Carl Jameson led the Hilmar High football team's defense from his middle linebacker position, ranging from sideline to sideline to make plays.
Giovanni Sani had a dominant year for Central Catholic on the offensive line, opening big holes for the Raiders running backs.
James Orth made his share of dynamic plays for Central Catholic, as a receiver, safety and even returning kicks.
Their coaches weren't the only ones who noticed.
Jameson, Sani and Orth were named to the ESPN/CalHiSports.com all-state small-school first team. They led a group of 10 Stanislaus District players to be named to the CalHiSports.com divisional all-state teams.
Jameson was in on 149 tackles and had 8½ sacks while being named the Western Athletic Conference defensive MVP.
Sani was the foundation of the offensive line after the entire group was replaced from the previous season. He was named the WAC lineman of the year.
Orth was dangerous from anywhere on the field. He made 53 tackles, caught 48 passes for 805 yards and nine touchdowns, he returned two kicks for touchdowns. He was named as a utility player.
The overall all-state team is expected to be named later this week.
The Valley Oak League saw four players earn all-state medium-school second-team honors.
Central Valley receiver DeAngelo Williams and Manteca offensive lineman Nick Gardner were named to the offensive team. Sierra linebacker Michael Turner was named to the defensive team. Oakdale running back Nicky Batteate was named as an multi-purpose player.
Three more district players were named to the small-schools second team.
Escalon running back Charlie McDonald made the offensive side. Hilmar defensive lineman Austin Giuliano was on the defensive team and Modesto Christian's Isaiah Burse made it as a multi-purpose player.
Burse, who played quarterback, running back and receiver on offense for the Crusaders, just received his first NCAA Division I offer, according to his coach, Mike Parsons. Arizona offered Burse a scholarship, Parsons said Wednesday.
THE NEWS THAT Central Catholic wrestler T.J. Belton moved from 160 pounds to the 152-pound weight class could send shockwaves through the Stanislaus District wrestling atmosphere.
That's because Merced senior Chris Urquizo is also competing at 152 pounds. The two could meet as soon as this weekend in the Tim Brown Memorial Wrestling Tournament in Sacramento.
"That tournament is like a who's who of Sac-Joaquin Section wrestling," Central Catholic coach Steve Strange said. "And not only are most of the best from the section there, but you've got a lot of good wrestlers coming in from other sections as well.
"It's a really strong tournament."
Wrestling kicks off at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.
ENOCHS HIGH softball player Ashley Nicolich has committed to play for Bethany College, an NAIA school in Lindsborg, Kan. The Swedes compete in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Nicolich batted .206 as a junior for the Eagles, playing in both the infield and outfield.
FORMER ESCALON High wrestling standout Vic Moreno will conduct a clinic for middle school and high school wrestlers Saturday at El Portal Middle School in Escalon. Moreno is in his first year as an assistant coach at Stanford. For more information, contact Jim Sughrue at 838-7095 or 380-5704.
Will DeBoard's high schools column appears Thursdays. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, write him at P.O. Box 5256, Modesto, CA 95352-5256, call 578-2300 or fax 238-4551.