The Buhach Colony football team continued its dominance of the Central California Conference this season.
The Thunder went 5-0 en route to winning a third straight CCC championship and extending its league winning streak to 15 games.
It was no surprise Buhach Colony took home most of the big awards handed out by the conference coaches.-
Thunder quarterback/defensive back Joe Marquez was selected as the MVP. Running back Stefon Gold was picked as the Best Offensive Player and Aaron Cochran was chosen as the Lineman of the Year.
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Marquez's contributions weren't just measured in statistics.
"I think it's well deserved," said Buhach Colony head coach Kevin Swartwood, who was named the CCC Coach of the Year. "That's the best word I can think of. Everybody has their own view of what defines an MVP. Some players are seen just as an offensive player or defensive player. Joe does a great job on both sides of the ball.
"He was the top vote getter at quarterback and defensive back."
Marquez was surprised to hear the news.
"I haven't really thought about it," Marquez said. "It's great that I got it. Of course, being a quarterback, being a leader comes with it. My job was to make sure everyone was on their task."
Marquez threw for 346 yards and four touchdowns to go along with 165 rushing yards and two scores in his five CCC games.
On defense, Marquez had five interceptions and 26 tackles in conference play.
Gold rushed for 558 yards and 12 touchdowns in his five CCC games.
"Stefon had a great year at running back," Swartwood said. "He hit the hole fast and ran really hard. He's blocking better than before, too."
Cochran towers over most defensive lineman with his 6-foot-8, 350-pound frame.
"I don't want to say it was a foregone conclusion that Aaron would be lineman of the year, but before the year got going I think most coaches knew he was going to be a heck of a lineman," Swartwood said. "I still think his best years are ahead of him."
Atwater linebacker Trevor Coleman picked up the other top award as the Best Defensive Player.
The Falcons senior recorded 59 tackles and three sacks during CCC play.
The Thunder had 11 players named to the all-CCC first team, including running back Leon Miles, defensive lineman Ray Rodriguez, linebackers Steve Strasser and Tyson Coffey and defensive back Jayce Webster.
Merced landed seven players on the first team, including lineman Justin Maxwell, quarterback Eli Gutierrez, receiver Bradley Adamson and defensive back David Keys.