By Ray Hamill — The H-DNL released the Big 4 all-league selections for football on Monday, with three players who played for a state championship this past weekend named MVPs.
Del Norte junior Levi Cox Cooley was named Offensive MVP after leading the way in a stellar Warriors backfield that paved the way to a first-ever state bowl appearance for the program.
Defensively, middle linebacker Anthony Slayton was just as impressive, leading the way on a defense that averaged more than 10 tackles for a loss every week.
Slayton, a senior, was named co-Defensive MVP for his efforts, along with St. Bernard’s senior Justin Hagler.
Like Slayton, Hagler was sensational all year long, leading the way on an outstanding SB defense.
And like Slayton, Hagler’s influence on his team’s success was not limited to his play on the field, with both seniors providing much-needed leadership on the way to a state championship game for each.
Slayton finished with 112 tackles, including a very impressive 28 tackles for a loss, and also had four sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception.
Cox Cooley ran for 1,667 yards on 231 carries for an average of 7.2 yards a carry, while also contributing 215 yards through the air and 14 total TDs.
Hagler led the NCS with 167 tackles and also had three interceptions.
Joining Hagler as an all-league selection are teammates Lane Thrap (WR/FS), Will Omey (QB/CB) and Talimaivao Fonoti (RB/DE).
Eureka’s Trevor Bell (QB) and Chase Steubing (TE/LB) were each also named all-league after outstanding seasons for the injury-plagued Loggers, as were Fortuna’s Daeden Taylor (QB/DB), Kobe Letter (RB/LB), Jordan Bennett (RB/LB), Luciano Medina (OL), Cole Ivey (OL/DL) and Branson Gans (WR/DB).
As Big 4 champions, Del Norte is also well represented on the all-league team. The list of all-league Warriors will be released at the team’s upcoming end-of-season banquet.
Drew Jensen, Gary Jimenez, Josiah Graham, Lamarie Dunn and Miles Meynell (Eureka); Max Hough, Kevin Gage and Levi Nyberg (Fortuna); Cole Petrusha, Harmon Daniel, Logan Petrusha, Guillermo Perez-Estrada and Connor Petrusha (St. Bernard’s).