By Jack Rux
Fortuna and St. Bernard won section championships, and Ferndale was a finalist in another, but Class 3A Eureka was the class of the Big Five Conference, and it showed in the All-Conference team released this week.
The Loggers, after sweeping to the conference title with a 4-0 mark while going 9-2 on the season, also swept the top honors and placed eight on the All Big Five team.
Wide receiver/defensive back Mo Charlo was named the Big Five's MVP Back, and defensive tackle Travis Braud was named MVP Lineman.
Ferndale, which rolled to a 9-1 regular season before losing 16-14 to Justin Siena in the North Coast Section's Class A championship game, dominated the Little Four Conference honors.
Senior running back Phil Goldsby was selected as the LFC's Offensive MVP while senior cornerback Mike Collenberg was the Defensive MVP.
But Goldsby, who rushed for 1,340 yards and scored 18 touchdowns in the team's 13 games, was selected on offense, while Collenberg was selected on defense for making numerous interceptions and playing outstandingly sound at cornerback, over and above his running the option expertly at quarterback and his kicking and punting on special teams.
In all, eight Ferndale players were tabbed as All-LFC, including Killingsworth, who rushed for 1,346 yards and 16 TDs.
Fortuna, which went on to capture the NCS 2A championship, placed four players on the All-BFC first team as did McKinleyville and Del Norte, each of whom tied the Huskies for second place with 2-2 records.
St. Bernard went on to win the NCS Class B crown but was third behind South Fork in all-LFC selections. South Fork placed five, led by junior running back Jake Perkins who gained 1,056 yards and scored 13 TDs.
St. B's Crusaders placed four, including running back Jed Cruz (1,119 yards in 12 games) and the area's leading passer, quarterback Tim Robertson (123-for-222, 1,553 yards, 13 TDs, 7 interceptions).
Charlo was the biggest of the Eureka's several big-play people. In the eight of Eureka's 11 games in which statistics could be obtained this season, he grabbed 28 passes for 496 yards and six touchdowns. He also was a standout cornerback and was the Loggers' kicker.
Other Loggers named: Senior defensive back Palavi Vainuku who scored several times on interception, punt and kickoff returns; junior quarterback Jake Andersen; running backs Bryan McBeth and Joey Nunez, two more big-play guys; offensive lineman Justin Luque; and defensive end Ryan Sharp.
Fortuna's QB/CB Evan Fontaine and FB/LB Brandon Phillips both made the All-Big Five team, along with senior DB Drew Coleman and junior two-way lineman J.J. Williams.
McKinleyville, which lost 14-6 to Fortuna in the 2A semifinals, also put four players on the team, led by senior tailback Ryan Ziemer, who ran for 1,236 yards and 18 touchdowns. Other Panthers: Center Bill Kirby, defensive back Nathan Combs and defensive lineman Cameron Cox.
Del Norte also had four honorees: Senior running backs Matt Brixey and Allen Mazenkas, two-way lineman Bo D'Errico and TE/LB Tyler Ridgley, the team's leading pass receiver.
Rounding out the All-Five are Arcata's Joe Fox and Clark Sikora -- Fox a wide receiver and defensive back, Sikora a junior two-way lineman.
In the Little Four, Ferndale senior guard/LB Andy Titus, senior TE/LB Lucas McCanless, and C/DT Jim Cook all made the grade, as did juniors RB/LB Travis Grinsell and two-way lineman Bryan Scilacci.
Besides Robertson and Cruz, St. Bernard also placed offensive lineman/LB Mickey Torres and WR/DB Paul Bareilles among the LFC elite.
South Fork's Perkins is joined by Cubs teammates linemen Cody Eldridge, Jarred Hurlbutt and Lonny Whitlow, and linebacker Ed Vandenbossche.
Rounding out the All-Little Four: Two from Hoopa Valley, senior QB/DB Blaine McKinnon and senior lineman Billy Matiltoon.