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Manteca walks off with two major awards
Manteca High senior Matt Barber closed out a dominant season-long showing with the Valley Oak League’s Most Valuable Player award. - photo by Bulletin file photo


• MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: P/IF Matt Barber, Manteca sr.
• BEST OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: P/C Matt Burrows, Manteca jr.
• COACH OF THE YEAR: Hondo Arpoika, Oakdale
• FIRST TEAM: P Brennan Williams, Oakdale jr.; P Dustin Baisdon, Ceres jr.; P Jesse Foster, Sonora sr.; C Joey Machado, Oakdale sr.; IF Garret Everhart, Sonora sr.; IF Justin Dias, East Union sr.; IF Daniel Miramontes, Manteca soph.; IF Cody Simmons, Oakdale soph.; IF Ryan Emerald, Sonora jr.; OF Steven Gigli, East Union soph.; OF Ken Leasure, Sierra sr.; OF Matt Butler, Oakdale jr.; OF Michael Timmins, Manteca jr.; Utility Tanner Combs, Oakdale sr.
• SECOND TEAM: P Bryce Willis, Sierra sr.; P Greg Guerra Central Valley sr.; C Dylan Fernandez, Sonora soph.; IF Dylan DeBrouwer Sierra jr.; IF Brett Riley, East  Union jr.; IF Matt Cardelli, Ceres jr.; IF Akiha Etu, Weston Ranch jr.; OF Jonathan Davis, Sierra sr.; OF Cole Branch, Oakdale sr.; OF Brent Ward, Ceres jr.

Honorable Mention

• East Union: Joe Modesto, John Ott, Ricky Inderbitzin
• Weston Ranch: Tyler Scharnow, Antonio Joseph
• Manteca: Trey Roberts
• Sierra: John Waggy
• Lathrop: Kevin Howard

Manteca High’s Matt Barber closed out his senior season as the Valley Oak League’s Most Valuable Player.

Barber was everything and more for Buffalo head coach Gene Ballardo, going undefeated at 8-0 in his eight starts in league with a miniscule 1.40 ERA. Barber held his own in the batter’s box, mashing to the tune of a .420 batting average in 16 league games as Manteca’s leadoff hitter.

“I came into the season knowing that I would have to improve on what I did last season because I didn’t finish the year like I would have wanted to,” Barber said. “My goals coming in were just to make playoffs.

“I really thought that I would make all-league, but I didn’t expect MVP.”  
Barber finished the season with 32 hits, 7 doubles, 19 RBIs and two home runs, including a deep-blast in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs. On the mound, Barber was 11-2 overall and twirled a team-high three shutouts. His efforts were key in Manteca’s 18-win season and return trip to the playoffs.

Buffaloes junior Matt Burrows was honored as the league’s Best Offensive Player of the Year, hitting .558 in VOL play with eight extra base hits and 18 RBIs. Teammate Daniel Miramontes (.367) received a first-team infield spot, while Michael Timmins (.488, 8 RBIs) was voted onto the all-VOL first-team outfield group.

East Union High standout Steven Gigli (.450, 15-extra base hits) made first-team all-VOL as a sophomore in the outfield, while teammate Justin Dias (.389, 18 RBIs) earned a berth on the all-VOL first team as an infielder. Sierra High outfielder Ken Leasure also garnered a first-team all-VOL spot.

Oakdale head coach and postseason mainstay, Hondo Arpoika walked away with Coach of the Year honors to round out the major awards.

Sierra High’s Bryce Willis was recognized on the second-team all-VOL spot as a pitcher, while teammate Dylan DeBrouwer made the squad as an infielder in his junior season. Senior outfielder Jonathan Davis closed his Timberwolves career with a second-team all-VOL berth.
East Union’s Brett Riley also made the second-team all-VOL infield team, as did Weston Ranch’s Akiha Etu. Tyler Scharnow of Weston Ranch was recognized as honorable mention, as did teammate Antonio Joseph.

Lathrop High’s Kevin Howard was also honorable mention, along with East Union’s Joe Modesto, John Ott and Ricky Inderbitzin. Manteca Buffalo Trey Roberts also landed an honorable mention berth along with Sierra’s John Waggy.