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Four area gridders preseason all-section

Jaquari People and Matt Cochran aren't going to get too excited about preseason honors.

Both players found themselves listed on the preseason all-Sac-Joaquin Section football team selected by ESPNRise recently.

"I put a lot of hard work in, so I'm grateful," said People, a do-everything star at Merced. "At the same time, it's preseason. I want to make sure I go out this year and make the postseason team."

Cochran, a soon-to-be senior at Buhach Colony, feels the same way.

"The preseason honors are for more of what people expect from you," Cochran said. "It's the awards after the season that mean something. That's what I'm aiming for because they're given out for your proven ability."

People was named to the all-section team as a defensive back.

Cochran was one of three Buhach Colony players named to the team. The Thunder tied Grant for the most players on the section team.

Joining Cochran is defensive lineman Aziz Shittu and his younger brother Aaron.

Aaron Shittu's selection was a bit of a surprise. Not because of the potential of the junior with a 6-foot-8, 330-pound frame. It was shocking to see him named as a defensive lineman.

"Aaron's never played defensive line," said BC coach Kevin Swartwood. "Will he? I don't know. He's always been an offensive lineman. We have high hopes for him."

Matt Cochran (6-4, 330) and Shittu (6-4, 275) have been heavily recruited by the colleges around the country.

"Any time you get write-ups like this it's good for our kids to see their name out there, it's good for the school and it's good for the program," Swartwood said.

Shittu was the Central California Conference Lineman of the Year last year.

People was the CCC's Defensive Player of the Year.

The three Grant players selected were Shaq Thompson (RB/S), Terry Shine (QB/RB) and Charlie Vue (K).

People and Merced will play at Grant on Sept. 30.