From Kimball quarterback Nicholas Coronado to Stockton Lincoln defensive back Jomarion Briggs, there were many standout performers in Sac-Joaquin Section high school football this season.
Coronado and Briggs are two of 25 student athletes honored as part of SBLive’s 2021 All-Sac-Joaquin Section high school football team. The team was compiled by SBLive reporter Connor Morrissette.
SBLIVE’S 2021 ALL-SAC-JOAQUIN SECTION FOOTBALL TEAM
Quarterback: Nicholas Coronado – Kimball – Senior
Coronado was the only quarterback in the state to throw for over 4,000 yards this season (4,315). He also tossed a state leading 56 touchdown passes compared to only five interceptions. Coronado led Kimball to a 10-2 record and the Division 4 playoffs.
Running Back: Blake Nichelson – Manteca – Junior
Nichelson led the Section in rushing yards with 2,231. He also rushed for 36 touchdowns, which was good for second place in the Section, but he finished with the overall Section TD lead (44) because he caught seven scores. As a linebacker, Nichelson forced three fumbles and had a pick-six. Manteca won the Division 3 championship this season.
Running Back: Aiden Taylor – Central Catholic – Senior
Taylor, nicknamed “Ponyboy”, rushed for 2,128 yards and 38 touchdowns for the Division 2 champion Raiders.
Wide Receiver: Jadyn Marshall – Stockton St. Mary’s – Senior
The St. Mary’s coaching staff tried to get the ball in Marshall’s hands as much as possible this season and it paid off as the Rams went 10-3, won the Tri-City Athletic League and made the Division 1 semifinals. Marshall finished the season with 563 receiving yards and five touchdowns, but that doesn’t tell the story. He’d line up in the backfield at times and catch a lot of backwards passes which led to him ending the year with 982 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. The UCLA commit also returned a kick and a punt for a TD this season.
Wide Reciver: Rico Flores – Folsom – Junior
Flores had a terrific junior season catching 81 passes for 1,157 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Division 1 champion Bulldogs.
Tight End: Walker Lyons – Folsom – Junior
Lyons is one of the top recruits nationally in the 2023 class. This season, he caught 42 passes for 646 yards and seven touchdowns.
Offensive Line: Simione Pale – Elk Grove – Junior
Pale has received scholarship offers from the majority of schools in the Pac-12. He’s established himself as one of the top linemen not only in the Section, but in the state.
Offensive Line: Alani Noa – Grant Union – Junior
Noa had a strong junior season for Grant Union and has received scholarship offers from Cal and Fresno State.
Offensive Line: Jaxon King – Union Mine – Senior
Standing at 6-foot-8 and weighing 300 pounds, King helped lead Union Mine to a Sierra Valley Conference League championship this season.
Offensive Line: Marcus Simien – Patterson – Senior
Simien signed with Fresno State on the first day of the early signing period. He was named the the All-Central California Conference Lineman of the Year.
Offensive Line: Brad Baur – Rocklin – Senior
Baur was one of the anchors for an offensive line that was one of the best in the Section this fall. Rocklin finished the year as the second best team in the Section following their 20-3 Division 1 championship loss to Folsom.
Defensive Line: Bobby Piland – Rocklin – Senior
Piland is committed to Air Force. This season he made 43 tackles and had eight tackles for loss.
Defensive Line: Soni Finau – Elk Grove – Senior
Finau had 11 sacks this season. He’s committed to Cal Poly.
Defensive Line: Zack Mercado – Vacaville Christian – Senior
Mercado led all defensive linemen in the Section in sacks this season with 14. In total, he had 31 tackles for loss.
Linebacker: Josh Tremain – Folsom – Senior
Tremain finished third in the Section with 152 tackles this season. Sixteen of them came behind the line of scrimmage.
Linebacker: Cam Loureiro – Oakdale – Senior
Loureiro led the Section in sacks this season with 18.
Linebacker: Tyler Crockett – Mariposa County – Senior
Crocket led the Section in tackles with 166. He also recovered four fumbles.
Defensive Back: Aemon Aldrich – Foresthill – Senior
Aldrich led the Section in interceptions with 11. The next closest player on the interception list snagged eight.
Defensive Back: Cameron Sampson – Capital Christian – Senior
Sampson was a two way standout for Capital Christian. As a running back, he rushed for 677 yards and seven touchdowns. He also caught 29 passes for 429 yards and four TD’s. On defense, Sampson used his speed to make 58 tackles and intercept one pass.
Defensive Back: Kayo Patu – Capital Christian – Sophomore
Patu will emerge as a big time recruit in his next two seasons of high school football. He’s a skilled receiver who hauled in 23 passes for 429 yards and eight touchdowns on offense this fall. On defense, he made 28 tackles, intercepted two passes and forced two fumbles.
Defensive Back: Garrett McGriff – Jesuit – Senior
McGriff was one of the top players for a Jesuit team that came the closest to knocking off Folsom in the Section playoffs this season (the Marauders fell 22-21 to Folsom in the Division 1 semifinals). McGriff intercepted three passes on defense and made 23 tackles in 2021. He was a stud on offense as well rushing for 879 yards and 13 touchdowns. McGriff also caught four touchdowns.
Defensive Back: Jomarion Briggs – Stockton Lincoln – Senior
Briggs is a Fresno State signee. He intercepted five passes this year.
Kick: Ariel Till – Vacaville – Senior
Till made a Section high eight field goals including a 43 yarder this fall. He went 23 for 25 on PAT’s.
Punter: Nicholas Verdugo – Del Oro – Senior
Verdugo averaged 39 yards per punt and had the most punting yards in the Section this season with 1,520. He pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line 11 times this fall, which was good for second in the Section.
K/P returner: Dominic Soares – Granite Bay – Senior
Soares returned two punts for touchdowns this season. He was also a very effective kick returner, averaging 25 yards per return.