BOOG'S MIDSEASON ACADEMY AWARDS
Not to leap ahead in a season that won't close until December, but here are some Oscar-winning performances at the halfway point:
Player of the Year — Edgar Segura, Mendota: Yeah, he hails from tiny Mendota. But don't fool yourself. He wouldn't be just a starter, but in fact, an impact player, for any team in the Central Section. The senior's making a run at section career scoring and rushing records and plays safety as well. His fitness and toughness are unmatched.
In the running: A.J. Greeley, quarterback, Edison; Yasmon Haynes, lineman, Edison; Richard Doctor, RB, Lemoore; Elijah Porchia, RB, Mission Oak; Bolu Olorunfunmi, RB, Clovis North.
Outstanding Offensive Player — Doctor, Lemoore: The 5-10, 205-pound senior has been surgical, rushing for 1,881 yards and 27 TDs while averaging 9.9 yards per carry and 269 yards per game. All this for a student with a weighted 4.1 GPA.
In the running: Porchia; Olorunfunmi; Nick Wilson, RB, Central; Isaiah Justice, QB, Bullard; Sam Metcalf, QB, Farmersville; Marcus McMaryion, QB, Dinuba; Dennis Chester, QB, Porterville.
Outstanding Defensive Player — Yasmon Haynes, Edison: The 6-1, 300-pound senior tackle has blown up the middle and owned sideline-to-sideline as well while evoking memories of the late great Trent Barnes of Clovis West nearly 30 years ago.
In the running: Bryan Mendez, lineman, Mission Oak; Alan Crowley, safety, Clovis; Nick Nevills, lineman, Clovis; Hayden Haupt, linebacker, Clovis North; Tashon Smallwood, lineman, Central; Kody Beckering, linebacker, Sunnyside.
Team of the Year — Edison: From Merced (29-14) to the north from the Sac-Joaquin Section to Clovis (43-6) from the Central Section and Carson (40-6) to the south from the L.A. City Section, the eye of the Tiger has not blinked.
In the running: Mission Oak, Liberty-Madera Ranchos, Mendota.
Game of the Year — Liberty-Bakersfield, 43, Central 41 (3OT): Quarterback Josh Medina was a miracle worker for the Patriots, but the Grizzlies would love a rematch with a healthy Wilson at running back.
Runner-up: Porterville 66, Dinuba 52
Coach of the Year — Matt Johnson, Edison: Former eight-year Tigers assistant under Tim McDonald has taken control in his first season.
In the running: Cory Hall, Clovis North; Mark Gambini, Mission Oak; Mike Nolte, Madera-Liberty Ranchos; Beto Mejia, Mendota.
WASHINGTON: NEW STADIUM NEAR FINISH
Washington has had two "home" games at Chukchansi Park and another at Fowler, but the reward is near. Maybe.
A new John Ventura Stadium — the old one was plowed from concession stand to bleachers to field — should be ready for the regular-season finale against Kerman, Athletic Director Jeff Freitas says.
It could be good to go for next week's North Sequoia League game against Liberty-Madera Ranchos, but that's a long shot, he says, in an overhaul made possible by Measure W — a $30 million Washington Unified School District bond that plays out in three phases.
The first phase of the high school's remodeling is the 4,000-seat stadium and nine-lane all-weather track. Subsequent phases involve campus modifications and new baseball, softball and practice fields.
Separated by roughly 10 miles, Dinuba and Kingsburg are natural geographic rivals.
And the Emperors and Vikings also have emerged as the class of the Central Sequoia League since its relaunch in 2006.
The winner of their annual matchup has won or shared the CSL title the past seven years.
"This is a big-time rival," Kingsburg coach Dave Steele said. "Any time you have a couple programs that have been successful, it makes for a really competitive, hard-fought game."
Dinuba (6-1) is ranked No. 12 in the section and No. 2 in D-III by The Bee. The Emperors average 41.7 points and 442 yards per game behind an offense led by Oregon State QB commit Marcus McMaryion (1,490 yards, 16 TDs) and running back Michael Wright (1,180 yards, 19 TDs).
Kingsburg (5-1) is unranked and coming off a 28-21 overtime loss to Paso Robles that ended a six-year, 38-game home winning streak. The Vikings average 36.8 points and 397 yards with multithreat QB Brandon Steele (1,001 yards, nine TDs passing; 348 yards, seven TDs rushing) leading the way.
The 7 p.m. game at Kingsburg will be on KFRE (Channel 59.1).
"That's going to heighten the experience," Steele said. "It's going to be a fun night."
PLAYER IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Tristian Hernandez, Roosevelt:
When former Central coach Casey Quinn was researching a possible new job at Roosevelt, Hernandez caught his eye on film from the 2012 season: "He had a good feel for the game, worked hard and had all the intangibles to turn around a program. He made me feel more comfortable throwing my hat in the ring."
Hernandez, who rarely threw the ball in a wing-T as a junior, is flourishing under Quinn's spread attack while hunting down school passing records.
The 5-10, 170-pounder has completed 106 of 165 attempts (64.2%) for 1,668 yards and 18 TDs. He's had four 300-yard games for a 3-3 team that will play McLane tonight in a North Yosemite League game that is the Rough Riders' Homecoming.
OTHER GAMES TO WATCH
No. 20 Memorial (5-1, 1-0) vs. No. 15 Bullard (5-1, 1-0), Chukchansi Park: Hard to get a true feel for these County/Metro Athletic Conference teams, though Bullard obviously upgraded with RB Dejonte Oneal (averaging 177 yards rushing a game) in a forward lean following a knee injury.
No. 13 Frontier (3-3, 0-1) at No. 6 Liberty-Bak. (5-1, 0-1): A scoreboard watcher for D-I seed-conscious folks to the north.
— Andy Boogaard and Nick Giannandrea
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