James Williams, Hawkins Mann lead list of football all-league honorees

Burbank High football had a football player garner one of the Pacific League's top awards despite playing limited minutes.

Burroughs had a player earn one of the league's top awards after playing the entire campaign with a major injury.

With Bulldog James Williams and Indian Hawkins Mann leading the way, the two local teams had their share of athletes earn All-Pacific League honors, as 28 Burbank and Burroughs players were selected on this year's list.

Burbank, which tied for second in league and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals, had 13 players earn accolades, while Burroughs, which also tied for second, landed 15 players on the list.

"If you add up all the first team and the second and the honorable mentions, we got the same number of all-league players as Muir," Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said about the league-champion Mustangs, which also advanced to the division semifinals. "We had some good kids and some good athletes and it's nice to see our guys get recognized. We had a little bit of everything with our guys who were honored across the board."

Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said it was a tight vote for league player of the year between Muir's Dejon Williams and Burbank's James Williams. Dejon Williams ended up winning the award by one vote. However, James Williams was named the offensive player of the year.

"You look at James' numbers in league and he had some very impressive stats despite not playing that much in the second half against a lot of teams," Valencia said. "He sat out a lot late in games and he was still able to put up respectable numbers. His stats were never padded and we didn't try and get him more touchdowns just for the sake of his stats.

"[Dejon] Williams is a very good player, and you can't take that away from him, but I just thought James did so much for our team that he should have been given the top award."

Despite his limited use and an injury that hampered him in the playoffs, Williams, a junior, finished the season with a school-record 22 rushing touchdowns in 164 carries. His 1,469 (nine yards a carry) was good enough for second on the all-time list, just 35 yards shy of Ulises Ochoa's 1,504-yard record set in 2009. Williams also had 22 catches for 482 yards (21.9 yards a catch) and five touchdowns, and had 2,307 all-purpose yards and scored176 points (third all-time).

Joining James Williams in earning one of the four top league honors was Mann, a senior defensive end who was named the lineman of the year. Mann, who has committed to San Diego State, was a powerful force in league despite playing the entire league season with a serious injury.

"He suffered a torn meniscus in one of our preseason games against Camarillo," Knoop said. "It was pretty bad. He could hardly practice on Mondays and Tuesdays before games and his knee was just filled with fluid. But he wouldn't let us keep him out of games. He was determined to stay in there and play. He is just from a different mold, just really one of those rare old-school players."

Mann was the anchor of the defense for Burroughs. Mann, in his first season with the Indians after transferring from Idaho, had 64 tackles in seven games, averaging 9.1 tackles a game. In addition, he recorded five sacks.

"I don't think anyone could have denied him being the lineman of the year," Knoop said. "He was just a monster for us."

Making the all-league first team for Burbank was senior running back Joseph Pendleton, senior wide receiver Oharjee Brown, senior offensive lineman Michael Wong, junior defensive lineman Kyle Alvarez and senior defensive back Sabastian Santoro. Earning first-team accolades for Burroughs was senior wide receiver Conor Joyce, junior offensive lineman Andrew Mills, senior defensive lineman Brady Peppmuller, senior linebacker Cameron Rodriguez and junior kicker Andrew Aguilar.

Pendleton and Brown, a transfer from Burroughs, were solid performers for the Bulldogs. Pendleton had 119 carries for 925 yards (7.8 yards a carry) and 14 touchdowns and Brown caught 55 passes for 976 yards (17.7 yards a catch) and 17 touchdowns.

On defense, Alvarez had 63 tackles and 2.5 sacks and Santoro tallied 80 tackles, an interception and two sacks.

The 6-foot-4 Joyce provided an ample target for the Indians, hauling in 44 catches for 713 yards (16.2 yards a catch) and 12 of the team's 14 touchdown receptions on the year. Rodriguez was a stalwart for Burroughs on defense, leading the team with 96 tackles, while Peppmuller contributed 57 tackles and had 2.5 sacks.

Honored on the second team for Burbank was senior offensive lineman Mark Salgado, senior linebacker Gary Clements, senior defensive back Martin Caro, junior kicker Herry Avetisyan and junior punter Matt Raytis. The Burroughs second-teamers included senior quarterback Andrew Williams, senior offensive linemen Jacob Lopez and Oscar Quintana, senior defensive lineman Steven Santeliz, senior linebacker Gildardo Chavez and senior defensive backs Sean Johnson and Davion Barker.

For the Bulldogs, Clements had three sacks and 71 tackles and Caro contributed 91 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions.

Andrew Williams served as the Indians' primary signal-caller, completing 112 of 184 passes for 1,467 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. In addition, he had 65 carries for 221 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, Santeliz had 39 tackles and an interception, Chavez had 58 tackles, Johnson had 31 and Barker had 30.

Earning honorable-mention accolades for Burroughs was junior wide receiver back Aidan Anding (25 receptions for 346 yards) and junior defensive back Eric Gordon (two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 41 tackles). Making the list for Burbank was junior quarterback Ryan Meredith and senior defensive back Andy Park (90 tackles and four fumble recoveries).

Meredith had an outstanding season orchestrating the Burbank offense. He set a school record for touchdown passes in a season with 29 and had just two interceptions. He also completed 128 of 226 passes for 2,320 yards to break another season school record. In addition, he had 73 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

"I think Ryan really got jobbed to tell you the truth," Valencia said. "To put up the numbers that he did and not even get first or second team is pretty hard to believe. I really think he deserved better."

The quarterback helped Burbank to a successful season, as the Bulldogs went 10-3 — 5-2 in the Pacific League — and advanced to the division semifinals for the first time since 1927. Burbank saw its season end Friday with a 28-21 loss to La Serna.

Burroughs finished with a 6-5 record — 5-2 in league — and fell in the first round of the playoffs to La Serna, 55-7.

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