East County Sports

‘Mister Cellophane’: football’s CIFSDS player of the year



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS Senior writer

Alehandro Alzano

EL CAJON – The 2002 motion picture “Chicago,” based on the Broadway musicals from 1926 and 1975, and winner of the 2003 Academy Award for best film, features a character protrayed by John C. eilly as a simple-minded yet devoted husband who is, basically, an obsture, non-descript person.

Meanwhile, his wife,played by Renée Zellweger, wanted more in her life and was attempting to gain a career in show business during the Jazz Age in Chicago from about a century ago.

In football, there are similar contrasts which came o a head at the postseason meeting to name the All-CIF San Diego Sectgion players of the year.

Traditionaslly, the unknown player is often the offensive lineman, who might work the hardest to protect the star quarterback or running back.

As Reilly sang in the movie, his character — like the lineman — could be considered “Mister Cellophane” because “you can look right through me, walk right by me, and never known I’m there.”

Not in 12023.

Alzano (left, in white) with the lead block for a significant gain.

Despite going against a player who gained national attention as a major-college recruit to Alabama, Granite Hills senior tackle Alejandro Arzola was tabbed the Offensive Player of the Year in the CIF-San Diego Section.

How anonymous is Alzano? Even his own school lists him under his former last name (Tejeda) — he leglly change dhis name after turning 18 — on the coaches-controlled MaxPreps webpage.

Alzano came out on top following a heated debate among the panel of voters, needing five votes before he came out on top over Carlsbad quarterback Julian Sayin.

The difference may have been teams’ head-to-head result: Granite Hills nipped Carlsbad by one point, 46-45 in overtime, during the CIFSDS Open Division semifinals, when Sayin was intercepted for the first time all season by Eagles senior safety Nokoi Maddox.

The 6-foot, 315-pound Alsano was joined on the All-CIFSDS first tam by teannate Rowdy Seda, who is also a senioroffensive lineman.

Considering they are on the O-Line, how obscure are the pair? Eagles head coach Kellan Cobbs did not respond to requests to discuss his standouts ballplayers.

The CIFSDS Defensive Player of the Year was Lijncoln linebacker Jerome Roberts.

Since the San Diego Section was founded in 1960, only two other offensive linemen claimed Player f the Year honors: Robbie Coffin (Mira Mesa, 1983) and Jack Harrington (Rancho Buena Vista, 1988).

Photo by Nicole Noel / SEE MORE HERE


All-secion Eagles

Meanwhile, in a football rarity, a freshman was honored on the first team in Granite Hills quarterback Zach Benitez.

Playing in all 13 games (12-1 overall), Benitez completed 176-of-275 passes for 2,281 yards, with 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions. At this rate, Beniyez would smash ever East County and Grossmont Conference record, and be in line to take down all major CIFSDS marks.

Meanwhile, Granite Hills junior running back Max Turner was a second-team honoree.

Moshi Tileia

The Eagles’ defense was also well-represented.

First-team selections start with linemesenior Moshi Tilea and Damarion White, and senior safety Jordan Glaze, one of the ballclub’s leading tacklers. Maddox was named to the second team.

Local selections

Many of the remaining East County schools were represented on the all-CIF San Diego Section teams, mostly from Grossmont Hills League runner-up Helix and Grossmont Valley League champion Mount Miguel.

From Helix:

First-team offense
– RB Kevin Allen, senior
– OL Ryan Mason, senior

Second-team offense
– QB Ryland Jessee, senior

From Mount Miguel:

Second-team offense
– QB Matthew Barton, senior
– WR Jeremiah Castillo, senior

From Ramona:

Second-team offense
– OL Landon Talo, senior

Second-team defense
– LB Jacob Roher, senior

All-CIFSDS Teams

As voted by a committee of media and coaches.

First Team

Julian Sayin, Carlsbad, Sr.
Akili Smith Jr., Lincoln, Jr.
Jaden Mangini, La Jolla Country Day, Sr.
Zachary Benitez, Granite Hills, Fr.

Running backs
Kevin Allen, Helix, Sr.
Mason Walsh, Carlsbad, Sr.
Carlos Delgado, Sweetwater, Sr.

Ty Olsen, Del Norte, Jr.
Jace Nix, San Marcos, Jr.
Isaiah Hasten, St. Augustine, Sr.

Offensive linemen
Alejandro Arzola, Granite Hills, Sr.
Rowdy Seda, Granite Hills, Sr.
David Clifford, Poway, Sr.
Ryan Mason, Helix, Sr.
Jett Thomas, La Jolla, Jr.

Second Team
Ryland Jessee, Helix, Sr.
Jack Schneider, Del Norte, Sr.
Jackson Diehl, La Jolla, Sr.
Brady Palmer, St. Augustine, So.
Matthew Barton, Mount Miguel, Sr.

Running backs
Sir Autry, Hoover, Jr.
Max Turner, Granite Hills, Jr.

Jeremiah Castillo, Mount Miguel, Sr.
Trevor Ladd, La Costa Canyon, Sr.
Will Cianfrini, Carlsbad, Sr.

Offensive linemen
Blake Mazone, La Costa Canyon, Sr.
Landon Talo, Ramona, Sr.
Luke Farr, Army-Navy, Sr.
Luke Givens, La Jolla Country Day, Jr.
Andrew Langer, Carlsbad, Jr.

First Team
Defensive linemen
Jon Class, Mission Hills, Sr.
Makai Viavia, Madison, Sr.
Moshi Tilea, Granite Hills, Sr.
Damarion White, Granite Hills, Sr.
Eugene Rice, Lincoln, Sr.
Micah Valenzuela, Lincoln, Sr.
Ratumana Bulabalavu, Army-Navy, Sr.

Jerome Roberts, Lincoln, Sr.
James Tivao, Madison, Sr.
Anthony McMillian, Mater Dei Catholic, Sr.
Thomas McCormick, Carlsbad, Sr.

Defensive backs
Jordan Glaze, Granite Hills, Sr.
Justus Woods, Carlsbad, Sr.
Jaylon Brown, Madison, Sr.
Isaiah Buxton, Mater Dei Catholic, Sr.

Second Team
Defensive linemen
Jude McLellan, Carlsbad, Sr.
Tyler Boynton, Bishop’s, Sr.
Takori Davis, Madison, Sr.
Khalid Farah, Del Norte, Sr.
Bronx Letuligasenoa, St. Augustine, So.

Luke Ferrelli, Carlsbad, Sr.
Cayden Woolwine, San Marcos, Sr.
Jacob Roher, Ramona, Sr.
Isaac Grassi, La Jolla Country Day, Jr.

Defensive backs
Nokoi Maddox, Granite Hills, Sr.
Brady Allen, Point Loma, Sr.
Ty Cortes, Cathedral Catholic, Sr.
Arturo Estrada, Central Union, Jr.
Parker Johnson, St. Augustine, So.
Carson Diehl, La Jolla, So.

Kicker of the Year: Trey Coleman, Del Norte.
Coach of the Year: Ervin Hernandez, Sweetwater