17 Warriors receive all-league honors
Village News Reporter
The Valley League football coaches who selected the 2022 all-league teams designated 17 Fallbrook High School players for all-league recognition while conferring league player of the year designation upon three Warriors.
Chris Bausch was chosen as the league's Offensive Player of the Year and the Valley League first-team offense members also included Sean Farish and James Jones. Kaleb Collings shared league Defensive Player of the Year honors with San Pasqual's Peter Decelles while Fallbrook players George Aguilar, Angel Angulo, Thomas McSheehy, Trent Pack, and Anthony Thomas were also placed on the defensive first team.
Josh Gomez was named the league Kicker of the Year. The all-league defensive second team included Luke O'Brien and Jonah Saliba while Gavin Miller was placed on the Valley League offensive second team. Honorable mention recognition was given to Alan Leon, Jayms McAlexander, Gabe Mendoza, and Matt Wilson.
"It's nice. When you have a good season you get to recognize a lot of individual efforts. Each of these kids had great seasons," said Fallbrook head coach Ross Johnson. "It's nice to celebrate at the end of the year a successful season."
Fallbrook posted a 4-1 Valley League record, losing only to San Pasqual, and the Warriors and Golden Eagles shared the Valley League championship. Fallbrook was 9-4 overall for the 2022 season with the final loss occurring in the CIF Division IV championship game.
During the Warriors' 13 games, the team scored 369 points and allowed 161. In the five league games, Fallbrook outscored opponents by a cumulative 138-57 margin.
The points allowed included those scored after turnovers or on kick returns and also touchdowns late in the game against Fallbrook's substitutes. "I definitely think that defense was a big strength for us all year long," Johnson said. "If you're only giving up 11 points on average per game you're going to win a lot of football games."
Allowing 11.4 points per league game – and less than that for the first-string defense – caused the Valley League coaches to give six first-team berths to Fallbrook defensive players.
Collings, who is a senior, was a defensive end when the opposing team had possession. "It was a privilege to be honored and to be nominated as the Valley League Defensive Player of the Year," he said.
"It's great to see the league coaches recognize what a talented football player he is," Johnson said.
For the entire season, Collings had 27 solo tackles with another 19 assisted tackles for a total of 46. The statistic of 10 tackles for lost yardage reflects credit for half a tackle in the case of an assisted tackle, his 8 sacks resulted in a cumulative loss of 28 yards, and he had 12 recorded hurries of the quarterback. Collings also deflected a pass and caused two fumbles while recovering one. In league play, his 20 tackles consisted of 13 solo and seven assisted takedowns including 3 for losses and 4.5 sacks, and he caused one fumble while recovering another.
"He was amazing for us on defense," Johnson said.
"It was a good year," Collings said.
"He played almost every single defensive snap for us too," Johnson said.
Collings was a tight end when the Warriors were on offense. In league play, he caught seven passes gaining a total of 57 yards and scored one touchdown. His 28 receptions overall gained 407 yards with four possessions in the end zone.
"I have a lot of passion for this game and this team," Collings said. "It's been my passion and joy to be able to play four years on this team."
Collings was on the 2019 freshman squad. "My freshman team went 10 and 0," he said. Those freshmen were seniors in 2022. "We tried really hard to win CIF," Collings said.
Collings was on the Fallbrook varsity for the final game of his freshman year and was on the varsity for the entire season as a sophomore and junior as well as in 2022. In 2021, Collings was also on the Valley League defensive first team.
"I want to thank all the coaches," Collings said.
Angulo is a senior who played nose guard. McSheehy is a senior and was a middle linebacker. Pack is a senior and played cornerback. Thomas is a senior and was both an outside linebacker and a middle linebacker. Aguilar is a junior and played strong safety. Last year, Angulo and McSheehy were also on the Valley League defensive first team.
Bausch is a junior and was one of the Warriors' running backs. "It's a big honor for me," he said of being named league player of the year. "It was one of my goals."
Injury or illness kept Bausch out of two games including one league contest, and he also left the championship game in the second quarter due to an injury. The 11 games he played, including portions, included four league contests in which his 83 carries totaled 596 yards, or 7.2 yards per carry, and four rushes ended as touchdowns. He rushed for at least 100 yards in all four of the league games and averaged 149 yards per game.
Bausch also had a two-yard pass reception during the league season. Overall he carried the ball 230 times for 1,581 yards, which equates to 6.9 yards per carry, and scored 17 touchdowns. His overall average was 143.7 yards per game and he had at least 100 yards on the ground in 10 of the 11 games. For the entire season, Bausch caught six passes for 52 yards.
"He was just extremely reliable for our offense all year long," Johnson said.
"The consistency I had throughout the season was really good," Bausch said.
During his sophomore year, Bausch was also on Fallbrook's varsity. The Valley League coaches recognized Bausch's performance as a linebacker and placed him on the 2021 defensive second team. Bausch has the opportunity for a second league Offensive Player of the Year award.
"I'm looking to defend it," Bausch said.
Farish, a senior, played tight end when the Warriors were on offense. Jones, a junior, was primarily a left guard. Farish was also a middle linebacker, and for 2021 he was on the all-league defensive second team. Jones earned honorable mention recognition for his 2021 play
Gomez, who is a senior, was both the placekicker and the punter for the Warriors. He kicked 26 extra points including 10 in league play and made six of his 10 field goal attempts with success on three of his four attempts against league opposition. His nine league punts averaged 39.1 yards and his longest traveled 62 yards; his 11 total punts averaged 39.6 yards. Five of his 12 league kickoffs were touchbacks.
"I think it was a good season," Gomez said.
"He was a weapon that a lot of high schools don't have," Johnson said. "He's one that really changed the game for us."
Johnson noted that many of Gomez's punts gave the opponent poor field position, so when Fallbrook's defense was able to stop the opposition the Warriors ended up with good field position.
"I thank my coaches for giving me the opportunity," Gomez said.
Leon was Fallbrook's 2021 placekicker (Leon also handled kicking duties in the two 2022 games when Gomez could not play). Gomez had not previously played high school football, although he is the goalkeeper for Fallbrook's boys soccer team.
"I didn't play last year and I didn't know what to expect," Gomez said. "It was the best experience I could ever have."
Saliba, a senior who played free safety, was a 2021 honorable mention all-league player. O'Brien, a junior, played both free safety and strong safety. Miller, a senior, was the Warriors' starting right tackle.
McAlexander, a senior, was the Warriors' primary center and also played defensive tackle. Wilson, a senior, played outside linebacker. Leon is a junior and was a running back as well as the Warriors' backup kicker. Mendoza, a junior, was the right guard.
The all-league players include 11 seniors, but the other six are juniors. "We'll have a number that are returning," Johnson said.