Football: Individuals recognized as all-conference selections

File Photo: Anthony Shipton (99) was a unanimous all-conference selection
File Photo: Anthony Shipton (99) was a unanimous all-conference selection

In the 2019 season, the Cerritos College football team posted a 7-4 record and capped off the year with a 46-39 win over Ventura College in the Joe Kapp Real State Beach Bowl. As a result of their performance this season, 14 players received all-conference honors, while 11 others also garnered special recognition for their accomplishments.

On defense, sophomore defensive tackle Anthony Shipton (Villa Park HS) and freshman defensive end Logan Applewhite (Cathedral HS) were unanimous selections, as was sophomore wide receiver C.J. Parks (Mater Dei HS). In all, five players were named to the 1st Team, with nine others being selected to the 2nd Team.

Logan Applewhite (13) was a unanimous all-conference selection Shipton, who was named the bowl game's Defensive Player of the Game, concluded the season with 40 tackles, along with four quarterback sacks and 5 1/2 tackles for loss. His presence in the middle of the defensive line clogged things up for opposing teams, who were forced to try and run the ball to the outside. When they did, Applewhile was there and he responded with 52 stops, which led the defensive line and was second on the team. He led the squad with 27 solo stops, 10 quarterback sacks and 22 tackles for loss. Applewhite (pictured, left) also led the Falcons with four forced fumbles and also broke up a pass.

Parks, the bowl game's Offensive Player of the Game, broke the school's all-time reception list with 94. He capped off the season with 61 catches for 965 receiving yards, which is the second most in a season in school history. His 1,336 career receiving yards also ranks him second in school history. Parks (pictured, lower right) also set a single-game school record with 13 catches against Fullerton College for 165 yards.

Earning 2nd Team honors on defense were sophomore linebacker Etieni Valele (Norwalk HS) and freshman linebacker Victor Clanton (JSerra HS). Valele, a 290-pound linebacker, tied for third on the team with 50 tackles and recorded five tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks. As for Clanton, he led the defense with 68 tackles (23 solo), along with seven tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks, two pass breakups and an interception, which he returned for 14 yards. Also receiving special recognition on defense were sophomore defensive tackle Ikenna Ahumibe (Gahr HS), cornerbacks Daron Smith (St. Paul HS/Los Angeles Southwest College) and Tre'Vion Ballard (Los Alamitos HS), as well as safeties Omari Okeke (Bellflower HS) and DeMario King (Los Alamitos HS). Ahumibe tied for third on the team with 50 tackles and had 7 1/2 tackles for loss, with Smith leading the team with seven pass breakups, while Ballard recorded 26 tackles and four pass breakups. King was second among defensive backs with 39 tackles, while Okeke posted 35 stops and led the team with two interceptions.

C.J. Parks (5) was a unanimous all-conference selection On the offensive side, sophomore offensive tackle Sebastian Hernandez (La Mirada HS/Long Beach City College) and sophomore running back Carl Odom (West Jordan UT HS) received 1st Team honors. Odom, who led the team with 804 yards on 141 carries (5.7 average) also scored nine touchdowns. He rushed for over 100 yards three times this season, including a career-high 129 yards on 20 carries in the bowl win. Hernandez anchored an offensive line that saw the Falcons rush for 1,941 yards and throw for another 2,842 yards. He was joined by freshmen Brandon Logan (Artesia HS) and Christopher Alvarez (El Monte HS), who were 2nd Team choices, with sophomore center Jason Sitala (Bellflower HS) earning special recognition.

Freshman running back Hinckley Ropati (Downey HS), who led the team with 10 rushing touchdowns, amassed 647 yards on 109 carries (5.9 average). He scored a season-high four touchdowns against Fullerton College and concluded the season with three touchdowns in the bowl game. Freshman quarterback TJ McMahon (Servite HS), who threw for 2,667 yards with 24 touchdowns and only five interceptions, was another 2nd Team pick. His passing yards were the second most in a season in school history, while his 65.8 completion percentage set a new single-season school record. Receiving special recognition on offense included sophomore wide receiver Jovohn Tucker (St. John Bosco HS), who pulled in 42 passes for 749 yards (17.8 average) and seven touchdowns, while sophomore tight end Matt Den Hartog (Los Alamitos HS) was an excellent blocker and also caught four passes for 31 yards and a touchdown.

On special teams, sophomore Jacobi Hardy (Long Beach Wilson HS/El Camino College) was a 2nd Team kick return specialist and also received special recognition as an all-purpose player. As a kick returner, Hardy brought back 18 kickoffs for 594 yards (33.0 average) and two touchdowns. He also rushed 43 times for 301 yards (7.0 average) and four touchdowns and pulled in 15 passes for 68 yards. Freshman punter Brandon Petruescu (La Mirada HS) was a 2nd Team selection after averaging 36.8 yards per punt and dropped nine inside the 20-yard line. He also converted 11-of-14 field goals with a long of 42 yards and converted all four of his extra point attempts. As a running back and superb kick coverage player, freshman J'lon Manning (Bellflower HS) earned 2nd Team honors as a utility player. He carried the ball 19 times for 159 yards (14.5 average) with two touchdowns and also caught four passes for 44 yards out of the backfield. On kick coverage, Manning recorded eight tackles and recovered a fumble.