High School Sports

Stories of the year, No. 10: Season of firsts for Nipomo High football

First this, first that. Most this, most that.

Chronicling Nipomo High football this season often required invoking those sorts of phrases.

The Titans went 8-4, advancing to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division playoffs. With their first-round, 39-12 win at Verbum Dei of Los Angeles — the 7-year-old varsity program’s first playoff win — they became the only PAC 7 or Los Padres League team in San Luis Obispo County to win a postseason game this year. They were also the only county team from any of its five leagues to host a playoff game after Thanksgiving.

Seventeen seniors who gained starting experience in 2008 led the way.

Running back Eric Penningroth was among that group.

Penningroth — The Tribune’s County Player of the Year — accounted for a county-best 2,008 yards from scrimmage, 17 touchdowns and 13 two-point conversions.

Receiver Kevin Britt, meanwhile, caught 53 passes for 893 yards and 11 touchdowns — all county highs — and added 71 tackles as a cornerback. Also, quarterback Josh Correia led both San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties by passing for 1,809 yards and 20 touchdowns.

And linebacker Duane Hanna racked up 134 tackles on his way to LPL Defensive Back of the Year honors. In addition to those four, eight other Titans were also voted to the All-LPL team: offensive linemen Jake Ryan, Gabe Fernandez and Dominic Cabigas, linebackers Angel Rendon and Steven Mansera, receiver Akeem King, and defensive linemen Cameron Teofilo and Chris Reed.