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Holmes heads list of all-SWC honors

North Medford senior Tristen Holmes has been a reliable entity on both sides of the football since joining the Black Tornado, and the three-year starter was recognized as such recently during all-conference voting by the Southwest Conference coaches.

Holmes was a repeat selection on the all-SWC first team as a defensive back and was the only North Medford player to earn first-team distinction on both sides with his selection as a wide receiver. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound cornerback led the Black Tornado in interceptions this season and was the SWC’s leading receiver with 42 catches for 718 yards and nine touchdowns.

Joining Holmes on a first-team offense dominated by players from SWC champion Grants Pass and runner-up Sheldon was teammate Nick Janakes, who earned a nod at running back after finishing with 1,097 yards and 18 TDs on 148 carries. He was 4 yards shy of leading the conference to GP’s Zac Hannan.

In all, Grants Pass landed six players on the offensive first team and Sheldon also had six, including offensive player of the year Kellen Strahm. The Sheldon quarterback led the league in scoring with 20 touchdowns and 10 extra-point kicks, running for 918 yards and 13 scores to go with 796 yards passing and five TDs. Prior to his move to quarterback for injured teammate Justin Herbert, Strahm was a leading receiver and finished with 26 catches for 362 yards and six TDs.

Defensively, North Medford senior lineman Calvinn Casaday, senior linebacker Edmund Polataivao and senior defensive back Jared Evans joined Holmes on the first team.

South Medford also earned a pair of first-team selections on defense in senior linebacker Blake Snyder and senior punter Craig Contreras, who averaged 35.6 yards per kick.

Grants Pass sophomore defensive lineman Anthony Del Toro shared SWC defensive player of the year honors with Sheldon senior linebacker Austin Tharp, while John Musser of the Cavemen was named SWC coach of the year after leading his team to its first conference title in 20 years.

Del Toro was the lone Grants Pass player to earn first-team nods on both sides of the ball (defensive line and offensive tackle) and was joined on the first-team offense by teammates Aaron Little (guard), Kirkland Meadows (tight end), Hannan (running back), Keegan Weiss (receiver) and Moges Dinkins (placekicker).

On defense, Del Toro was joined by Joe Malloy (defensive line), Brandon Amaral (linebacker) and JC McKinley (defensive back).

All-SWC Football

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Kellen Strahm, Sr., Sheldon.

CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR – Anthony Del Toro, So., Grants Pass, and Austin Tharp, Sr., Sheldon.

COACH OF THE YEAR – John Musser, Grants Pass.

First Team


C – Willy Spears, Sr., Sheldon.

G – Aaron Little, Jr., Grants Pass; Tate Edmundson, Jr., Sheldon.

T – Anthony Del Toro, So., Grants Pass; Taylor Conlon, Sr., Sheldon.

TE – Kirkland Meadows, Sr., Grants Pass.

RB – Nick Janakes, Sr., North Medford; Zac Hannan, Sr., Grants Pass; Logan Comer, Sr., Sheldon.

WR – Isaiah Cartwright, Sr., Sheldon; Tristen Holmes, Sr., North Medford; Keegan Weiss, Sr., Grants Pass.

QB – Kellen Strahm, Sr., Sheldon.

PK – Moges Dinkins, Sr., Grants Pass.


DL – Willy Spears, Sr., Sheldon; Joe Malloy, Sr., Grants Pass; Anthony Del Toro, So., Grants Pass; Calvinn Casaday, Sr., North Medford.

LB – Brandon Amaral, Sr., Grants Pass; Edmund Polataivao, Sr., North Medford; Austin Tharp, Sr., Sheldon; Blake Snyder, Sr., South Medford.

DB – JC McKinley, Sr., Grants Pass; Kellen Strahm, Sr., Sheldon; Tristen Holmes, Sr., North Medford; Jared Evans, Sr., North Medford.

P – Craig Contreras, Sr., South Medford.

Second Team


C – Andres Palomera, Sr., Grants Pass.

G – Zak Kuitert, Sr., North Medford; Destin Cook, Sr., Grants Pass.

T – Steven Jensen, Jr., Grants Pass; Calvinn Casaday, Sr., North Medford.

TE – Donnie York, Sr., Willamette.

RB – Sam Aguirre, Sr., Willamette; Hudson Thomas, Sr., South Medford; Layne VanAnrooy, So., Roseburg.

WR – Chase Cota, Fr., South Medford; JC McKinley, Sr., Grants Pass; Dillon French, Jr., Sheldon.

QB – Javan Appling, Sr., Grants Pass.

PK – Pavel Specht, Sr., Sheldon; Jaren Levesque, Jr., Thurston.


DL – Taylor Conlon, Sr., Sheldon; Will Cooney, Sr., South Medford; Makai Manuwai, Jr., South Medford; Tre Holmes, So., North Medford.

LB – Nick Janakes, Sr., North Medford; Logan Comer, Sr., Sheldon; Donnie York, Sr., Willamette; Logan Marsh, Jr., Thurston.

DB – Jeret Musser, Jr., Grants Pass; Jake Stoffel, Jr., Grants Pass; Jackson Johnson, Jr., Sheldon; Connor Morton, So., Thurston.

P – Logan Comer, Sr., Sheldon.

Honorable Mention


C – Jahan Kahusi, Sr., South Medford; Blaine Marshall, Sr., North Medford.

G – Ryan Phillipo, Jr., Sheldon; Joseph Gonzales, Sr., Thurston; Brandon Bueoy, Sr., North Medford; Jakob Ellis, Sr., South Medford; Isaiah Smith, Sr., Roseburg.

T – Will Cooney, Sr., South Medford; Zack Caddock, Sr., Roseburg; Cody Shear, So., Sheldon; Jeremy Sparks, Sr., North Medford.

RB – Ben Dean, Sr., Grants Pass; Dakota Dixon, Sr., South Eugene.

WR – Connor Morton, So., Thurston; Easton Bents, Jr., Grants Pass; John Saylor, Sr., South Eugene; Jared Evans, Sr., North Medford; Kaleb Franklin, Fr., South Medford; Tyler Basto, Jr., Thurston.

QB – Craig Contreras, Sr., South Medford; Troy Fowler, Sr., North Medford; Kosey Mitchell, Sr., Willamette.


DL – Brendan Sharp, Jr., Grants Pass; Chandler Obermire, Jr., Sheldon; Sam Aguirre, Sr., Willamette; Haydn Maley, So., Roseburg; Caleb Nevin, Sr., Thurston; Foley Wheeler, Sr., South Medford; Jared Hood, Sr., Grants Pass.

LB – Brae Dubie-Gadsby, So., South Eugene; Dillon Alfinito, Jr., South Medford; Dylan Hanley, Jr., Grants Pass; Keil Nicholas, Sr., Grants Pass; Layne VanAnrooy, So., Roseburg; Grant Schmaedick, Jr., Sheldon.

DB – Tank Thompson, Jr., Willamette; John Saylor, Sr., South Eugene; Bobby Chaney, So., South Medford; Josh Hansen, Sr., North Medford.

P – Jeret Musser, Jr., Grants Pass.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, khenry@mailtribune.com, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry

North Medford senior Tristen Holmes, left, shown here avoiding a tackle against South Medford, made the first team on offense and defense. PHOTO BY LARRY STAUTH JR.