Players earn All-League football honors

by Randy Angel
Published January 15, 2009

The “Big Uglies,” as legendary announcer Keith Jackson used to call the lineman of the gridiron, got their props after the 2008 season when Mira Costa defensive lineman Matt Williams was named the Bay League’s Most Valuable Player and teammate lineman Mike Freeman was selected as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year.
Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 240 pounds, Williams had a team-high seven sacks for the Mustangs and recorded 78 tackles with one fumble recovery and an interception which he returned 12 yards for a touchdown to secure Mira Costa’s 28-14 victory over Warren in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
Thirteen players from Mira Costa were honored as All-Bay League selections after helping the Mustangs go from a winless league season in 2007 to the CIF Western Division championship game and a 10-4 record.
Joining Williams and Freeman as first team picks were running back Chris Loatman, wide receiver Kyle Nunn, defensive lineman J.R. Tavai, linebackers Chris Joe and Kellen Lockwood, and defensive back Morgan Reece.
Mustangs selected to the second team were offensive lineman Chad Jenson, quarterback Kyle Demarco, tight end Mike Miller, defensive lineman Jordan Tavai and defensive back Spencer Missioreck.
Redondo had eight players recognized for their accomplishments. Named to the first team were offensive lineman Ray Lemafa, running back Chris Mares, kicker Nick Diaz and defensive back Ckye Penn.
Sea Hawks earning second team honors were wide receiver Brandon Boyd, defensive lineman Knolan Thompson, and linebackers Chandler Shipley and Ryan Spiwak.
In the Pioneer League, El Segundo running back and linebacker Gage Morteson was selected as co-MVP with North quarterback B. J. Denker.
Morteson led the Eagles to a 10-3 record and a share of the Pioneer League title with North, rushing for a team-high 1,129 yards and 13 touchdowns. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior anchored the defense with 92 of his 147 tackles being solo.
El Segundo linebacker Kyle Yatabe shared Defensive Player of the Year honors with North linebacker C.J. Harrington.
Other Eagles named to the All-Pioneer League first team were quarterback Mike Bundy, wide receivers Kevin Post and Joey Schaffhauser, offensive linemen Dolph Adomian and Richard Seigal, kicker Alex Merced, defensive lineman Jason Karp and defensive backs Jimmy Quinones and Nick Kessler.
Defensive linemen Zach Cooper and Wade LaRouche were selected to the second team defense.
Senior stars will don their high school uniforms for the last time Saturday when the annual Lions Club All-Star Football Game is played at 1 p.m. at Mira Costa. ER