Ripon Christian senior Andrew Brown pieced together a historic season that came to a heart-breaking end in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship game at Lodi’s Grape Bowl on Saturday.
The Knights enjoyed a historic season as well, qualifying for the school’s first-ever section final after finishing 10-3.
Earlier in the week, Brown, who rushed for a Sac-Joaquin Section-best 2,781 yards, split the Southern League’s MVP award with Le Grand senior Ryan Martinez.
Brown, along with senior Eric Broker and sophomore Will Kamps, were the only Ripon Christian players named to the first team All-Southern League squads.
The Knights also had four other players (Casey Kamper, Jake Schollenberg, Keegan Rivera and Spencer Hower) voted to the second team.
“I think it was the right decision to split (MVP honors),” said Brown, who had 26 carries for 155 yards and four TDs with a sprained MCL during the section final loss against Bradshaw Christian. “(Le Grand) won the Southern League, so that’s one good reason, and another reason is I didn’t play nearly as much defense as he did. I feel like (Martinez) deserved it just as much as I did.”
Junior quarterback Billy Marr, who finished with 1,783 passing yards, 18 TDs and 5 interceptions, was selected as an honorable mention, as was senior David Henderson (71 total tackles).
Marr was an honorable mention despite passing for the most yardage in the Southern League and having the best touchdown-to-interception ratio.
The players who beat him out were Mariposa’s Aaron Lerma (1,399, 13 TDs, 11 INTs) and Delhi’s Garret Thomas (315 yards, 5 TDs, 7 INTs).
RC’s standout senior Eric Broker (OL/DL) was the only other player named to the first team after finishing the year with 77 total tackles. Schollenberg was named to the second team with 33 tackles.
Kamps (90 tackles) was the only other first teamer from the defensive line after finishing with a state-leading 20 sacks for sophomores, which was the third-best in the entire section.
Kamper had 69 tackles and was solid in his senior campaign, earning second-team All-League. Rivera and Hower were also listed as second-team defensive backs.
Rivera led Ripon Christian with 100 total tackles and Hower was the squad’s second-leading receiver with 401 yards and four touchdowns.
While Brown saw the merit in the league’s split-MVP award, he was miffed by the rest of the all-league voting process. He felt his teammates deserved a little more credit for the Knights’ historic season.
“I don’t want to come across as some arrogant teenager who thinks he deserves more than what he got,” concluded Brown. “Martinez was an amazing player and talented on both sides of the ball. He won the Southern League and a section championship. He might deserve it all, but as far as my other (teammates), it wasn’t right.”