Nico Bornand made one of the most memorable plays of the local high school football season.
In a critical game at Ventura, Dos Pueblos was clinging to a six-point lead and Ventura had the ball, facing a fourth-and-goal from the 6-yard line with 58 seconds left. Everyone was anticipating a pass play, but the Cougars elected to run the ball. Bornand, DP’s senior middle linebacker, saw the play develop and “Nico’d” it. He filled the hole, swallowed up the running back and threw him to the ground, securing a 27-21 road victory that would help the Chargers gain a share of the Channel League title.
At Bishop Diego, it seemed like whenever the Cardinals needed a big play, Anthony Carter would step up and make one. Whether it was a quick dash behind the guards, a quarterback draw, a run around the end or a long pass, AC drove opposing defenses crazy with his slick ball handling, speed, shiftiness, guts and savvy. His play was a big reason Bishop Diego experienced a record 12-1 season.
Presidio Sports is pleased to recognize Bornand and Carter as the Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year on its first All-City Football Team.
VIEW PLAYER OF THE YEAR VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
The All-City team is selected from the schools Presidio Sports covers. In football, it’s Dos Pueblos, San Marcos, Santa Barbara, Bishop Diego, Carpinteria, Cate and Laguna Blanca. The players named to the team were chosen with the help of the football coaches. The MVPs were picked by the Presidio Sports staff.
The All-City Football team will be recognized in person at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe on Monday, January 7th. The public is welcome to attend the lunch.
Bornand is one of those special players a coach can always count on to get the job done.
“I don’t think there was one single player in this county that meant as much to us as he did,” DP coach Nate Mendoza said.
The 6-2, 230-pound Bornand was a force on defense. He amassed 120 total tackles, 58 solo tackles and 16 tackles for a loss. He had three interceptions and forced two fumbles. He also was a weapon as a kicker and receiver. He averaged 40 yards gross on punts, booted eight field goals, including a 48-yarder, and missed only one extra point all season. As a tight end, he caught 18 passes for 426 yards and four touchdowns. He scored a total of 80 points for the Chargers.
“I just think he is so rare, because he is really good at doing five things in football: punting, kicking, linebacker, receiving and blocking at tight end,” Mendoza said. “How many times do you see a star middle linebacker also lead a team in points scored? And he was a really good punter. Pretty rare.
“And, the most amazing thing about Nico is that he is so humble. He always put his teammates first and served as a tremendous leader.”
It was rare to see Carter off the field at Bishop Diego games. If the junior wasn’t making plays at quarterback, he was doing it as a running back or wide receiver. He played safety on defense and was on special teams as the punter or punt returner.
“Anthony provided us a combination of athleticism, versatility and leadership which is essential for any type of success,” Bishop coach Tom Crawford said. “His ability to make big plays and the occasional ‘something out of nothing’made him a threat every time he touched the ball. And he responded to the pressure and physical demands of tough games with perhaps his best performances. It’s great to see that type of success from a guy who works so hard and is as humble as AC is.”
As a quarterback, Carter completed 57 percent of his passes and threw for seven touchdowns, including two game winners at the end of games. He gained 784 yards on 100 carries as a ball carrier. On defense, he made 43 tackles, recovered three fumbles, had one interception and four pass deflections from his safety spot. He averaged 37.3 yards per punt and his punt return average was 17.8 yards with one touchdown.
One of Carter’s best games was against Nordhoff for the Tri-Valley League title. He withstood a lot of hard hits and saw more action on both sides of the ball in the second half due to an injury to fellow QB and safety Gabe Molina. In the end, he stepped up and threw the game-winning touchdown pass, a 26-yarder to BJ Murillo.
The following week against an undefeated Mission Prep team, he again threw the game-winning touchdown pass, giving Bishop a perfect 10-0 regular-season record.
2012 ALL-CITY FOOTBALL TEAM
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
ANTHONY CARTER, Junior, Bishop Diego
PAUL CORTEZ, Senior, Carpinteria: The Warriors’ team MVP and team captain. The durable back rushed for six touchdowns and caught a TD pass.
ANTHONY SPIRITOSANTO, Senior Dos Pueblos: A punishing runner that was the backbone of the DP offense. He rushed for 936 yards and scored 10 touchdowns, both team bests.
KYLE MAYFIELD, Senior, Cate: Mayfield played 8-man football, but his skill-set and athleticism would have made him an impact player on any team in the city. He passed for 1,205 yards and 20 touchdowns in seven games and ran for 898 yards and 15 scores.
JAMES STEVENS, Senior, Santa Barbara: The Dons’ deep threat. His speed put fear in many defensive backs. He caught 25 passes for 657 yards and six touchdowns,
NOLAN TOOLEY, Senior, Bishop Diego: A sure-handed, big play receiver for the Cardinals. He caught 15 passes, five for touchdowns, with an average of 17.5 yards per catch.
EMILIO GONZALEZ, Senior, Santa Barbara: When he was on the field he made things happen with clutch, acrobatic catches. He caught 31 passes for 432 yards and seven touchdowns.
AIDAN WILLIAMS, Junior, Bishop Diego: The lead blocker on 90 percent of Bishop Diego’s running plays, Williams picked up big yardage when he got the chance to carry the ball. He gained 375 yards on 37 carries and scored five touchdowns, also caught 18 passes for 212 yards and two TDs.
JOSE DEL CAMPO, Senior, Bishop Diego: Sweeps don’t go anywhere without Del Campo leading the way. Coach Tom Crawford called him team’s best offensive lineman.
JESSE ALCANTAR, Senior, Santa Barbara: Played at several positions on the line due to injuries and played them well. He provided good pass protection and was a steady performer all season.
ALEC MARMO, Senior, Dos Pueblos: The leader of the offensive line and a huge reason Chargers rushed for 2,300 yards this season, said coach Nate Mendoza.
JOHN SAMSON, Junior, Bishop Diego: Opened the holes for Carter and other running backs and provided solid pass blocking.
XAVIER DE ALBA, Senior, Carpinteria: Coach Ben Hallock called him the team’s best offensive lineman.
MATT MEDINA, Senior, Santa Barbara: Kicked eight field goals, including a school-record 51-yarder, and converted on 34 PATs for 58 points.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
NICO BORNAND, Senior, Dos Pueblos
JASON SCHWARTZ, Senior, Dos Pueblos: Coach Nate Mendoza called the three-year starter and captain the team’s overall best lineman. He had 52 tackles, 12 for losses, eight sacks and six pass breakups
MITCHELL BARRETT, Senior, Santa Barbara: Barrett developed into a force at end for the Dons. He had 20 solo tackles, 57 total tackles and three sacks.
JUSTIN BROSNAN, Senior, Bishop Diego: Led the Cardinals in sacks (16), tackles for loss, hurries and total tackles with 92. He also recovered two fumbles.
DUNCAN GORDAN, Junior, Carpinteria: Recorded a team-best 10 sacks and six deliver sacks to go along with 53 tackles, three deflected passes and two fumble recoveries.
JASON JIMENEZ, Senior, Santa Barbara: A big hitter and leader on defense for the Dons. He had 14 solo tackles and 37 total tackles.
CHRISTIAN PEARSON, Junior, Bishop Diego: A big-time playmaker at inside linebacker for the Cardinals. He led the team in tackles with 126, had three sacks and three interceptions, one returned for touchdown, five caused fumbles and two pass deflections.
RUDY CORRALES, Senior, Santa Barbara: Small in stature, but a big hitter and sure tackler. He recorded 24 solo tackles and 69 total tackles.
EFREN SANCHEZ, Senior, Santa Barbara: A heady player who was a leader in the Dons’ defensive backfield. He picked off three passes and knocked away several.
JORDAN DEGRAFFINREID, Senior, Dos Pueblos: A hard-hitting, athletic safety, Jordan had 51 tackles, including 13 solo and tied for the team lead with 3 interceptions.
TROY SKINNER, Senior, Bishop Diego: Always in the right place at the right time, Troy was the shut-down corner for the Cardinals, said coach Tom Crawford. He had five interceptions, 61 tackles and two quarterback sacks.
GABE MOLINA, Junior, Bishop Diego: A fine quarterback on offense and a director in the secondary for the Cardinals, Gabe was in on 55 tackles and had one interception from the safety position.
BJ MURILLO, Junior, Bishop Diego: BJ was impact player as defensive back, receiver and special teams player. He had a team-best six interceptions with one returned for touchdown, seven pass deflections and a fumble recovery On offense, he caught 17 passes, four for touchdowns, and had an 18.4-yard average per catch. He rushed for two TDs and returned nine kicks for 329 yards.