Merced High footbal coach Rob Scheidt couldn’t make up his mind so he put two of his players up for the Central California Conference Most Valuable Player.
It was a tough call for Scheidt with Dhameer Warren and Xavier Stewart both contributing so much on both sides of the ball.
The CCC coaches selected Warren for conference MVP and Stewart was named the conference’s Best Offensive Player.
“Both were phenomenal in conference play and both were recognized for their play,” said Scheidt, who was also named the CCC Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to a perfect 10-0 record. “By far, they were the top vote-getters at their positions.”
Warren helped guide a Merced offense that averaged more than 50 points per game this season. The third-year quarterback threw for 885 yards and 14 touchdowns. He completed 68 percent of his passes and threw just one interception. Warren added 674 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.
Warren was also a lock-down cornerback who earned the most votes at defensive back.
Stewart was just as impressive at receiver, catching at least one touchdown in all 10 games for the Bears. The third-year receiver caught 43 receptions for 843 yards and 14 touchdowns. Stewart also led the Bears with nine tackles for loss this season, including three sacks while playing outside linebacker and defensive end.
“I knew X would be up for MVP too,” Warren said. “I would have been happy for him if he got it and I would have got the other award. It makes me happy to see our team succeed.”
Warren says the biggest difference for him this year is cutting down on the turnovers after throwing 15 interceptions last year.
“I think our guys let me lead a little more this year,” Warren said. “They showed a lot trust in me.”
Merced’s other third-year senior Clifford Johnson was also honored by the conference coaches when they selected him as the Offensive Lineman of the Year.
The Bears offensive line had three other players earn all-league honors with Miguel Govea being a first-team selection and Anthony Davis and Marc-Anthony Martinez being selected to the second team.
“Our skill guys get a lot of attention, but anybody who has seen us knows how important our offensive line has been this season,” Scheidt said. “It was good to see four guys get rewarded. Clifford was by far the top vote-getter at the position.”
The other top awards went to Buhach Colony’s Noah Perez as Best Defensive Player and Patterson’s Boss Foumai as Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Perez helped anchor a strong defensive line for the Thunder this season, which helped BC finished the regular season with an 8-2 record.
The offensive players selected to the all-CCC first team include: linemen Johnson, Perez, Govea, Logan Foumai (Patterson), Aristeo Prado (Golden Valley), Tomas Sandoval (Buhach Colony), running backs Desmond Thompson (Merced), Charles Jackson (Atwater), quarterbacks Warren and Junior Garcia (Merced) and receivers Stewart, Ezra Morales (Merced), Moses Ruelas (Patterson) and Ronald Harris (Patterson).
The first-team all-CCC defense was comprised of linemen Logan Williams (Merced), Mason Reel (Buhach Colony), Logan Foumai (Patterson), Boss Foumai, defensive end/outside linebackers Stewart and Davon Johnson (Golden Valley), inside linebackers Xavier Ortiz-Wilson (Merced), Gerardo Alvarado (Golden Valley) and defensive backs (Warren), Youlas Dickson (Buhach Colony), Ronnie Miranda (Merced), Nate Moore (Atwater) and Avery Townsel (Golden Valley0.
Two kickers in Adrian Melesio (Patterson) and Eluid Inzuza (Golden Valley) were both named to the first team.
The second team offense picks were: lineman Davis, Miguel Martinez (Atwater), Tyler Green (Buhach Colony), Boss Foumai (Patterson), and Martinez, running backs Jaren Phillips (Golden Valley), Dickson, quarterback Logan McCleery (Patterson) and receivers Nathan Knight (Atwater), Brendan Ekizian (Buhach Colony) and Miguel Alvarez (Patterson).
The second-team defensive players included: linemen Sam Jenkins (Atwater), Luis Bautista (Golden Valley), Seth Duran, linebackers Nick Maravilla (Atwater), TJ Powell (Merced), Crisanto Perez (Atwater), Ethan Meza (El Capitan) and defensive backs Brandon Ralls (Buhach Colony), Miguel Alvarez (Patterson), Trey Paster (Buhach Colony) and Jesse Quiralte (Merced).