East County Sports

Sultans in position to work on tradition

Santana senior RB Bobby Wallace / photo by TRyan Photography




By Ramon Scott



SANTEE – The Santana Sultans have a recipe for success in 2016.

With 15 returning starters, including first team All-East County running back BOBBY WALLACE, coming back off a 7-5 record and the school’s first playoff win in four years last Nov., the east-side Sultans are as much a contender for the section Division 4 title as they are in the race to win the Grossmont Valley League.

Six of those 15 returnees are three-year varsity starters for coach TIM ESTES (5th season). Santana defeated Central in the opening round of the postseason before falling to University City in the quarterfinals.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 1.14.54 AM

Bobby Wallace (left) and Aiden Rasmusson.

Wallace, a 5-10, 180-pounder, was fourth in the East County last season with 1,226 yards, along with 14 touchdowns on the ground. For good measure, Wallace also reeled in 12 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns.

The Sultans return several veteran lineman from last season’s school record-setting offense.

Senior team captain TRENT FORSTER (6-2, 270) continues a three-generation family tradition in Sultan athletics. He is a three-year starter for Santana.

He’s joined up front by seniors DOMENIC DEHOYOS (6-1, 185), ADAM VARGO (5-8, 220), DYLAN BROWN (6-4, 265) and MATT WHITCOMB (5-10, 225). Dehoyos and Vargo were all-Valley honorable mention players in 2015. All of the Sultans’ linemen see action on the defensive front, as well.

Junior newcomers JOSE CHAIREZ (6-0, 195) and BRAYDEN NIETO (6-2, 340) add to the front-line depth on both sides.

“When people hear our school and our football team, I want people to think of a hard-working team that has good players, that is a tough team to beat,” Forster said. “I want us to hold a high reputation in East County.”

Junior quarterback JOSH OEDEWALDT (6-3, 185) also hails from a successful East County sports family. He has big shoes to fill, but still has some veteran targets

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 2.21.54 AM

Domenic Dehoyos

Senior three-year starter ADIEN RASMUSSEN (6-3, 175) is coming off a major health procedure less than two months ago, but is back to build on his 47 catches last season, which ranked fourth in the East County. The second team All-East County receiver averaged 16.5 yards per reception with five touchdowns. He also is a defensive back and serves as the backup quarterback.

Senior slot BROCK ELLIS (5-11, 175)caught 24 passes for 412 yards and five touchdowns last season and had 664 all-purpose yards. He also is a defensive back and serves as the team’s punter, leading the East County with a 44.1-yard average in 2015.

Senior DE/TE DEVAN HENSELMEIER (6-3, 160) has been an inspiration to his Santana teammates and family. He had 10 sacks and 77 total tackles last season and was named second team All-East County. He teams with front-man Dehoyos, who had six sacks in ’15 and led Santana with 96 tackles, to form a true sack exchange in west Santee.

Linebackers SPENCER GULIHUR (5-11, 215), a senior, and LANDON WOOD (6-1, 220), a junior, head the linebacking core. Wood, also a running back, had 39 tackles and two sacks a year ago and was named honorable mention all-league.

“We play as a team,” said Gulihur, a three-year varsity player. “We’ve got the new uniforms with all the purple and all that. Our student section is going to be great. I feel like, as a school and a team, we’re all going to come together real well.”

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 12.16.25 AM

2016 Santana Sultans

Seniors STEPHEN ROE (6-0, 160), NOAH JACKSON (5-11, 175) and ONI SABANDIT (6-4, 195) return in the defensive backfield. Roe had 37 tackles and two interceptions as a junior, while Jackson had 29 tackles and one interception last campaign. Sabandit had 28 tackles and an interception.

Junior PK TIMMY TISCHER was the East County’s second-most productive kicker last season, going 7-for-8 on Field goals and 55-for-57 on PATs. He was an honorable mention all-league selection as a sophomore.

Returning receiver ANDERS TOLHURST (6-3, 180) is sure to improve on his seven receptions last season, while newcomers RUBEN LUGO (5-9, 175), a senior slot and defensive back, and sophomore RB/LB IAN LITTEN (5-11, 170) are in line for playing time.

“That (playoff) win was really big for us last year,”Estes said. “They’re very hungry to win more playoff games.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *