East County Sports


2021 JOE ROTH AWARD WINNER BRADY ABT, of Grossmont. / P.J. Panebianco



By Nick Pellegrino
East County Sports staff writer

EL CAJON —- Many factors determine awards like players of the year on offense or defense. Statistics and winning rank among them.

However, when it comes to the Joe Roth Award, which returns following an 8-year hiatus, the mold of such a champion also features leadership on and off the field, a pattern in positively influencing his teammates, and so much more, all to bear semblance to Roth, the former Grossmont College and University of California quarterback, who lost his opportunity of becoming a first-round draft selection in the National Football League after losing his life to cancer in the mid-1980s.

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With all this in mind, the 2021 recipient of the Joe Roth Award is presented to Brady Abt, the sophomore quarterback for Grossmont College.

Abt, who hails out of Northland Christian High School, in Houston, closed the regular season with five consecutive regular-season victories, propelling Grossmont into a dramatic tie-breaker contest at Pasadena City College for a berth into a CCCAA state bowl game after the Griffins were coming off back-t0-back one-win seasons leading up to the resumption of play following the pandemic hiatus, which left many community college veteran players in a state of flux.

In his campaign, Abt completed 194 of 337 passes (57.6 percent) for 2,556 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Abt becomes the first winner since the award was last offered following the 2012 season, when another Grossmont quarterback, Chris Bonner, was honored. Bonner, out of Clairemont High, went on to play two years of NCAA Division II ball for Colorado State-Pueblo and was offered a pro tryout by the Denver Broncos and general manager John Elway. He also had another pair of NFL looks from Carolina and Kansas City.

Abt passed for more than 400 yards on two occasions, including a season-high effort of 490 yards against Moorpark — one of the top single-game efforts in Grossmont College history — as the Griffins went on to post a 7-3 overall record to finish in a 3-way deadlock for first place with Pasadena and Mt. San Jacinto for the Mountain Division title in the CCCAA American Conference.

While Abt claimed the Roth Award, the offensive player of the year is Palomar quarterback Zeke Payne, out of Rancho Bernardo High.

The freshman led the Comets to a 6-5 record, which included a bowl win Santa Barbara. He passed for nearly 2,800 yards and had 26 touchdown passes while throwing just four interceptions.

The defensive player of the year is sophomore defensive lineman Julian Sanderlin, of San Diego Mesa College.

Despite missing three games, Sanderlin recorded 25 tackles, which included five sacks and nine total for loss. He also had a 3-yard interception return for a touchdown

The Grossmont High grad was originally headed to Dixie State before arriving at Mesa. Sanderlin now holds offers from Fresno State, Nevada, and San Jose State.

The Joe Roth Award was slated to have been revised following the 2020 season, but the season was canceled because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

The local award is not to be confused with the honor of the same name that has been given previously to a University of California player that “best demonstrates courage, attitude, and leadership.”



(selected by panelists)


BRADY ABT, quarterback, Grossmont


QB Zeke Payne, Palomar 6-1 195, Fr.

QB Brady Abt Grossmont 6-3 205 So.

RB Treyvion Davies Grossmont 5-10 200 So.

RB Tawee Walker Palomar 5-10 215 Fr

RB Cael Patterson San Diego Mesa 5-10 195 So

WR Antwoine Sullivan San Diego Mesa 6-3 175 Fr

WR Timieion Jackson San Diego Mesa 5-11 180 Fr

WR Payton Monson Grossmont 5-8 170 So

WR Perry Steele Grossmont 6-0 190 So.

WR Brandon Johnson Palomar 6-4 215 Fr

WR Christian Jourdain Southwestern 6-0 170 So

OL Jonas Woods Palomar 6-4 285 So

OL Christian De La Cruz Southwestern 6-4 300 So

OL Cameron Stoffell San Diego Mesa 6-3 320 Fr

OL Michael Toten Grossmont 6-2 290 So

OL Derek Rawlins Grossmont 6-4 295 So.

PK Asher Boothe Southwestern 6-1 180 Fr


DE Blaze Zito San Diego Mesa 6-3 245 Fr

DT Demanuel Talauati Grossmont 6-0 300 So.

DT Sid Weddington Palomar 6-3 270 So

DL Julian Sanderlin San Diego Mesa 6-4 245 So

DE Rock Gonzalez Grossmont 6-3 240 So

ILB Chris Alba San Diego Mesa 6-1 230 Fr

ILB Jagger Giles Grossmont 6-0 210 Fr

ILB Michael Harrington Southwestern 5-10 195 Fr

OLB Luke Manos Palomar 6-0 190 Fr

OLB Ethan Simley San Diego Mesa 5-11 210 So

S Chance Lovato Grossmont 5-10 205 So

S Jalen Dye Palomar 6-0 180 Fr

S Ricky Davis Jr Palomar 6-0 180 Fr

CB Robert Whitehead Grossmont 6-0 180 So

P Landon Ogles Palomar 6-3 235 Fr



1977 Steve Fairchild QB San Diego Mesa
1978 Tony Ricciardulli QB San Diego Mesa
1979 Matt Kofler QB San Diego Mesa
1980 Dennis Newman LB Grossmont
1981 Paul Berner QB San Diego Mesa
1982 Reid Sholl QB Southwestern
1983 Chuck Meierbachtol LB Grossmont
1984 Terry Morris QB Grossmont
1985 Richard Zayas WR Grossmont
1986 Thom Kaumeyer DB Palomar
1987 Mike Jordan QB Grossmont
1988 Duffy Dougherty QB Palomar
1989 Scott Barrick QB Palomar
1990 Bobby Christian LB Grossmont
1991 Andy Loveland QB Palomar
1992 J.D. Bewley LB Grossmont
1993 George Munoz QB Southwestern
1994 Tom Karlo QB Grossmont
1995 Todd Hovey DB Grossmont
1996 Akili Smith QB Grossmont
1997 Andy Garcia QB Southwestern
1998 Bryan Halsey QB Grossmont
1999 Garrett Pavelko LB Palomar
2000 Clint Womack QB Grossmont
2001 Brett Hudson DB Grossmont
2002 Tanner Engstrand QB Grossmont
2003 Bobby Kelly LB Grossmont
2004 Jarrod Jackson QB Grossmont
2005 Reilly Murphy QB Grossmont
2006 Cody Gocke OL Grossmont
2007 Magnum Mauga DL Grossmont
2008 Kyle Hipp TE Grossmont
2009 Jonathan Darby DB Grossmont
2010 Darrin Alix RB Grossmont
2012 Chris Bonner QB Grossmont

*There was no recipient of the Award in 2011, 2013-20


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