It was a year of transition for Mountain Football after leaving the ranks of the South Sequoia League to join one of the elite leagues in Kern County, completing their inaugural season in the Southeast Yosemite League with an 8-3 (4-1 SEYL) record.
The success was thanks in part to 17 Warriors that were named to the first, second and honorable mention teams.
Earning first team recognition were Bobby Howell (QB), Jorge Garcia (RB), Ryan Flick (TE), Andrew Garber (OL), Joseph Blewett (OL), Kiefer Fincher (DL), Angel Garcia (DL), Ty Curry (LB), Steven Cross (DB) and Dakota Medovitch (Punter).
Taking second team recognition was Andrew Jimenez (OL), Michael Contreras (DL), Logan Smith (LB), Ian Neufeld (DB) and Jeremy Duff (Kicker).
Jimenez finished his senior year as one of the top offensive lineman in the section by helping Tehachapi rack up 328 points on the year, while Contreras led the league with eight quarterback sacks. Smith and Neufeld were dominant defensive players with 93 and 48 tackles respectively, while Duff was a special teams standout with 1,865 total yards recorded on kickoffs.
Honorable mention went to Blake Panek (DL) and Barry Jones (RB). Panek led the team in quarterback hurries with 15 on the season, along with 70 tackles and four sacks. Panek also earned the most improved award with fellow teammate Austin Riddle at the team awards banquet last month. Jones was a solid contributor in the offensive backfield with 456 yards rushing and six touchdowns during the season.
Below is a breakdown of all first team selections for the Warriors.
Kiefer Fincher -- Senior
Fincher had a dominant season for the Warriors on the defensive line, registering 88 total tackles, 13 hurries and 3.5 quarterback sacks. One of the best athletes on the defensive front in Kern County was also recognized as a Hometown All-Star and Mountain Football's team award for outstanding defensive lineman along with his first team selection.
Ryan Flick -- Senior
One of the most sure-handed tight ends in the league led Tehachapi's receiving corps with 274 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Flick was also a hometown all-star and US Army Arena Bowl automatic selection to go along with his first team all-league honor.
The team's selection for the outstanding offensive lineman award, Garber paved the running lanes for Tehachapi's backfield, which averaged 6.61 yards per carry and 2,791 rushing yards overall. Garber was also selected to the Hometown Sports All-Star team for a second straight season and is a two time all-league honoree.
Jorge Garcia -- Senior
Tehachapi's feature running back was a force this past season, rushing for a team high 1,425 yards, 19 touchdowns and 116 overall points, accomplishing all of these accolades after missing his junior season due to knee injury. Garcia's inspiring return to prominence gave him co-most valuable player honors and selection as a Hometown All-Star along with his first team all-league selection.
Bobby Howell -- Senior
Howell finished a senior year that yielded 624 passing yards and four touchdowns, while also earning co-most valuable player honors from his teammates. Howell is a first time selection to the first team after being named honorable mention last season in the South Sequoia League.
Joseph Blewett -- Junior
Blewett helped the Warrior offense to one of their most productive seasons in school history, helping THS to amass 3,455 yards of offense and 42 offensive touchdowns by season's end. For his efforts, Blewett was named as a Hometown Sports All-Star to go along with his selection as first team all-league in the SEYL.
Dakota Medovitch -- Junior
Medovitch was one of the league's standout punters on the season, recording nine punts inside the 20 yard line and a 33 yard average in 30 boots. The junior also excelled on defense with 48 tackles in the secondary to earn him first team All-SEYL honors.
Steven Cross -- Junior
Cross was Tehachapi's turnover specialist, recording a team high five interceptions on the season along with 28 tackles at his cornerback position. Cross was also selected as a Hometown Sports All-Star along with his first team selection.
Ty Curry -- Junior
A highly touted linebacker in the central section, Curry had an outstanding junior season that gave him a league leading 100 tackles and six blocks on special teams. A two-time starter for the Warriors, Curry also was a Hometown Sports All-Star and selected by his teammates for the outstanding defensive player award.
Angel Garcia -- Freshman
Garcia earned the rare distinction of first team all-league honors as a freshman, thanks in part to a dominant performance at his outside defensive line position. Garcia visited the backfield frequently, recording 97 total tackles and 4.5 sacks. The THS defensive standout is considered one of the county's most talented underclassmen and will be one to watch in future seasons.