The local prep football scene enjoyed one last hurrah before closing the book on one of the most storied seasons on the Central Coast.
Thirty players and a pair of coaches from San Luis Obispo County were named to their respective all-CIF Southern Section divisional teams Tuesday.
Division champion and regional bowl representative Paso Robles swept the Northern Division’s top honors, with senior wideout Bailey Gaither earning Offensive Player of the Year, senior linebacker Josh Oliver as Defensive Player of the year, and coach Rich Schimke being named Coach of the Year.
Gaither, the Tribune County Player of the Year, scored 30 total touchdowns and amassed nearly 1,500 receiving yards. A San Jose State commit like Gaither, Oliver recorded 13 sacks for a defense that allowed just 40 points in its four divisional playoff games. Schimke led the Bearcats to their third Southern Section title in his 16 years at the helm.
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The area’s other divisional title winner, Nipomo, had the Northwest Division’s Defensive Player of the Year in senior safety Peyton Witcher, and Coach of the Year Russ Edwards.
Witcher finished the season with 142 tackles and intercepted eight passes in four postseason games, including a pair in the Titans’ 22-19 championship-clinching win over Arrowhead Christian. Edwards’ spread offense and pressure defense helped deliver the first section title in school history.
Paso Robles landed five other players on the Northern Division list, including two-time selection Jordan Burbank, a senior offensive lineman. Also named were Jonathan Baldwin, a senior tight end and Northern Arizona commit who caught a 34-yard touchdown pass in the 13-10 title win over Newbury Park; Bryce Pasky, the senior kicker who boomed 52 touchbacks and 8 of 11 field goals but tore his ACL on the opening kickoff in the regional bowl loss to Lakeside El Capitan; Trevor Torres, a senior defensive back who had a crucial interception in the Bearcats’ 28-21 semifinal win at Arroyo Grande; and Michael Horne, a senior defensive lineman and team co-captain with Baldwin who held the high-powered Newbury Park offense to just 10 points.
The area’s two other Northern Division semifinalists, Atascadero and Arroyo Grande, had five players apiece selected to the division’s team.
Representing the Greyhounds are senior fullback and PAC 5 Offensive Back of the Year Ethan Hicks, junior offensive lineman Kevin Blodget, senior defensive end Karson Block, senior linebacker Nick Ducasse and senior punter — and quarterback — Tommy Carr.
Junior defensive back Bradley Mickey and his 10 interceptions, junior offensive lineman Josh Day, junior defensive lineman Cole Cunningham, and senior linebackers Ryan Teixeira and Jordan Harrigan earned honors for the Eagles.
Six other Titans joined Witcher and Edwards on the Northwest Division team: 2,930-yard senior quarterback and Northern League MVP Matt Albright, 1,324-yard senior rusher Chris Owens, junior center Ely-jah Pu’a, 1,150-yard senior receiver Nick Kimball, senior defensive end Matt Sparks and 170-tackle junior linebacker Terry Wambolt.
Senior wide receiver Christian Hauser and senior linebacker Easton Coy earned nods for Templeton, which also reached the Northwest Division semifinals.
Morro Bay’s stout defense landed it three seniors on the list in lineman Trajan Beecham, defensive back Elijah Garcia and utility player Will Unks.
Mission Prep senior offensive lineman Shereef Wahba, a two-time selection, rounded out the county selections.