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Wengel, Swortfiguer named top offensive, defensive players

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Ripon High quarterback Kyle Wengel escapes the pressure from Linden’s Bailey Wright in a nonleague contest on Aug. 31.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED December 3, 2012 11:56 p.m.

Ripon High’s football team accomplished so much in 2012:

•First league championship in 16 years.

•First 10-0 regular-season finish in 29 years.

•First playoff victory in 15 years.

Ripon’s drama-filled season ended in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs, where it lost to eventual champion and CIF State Regional Bowl Championships qualifier Central Catholic. The Indians ended up 11-1.

Chris Johnson led their historic run, and he earned his first Trans-Valley League Coach of the Year honor in his eighth season. Many of his standouts were also rewarded in the year-end coaches meeting.

Quarterback Kyle Wengel and linebacker Tyler Swortfiguer were voted for the top honors as the TVLs Most Outstanding Offensive and Defensive Players.

Wengel was the centerpiece of Ripon’s multi-faceted offense. He completed 56.7 percent of his passes for 1,925 yards, 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions for the season. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Swortfiguer was the emotional leader on defense, and he backed it up with production. He led Ripon with 118 tackles — including 27 in its riveting 34-28 win at Escalon — to go with three interceptions.

Junior wide out Bradley Clark was the surprise breakout performer of the season among area players. His 40 receptions, 694 yards and 15 TDs were team-highs while. Clark was named the TVL’s Most Outstanding Receiver.

Bruising running back Josh McCreath (1,214 yards, 17 yards) and 6-5, 225-pound Andrew Carlson were also selected to the first-team offense.

Joining Swortfiguer on the all-league defense was Most Outstanding Defensive Back Anthony Baciocco, who finished with 32 tackles, five interceptions (2 returned for TDs) and seven passes defended. Fellow cornerback Cole Herrin was also named to the first-team defense, and they both earned honorable mention on offense.

Junior outside linebacker Michael Ysit (91 tackles, 7.0 sacks) rounds out Ripon’s first-team selections. Linemen Kevin Cronin and Cody Lehan and RB/LB Michael Morris made honorable mention.

Among the notable major award winners in the league were Escalon’s Nathan Chunn (2,240 yards, 34 TDs) and Orestimba’s Steven Machado (1,927, 23 TDs), two juniors who share the top honor for offensive backs. Escalon’s Alan Gonzalez is Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman, Hughson’s Joel Openshaw is the Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman and Hughson’s Justin Denio is the Most Outstanding Linebacker.

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