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HMG-COMMUNITY NEWS 2015 FALL ALL-AREA TEAMS: Norwalk, Valley Christian football, girls volleyball squads dominated fall accolades

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

An Olympic League football title for Valley Christian High’s football team and a share of second place in the Suburban League for the Norwalk High girls volleyball team were some of the highlights from the 2015 fall season. Also finishing in second place in the Suburban League was the Cerritos High girls volleyball team while the Gahr High spikers accomplished that feat in the San Gabriel Valley League. Here are the recipients of the HMG-Community News 2015 Fall All-Area Teams.



QB-Jesse Smith (Valley Christian)

RB-Jordan Benoit (Artesia)

RB-Gianni Hurd (Valley Christian)

RB-Chris Walker (Norwalk)

WR-Robert Downs (Valley Christian)

WR-De’Jah Pickett (Gahr)

LT-Ravon Chambers (Valley Christian)

LG-Michael Ortega (Norwalk)

C-Zach Krosschell (Valley Christian)

RG-Eric Schoonover (Valley Christian)

RT-Austin Minnema (Valley Christian)



DL-Ravon Chambers (Valley Christian)

DL-Roger Ramos (Valley Christian)

DL-Jordan Thomas (Norwalk)

DB-Robert Downs (Valley Christian)

DB-Dominic Paul (Valley Christian)

DB-Jonathan Tovar (Norwalk)

DB-R.J. Van Kampen (Valley Christian)

LB-Andre Armendarez (Norwalk)

LB-Daniel Faamatau (Norwalk)

LB-Jalen Hines (Valley Christian)

LB-Quaid Kawana (Valley Christian)



QB-Ausencio Navarro (Norwalk)

RB-Kirk Brown (Norwalk)

RB-Kaliq Hatcher (Cerritos)

RB-Quaid Kawana (Valley Christian)

WR-Michael Polk (Valley Christian)

WR-R.J. Van Kampen (Valley Christian)

LT-Omar Garcia (Norwalk)

LG-Robert Chatman (Valley Christian)

C-Bobby Renteria (Norwalk)

RG-Jaden Alejo (Artesia)

RT-Jesse Lotts (Norwalk)



DL-Branden Brown (Cerritos)

DL-Austin Minnema (Valley Christian)

DL-Stanley Morris (Artesia)

DB-Jacob Gisbert (Valley Christian)

DB-Jordan Benoit (Artesia)

DB-Billy Joseph Moore (Norwalk)

DB-Quory Smith (Valley Christian)

LB-Kirk Brown (Norwalk)

LB-Isaiah Harris (Cerritos)

LB-Hunter Stout (Valley Christian)

LB-Samuel Talavera (Valley Christian)



QB-Hector Sanchez (John Glenn)

RB-Elijah Cendejas (John Glenn)

RB-Daniel Faamatau (Norwalk)

RB-Dominic Paul (Valley Christian)

WR-Rian Hughing (Artesia)

WR-Miguel Ochoa (John Glenn)

LT-Andrew Shin (Cerritos)

LG-Ryan Valencia (Artesia)

C-Julian Dawson (Gahr)

RG-Enrique Gonzalez (John Glenn)

RT-Abel Perez (Cerritos)



DL-Michael Ortega (Norwalk)

DL-Xavier Robinson (Artesia)

DL-Eric Schoonover (Valley Christian)

DB-Trent Berkenkamp (Valley Christian)

DB-Andrew Navarro (Norwalk)

DB-Kameron Skiba (Cerritos)

DB-Oscar Villarreal (Cerritos)

LB-Josh Cruz (Cerritos)

LB-Darian Green (Valley Christian)

LB-Matt Sigala (Valley Christian)

LB-Theodore Ude (Gahr)


Offensive Player of the Year-He only played in half a dozen games due to the 30-day transfer rule, but Valley Christian High running back Gianni Hurd made the most of those six games. The sophomore transfer from Lakewood High rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored an area-high 17 touchdowns on the ground, including a school-record seven against Templeton High in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Northwest Division first-round playoff game.

Defensive Player of the Year-Clearly, Valley Christian High junior defensive back R.J. Van Kampen was all over the field for the Crusaders. Van Kampen led the team with 99 tackles and an area-best nine interceptions, which are four shy of the single season school record and six off of the school’s top mark for a career.

Coach of the Year-After finishing in second place in the Olympic League for two straight seasons, Valley Christian High head coach Woodie Grayson guided the Crusaders to a 9-3 overall mark and a league title, the school’s first since 2011 and first outright since 2009. The nine victories were the most since 2005 and the team yielded 82 points in the regular season.




S-Chloe Winter (Valley Christian)

OH-Madison Holmes (Valley Christian)

OH-Ashley Whittall (Norwalk)

MB-Katelyn Albani (Valley Christian)

MB-Ifeoma Okoli (Cerritos)

OPP-Norma Marquez (Norwalk)

DS-Kathleen Perez (Norwalk)

L-Paola Nava (Norwalk)



S-Lauren Oh (Cerritos)

OH-Vanessa Cardenas (Norwalk)

OH-Jazmynn Parrish (Gahr)

MB-Madison Huizar (Valley Christian)

MB-Zanache Stanton (Gahr)

OPP-Tyra Parrish (Gahr)

DS-Kaylee Westra (Valley Christian)

L-Allison Sutherlin (Valley Christian)



S-Brenda Hernandez (Norwalk)

OH-Amber Han (Cerritos)

OH-Samantha Oh (Cerritos)

MB-Kelly Amalu (Cerritos)

MB-Shantelle Marshall (Gahr)

OPP-Leslie Leanos (Norwalk)

DS-Naomi Belgrave (Gahr)

L-Nicole Medina (Cerritos)



S-Niahni Moultry (Gahr)

OH-Allison Oh (Whitney)

OH-Brianna Garcia (Artesia)

MB-Erika Espinoza (John Glenn)

MB-Kerryn Harrington (Valley Christian)

OPP-Aubrey Schwieger (Valley Christian)

DS-Karen Kaur (Whitney)

L-Cristal Constantino (Gahr)


Player of the Year-Norwalk High junior outside hitter Ashley Whittall was a consistent force for the Lady Lancers, one of the reasons why the team shared second place in the Suburban League with Cerritos High. Whittall helped guide a Norwalk squad to a 15-10 overall record and 9-3 in league. Among her top performances, Whittall had 21 kills at Cerritos on Oct. 8, 20 kills against La Mirada High on Oct. 15, 16 kills against Mayfair High on Oct. 1 and against John Glenn High on Oct. 20 and 15 kills against Cerritos on Nov. 2.


Coach of the Year-By far, this past season was the best for Gahr High head coach Iris Najera in her four seasons with the girls program. The Gladiators finished 16-10 overall and went 8-2 in the San Gabriel Valley League. Both victory totals are the school’s best since going 17-5 overall and 10-0 in league action in 1998. Gahr finished in second place for the sixth straight season and came within a game of sharing a league title.