A frustrating season on the football field ended with some satisfaction off the gridiron as five Grizzlies captured all-league honors.
In voting by Mid-Valley League coaches, Sunnyside running back B.J. Miller was named to the second-team. The junior was a workhorse back for the Grizzlies, averaging more than 100 yards rushing per game. "B.J. had to run in some tough situations and came up just short of the first team," said Grizzly football coach Mark Marro.
Ryan Engel, also a junior, was named to the Mid-Valley's second team for play on the defensive line. "Ryan was our defensive player of the year," said Marro. "He was probably our fastest guy on the field." Engel was also the points leader for Sunnyside's defense. The point system is based on defensive stops such as tackles, interceptions and sacks.
Two Grizzlies received rare double-honors.
Casey Smith was named to the all-league honorable mention team for play on the defensive line and at offensive tackle. "He got better all year, and really cemented the left side of our line with Lucas (Ramos)," observed Marro.
Ramos was also honorable mention on the defensive line and for play at offensive guard. "He was a three-year letterman for us," Marro noted. "Lucas is a great kid."
Brandon Coleman garnered an honorable mention nod for play at wide receiver, which was quite an honor considering the Grizzlies' run-based attack. "He had a really good year," said Marro. "Brandon caught everything thrown to him and other teams covered him with their best players."
Coleman, Smith and Ramos are all Sunnyside seniors.
The postseason awards were sweet for the Sunnyside grid team, which ended the regular season with a record of 1-10 and was winless in league play.
"I'm proud of the kids and proud of the recognition the other coaches in the league gave them," said Marro. "Hopefully, the younger ones will get another opportunity to step up and do the same thing."
When asked if there were any Sunnyside players on the bubble, who just missed out on an all-league honor, Marro offered that sophomore Diego Burgueno could have received more notice from the coaches for play at middle linebacker.
Marro said the same goes for senior Jason Aguirre, who provided solid play on the offensive line before suffering late season injuries.