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Two-way standout makes all-TVL team for offense, defense

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Two-way standout makes all-TVL team for offense, defense

Ripon High team captains Anthony Meneses (56) and Nick Curtice wrap up Modesto Christian running back Keaton Engel during a Trans Valley League contest on Oct. 23. Both Meneses was named to the all...

Bulletin file photo/

POSTED December 10, 2009 1:44 a.m.
Ripon High running back and inside linebacker Nick Curtice highlights a contingent of area athletes selected to the all-Trans Valley League football team.

The team captain and two-way standout was the lone area player to earn first-team honors on both sides of scrimmage. Curtice anchored the Indians’ 7-4 season that ended with a first-round loss in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-B playoffs and a third-place finish in league.

The punishing 6-foot, 185-pound fullback grinded out 1,021 rushing yards and seven touchdowns and was the Indians’ leading receiver with 11 catches for 181 yards and two scores. He also spearheaded one of the area’s toughest defenses, recording a team-best 86 tackles.

 All told, eight combined players from Ripon and in-town rival Ripon Christian were voted to the first team, and 12 more earned honorable mention.

Modesto Christian’s Mike Parsons is Coach of the Year. He and Outstanding Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year Isaiah Burse and will lead the 13-0 Crusaders into the Division IV playoffs’ championship round against Placer Friday night at Lincoln High of Stockton.

Burse is MC’s star player at quarterback and safety, and his numbers are stunning: 1,480 yards on 63-of-112 passing, 22 touchdowns, two interceptions; 1,552 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns on just 155 carries; 77 tackles, five sacks, five interceptions.

Crusader teammate Ray Nelson, a 6-5, 215-pound tight end and defensive end, was voted the league’s Outstanding Receiver and Outstanding defensive lineman.

Others earning major awards were: Outstanding Offensive Lineman Evan Schwartz (MC), Outstanding Running Back Steve Silva (Escalon), Outstanding Linebacker Nick Largent (Escalon) and Co-Outstanding Defensive Backs Jason Diniz (Escalon) and Aaron Brown (MC).

Ripon offensive lineman Anthony Meneses and Ripon Christian running back/receiver Isaac Norman join Curtice on the all-league offensive team. Norman was RC’s top producer on offense, as he capped his junior year with 789 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing to go with 415 yards and five TDs on 16 receptions.

Josiah Neeley was Ripon Christian’s other player to make the first team, doing so for the second straight year. The impressive inside linebacker led all area defensive players with 129 tackles and caused four fumbles while recovering two others.

Ripon’s stingy defense was well rewarded, as four Indians join Curtice on the all-league defensive team. Defensive lineman Hart Yoshida and Andy Bunting tied for the area lead with nine sacks apiece. The 5-8, 190-pound Yoshida was the TVL’s 2008 Outstanding Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Linebackers Sam Pryor (77 tackles) and Daniel Cardoza round out the area’s all-league selections.

Earning honorable mention for Ripon were QB Alex Gustin, offensive Christian Spence and linebackers Jake Carlson and Ryan Durer.

Offensive linemen Landon Tillema, Daniel Terpstra, Elijah English and David Kramer, wide receiver David Kramer, defensive lineman David Hiemstra and defensive back Clayton Prins are Ripon Christian’s honorable-mention players.
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