CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Apr. 29, 2022) — Five local soccer athletes and two girls basketball players were named most valuable players when the Diablo and East Bay athletic leagues announced their all-league teams for the three winter sports.
Concord and Carondelet each had a pair of athletes win top honors for their outstanding senior seasons. The Cougar basketball and soccer teams enjoyed championships with EBAL players of the year Annaliese Guisto (soccer) and Talana Lepolo (basketball) playing key roles for their North Coast Section title teams.
Concord High soccer’s Bianca Avila was tabbed DAL Valley Division girls co-most valuable player and Alex Hockenbery was named boys Valley defensive MVP selected by league coaches.
Other top honorees from local schools were Clayton Valley Charter’s Adam Rychtecky as the DAL Foothill boys soccer defensive MVP, College Park’s Benjamin Lucha DAL Valley soccer offensive MVP and Mt. Diablo’s Yasmine Garrett the DAL Valley girls basketball co-MVP.
Garrett and her Red Devil teammates made historic runs in both the NCS and Northern California basketball playoffs and it was evident with all five Mt. Diablo starters receiving all-DAL recognition.
Clayton Valley soccer was ranked among the top NCS teams all season before losing a 1-0 matchup with crosstown rival and eventual champion De La Salle in the section semi-finals. Rychtecky and his teammates earlier won the DAL Foothill championship.
Ugly Eagles basketball made history of its own as the first boys basketball team from the Concord school to win a NCS championship when they defeated Dougherty Valley for the Division I title last month after surviving a brutal DAL Foothill division schedule that included NCS Open Division champs Campolindo.
Carondelet soccer coach Amy Apodaca gushed over her four-year player Guisto. “My four years with Giusto have been such a gift! Every year she brings more, fights more and we win more. As a leader, team player, I could not be more proud of the legacy she has left here at Carondelet. Giusto’s contribution is not just playing; it is in leading, persevering and carrying herself with excellence.”
Cougars basketball coach Kelly Sopak was just as effusive about Lapolo. “Talana was more than our best player this season, she was a tremendous leader and a great player to coach. Talana is a consummate point guard, she has the ability to lock up her position defensively and make all of her teammates better by putting all of them in position to succeed and getting them the ball is spots where they need the ball.”
Diablo Athletic League (local schools), Carondelet and De La Salle soccer, basketball and wrestling athletes getting
DAL Foothill: 1st team – Brady Cook, Thayne Merrill (Northgate), Jeremiah Dargan (Clayton Valley Charter); 2nd team- Dylan Golan (NG), Jake King (CVC); Honorable Mention – Connor Moore (College Park), Jason Zimmer (CVC)
DAL Valley: 1st team – Koko Penev (Concord), Todd Tatum (MD), Evan McKnight (Ygnacio Valley); 2nd team – Vinnie Estrada-Smith (Con), Charles Mathis (Mt. Diablo); HM- Anthony Foster, Zach Eidson (Con), Tyrion Burks (YV)
DLS: 1st team – John Semany, Alec Blair; 2nd team – Javon Johnson; HM- Jordan Webster
DAL Foothill: 1st team- Tegan Gaines (NG), Niamey Guillory (CVC); 2nd team – Jaley Croy (NG); HM- Tade Scheid (NG), Soo-Jin Berry (CVC)
DAL Valley: Co-MVP – Yasmine Garrett (MD); 1st team- Daralonie Sykes, Leniyah Fulsom (YV), Andheya Aurelio (MD); 2nd team – Nat Dance (Con), Mariel Busino (MD), Sarye Starks (YV), Nyela Pete, Ava Davis (CP); HM – Misa Le (CP), Noelani Boyd, Jorena Olivera (MD), Ciara Quesada (Con)
Carondelet: Player of the Year- Talana Lepolo; 1st team- Nya Epps, Megan Dickert; HM – Jamie Kent
DAL Foothill: 1st team- Katelyn Crossman, Isabella Lopez (CP), Jules Colchico, Sarah Santiago (NG), Miya Quesada (CVC); 2nd team – Madeline Roke, Joselyn Hom (CP), Grace Xepoleas, Logan Pascoe (NG), Daniela Perez (CVC); HM- Laine Moraes, Sasha Chaloner, Cassidy Baker (CVC), Sofia Cravero, Julia Gorham, Ananda Walker (CP), Keira Lund, Meighan Farrell, Juliana Balestrieli (NG)
DAL Valley: Co-MVP Bianca Avila (Con); 1st team – Brianna Diaz (Con); 2nd team -Jackie Tamayo, Chloe Herrera (Con); HM – Sofia Lopez Real, Hannah Morrell, Cecilia Oliva Vasques (Con)
Carondelet: Player of the Year – Annaleise Guisto; 1st team- Elizabeth Vranesh; 2nd team- Isabella de Melo, Maddie Buckley, Joy Dartez; HM – Victoria Alessandrini, Kira Hardwick
DAL Valley: Offensive MVP – Benjamin Lucha (CP), Defensive MVP – Alex Hockenbery (Con); 1st team – Colby Keck, Matthew Oldenbourg (CP), Jamie Silva, Miguel Ruvalcaba (Con), Jared Gallegos (MD); 2nd team -Marley Babb, Christian Alfaro (CP), Heivi Castro, Salvador Garcia (Con), Diego Romo (MD); HM – Nicholas Silva, Logan Gomez, Ethan Leach (CP); Angel Diaz, Daniel Guerra, Ronaldihno Basulto (Con); Alejandro Sanchez, Armando Banales, Jesus Elias (MD)
DAL Foothill: Offensive MVP-Adam Rychtecky (CVC); 1st team- Logan Gonzalez, Noah Paschall, Marco Jara (CVC), Julian Renteria, Kevin Carranza (YV), Kayky Pires Neto (NG); 2nd team- Alex Braginski, Skye Megyesi, Ryan Morimoto (CVC); Ronald Lopez, Angel Gonzalez (YV), John Hagedoin (NG); HM – Will Caranza, Chase Caldwell, Nolan Martin (CVC), Diego Alvarado, Bryan Martinez, Martin Mendez (YV), Reece Gaines, Nick Romatt, Jacob Hurst (NG)
De La Salle: 1st team– Lucas Pfister, Charlie Hogan, Anthony Torres; 2nd team – Cooper Kennedy, Noah Schwenger; HM – Dom Sposeto, Jordan Kennedy, JP Hernandez
DAL: 1st team- Tony Hernandez, Angelo Esposito, Tony Pucci (NG), Julian Aung, Andre Dargin (CVC); 2nd team – Nate Sullivan (NG), Steven Marin, Dante Caputi (CVC), Jose Ortiz (Con), Calin Capra (CP); HM – Zack Marshal, Colter Seidenspinner (CP); Aiden Chang, Rani Abaneh (NG), Julius Aung, Brady Coddington (CVC) Selichi Naddy (Con)
DLS: 1st team- Caleb Tatad, Bobby Cuevas, Atri Feizi, Matthew Pierce, Stefan Bakiev, Aidan Roe; 2nd team -Manuel Martir, Carlos Vazquez, Gavin Fernandez, Fernando Flores, Colin Sweeney, Nicholas Sherlock; HM – Franklin Enkhmandakh
DAL: 1st team- Savannah Talmadge, Becky Fletcher (NG), Myia Weiler, Violet Sheehan, Alexis Sealey, Brenna Kubiak, Haley Joseph (CP); 2nd team – Emma Diaz, Alyssa Scallin, Sachi Jauhari; HM – Avery Seidenspinner (CP), Danica Hiene (NG), Andrea Barajas (YV)
Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.