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By Tom Ferrall
Staff Writer 

Eight Warriors make all-league team

 

Last updated 12/22/2018 at 7:08am

Shane Gibson photo

Fallbrook High senior Craig Person stretches out to get the ball into the end zone for a touchdown against Sweetwater. Valley League coaches named Person to the all-league first team offense.

Led by first-team selection Craig Person, eight Fallbrook High football players were selected by Valley League coaches for recognition on the all-league team.

Person, a senior, made first team offense as a wide receiver. Senior running back Jalen Webb, senior quarterback Jake McBroom and senior lineman Darius Watson made second team offense. Earning honorable mention offense were senior lineman Ricardo Magana and sophomore lineman Brady Hoff. Junior linebacker Dru Calloway and senior defensive back Daniel Cedillo received honorable mention defense.

The Warriors finished 2-7 overall and 0-4 in league play during an injury-riddled season that resulted in players having to adjust to new positions to plug the holes created by injuries.

Person was Exhibit A, switching from running back to wide receiver after Fallbrook lost its two starting wideouts – Luke Conley (broken collarbone) and Jared McDonald (pulled groin) – in the first game of the season.

"We needed him to make the switch to receiver and he did it and didn't complain," said Fallbrook High head football coach Darius Pickett of Person. "It was a new position and it obviously worked out for him, getting first team all-league, and it helped the team tremendously. He was our go-to guy this season, so I'm very proud of him."

Pickett said Person's strong work ethic helped him make the adjustment to receiver.

"He picked up the offense pretty fast, so he was able to kind of understand what we wanted from him," said Pickett. "He just worked hard at running good routes, catching the ball and blocking and it paid off. On the team, he had the best hands."

Webb and McBroom were able to impress Valley League coaches despite working behind an undersized offensive line that often struggled.

"Jalen did well for us," said Pickett. "He ran hard. I'm sure it wasn't as good of a season as he expected to have. I think the guys up front for him were not as good this year as last year and it really affected his performance. Unfortunately, that's kind of the life of a running back. He ran hard, and it showed with him getting second team all-league."

McBroom, who missed most of the 2017 football season due to a fractured collarbone, hung in tough throughout the 2018 campaign despite facing major obstacles.

"The (offensive) line struggled this year so we couldn't run the ball, and we lost our starting two receivers, so it was an unfortunate situation for [McBroom]," said Pickett. "He was a great quarterback. I feel he could have gotten (first team) all-league had he had healthy receivers and a little better line, but it is what it is.

Pickett credited McBroom with keeping the team "together and focused and motivated to keep fighting" during a season in which it would have been easy for some to throw in the towel.

"I'm very proud of him, very proud of him," said Pickett of McBroom. "It was nice to watch and be a part of it. He's a great kid."

Watson, who played right tackle, and Magana, who started at left tackle, were the bright spots on an offensive line that faced tough battles week after week.

"Darius was probably one of the only true linemen we had this year that should have been on varsity, size-wise and strength-wise," said Pickett. "He was the strongest player and a very physical guy, so it was good to see him get that second team vote. Again, I think it was another situation of if he had more guys next to him, he may have had a better showing. He worked hard and was a good player for us."

Magana was the "brains of the operation up front," according to Pickett.

"Ricky was like the heart and soul of the offensive line for us this year," said Pickett. "Ricky was the guy that kept things together. He made sure everybody knew what they were doing. If there was a question, he was the guy that they'd go to."

Calloway was like Person in that he was a running back who was asked to try another position – linebacker, and also a few others.

"That's a kid that I am so proud of," said Pickett of Calloway. "We asked a lot of him and to his credit he didn't complain, he didn't whine. He just kept trying, kept working and kept doing whatever he could to help the team. It was definitely good to see him get on that list as an honorable mention."

Tim Gross photo

Senior quarterback Jake McBroom makes a pass in Fallbrook High's season opener. McBroom made second team offense in all-league voting.

Cedillo – as a kicker his junior year – got Pickett's attention when snagged a flying kicking tee out of the air that a teammate had thrown to him from the sideline after he forgot to take it onto the field. Pickett figured he had to put those good hands and reflexes to work.

"He's a kid that thought he was just a kicker and we encouraged him to try other positions and he ended up being our top defensive back this year," said Pickett. "He learned offense, receiver and slot. He just worked hard at learning new positions and it was a great sight to see him playing DB – our starting corner – all year."

Hoff earning honorable mention as a sophomore is impressive, but it becomes remarkable considering he didn't play football in 2017.

"He didn't play last year as a freshman, so this was his first year playing football, and to be on varsity, I was very proud of him," said Pickett. "He had his rough days, but he should be a really good one for us (next year). He's a big kid, hard worker and a physical guy with a tough-guy mentality. I'm excited for him."

 

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