By Ray Hamill — The honors continue to roll in for St. Bernard’s and the rest of the H-DNL in football, with the news on Friday that senior receiver Lane Thrap has been named to the Prep2Prep All-North Coast Section first team.
Thrap was one of six H-DNL players named to the prestigious all-section teams, but the only one named to the first team.
The Crusaders star led the NCS in all major receiving categories despite being double teamed much of the season, and played a pivotal role in helping St. Bernard’s win a 6-AA state championship last month.
“He is the toughest player I’ve ever coached,” St. Bernard’s long-time head coach Matt Tomlin said of Thrap. “Lane Thrap will fight you in an alley way, he’ll hit you as hard as he has to hit you, and he’ll give you his full effort for all four quarters.
“He’s just the ultimate competitor.”
Thrap, a three-sport standout, finished the season with 75 catches for 1,550 yards and 23 touchdowns, while also coming away with five interceptions at safety, including a pick six.
He is joined on Prep2Prep’s all-section teams by St. Bernard’s teammates Will Omey(utility) and Justin Hagler(linebacker), and Del Norte’s Levi Cox Cooley(running back) and Anthony Slayton(linebacker), each of whom were named to the second team.
Ferndale’s Landon Gomes(utility) was also honored on Prep2Prep’s third all-section team, while 15 other H-DNL players received an all-section honorable mention.
Omey, who was also named the CalHiSports small schools player of the yearon Thursday, posted “video game” numbers, according to the Prep2Prep story on Friday.
The St. Bernard’s senior QB completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,664 yards and 40 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,516 yards and 20 more TDs.
Defensively he also had 73 tackles and 10 pass break-ups playing cornerback.
Hagler, who was the Crusaders’ catalyst all season on the defensive side of the ball, led the NCS in tackles and was named co-Defensive MVP in the Big 4.
The senior linebacker, who is attracting Division-I college attention, finished the season with 127 solo tackles and three interceptions, as well as 51 catches for 772 yards and five touchdowns on offense.
“It’s just a special senior class,” Tomlin said. “A once in a lifetime senior class.”
Del Norte’s Cox Cooley and Slayton were equally impressive.
“They both just stepped into huge roles on the team,” Del Norte head coach Nick White said. “And the hard work and dedication that those two guys had, it showed in every single game we played.”
Cox Cooley, the only junior of the six H-DNL honorees, led a three-pronged Warriors running attack behind a dominating line, finishing with 1,667 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing.
Slayton was Del Norte’s catalyst on a defense that led the NCS in tackles for a loss and he was co-Defensive MVP of the Big 4 along with Hagler.
The senior linebacker had 112 total tackles, a remarkable 28 of them for a loss.
“First and foremost, he’s a student of the game,” White said of Slayton. “He led the NCS in tackles for a loss.”
Gomes also had an outstanding senior campaign to lead the way in a breakout season for the Wildcats, who reached the Division-7 NCS championship game.
The versatile multi-sport standout led the Cats at running back and receiver, as well as playing a pivotal role in the team’s success in the defensive backfield.
And just as importantly, Gomes was a valuable team leader on and off the field.
Prep 2 Prep All-Section Honorable Mentions
ARCATA —Maximus Rice, Kien Mazzotti
DEL NORTE —Chase Blackburn, Tanner Forkner
EUREKA —Trevor Bell, Chase Steubing
FERNDALE —Dominic Regli, Tristen Martin
FORTUNA —Jordan Bennett, Cole Ivey
HOOPA —Carlos Aguilar, John Smith
McKINLEYVILLE —Kyler Carr
ST. BERNARD’S —Talimaivao Fonoti, Guillermo Perez-Estrada