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12 Warriors given all-league football distinction

Bausch and Aguilar on first team

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Twelve Fallbrook High School football players were given all-league recognition by the Palomar League coaches.

Chris Bausch was selected to the offensive first team. George Aguilar was chosen for the defensive first team. The offensive second team included Wilson Christopherson, Kyle Collings, James Jones, Gabe Mendoza and Evan Thomas. Jackson Christopherson was placed on the defensive second team. Noah Anzures, Sam Corona, Preston McCarthy and Cayden Smith received honorable mention distinction.

“They’re all players that had very nice seasons for us,” Fallbrook head coach Ross Johnson said. “You always want to win a few more games, but it’s always nice to recognize them for the individual seasons that they had.”

Fallbrook was fifth in the Palomar League standings with a 1-4 record in league play. The Warriors were 5-7 overall including a quarterfinal playoff win and an overtime loss in the CIF Division III semifinals.

Bausch, who is a senior, was a running back. During league play he carried the ball 95 times and gained 661 yards with seven of those rushes ending in touchdowns. He gained at least 100 yards on the ground in every game except the Friday, Oct. 27, contest at Ramona in which his 10 carries resulted in 61 yards. Bausch also caught four passes for 58 yards and returned a kickoff for 30 yards during league play. For the overall 2023 season, Bausch had 233 carries for 1,677 yards and 17 touchdowns, gained at least 100 yards in 10 of the Warriors’ 12 games, caught 10 passes for a cumulative 146 yards and returned three kickoffs for 154 yards including an 89-yard touchdown in the semifinal.

Last year, Fallbrook was in the Valley League and Bausch was chosen as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year as well as a first-team member.

“This year we bumped up to the Palomar League, and he showed that he could play in any league in the county and be effective,” Johnson said. “He can consistently perform against anybody and everybody on the field.”

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.

Aguilar is also a senior. He played strong safety when the Warriors were on defense and was also a wide receiver. In Fallbrook’s five league games, Aguilar had 19 solo tackles and nine assisted tackles while intercepting a pass which was returned five yards and deflecting four other throws. He caught three passes for a total of eight yards during league competition. For the 12-game season, Aguilar had 40 solo and 11 assisted tackles, one sack which set the offense back five yards, two interceptions with a one-yard return on his non-league pick, and 11 pass deflections. His seven receptions on offense accounted for 99 yards of Fallbrook gains.

“I was really impressed with him all year long,” Johnson said. “George has been our leader on defense all year.”

Last year Fallbrook had six players on the Valley League defensive first team including Aguilar. The other five were seniors in 2022.

“He helped bring along a lot of younger guys,” Johnson said of Aguilar.

The Christopherson twins, Collings, Jones and Mendoza are all seniors. Thomas is a junior. As offensive linemen, Jones and Mendoza have no individual statistics but contributed to the Warriors gaining 1,455 yards in league play, despite being held to 153 yards in Ramona, and 3,621 yards overall. Thomas, who is Fallbrook’s quarterback, completed 29 of 55 passes for 366 yards and two touchdowns in league competition and 74 of 130 passes for 1,143 yards and eight scores overall. The Warriors had 1,089 rushing yards against league opposition and 2,478 overall yards on the ground.

Jones was on the Valley League first team last year and was an honorable mention Valley League player as a sophomore in 2021. Mendoza received honorable mention accolades from the Valley League coaches last year.

Jackson Christopherson was a middle linebacker who played fullback during offensive snaps. During league play, he had 19 solo and seven assisted tackles, one interception which was returned for 10 yards and a fumble recovery. He carried the ball 50 times for 222 yards and four touchdowns in league matches. For the overall season, he had 42 solo and 11 assisted tackles, a sack for a nine-yard loss, two interceptions returned for 55 yards, a fumble recovery, a pass deflection and 75 carries resulting in 318 yards gained and seven touchdowns.

Wilson Christopherson was a wide receiver, a kickoff returner and a free safety. In league games, he caught 16 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown, carried the ball five times for 39 yards, and returned 10 kickoffs for a total of 180 yards. His 12-game season totals were 33 catches for 552 yards and six touchdowns, five rushes for 39 yards, 25 kickoff returns for 433 yards, five solo tackles and one assisted tackle.

Although Collings was on the Palomar League offensive second team, the tight end and outside linebacker was also Fallbrook’s leading tackler with 23 solo and 15 assisted stops in league games along with a sack while his 40 solo tackles with 27 assisted tackles overall shared the team lead for total tackles. Collings sacked the quarterback four times during the season. In addition to his tight end blocking duties, Collings caught three passes for 36 yards in league contests and 15 throws for gains totaling 251 yards during the overall season.

Anzures, Corona, McCarthy and Smith are all seniors. Anzures was an offensive lineman and a defensive tackle. During league play he had seven solo tackles, an assisted tackle and a sack for a four-yard loss. His 12-game total was 26 solo and 17 assisted tackles and two sacks costing opponents a cumulative 11 yards. Corona was an offensive lineman.

McCarthy, who was a linebacker, had seven solo and eight assisted tackles, a seven-yard sack, a fumble recovery and a recovery of an onside kick during league play and made 31 solo and 24 assisted tackles overall with three sacks for 30 yards, an interception, a fumble recovery and an onside kick recovery. Smith was a defensive lineman who had six solo tackles, three assisted tackles and a nine-yard sack against league teams while overall making 17 solo and 16 assisted tackles with five sacks totaling 40 yards and two fumble recoveries.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].


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