Will Kamps proved that his sophomore campaign was no fluke.
Ripon Christian’s hard-nosed standout was voted Defensive Player of the Year by Southern League coaches. For the season he racked up 88 tackles (24 for losses), 16 sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries while playing every position on the defensive front. Kamps also started for the offense at guard.
The Knights placed third in league with a 5-2 record, finished 9-3 overall and reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoff semifinals for a fourth consecutive season.
“Will is the x-factor for us, obviously,” Ripon Christian head coach Trey Ozenbaugh told the Bulletin just days before he led the Knights to their semifinal matchup with eventual section champion Capital Christian. “Will has played nose this year, he’s played defensive end, he’s played inside (linebacker) and outside (linebacker). Have teams game planned to run away from him? Absolutely.”
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Kamps had his best games in Ripon Christian’s biggest wins of the regular season. He accumulated 3.5 sacks, recovered two fumbles and caused another in the Knights’ 26-0 upset of Mariposa, the SL’s co-champion. Kamps also had 3.5 sacks in a 21-20 victory over Orestimba and a season-high 12 tackles in a 31-0 shutout of Denair.
Last year, Kamps was selected to the All-SL first team as a defensive lineman after piling up 20.5 sacks, which ranked him 10th in the state and third in the SJS, according to MaxPreps.
Mariposa’s Ryan Oliphant and Le Grand’s Raul Alvarez share Coach of the Year honors. The MVP award went to Orestimba running back/linebacker Austin Martins (1,406 yards, 15 TDs; 101 tackles, four interceptions). Mariposa back Kama’re Bailey (1,328 yards rushing, 477 receiving, 24 TDs) is the Offensive Player of the Year.
All told, six Ripon Christian players were picked for the all-league first team, three others made the second team and one earned honorable mention.
League coaches showed Ripon Christian’s passing game some love, as senior quarterback Billy Marr, junior wide out Ethan McMurray and senior tight end Jared Stuit made the first-team list. Marr completed 52.1 of his passes for 1,741 yards, 13 touchdowns against five interceptions and even rushed for four scores. Stuit led RC pass catchers with 32 receptions, 515 yards and five TDs. The 6-foot-2 McMurray finished with 458 yards and five TDs on 27 catches. Jake Schollenberg, a 6-4, 265-pound tackle, is also on the first-team offense. Junior lineman Eron Roen joins Kamps on the All-SL first-team defense. He finished with 36 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Offensive tackle Adam Mensonides, inside linebacker Seth Silveira (121 tackles) and cornerback Brian Sytsma (35 tackles, two interceptions) are Ripon Christian’s second-team selections. Kevin Kramer — who played fullback (776 yards, nine TDs), linebacker (34 tackles, three sacks) and placekicker (27-of-30 PATs) — got honorable mention.