Panthers, Rebels rise above injuries

A lack of depth and injuries derailed the Prep League season for both the Flintridge Prep and Pasadena Poly football teams in 2011.

Rebels and Panthers players still managed to stand out in the Prep League this year, though.

Flintridge Prep's Lucas Kim and three Poly players — Harrison Hodgkins, Daniel Leon and Nathan Hamming — received All-Prep League first-team honors.

Hodgkins was a work horse in Poly's back field. The senior running back ran for 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns on 187 carries and had 33 receptions for 330 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He accounted for 15 of the Panthers' 25 touchdowns this season.

"Harrison did a great job for us this year," Poly Coach Brendan McGrail said. "He was our starting tailback and was a versatile kid to where we could put him in the slot as a receiver. He was a really good runner for us between the tackles, on screens, running wide and did a lot of different things on offense.

"We went through three different quarterbacks with injuries, but the constant was Harry and he was our most valuable player."

Hamming, a senior, was moved to middle linebacker this year after dominating at defensive end as a junior.

"We wanted him in the middle of things," McGrail said. "He was the defensive captain and had a team-high 85 tackles and 14 sacks. The strength of our team was our defense and he made it go."

Leon's eight sacks were second best for Poly this year. The defensive tackle also had 34 tackles in his senior season.

"He anchored the middle for us," McGrail said. "We were stout against the run and it started with Daniel. He did a good job for us at the point of attack all year."

Kim, a senior linebacker, was tabbed as Prep's lone first-team selection.

"Lucas had a great season," Flintridge Prep Coach Antonio Harrison said. "He got injured in the first game of the season and missed the next two, but finished out the season strong.

"He understood our defense well enough that we could move him around to outside linebacker and that had a huge effect on our defense. Other teams had to deal with him wherever we put him."

Entering the season with a 19-man roster, Kim was also asked to play fullback.

"He was willing to do everything and anything," Harrison said. "He had nicks, bruises and strains all season long, but he said, 'Tape it up,' and went back out on the field."

Kim made 11 tackles, two for a loss, in the Rebels' four Prep League games, which are what the league awards are based on.

Flintridge Prep finished the season 1-9 (0-5 in league) with two losses coming via forfeit due to injuries depleting a team already lacking depth.

The Panthers went 6-4 (2-3 in league) and had to deal with injuries befalling their 22-man roster this year, as well.

The Rebels' Stefan Smith, Daniel Jung and Dylan Colliflower and Poly's Matthew Liu and Brad Olson all received second-team Prep League honors.

Smith, a sophomore, was a playmaker for Prep, scoring four touchdowns. He was responsible for all but two of the Rebels' touchdowns this year. He generated 204 scrimmage yards (133 receiving, 71 rushing) in four Prep League games this year.

Jung emerged as a go-to target for the Rebels at tight end. He had nine receptions for 112 yards in four league games. Colliflower played linebacker for Prep and set team-highs in tackles (25.5), tackles for a loss (six) and also forced a fumble in league play.

Liu and Olson were both senior linebackers at Poly. Liu played special teams and piled on 53 tackles on defense. Olson racked up 46 tackles, a sack, interception and fumble recovery while also playing running back (151 yards on 37 carries) and handling the kicking and punting duties for Poly.

"In small school football like this you need versatile kids who can do lots of things," McGrail said. "[Liu and Olson] are two seniors that never left the field."

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