Merced County Times Newspaper
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Atwater High School holds annual Football Banquet


Atwater High School (AHS) held its annual Football Banquet to recognize players, coaches and parents on January 6th in the school cafeteria. By 6pm all of the tables the AHS Quarterback Club had set-up and decorated were full of parents, friends and football players. The banquet was held last this year due to teams going into playoffs and Christmas break. AHS football haven’t been in the playoffs since the 2013 season.

Varsity Coach Seneca Ybarra welcomed parents and players. He stated, “This was a fun and exciting year for coaches and players.” He thanked all of the coaches’ wives for the time they give to us as coaches. Also thanked during the event was the AHS Quarterback Club, AHS Student Body Officers, AHS Administration, SWAG, the numerous businesses that sponsored football games or provided food, chain gangs for Varsity and Jr. Varsity games and Nathan Terry for programs.

Coach Ybarra ask Coach Friesen to say a blessing before the Quarterback club served cake to those in attendance. As cake was served, Coach Ybarra introduced Freshman Coach Carter to hand out letters to his team. Coach Carter asked the Freshman team to line up as he thanked parents for all their support at games this year. Freshman Assistant Coaches helped hand out certificates to players. Freshman Coaches introduced and gave out plaques to their outstanding players as well, with each coach talked about the players and why they deserved the award.

Freshman Outstanding Players
  • Outstanding Offensive Skill — Caden Siegel
  • Outstanding Offensive Linemen — Tyler Ivie
  • Outstanding Defensive Skill — Erik Melgoza
  • Outstanding Defensive Linemen — Angel Morales
  • Coaches Award — Tyee Gunnin and Adrian Ramirez
  • Most Valuable Player — Tyler Parr


Jr. Varsity Coach Richard and his assistant coaches were next to hand out letters to players. He thanked parents and told them, “The season isn’t possible without the help of all of you.” He asked the team to come up front and receive their certificates.

Jr. Varsity Outstanding Players
  • Outstanding Offensive Skill — Luis Salas
  • Outstanding Offensive Linemen — Drew Boesch
  • Outstanding Defensive Skill — Marco Rivera
  • Outstanding Defensive Linemen — Richard Rodriguez
  • Coaches Award — Surinder Bhogal
  • Most Valuable Player — Bo Valladao


Varsity Coach Ybarra and his assistant coaches handed out the San Joaquin Section 2019 Champion Certificates to the Varsity players. Also given out was the first CCC Sportsmanship Patch. It went to Anthony Diaz.

The All-Conference Teams were next to receive certificates. Those making first team-CCC were Charles Jackson — RB, Xavier Williams — TE/DL, Daniel De La Rosa — WR/DB, Manuel Flores — K, Julian Gutierrez — OL and Julius Peacock — QB(Offensive POY.) Making second team-CCC were Meliton Gutierez — ILB, Leo Menera — DL, Jared Mooneyham — OL and Jimmy Espinoza — DB. Honorable Mention-CC were Giovanni Wiggins — DB and Omar Olivera — OL.

Making Academic All-Conference were: Danny De La Rosa, Anthony Diaz, Jimmy Espinoza, Jose Villegas, Richard DeLa Rosa, Anthony Robles, Jesus Prado, Arturo Valdovinos, Drew Boesch, Xavier Williams, Nathan Thao, Manuel Flores, Bo Valladao, Preston Tucker, Julian Gutierrez, Frank Lua, Yisela Vera and Gilberto Solorio. These players also maintained a 3.50 GPA.

Varsity Most Outstanding Players
  • Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman — Julian Gutierrez
  • Most Outstanding Offensive Receiver — Nathan Knight
  • Most Outstanding Offensive Back — Julius Peacock
  • Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman — Xavier Williams
  • Most Outstanding Linebacker — Isaiah Zamora
  • Most Outstanding Defensive Back — Daniel De La Rosa
  • Most Improved Player — Jared Mooneyham
  • Robert Smith Most Inspirational Award — Nate Thao and Giovanni Wiggins
  • Charles Richardson Pride Award — Anthony Diaz
  • Harold Holman Sportsmanship Award — James Thomas
  • Special Teams — Manuel Flores
  • Most Valuable Player — Charles Jackson


Coach Ybarra said, “The last award to be given out is the most important one, The Iron Man Award. It goes to the players that have played football all four years of high school.”

The Iron Man Award Players
  • Anthony Diaz
  • Nathan Knight
  • Nathan Thao
  • Charles Jackson
  • Meliton Gutierez
  • Jesus Prado
  • Frank Lua
  • Omar Olivera
  • Kaden Ramirez
  • David Alatorre
  • Gilberto Solorio


At the end of the banquet, senior players were given a gift by the QB Club. In each bag there was a picture taken at their Senior Night with parents and an AHS jacket.

When Coach Friesen gave out the Charles Richardson Pride Award, he explained it goes to the player who plays for the love of the game and school in honor of Mr. Richardson. He gave the history of the award, explaining Mr. Richardson was a 1968 AHS graduate and played football for AHS. After graduation he volunteered for the U.S. Army. He was in the 101st Airborne and flew helicopters. He deployed to Vietnam May 1970, he and his crew were killed in action a month later. In the 1970s AHS created this award to honor his courage, free spirit and dedication.

The Harold Holman Sportsmanship Award was also created in the 1970s to honor selfless players with a “team-first approach to football.” It was in honor of Mr. Holman, a long time financial supporter and volunteer for Falcon Football, and in particular was a supporter of the Falcon field press box, bleachers and field upgrade. He was a local businessman.

The Robert Smith Most Inspirational Award was created last year for Robert Smith. Robert graduated last year, he played football and was legally blind. He inspired players and coaches with his hard work and desire to play.

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