By Ray Hamill — After a successful return to the football field this year, five College of the Redwoods players have been named to the All-Region team, including Hoopa’s Weyk-seyr Hutchinson.
Hutchinson was the lone sophomore on this year’s team and anchored the offensive line at left guard, providing some much-needed leadership on a young Corsairs roster.
Four CR freshmen also were named to the All-Region team, including receiver Jaydan Burns, defensive lineman Julian Garcia, punt returner Mason Priddy and utility player Damario Watson.
All five players received the honor after outstanding individual seasons for the Corsairs, who closed out with a record of 7-4 and got to host a bowl game for the first time in 27 years.
Hutchinson grew into a leadership role on the young team.
“For Weyk, that wasn’t a totally natural thing,” CR head coach Jason White said. “He worked on it and he stepped up, and that was important for us.”
The 2019 Hoopa graduate was the only holdover from the 2019 CR team, with the program being suspended for two years for budgetary reasons.
And his experience at the JC level was invaluable.
“The other thing is he knew how to play at this level,” White added. “He knew the speed of the game. And he played the right way. He doesn’t take a down off.”
Burns joined the team Ukiah High and was one of the team’s emotional leaders.
“He just plays with a ton of passion,” the head coach said. “He loves the game. It’s all he thinks about.”
Going into the season opener, Burns was well down the team’s depth chart, but when he got his opportunity to shine he took full advantage of it and quickly established himself as a big play threat.
“He got into camp and he was fourth or fifth on our depth chart,” White said. “And we pulled some guys (in the opening game) and then he got into the game and got his chance and never looked back after that.”
He also loved to block, which earned him the admiration of his coaches and teammates.
Watson, meanwhile, was a threat on many different fronts and played a pivotal role running the ball, catching the ball and on kick returns, and also was a “real good blocker,” according to White.
“He never has a bad day at practice,” the head coach added of the Ashland native. “Every day he was a workhorse.”
Priddy was one one of the most dangerous punt returners in the state and quickly won the admiration of the other coaches in the American Pacific-7 Conference.
The Vancouver, Wash., native, who also played defensive back, scored touchdowns on two of his five punt returns early in the season, before opposing teams flat out stopped kicking to him.
He had a third return for a touchdown called back on a penalty and was, according to his coach, perfect for the position.
“He’s not scared of anything,” White said. “Being a punt returner, it takes a lot of courage.”
Garcia, meanwhile, was a force on the D-line from day one and never relented, setting the tone all season long for his teammates on that side of the ball.
“From game one to game 11, that guy just played his heart out,” White said of the Clovis High grad. “He has a motor that doesn’t stop.
“His strength is he’s quick off the block and he’s got great hands. You have to have two guys on him every single time.”
Categories: College of the Redwoods, Football, Hoopa Valley
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