GLENDALE — Competitive throughout its 2009 Prep League campaign, the Flintridge Prep football team stayed in the hunt for a playoff berth up until its final game of the season.
And, while the Rebels came just short of making that goal, snapping a two-year streak of Northeast Division postseason appearances, their effort was acknowledged by the league’s coaches, who voted several players to the All-Prep League team.
Senior inside linebacker Connor Dubin garnered first-team defensive honors, while four other Rebels landed second-team spots.
“Arguably, I think he had a legitimate shot when the voting came down for the defensive MVP, as well,” Rebels Coach Perry Skaggs said of Dubin, who also played some offensive guard and fullback. “He easily could have won that award, too.”
“He meant everything for us defensively and he’ll be hard to replace next year.”
Dubin led Prep with 101 tackles (76 solo) and averaged over 11 tackles per game. He also had an interception and a blocked field-goal attempt. Dubin had one carry on the year for an 11-yard touchdown.
Other important components of the Rebels’ defense were junior linebacker Eric Kazangian and sophomore cornerback Chris Wirthlin, who both made defensive second team.
Kazangian was second on the team with 78 tackles (53 solo) and also had one interception. In addition, he was the Rebels’ leading rusher, carrying the ball a team-high 87 times for 549 yards and two touchdowns.
“Eric, probably out of everybody, made the biggest strides offensively and defensively to be a starter and an impact player both ways,” said Skaggs, who also praised Kazangian’s toughness for playing through a toe injury the last four games of the season. “He turned into a tremendous middle linebacker for us.”
Wirthlin had 60 tackles (35 solo), an interception and a fumble recovery and also contributed offensively, rushing for 31 yards and one touchdown.
“He’s just a football player, that’s how I describe him,” Skaggs said of Wirthlin. “He may be a sophomore, but the kid knows how to play football. He knows what to do defensively, he’s hard-nosed and he’s a great run-support cover corner.”
Junior offensive tackle Jordy Manker and sophomore wide receiver Kory Hamane notched offensive second-team accolades.
“Jordy was just a consistent lineman throughout the entire year and he just got better and better as the year went on,” Skaggs said. “As a first-year varsity kid, he made all the improvements and the leaps forward necessary.”
Hamane led the Rebels in receiving yards with 104 on just six catches and also led the team in scoring with four touchdowns, which were all rushing.
On the season, he carried the ball 49 times for 234 yards.
“Kory was a pleasant surprise,” Skaggs said. “As a sophomore, you don’t expect too much from him, but the more he played the more confident he got. ...He turned out to be a tremendous asset running and catching the ball for us, so we expect big things from Kory next year, too.”