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Four of five major awards go to Mustangs; MHS Gouveia makes 1st-team offense, defense
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Two-way standouts Danny Gouveia of Manteca High, right, and Oakdales Marcus Hernandez go head-to-head during a battle of 8-0 teams on Oct. 28. - photo by HIME ROMERO

The Oakdale High football team reaped the rewards of a dominant run through the Valley Oak League this past fall.

Just three days after losing to powerhouse Del Oro in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III championship game for a second straight year, the Mustangs (7-0, 13-1 overall) garnered four out of the five major honors in Monday’s year-end coaches meeting.

Bruising fullback/linebacker Marcus Hernandez was voted Most Valuable Player, while tailback Marcus Northcutt and safety/outside linebacker Justin Martin were named Outstanding Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. Trent Merzon earned Coach of the Year. Martin is also the all-VOL first-team kicker.

Dylan Fernandes of third-place Sonora (5-2, 8-4) was named Utility Player of the Year for his work at quarterback, defensive back and place kicker.

Leading Manteca-area schools was Manteca High running back/defensive back Danny Gouveia, one of just two players in the league to be selected to both the offensive and defensive first teams. He was the leading rusher for the runner-up Buffaloes (6-1, 9-2). Fullback/inside linebacker Nolan Dambacher earned the same distinction for Sonora.

Other first-team selections for Manteca were: center Daniel Clemons, tight end Matt Kuhnlenz, wide receiver Eric Ceja, sophomore offensive lineman Billy Sharmoug, linebackers Joe Trout and Cameron Harvey and defensive linemen Zach Menasco and JT Agbulos. Offensive lineman Isaac McClain, linebacker Eddie Smith and safety Anthony Lopez were selected to the second team.

Sierra (4-3, 5-5) had three first-team honorees, including wide receiver Zach Penirian, defensive back Tyler Clark and punter Guillermo Nunez. Linemen Will Ward and Bret Wilson are offensive first-team selections, while linebacker Austin Acker made the second team.

East Union (1-6, 1-9) has just two representatives on the list: first-team safety Steven Gigli and second-team wide out T.J. Williams.

Center Nick Ramirez, tight end Sean Visperas, running back Donnell Sims, offensive lineman Willie Cervantes and outside linebacker Demetrius Kelly are second-team selections for Weston Ranch (3-4, 4-6).