Ripon High’s varsity football team made a run into the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV postseason where it was eliminated by one of the state’s best squads in Central Catholic.
Senior Michael Ysit and Co. left it all on the field at David Patton Memorial Stadium in Modesto on Nov. 29, as the Indians (11-2) came up short 38-7 against the Raiders – the eventual section champs and NorCal champs who will compete for a second straight state championship Saturday against Bakersfield Christian.
Ysit, along with seven other members of the Indians, were named to the Trans Valley League’s first-team All-League list for their efforts this season.
Ysit (1,525 yards, 21 TDs) earned the Outstanding Offensive Back honor and was also selected to the first-team defense at outside linebacker. He is one of three Indians to come away with major awards. Joining him near the top of the list were Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman Kody Day and Most Outstanding Linebacker Michael Morris.
“He was productive on both sides of the ball,” Ripon head coach Chris Johnson said of Ysit. “He was the (TVL’s) leading rusher, and the interesting thing about him was he never really played a full game because our margins of victory were so large.
“Great player, great outside backer. He forced the run real well. He also returned two kicks for touchdowns, and every time he touched the ball you just held your breath.”
Ripon’s sophomore quarterback Nick Price was a first-team selection along with Claudio Santos (TE), Bradley Clark (WR) and offensive lineman Robert Taylor. Josh Clark (DB), no relation to Bradley, is a first-team defender.
Price ran for six touchdowns and threw for 1,612 yards with 20 TD tosses. He only tossed four interceptions all year, two of which were in a pivotal first half against Central Catholic, one of only three losses for Ripon over the last two years.
“To be a sophomore and be a first-team all-league quarterback, that says just as much as anybody needs to know,” Johnson said.
“Taylor came into our program as a freshman, and he never takes a play off. He’s not going to wow you with his size, but (more) with his effort and toughness.
“Bradley was the TVL’s Most Valuable Receiver last year,” Johnson added. “And he just has a knack for going up and catching the ball. He’s one of the most competitive receivers you’ll ever see. He just goes up and gets it. It’s the same way in basketball.
“(Santos) transferred in from Manteca this year. He’s always been a wide-out guy, and he had to embrace going down to tight end and it ended up being a real productive season for him.”
Troy Barth, Matt Kaiser, Harrison Salvador, Luke Bunting, Davis Armstrong and Ryan Fugit were all listed on the All-TVL second-team list.
League champion Hilmar captured the three biggest awards. Quarterback Jonathan O’Brien and linebacker Joseph Bello were voted Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. Frank Marques is Coach of the Year.