The College of the Redwoods football team had three of its players selected First-Team All-Pacific-7 Conference as sophomore running back Jacob Duilio, sophomore linebacker Aleric Stone and freshman defensive lineman Kaj Christensen all took home the hardware following outstanding seasons.
CR also had four players earn All-Pac-7 Honorable Mention as sophomore wide receivers Erren Jean-Pierre and Yuuya Kato, as well as freshmen defensive backs Carl Bess and Artis Jones were all recognized.
“There was a ton of talent in our conference this year so it was great to see so many of our guys get rewarded,” said CR’s first-year head coach Taylor Breitzman.
Stone (Arcata), who was the No. 2 vote-getter for linebackers, finished the 2014 season with 106 tackles, which lands him No. 3 all-time in single-season school history, just one tackle shy of Jamie Fisher’s 107 in 1991 (Kevin Brown had 119 in 2012).
Stone was No. 2 in the state in tackles this season, leading the Pac-7, and, just for good measure, carried the ball 11 times on offense in his final game of his junior college career at home on Saturday for three touchdowns and two 2-point conversions, helping the Corsairs beat Gavilan 43-42 in overtime.
“He was an easy pick,” Breitzman said. “He earned a lot of respect from the conference and it’s well deserved. He was obviously a huge part of our team, not just on defense, but his leadership and desire were second to none. Over his two years, he’s one of the best players to come through here. He’s a special player and we’re definitely gonna miss him.”
Duilio (Portland, Or.) had a team-high 140 carries this season for 596 yards (4.3 per carry) and 10 touchdowns, which ties him for No. 11 in the state among running backs.
“There were a lot of very talented running backs in the conference so for him to be selected is a great accomplishment,” Breitzman said. “He was the kind of player that, if there was success in our offense, he was behind it. Whether it was running the ball or pass protection or putting it in the end zone, he just did a remarkable job this year and we’re all very proud of him.”
Christensen (Dallas, Or.) was third on the team in sacks this year (4.5) and had 36 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss, adding a recovered fumble.
“The conference was loaded at the position from top-to-bottom so it was great to see Kaj get in there,” Breitzman said. “He didn’t have stats that blew people away, but he was just so disruptive and difficult to block week-in and week-out that people took notice.”
CR had four wide receivers finish the year with more than 400 yards, led by Jean-Pierre and Kato, but no receiver made it to 500 yards.
Jean Pierre had 46 catches for 449 yards and six touchdowns, while Kato had 42 catches for 497 yards and two touchdowns.
“Those guys worked their butts off and were a huge part of our offense,” Breitzman said.
On defense, Bess finished the season with 39 tackles and one interception, while Jones drew the task of covering the opponents’ top receiver each week, and finished the year with 28 tackles and three picks.
“Carl was a real leader on that back end for us and Artis was able to match up with well with anybody so I’m real happy for them,” Breitzman said. “We had a lot of ups and downs this year, we didn’t play up to our standard of what we expect, but I was really proud of the way we kept fighting. And that last win, it just shows the guys never quit. We were able to finish strong in one of the most emotional and exciting games that’s been played here for a few years now. Now we just continue to develop these freshmen and handle our business and continue to try and build a championship team.”
CR finished the year 3-7 overall and 1-5 in the Pac-7.