Ripon has established itself as a true powerhouse in one of the toughest small-school leagues in the state, earning six top-two finishes including three co-championships and an outright title in the last seven years.
The Indians seized another share of the crown in 2018, finishing 5-1 and 10-2 overall after a second straight semifinal-final round loss to Bear River in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs. Despite the disappointing end, Ripon had several noteworthy achievements such as its lopsided shutout road win against Mother Lode League king Sonora, a victory over eventual CIF State Division VI-AA champion Hilmar and a thrilling come-from-behind triumph over then previously-unbeaten Modesto Christian in Week 10.
At the center of many of the Indians’ shining moments was quarterback Ryan Daggett, who follows former Indians running back Michael Winters as the All-TVL Offensive Player of the Year award winner.
An all-league selection a year ago, Daggett exploded for 1,127 yards on 71-of-106 passing with 13 touchdowns and two interceptions. He was an even bigger threat on the ground, leading Ripon with 743 rushing yards and 11 TDs.
Greg Clark earned first-team spots on both offense and defense. The scrappy 5-7, 195-pound guard/inside linebacker was Ripon’s leading tackler with 110. He also had 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, four fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles.
A quarterback at the lower levels, junior Nico Ilardi (299 yards, five TDs; 30 tackles, two INTs) proved to be an all-around asset for the Indians. He was named to the first-team defense as a cornerback and safety, second team on offense as a receiver and first team specialist as a punter.
Third-year RB/OLB Roland Davis (767 total yards, 11 TDs; 62 tackles) made the all-league first team for offense and second team for defense. Junior outside linebacker Grant Wiebe (103 tackles, 9.5 sacks) rounds out Ripon’s first-team selections.
Second-team honorees for Ripon: center Jeremiah Willey, offensive tackle Caleb Delgado, tackle Mason Terry, running back Derric Roy, defensive end Troy Brogan, inside linebacker Brandon Rainer, running back/defensive back Danny Hernandez and placekicker Nathan Valdez. Chris Musseman was named Co-Coach of the Year with Modesto Christian’s Mike Parsons. Escalon defensive end Josh Walden is the Outstanding Defensive Player.
Earning Most Outstanding in their respective divisions are Escalon offensive tackle Damien Tom, Hilmar running back Isaac Sharp, Hughson receiver Damien Contreras, Modesto Christian defensive end Xavier Cartlon, Modesto Christian free safety Jose Hernandez, Escalon linebacker Nash Satnat and Hilmar linebacker Justin Rentfro.