Valley Christian Academy’s football team will have the happiest of holidays this year.
Just in time for Christmas, the Lions learned they have another reason to celebrate: They’ve earned the lion’s share of awards for the recently completed 8-Man football season.
Two Lions – Adam Aldana and Ethan McCoy – have won Coast Valley League Most Valuable Player awards, three have been named to the All-CIF first team and head coach Pete Fortier has been named the league’s Coach of the Year.
“It’s definitely an honor to be voted Coach of the Year by the other coaches,” said Fortier. “But it’s not about me, it’s about the players and we had some great players this year, had a great year and it’s nice to see so many of our kids get the recognition.”
Altogether, eight Lions players received All-League honors for their work on offense, defense or both in a vote of CVL coaches.
VCA was the undefeated Coast Valley League champion, going 4-0, finishing 7-3 overall while making it to the CIF Southern Section 8-Man Division 2 quarterfinals.
Aldana, VCA’s sophomore running back, was chosen as the CVL’s offensive Most Valuable Player while McCoy, the Lions’ junior middle linebacker, was named the defensive MVP.
“Adam broke the school record with more than 1,400 yard rushing – he averaged nearly 10 yards per carry,” said Fortier. “On defense, he really made some great plays, too. Two or three times, he caught up with a runner, stole the ball and turned around and went the other way.”
“Ethan was a run-stopping machine,” said assistant coach Randy Stanford. “He made sure the defense was always in the correct set. He’s a real team leader. He was also outstanding as a running back and receiver and backed up Trenton at quarterback. He got a lot of time at quarterback this season and will likely be our quarterback next year.”
Aldana and McCoy were recognized for outstanding seasons on both sides of the ball with Aldana also making the CVL’s first team on defense for his play at linebacker and McCoy earning first team offense honors as a tight end and running back.
“Both of those players are youngsters. Adam is a sophomore and Ethan is a junior,” said Fortier. “We had five outstanding seniors on the team this year – Trenton Lane, Jarrett Smith, Marcos Cardenas, Joey Valadez and Kiernan Quinones – and they provided outstanding leadership and all were recognized with league honors. Then with the underclassmen stepping up, it made for a great combination and a great year for us.”
Lane, Valley Christian’s quarterback, was named to the All-League first team.
Lane, Aldana and McCoy were voted to the All-CIF first team as well.
But the accolades don’t stop there.
Cardenas, an offensive guard and defensive tackle was named to the All-CVL first team offense and second team defense as well as earning honorable mention in the All-CIF.
“We moved Marcos from fullback to the offensive line this year and did he a great job,” said Fortier.
“Marcos was in the opposing teams’ backfield all year,” said Stanford.
Smith, an offensive guard and defensive tackle, earned All-CVL first team defense and second team offense honors while also picking up an All-CIF honorable mention.
“Jarrett’s job was to hold the line while the rest of the defense found the ball,” said Stanford.
Valadez, the Lions’ center, was named to the All-League offensive first team.
“Joey had his best year by far. He took a big step forward this season,” said Fortier.
Sophomore cornerback Conner Anderson made the All-League defensive second team.
Junior Tight end and defense end Andrew Sparlin made the All-League defense’s second team and was an honorable mention on offense.
“Andrew was our big man on the strong side and Connor was the guy we turned loose to go after the opposing quarterback,” said Stanford. “They both had great seasons – and we get them both back next year.”
Quinones, at cornerback, was also an honorable mention on defense.
“Kiernan really solidified our defense,” said Fortier.
“If Kiernan hadn’t gotten injured early in the year – he missed four games – then I’m sure he would have made All-League first team this year,” said Stanford. “This was probably the best team we’ve had in all the years I’ve been associated with VCA. Their attitude was great. The all got along – had each others’ backs. Every year Coach Pete comes up with a word for the season. This year it was ‘Others’. Everyone trusted each other to do their jobs so they could focus on their own. It made for a great season. We’re all so proud of all the boys. These young men really deserved these honors.”
VCA also had three girls recognized for their work on the volleyball courts during the fall season.
Senior Ciera Sallee was named to the All-CVL first team.
Junior Kyla Turros was named to the All-League second team.
And junior Mayley DiBernardi earned an honorable mention.