta, RB
The Desert Valley League Offensive Player of the Year ran over, around and through defenders for 1,969 yards and 23 touchdowns in nine games at tailback. He also scored two receiving touchdowns and returned a punt for another.
“He’d get six or eight yards and then he’d punish (defenders). He ran north and south, but he was faster than people give him credit for. We wouldn’t have had the season we had without him.” — La Quinta head coach Dan Armstrong
Palm Desert, RB
Rushed for 1,834 yards and 27 touchdowns using an potent combination of power and speed. He also scored on four receptions, and returned an interception 99 yards to help the Aztecs snap a nine-game losing streak to Palm Springs.
“His speed is deceptive; he’s faster than you think. He got really, really strong this year, he runs with authority, and can cut and move on a dime.” — Cathedral City head coach Richard Lee
Cathedral City, RB
Exploded for 1,328 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground over nine games in his first year at tailback. Wallace reached the 100-yard mark eight times, and the Lions went 8-1 with him in the lineup.
“It was apparent early on that he was a natural running back. He played a lot more physical this year, has a great work ethic and the speed and agility to be special.” — Cathedral City head coach Richard Lee
Xavier Prep, WR
Caught a valley-high 51 passes for 636 yards and 11 touchdowns. Also rushed for two more scores and returned two punts and a kickoff for touchdowns as the Saints’ most dangerous offensive weapon.
“He really listened and learned and, by the end of the year, it all paid off. He has deceptive speed, a great burst and can make one move and go.” — Xavier Prep head coach Bob Molyet
Xavier Prep, WR
A matchup nightmare, Ashton caught 43 passes for 577 yards and nine touchdowns as a big target at receiver. He also had three sacks, a forced fumble, and two blocked punts at defensive end.
“He was a great player on offense. I don’t think his numbers even show how good he was. He has speed and a great pair of hands, and really worked to develop that.” — Xavier Prep head coach Bob Molyet
Cathedral City, K
The soccer standout turned Division I football recruit kicked four field goals (two from 45-yards out) and was a perfect 60 of 60 on PATs. Also, 46 of 62 kickoffs reached the end zone for touchbacks.
“Anytime you can force a team to go 80 yards, it gives your defense a major plus. He had four kickoffs that split the uprights. That’s just amazing.” — Cathedral City head coach Richard Lee
Shadow Hills, DL
The two-way starter again led the Knights in sacks (4.5) and added 54 tackles, 13.5 for loss, three forced fumbles and a recovery as the vocal leader of both the offensive and defensive line.
“Sam was the hardest worker on our team and his attitude carried over to other players. When our team needed an emotional lift, Sam delivered and became a great team leader.” — Shadow Hills head coach Ron Shipley
La Quinta, DL
Powerful two-way starter was the most devastating lineman on one of the best defensive lines in the Central Division. Helped the Blackhawks allow just 4.8 yards per carry during the regular season — tops in the DVL.
“He had a motor that didn’t stop and would often require double and triple teams to keep him out of the backfield. He is just so physically impressive.” — Palm Springs head coach Dan Murphy
Palm Desert, DL
Mesarch used his wiry frame and quickness to become one of the best edge rushers in the valley, racking up nine sacks, 50 tackles, and 20 for loss — which was the most in the Central Division.
“With his quickness and his ability to make himself small, he really made a lot of big plays for us on defense. He was always in the backfield.” — Palm Desert head coach Pat Blackburn
Cathedral City, LB
The Desert Valley League Defensive Player of the Year had 111 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and nine sacks in just nine games as the Lions’ defensive leader.
“He has a knack for playing the linebacker position. He can make reads and explode to the football with a lot of velocity. He put in a lot of extra work in the offseason, and it paid off.” — Cathedral City head coach Richard Lee
Palm Springs, LB
The captain and unquestioned leader of a defense that allowed just 12.3 points per game, Spates led the valley in tackles with 128. He also contributed a sack, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick.
“What I see in Chance is a willingness and a focus. He loves to be in the mix, he leads by example, and to come back after a knee injury and have (128) tackles is amazing.” — Palm Desert head coach Pat Blackburn
La Quinta, LB
Perhaps the hardest hitter in the valley, Griffin quietly led a rugged La Quinta defense, routinely making plays in clutch situations. On offense, he pounded the ball with reckless abandon, scoring six touchdowns.
“He’s a real physical player and made so many big plays from the middle linebacker spot. And he could always get us a few yards running the football.” — La Quinta head coach Dan Armstrong
Shadow Hills, LB
The Knights’ leading tackler had 95 stops, 15 for loss, a sack, an interception, a forced fumble and three recoveries, leading Shadow Hills to its first-ever playoff victory.
“He gives everything he has on every play. If he’s tired or hurt, he continues to play as hard as he possibly can. That attitude and determination has made him an outstanding middle linebacker.” — Shadow Hills head coach Ron Shipley
La Quinta, DB
The valley’s preeminent cornerback had eight takeaways and a pair of defensive touchdowns. His onsides kick recovery against Palm Desert helped provide La Quinta with a share of the DVL title.
“Patrick was phenomenal. He shut down the opposing team’s best receivers, and he just makes plays. He’s also a physical kid, and enjoys the contact.” — La Quinta head coach Dan Armstrong
Cathedral City, DB
A ball-hawking safety, Dorsey grabbed four interceptions, recovered a fumble, had two sacks and 48 tackles on defense. As an athlete on offense, he scored nine touchdowns.
“The kid is a really good athlete, and he’s super tough. Justin is intense, always fired up, and he brought that mentality to the field.” — Cathedral City head coach Richard Lee
Palm Springs, DB
Intercepted three passes — including one for a 96-yard score — recovered three fumbles and compiled 64 tackles at safety while leading a talented but collectively young defensive secondary.
“Joseph was a great surprise for us. He didn’t play as a junior, but he picked up on our schemes quickly and was a bright spot on defense. He made a lot of plays.” — Palm Springs head coach Dan Murphy
Desert Hot Springs, DB
Accounted for 1,757 total yards and 20 touchdowns in eight games as the Golden Eagles’ main offensive weapon, while also covering the opposition’s best player at cornerback in league games.
“He’s the best athlete in the valley, in my opinion. No question about it. He was our offense, and on defense he stopped everybody we put him on.” — former Desert Hot Springs head coach Eric Perry
Palm Springs, P
Booted several punts of more than 50 yards and led the Indians in receptions (42) and receiving yards (614) while hauling in four receiving touchdowns and passing for two more.
“We always like having a punter who can make plays with the ball, and Riley continued that tradition. He consistently put our defense in good position, and was a playmaker at receiver.” — Palm Springs head coach Dan Murphy
Cathedral City, KR
The fastest player in the valley had six interceptions, caught eight passes for touchdowns, returned a pick for another, and brought back two kicks for additional scores.
“Anytime he touches the football, he’s a threat to score. He’s got that great top-end speed, and he can put moves on guys. When he does that, not too many guys can catch him.” — Cathedral City head coach Richard Lee
J.D. Armada, OL, Palm Desert, senior
Orlando Ortega, OL, Shadow Hills, junior
Jeffrey Salas, OL, Cathedral City, senior
Ryan Franco, OL, Cathedral City, senior
Matt Cantu, OL, Palm Desert, senior
Rex Rover, QB, Xavier Prep, senior
Ryan Reyes, RB, Indio, junior
Isaiah Ortega-Dage, RB, Shadow Hills, junior
Izak Ocon, RB, Coachella Valley, senior
Reinaldo Periera, WR, Palm Springs, senior
Jason Simmons, WR, Cathedral City, senior
Lucas Norblom, K, La Quinta, junior
Angel Gloria, DL, Coachella Valley, senior
Casey Davis, DL, Palm Springs, senior
Sergio Hernandez, DL, Cathedral City, senior
Jake Jiannoni, LB, La Quinta, senior
Rollie Ignacio, LB, Coachella Valley, senior
Tate Oligney, LB, Palm Desert, senior
Tommy Jacobsson, LB, Palm Desert, sophomore
Florian Martinez, DB, Xavier Prep, senior
Noah Torres, DB, Coachella Valley, junior
Luis Gonzalez, DB, Shadow Hills, senior
Ryan Koehler, DB, Palm Springs, junior
Jose Sandoval, P, Indio, senior
Tayler Hawkins, RS, Palm Springs, sophomore
Davin Lile, Cathedral City, junior
Carlos Medina, Coachella Valley, junior
Jesus Aguirre, La Quinta, senior
Charles Hays, La Quinta, junior
Randolph Mullen, Palm Springs, junior
William Olvera, Palm Springs, sophomore
Noah McGuire, Palm Springs, sophomore
Daniel Cain, Palm Springs, senior
Franklin Miller, Palm Springs, sopomore
Trenton Thompson, Palm Springs, sophomore
Christian Balmes, La Quinta, junior
Trevor Hampton, La Quinta, senior
Robert Polimeni, La Quinta, sophomore
Jacob Castelli, Palm Desert, senior
Ethan Martinez, Desert Hot Springs, junior
BY ANDREW L. JOHN
The Desert Sun