The Turlock High defense dominated during Central California Conference play. The Bulldogs surrendered just 10 points per game on their way to a perfect 6-0 run to a CCC championship.
A big reason for Turlock’s success was safety Dustin Grein.
The senior finished with a team high four interceptions and was second with 75 tackles.
The CCC coaches noticed his contributions, selecting Grein as the CCC Most Valuable Player.
“In the biggest games of the year, if you look back, Dustin made big-time plays that turned the tide, or stole momentum in the game,” said Turlock coach James Peterson, who was also named Coach of the Year.
Grein came up with big interceptions in wins over Buhach Colony and Merced.
“His big play against Buhach Colony was the exclamation point on the victory,” Peterson said.
Turlock players swept all the major awards.
Senior outside linebacker Gabriel Cordero was named the Best Defensive Player. Cordero recorded 15 sacks this season with eight of them coming in CCC play. He also led the team with 78 tackles.
“He wasn’t always a technician, he didn’t always do everything perfect, but he was relentless in his pursuit,” Peterson said. “He would get blocked and bounce off and just keep going. He had a motor, that’s for sure.”
Turlock quarterback Jonah Kosakiewicz was named the Best Offensive Player. Teammates Michael Jeffus was named the Lineman of the Year and kicker Dallin Tilby was named Specialist of the Year.
“I was surprised because I’ve never seen that happen where one team locks down all the key awards,” Peterson said. “I was pleased to see that. I feel like the coaches must have respect for our program and felt the players put themselves in position to win.”
The all-CCC first team offense was comprised of offensive linemen Jeffus, Noah Perez (Buhach Colony), Clifford Johnson (Merced), Brock Fusi (Pitman), Jake Dirkse (Turlock) and Jeremiah Duda (El Capitan).
Joining them on the first-team offense was running backs Tyler Etharidge (Turlock) and Garrett Egan (Merced), quarterbacks Kosakiewicz and Clay Abrams (Buhach Colony), receivers Jordan Porter (Turlock) and Xavier Stewart (Merced) and tight end Lance Bickle (Pitman).
The first-team defense selections were defensive linemen Garrett Fountain (Turlock), Alex Baker (Pitman) and Casey Carr (Turlock), defensive end/outside linebackers Bickle and Cimmaron Ruis (Buhach Colony), inside linebackers Dirkse and Trenton Brock (Pitman) and defensive backs Grein, Dhameer Warren (Merced), LJ Wallace (Buhach Colony), Tyler Stout (Pitman) and Irik Dobbins (Buhach Colony).
Receiving second-team honors on offense were linemen Brendan Tallent (Pitman), Leo Canchola (Buhach Colony), Caelan Flowers (Turlock), Noah Carmo (Golden Valley) and JJ Ramirez (Atwater).
They were joined by running backs Charles Jackson (Atwater) and Jacob Partida (Pitman) and Warren at quarterback. The second-team receivers were Denzel Steckwren (Pitman) and Isaiah Long (Buhach Colony).
The defensive second-team selections were linemen Canchola, Malik Kelly (Merced), Mason Reel (Buhach Colony), defensive ends/outside linebackers Ke’Saun Eddings (Merced) and Luther Fallashaw (Golden Valley).
Rounding out the second team were inside linebackers Perez, Dominic Nunes (Turlock) and defensive backs Antonio Suarez (Turlock), Brandon Ralls (Buhach Colony), Youlas Dickson (Buhach Colony) and Rodney Winzer (Golden Valley).