Success happened all across the mid-valley in 2022, beginning with the Colusa High football team’s first Northern Section championship since 1990.
Colusa took down Pierce in the NSCIF Division IV final, 7-0 the week of Thanksgiving.
Pierce got to the D-IV final with an upset win over top-seeded East Nicolaus, which dominated the Sacramento Valley League, en route to a 9-1 regular season.
Sutter Union, the Northern Section stalwart with a NSCIF-high 14 titles, transitioned to the Sac-Joaquin Section and finished 10–0 in its first year in the Pioneer Valley League.
Colusa, East Nicolaus, Pierce and Sutter were each represented well in the annual prep football awards voted on by area coaches and media members of the Appeal-Democrat, MaxPreps.com, Shasta County Sports, Redding Record-Searchlight and the Chico Enterprise-Record.
In the NSCIF, East Nicolaus guard Taco Mallow earned a spot on the first-team offense, while Colusa’s Colusa’s Dominic Salazar earned a linebacker position on the section first-team.
Salazar led the team with over 100 tackles and three interceptions as Colusa posted five shutouts en route to a championship for the first time in 32 years.
On the second-team, Colusa wide receiver Landon Humphrey collected one of two WR spots, joining dual-threat quarterback Ty Grigsby, who rushed for nearly 1,300 yards and 21 touchdowns and tossed for over 1,000 for the league champion Spartans. Grigsby was positioned as all-purpose on the second team.
Humphrey caught a team-high 45 passes for 669 yards for the RedHawks.
Representing the area on the second-team was Pierce linebacker Luke Myers, who led the Bears in tackles and sacks in the team’s return to the D-IV final.
The NSCIF team was selected by the Appeal-Democrat, MaxPreps.com, Shasta County Sports, Redding Record-Searchlight and the Chico Enterprise-Record.
Sutter was perfect in the regular season in its first year in the Sac-Joaquin Section’s PVL, thanks to a stout defense and productive offense that bull rushed each of its 10 opponents.
One of its leading defensive standouts was Asiata Auckland, who accrued over 70 tackles and nearly 10 sacks as a junior defensive lineman for the Huskies.
Auckland was selected defensive Player of the Year in the PVL, joining team teammate and Sutter running back Luke Miller, who earned offensive Player of the Year following over 800 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns and 338 passing yards as the team’s season-opening starting quarterback.
The rest of the PVL selections for Sutter included first-team honorees, DE Eric St. Onge, DT Tristan Leal, LB Joseph Martinez, LB Jeevan Chatha, DB Bryce Stokes, RB Robbie Faupula, OT Jared Emery and OG McCray Wilder.
On the second team, Sutter’s Joey Bicknell (LB), LB Dylan Humes (LB), SS Noah Tibbet (SS), DB Jeffrey Azevedo (DB), TE Trenton Duchene (TE) and kicker Josiah Thompson represented the league champs.
Sutter head coach Ryan Reynolds was named league Coach of the Year.
Wheatland Union’s Kyle Holley, Zack Tucker and AJ Fast represented the Pirates on the all-PVL team this year. In Marysville, Danny Lanini (RB), Joseph Endicott (RB), Jack Howsley (OL), Andrew Thomas (DL), Maddox Marino (LB), Jayden Brown (LB) and Kayden Ellyson (DB) each earned first-team all-PVL. On the second team, Ben Mangini (DB), Bradford Pietz (LB), Elyis Prescott (DL), Garrett Rinke (DL) and Jayden McKinney (OL) represented the Indians following their 7-4 season and trip to the SJS playoffs.