• PREP FOOTBALL

    Panthers' Garcia doubles up all-SWC honors

    Senior earns first-team nod on offense and defense to pace local selections
  • Sheldon rightfully dominated the all-conference voting for Southwest Conference football but South Medford's Adrian Garcia carried the torch for the locals as the only area standout with first-team selections on both sides of the football.

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  • Sheldon rightfully dominated the all-conference voting for Southwest Conference football but South Medford's Adrian Garcia carried the torch for the locals as the only area standout with first-team selections on both sides of the football.
    "It means a lot," Garcia said of the two-way honor. "I've been following (former teammate) Matt Retzlaff a lot this year and he got that last year so it's an honor to be mentioned with him and amongst the other great players in the conference."
    Garcia led the Panthers with eight interceptions — one shy of the single-season school record — and had at least one pick in South Medford's final four games of the regular season. The 6-foot, 170-pound senior also ranked fourth in the SWC with 568 yards receiving on 46 catches to go with eight touchdowns.
    "For two years now Adrian's been an impact player in this league," said South Medford head coach Bill Singler. "This year he's asked to be one of our leaders and he doesn't miss a practice and always has a smile on his face and a bounce in his step."
    "He's got a nose for the football," added Singler. "Whether it's on offense or defense, when that ball's in the air he's a ballhawk and he just goes after it."
    Crater senior linebacker Derrick Turituri and South Medford senior linebacker Pat Alexander were repeat first-team selections on the defense, while North Medford had a pair of first-time honors in senior running back Evan Hisey and senior guard Tyler Baird.
    The Arizona-bound Turituri and Alexander each led their respective teams in tackles, with the Panthers finishing first in the SWC in total defense with 178 yards allowed per game and the Comets ranking third at 290 yards allowed per game.
    Baird helped pave the way for a North Medford offense that averaged 253 yards per game but finished with the conference's leader in rushing with Hisey. As the focal point of the Black Tornado's attack, Hisey amassed 961 yards and six TDs on 173 carries during the regular season.
    Sheldon's undefeated run netted the Irish 14 spots on the first-team offense and defense combined, with no one making more of a splash than senior Connor Strahm.
    The 6-2, 225-pounder repeated his role as the SWC's offensive player of the year and also added the defensive player of the year nod. Be it as a runner or receiver, Strahm spearheaded Sheldon's offense to the tune of 1,032 combined yards (664 receiving and 368 rushing) and 14 touchdowns. He added three more TDs due to his special teams and defensive prowess to finish as the SWC's leading scorer at 102 points.
    Sheldon's Lane Johnson was named SWC coach of the year after guiding the Irish to their fourth straight conference title.
    All-SWC Football
    OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Connor Strahm, Sr., Sheldon.
    DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Connor Strahm, Sr., Sheldon.
    COACH OF THE YEAR — Lane Johnson, Sheldon.
    FIRST TEAM
    Offense
    C — Tony Tokatly, Sr., Sheldon.
    G — Tyler Baird, Sr., North Medford; Tanner Davies, Jr., Sheldon.
    T — Brett Nielsen, Sr., Sheldon; Zach Wyscaver, Sr., Roseburg.
    TE — Connor Strahm, Sr., Sheldon.
    RB — Evan Hisey, Sr., North Medford; Jake Heverly, Sr., Roseburg; Aaron Downes, Sr., Thurston.
    WR — Dylan Lewis, Sr., Sheldon; Adrian Garcia, Sr., South Medford; Jack Miller, Sr., Thurston.
    QB — Taylor Alie, Sr., Sheldon.
    PK — Nathan Starnes, Jr., Sheldon.
    Defense
    DL — Chet Spears, Sr., Sheldon; Mike Ralston, Sr., Sheldon; Zach Wyscaver, Sr., Roseburg; Colin Lahti, Sr., Thurston.
    LB — James Banks, Sr., Sheldon; Ivan Faulhaber, Sr., Sheldon; Pat Alexander, Sr., South Medford; Derrick Turituri, Sr., Crater; Aaron Downes, Sr., Thurston.
    DB — Adrian Garcia, Sr., South Medford; Dylan Lewis, Sr., Sheldon; Connor Strahm, Sr., Sheldon; Jake Heverly, Sr., Roseburg.
    P — Mike Ralston, Sr., Sheldon.
    SECOND TEAM
    Offense
    C — Alex Hathaway, Sr., South Medford; Garrett Ogan, Sr., Thurston.
    G — Henry Asay, Sr., Sheldon; Cesar Cabrera, Jr., South Medford.
    T — Colin Lahti, Sr., Thurston; Marcus McGovern, Jr., Sheldon.
    TE — Chandler Haskett, Sr., Roseburg.
    RB — Anthony Mattie, Sr., Grants Pass; Ben Casebier, Sr., South Medford; Yadie Dunmore, Jr., Sheldon.
    WR — Bracken Sharp, Sr., Grants Pass; Mitchell Herbert, Jr., Sheldon; Riley Veritch, Sr., Grants Pass.
    QB — Hayden Lent, Sr., Roseburg.
    PK — Riley Williams, Jr., South Medford.
    Defense
    DL — Eduardo Duran, Sr., Crater; Josh Bowden, Sr., South Medford; Drake Brennan, Jr., Grants Pass; Liam Talty, Jr., Sheldon.
    LB — Kyle Watson, Sr., Thurston; Carlos Higuera, Jr., Crater; Anthony Gomez, Jr., South Medford; Steven Etheridge, Sr., Grants Pass.
    DB — Riley Veritch, Sr., Grants Pass; Tanner Demoss, Sr., Thurston; Mitchell Herbert, Jr., Sheldon; Cody Walker, Jr., Roseburg.
    P — Blake Fahndrich, Jr., Crater; Anthony Mattie, Sr., Grants Pass.
    HONORABLE MENTION
    Offense
    G — Donovan Culp, Sr., Crater; Marshall Davis, Sr., Thurston.
    T — Micah Thomas, Sr., Crater; Vinnie Shuler, Jr., Grants Pass; Sam Curtius, Sr., South Medford; Pierre-Michael Francia, Sr., South Eugene; Kyle Miller, Sr., Grants Pass.
    TE — Ivan Faulhaber, Sr., Sheldon; Connor Still, Jr., South Eugene; Dominique Barnett, Sr., North Medford.
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