By Ray Hamill — Eight College of the Redwoods players were named all-conference in football on Wednesday morning, including seven who earned first-team honors.
Three freshmen receivers made the list, including a pair of former Humboldt-Del Norte League standouts, St. Bernard’s Micha Fontenot-Cornely and Eureka’s Marcus Finney, who were named first-team all-conference.
Finney finished the season with 51 catches for 790 yards and nine touchdowns, all team highs, while Fontenot-Cornely had 36 receptions for 673 and four TDs.
Finney also made an impact on special teams, finishing with almost 500 yards on kick returns.
A third receiver, Zacharry Loveland, was named all-conference honorable mention, after a season that saw him finish with 681 yards receiving to go with six TDs, while also making an impact on returns, with 349 yards.
“They’re three of the most talented receivers I’ve ever coached,” CR head coach Frank Borba said. “It’s amazing that all three are on the same team, and it’s amazing they’re all freshmen. They’re all going to get better. And they all feed off each other.”
In the backfield, Elijah Hicks, out of Las Vegas, was one of the bright spots for the Corsairs all season, leading the team with 750 yards and six rushing TDs, and also earning first-team all-conference honors.
“He’s a hard-working back, and he’s a bigger back than you’d think,” Borba said of Hicks, who also has developed into an excellent pass blocker.
Hicks’ inclusion marks the fifth consecutive year CR has fielded a first-team all-conference running back.
Along the line, Christian Valadez, out of Wichita, Kansas, made a big impression in his debut season at CR, also earning all-conference first-team honors.
“He’s a tough kid, he’s physical kid, and he still has some room to grow,” Borba said of Valdez, who started at left tackle for the Corsairs all year.
Two Redwoods defensive linemen also made first team, sophomores Teejay Tome and freshman Dakota Moore.
Tome, from Hawaii, was a force along the line all season, finishing with 9.5 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss, both team highs.
His sack total was second best in conference.
“Teejay’s a high-motor guy,” Borba said “He’s a physical specimen, and boy is he strong.”
Moore, meanwhile, settled in quickly this season, and the North Bend native finished with six sacks and turned in some dynamic performances.
“Dakota is an undersized defensive end, but does everything he’s coached to do,” the head coach said.
Sophomore linebacker Chriss Giacomozzi, out of Idaho, closed out his CC career strong, leading the team in tackles with 66 on the year, also earning all-conference first-team honors.
“Chriss was just our leader throughout,” Borba said of Giacomozzi, who earned a starting spot as a sophomore. “He committed himself to the offseason program, and he helped lead our offseason program.
“He’s just a solid, solid football player, and he’s got some action going recruiting wise.”
The Corsairs finished the season 3-7, including a 1-4 mark in the American-Pacific 7 Conference.