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Warrior gridders honored at post-season banquet


Last updated 12/16/2021 at 11:46am

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The post-season banquet to honor Fallbrook High School’s 2021 football team was held Dec. 5 on the Zion Lutheran premises.

“What a nice way to honor a great group of kids,” said Fallbrook head coach Troy Everhart.

The players voted for four of the team awards while the coaches selected the Coaches’ Award and Heart of the Warrior Award players. The vote for Offensive Most Valuable Player produced a tie, so sophomore running backs Chris Bausch and Marquise Washington both received the award. “They were pretty much the guys that garnered most of our carries,” Everhart said.

Washington had several long runs during the season. “That obviously got a lot of attention,” Everhart said. “Some of the explosion plays Chris had as well stood out to the kids.”

Junior defensive end Kaleb Collings was voted to be the Defensive Most Valuable Player. “He’s just a strong dominating player,” Everhart said.

Sophomore center and nose guard Tank Benitez took home the Most Improved recognition. “I thought it was a great testament to the young man,” Everhart said.

Benitez was on the varsity roster to begin the season but did not appear in the Warriors’ first game. “He was a good backup for us at that point, but he wasn’t ready to play,” Everhart said.

During the season Benitez worked his way into a starting role.

The Coaches’ Award was given to senior Carl Maier, who was a starter this year but did not play football as a freshman. “I thought that was a real testament to his hard work,” Everhart said. “Just a tremendous young man. The kid’s come a long way from his sophomore year.”

The Coaches’ Award is for exceeding expectations both on and off the field. The Heart of the Warrior Award is based on sacrifice on the field, and the coaching staff gave this year’s award to senior Degan Cerulli. “When he was on the field it was a different mindset,” Everhart said. “The guy was willing to do all of the little things.”

Marquise Washington, junior Marcus Washington, and Cerulli were rotated as running backs. (Bausch was the fullback.)

Hudson Nash, who is a senior, received the Rock Award which honors “the guy that really brings the juice to the team.” “When Hudson was on the field you knew it,” Everhart said.

A 2-3 Valley League record gave Fallbrook fourth place in the league standings. The Warriors obtained their first CIF playoff win since 2015 and ended the season with a 5-7 overall record following a one-point loss to top-seeded Palo Verde, who won the CIF Division V championship the following week, in the semifinals.


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