Huskies named to all-state grid team

Three Sweet Home football players have been named to the all-state 4A football teams.

Senior Nick Pitts was chosen as a second team defensive back, while juniors Josh Riggs and Zane Wise were named honorable mention at the tight end and offensive tackle positions, respectively.

Coach Rob Younger said that it’s unusual to see so many players from a team that didn’t make the playoffs, as Sweet Home did not, named to the all-state teams.

“For our three kids to make the team this year, after not making the playoffs, shows how well known they are to the coaches,” he said.

All-state players are selected from ballots listing the first-team selections from each league in the state.

“It’s usually dominated by people who have done well in the playoffs,” Younger said. “It shows that other coaches from the state recognize their abilities.”

He said Pitts has not expressed interest in playing football beyond the high school level, but Wise and Riggs have.

“Both have some great strengths, but they have some things they have to work on,” he said of their college prospects.

Sisters running back Cory McCaffery was named offensive player of the year, while Sisters linebacker Dominic Nieri was named defensive player of the year.

Six Sisters players were named to the offensive first team, along with four from Marist, which won the state title. The defensive first team was also dominated by Sisters and Marist players.

Val-Co League players named to the all-state teams were predominatly from Central. Named to the first team were junior offensive tackle Marcus Cuellar of Central and defensive lineman John Pratt, also of Central.

Panthers junior running back Casey Connor, senior center Freddie Jiminez, junior linebacker Ricky Cedillo and junior defensive back Edi Campos were named to the second team.

Also named to the honorable mention squad were sophomore quarterback Grant Hedrick of Central, senior offensive guard Cody Huss of Newport, junior wide receiver Eric Phillips of Central, sophomore placekicker Roman Daberkow of Central, Cuellar on the defensive line, and defensive backs Peter Anderson, a senior, and junior Michael Hamilton, both of Central.