Pointers snag multiple league honors for dedication
by Scott Hopkins
Published - 01/24/13 - 10:19 AM | 5957 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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A dozen members of the Point Loma High School football team were recently selected for All-Western League honors, matching a league rival that later won the California state championship.

For the Pointers, despite finishing 8-4 overall (4-1, second place in league) the 12 selections are a tribute to the team’s talent and work ethic.

Western League champion Madison High, which edged the Pointers 28-14 on Nov. 2 for the league crown, went on to both a local CIF Div. IV and state CIF Div. III championship.

All-Western League honors went to the following Pointers:

• First team, offense:

Jake Wambaugh, (Jr.): (6’3,” 250 pounds) The junior tight end was singled out for his blocking skills that helped produce 2,586 rushing yards for the Pointers. He also is a starter at defensive end.

Mark Nou, (Sr.): Far from the biggest of offensive linemen (5’10,” 210 pounds), Nou proved to be a tenacious blocker while anchoring the Pointer run and pass blocking.

• First team, defense:

Western League “Defensive Player of the Year:” Jamal Agnew, (Sr.): A fearless player who, at 5’8” and 150 pounds, drew reactions from crowds as he racked up 72 tackles. He grabbed six pass interceptions and returned punts and kickoffs, scoring touchdowns in each. Pound-for-pound, one of the county’s top players.

Zach Eischen, (Sr.): After making the jump from freshman team to varsity as a sophomore, Eischen excelled. From his free safety position, the 6’2,” 195-pounder was credited with 67 tackles this season and returned four interceptions 126 yards, scoring twice.

Greg Verdugo, (Sr.): From his linebacker position, Verdugo, in his No. 53 jersey, wreaked havoc on opponents’ offensive plans. The 6-foot, 200-pounder led the Pointers with 94 tackles and was credited with three sacks, broke up three passes and blocked a punt.

Steven Arreola, (Sr.): One of the Pointers’ big men on the defensive line (6 feet, 275 pounds), Arreola made life miserable for opposing offensive linemen. He was credited with 85 tackles (second on the team) and also was credited with one sack and a fumble recovery.

• Second team, offense:

Branden Martin, (Sr.): Transferring to Point Loma for his junior year, Martin quickly moved from third-string junior varsity to varsity starter, where he remained. He accounted for nearly 800 yards (468 passing, 324 running) and 10 touchdowns.

Dirk Lacy, (Jr.): Led the team with 735 yards rushing this season (6.8 yards per carry average). The 5’10,” 175-pounder scored six touchdowns. He will return as the Pointers’ top back next season.

Jovanny Sanchez, (Sr.): Proved himself a standout as a member of Dogs offensive line that put up 307 points in 12 games. The 6-foot, 220-pounder also wrestles.

• Second team, defense:

Grant Wilburn, (Sr.): Cornerback who was in on 35 tackles, quick defender (5’8,” 155 pounds) picked off four passes and recovered a fumble. Also a starter in basketball.

Sydney Rush, (Sr.): Racked up 31 tackles on defense from his defensive back position. Had one interception, also returned kickoffs and played running back (278 yards).

Jake Virissimo, (Soph.): The defensive end caused problems all year long as he repeatedly infiltrated enemy backfields. Credited with a team-leading 3.5 sacks, Virissimo (6 feet, 190 pounds) caused a fumble and blocked a punt. The sophomore has two more seasons as a Pointer.

Awards banquet

Head coach Mike Hastings and his staff presented team awards at a Jan. 12 banquet held at the Phil’s BBQ Event Center:

Team captains: Johnny Maes, Nou, Eischen and Agnew

Most Inspirational Player: Maes

Scout Team Offense Player of the Year: Abel Martinez

Scout Team Defense Player of the Year: Arreola

Coach Bill Hastings Specialist Player of the Year: Miguel Alcantar

Special Teams Player of the Year: Agnew

Coach Steve Harrow Memorial Award: Sanchez and Martin

Coach Bennie Edens Award: Verdugo and Wilburn

Staff Sgt. Jimmie Howard “Semper Fi” Award: Kevin Ford

Most Improved Academics Award: Brian Thepkaysone


• Maes, who tore all his knee ligaments, dislocated his knee and suffered nerve damage in his leg during the Homecoming game, attended the banquet. He is now walking on crutches while awaiting further surgeries.

• Staff Sgt. Jimmie Howard, who passed away in 1993, was a Point Loma resident and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts. He served as a volunteer coach on the Pointer staff.

• The Pointer staff bid farewell to 25 seniors, several of whom will likely continue playing at the college level.

• Members of an undefeated (9-0) junior varsity and 8-1 freshman team will supply new varsity talent.

• The school’s new weight room is being heavily used on a daily basis for strength and endurance building by football returnees and candidates.

• Hastings hopes to have next season’s schedule completed soon.
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