The West Catholic Athletic League honored its top football players this week and as usual, the list was massive with 45 first-team, 24 second-team and 40 honorable mention selections.
The league also handed out 16 speciality Player of the Year honors, from the best kicker to freshman to quarterback to utility player.
Finally, there was one singled out as the No. 1 Player of the Year and for 2022 it was Archbishop Mitty two-way standout Danny Scudero, who just led the Monarchs on a magical postseason run to the Central Coast Section Division I championship game.
Scudero beat out Serra junior linebacker-running back Jabari Mann and a pair of Sacred Heart Cathedral standouts for the top award.
Mitty's Cinderella tale from one win in 2021 to a 9-4 is one of the best in the region, topped perhaps only by the team that defeated the Monarchs in the section finals, WCAL rival Serra.
The Padres (13-0) completed one of the most dominant seasons in CCS history, having outscored opponents 475-147, including 41-14 over Mitty in Friday's championship game and 35-7 during the regular season. During a 7-0 WCAL season, Serra scored 237 points while giving up 42.
A team so dominant normally garners the top player honor as well. Granted, the Padres were extremely balanced and because many starters were rested by early in the third quarters, the statistics weren't eye-opening.
Scudero, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior, did a lot. Among his numbers: 60 catches for 982 yards and 13 touchdowns to go with 50 carries, 309 yards (6.2 average) and three more scores.
On defense from his safety spot, he had 11 tackles, 4.6 sacks and an interception. As a returner, he averaged 31.6 yards on 16 returns. He also scored on four conversion tries.
A 5-foot-11, 185-pound 3-star athlete, Mann was the team's leading tackler through 12 games with 81 (next closest was 46) and rushed for 201 yards and five touchdowns.
Of the 16 speciality awards, Serra took home six:
- Jabari Mann, Junior Player of the Year
- Maeuliuaki Smith, Quarterback of the Year
- Seamus Gilmartin, Tight End of the Year
- Marley Alapati, Outside Linebacker of the Year
- Joseph Bey, Defensive Back of the Year
- Jaden Green, Utility Player of the Year
Sacred Heart Cathedral's dynamic pair of college-bound players RL Miller (Arizona State) and Jerry Mixon (Oregon) each won POY honors for their positions.
Miller won it at wide receiver (32 catches, 687 yards, eight touchdowns in 10 games) and Mixon at linebacker (79 tackles, four sacks). Miller was also an extremely active outside linebacker, adding five interceptions and six defensive touchdowns.
Other Players of the Year in the WCAL, generally regarded as the top Northern California league along with the Sac-Joaquin Section's Sierra Foothill:
- Uchenna Eke, Valley Christian, Running Back of the Year
- Isaiah Tuiono, St. Francis, Fullback of the Year
- Oliver Bari, St. Francis, Offensive Lineman of the Year
- Jae'von Reels, Bellarmine, Defensive Lineman of the Year
- Rade Galeb, Mitty, Kicker of the Year
- Champ Tualeala, Valley Christian, Sophomore of the Year
- Michael Mitchell Jr., Riordan, Freshman of the Year