Seven Skyhawks, Crusaders make all-Metro first-team

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Aloha senior wide receiver Maurice McSwain was a star on both sides of the football for the Warriors this season. McSwain garnered Metro League player of the year honors at wide receiver and linebacker.

Profuse with talented perimeter playmakers, bellcow running backs, hasty defenders, and young, gifted quarterbacks, the first-team all-Metro League team reads like a who’s who in the world of 6A football.

Aloha’s Maurice McSwain, Southridge’s Devin Martinez, Westview’s Austin Brisbee, Jesuit’s Christian Martinek and Joey Alfieri were each picked as the Metro League’s players of the year, leading a conference that once again fulfilled its billing as the best league in the state.

McSwain was a mismatch nightmare who could score from anywhere on the field for the Warriors. Aloha put the rock in its senior wide receiver’s hands as much as it possibly could, be it throwing, handing it off or lining McSwain up in the Wildcat formation. McSwain led the Metro League with 57 catches for 1,024 yards and seven scores, and also returned three kicks for touchdowns. The Warrior wide receiver also was picked first-team all-Metro League at linebacker. Punter Toby King was Aloha’s second first-team all-Metro League selection.

A ball of muscle and fury who flattened his share of incognizant Metro League defensive backs and linebackers on his way to the end zone, Martinez carried the load for the Skyhawks rushing for 1,262 yards and 15 touchdowns on the year. The 5-foot-6, 175-pounder saved one his best games for the postseason as well, rushing for 207 yards and four scores against West Linn to help Southridge advance to the second round of the 6A playoffs.

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO - Southridge running back Devin Martinez was one of five Metro League first-team selections to be named Metro League player of the year. The senior ran for 1,262 yards and 15 touchdowns during the season.

As a sophomore, Brisbee tore up the junior varsity ranks, but few could have predicted the junior signal caller’s breakout junior season in his first year as the Wildcats’ varsity quarterback. Executing head coach Greg Fisher’s no-huddle, multiple wide receiver offense with great aplomb and moxie, Brisbee threw for a league-high 2,586 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and also ran for five scores.

Westview upset Southridge 42-41 in the best Metro League game of the season, and clinched the conference’s second spot in the 6A postseason. Fisher was named the Metro League’s coach of the year, after leading the Wildcats to a 7-4 record. Senior defensive lineman Hank Kamakaala, senior defensive back Jacob Sturtevant and senior linebacker Mitch Kekel were also first-team all-Metro League picks. In the Metro League’s coach’s poll, Westview was predicted to finish dead last, yet the on-the-upswing Wildcats won three league contests before losing to Grants Pass in the first round of the 6A playoffs.

“These awards come from other coaches recognizing your program, so in that sense it’s a nice honor for myself and all the players,” said Fisher. “We had high expectations of being able to do this coming into the year, so for us it’s a sense of accomplishment of taking a step forward and getting this program back to where it’s been for much of our history.”

Alfieri was moved to tailback during the preseason for Jesuit and made the position switch look seamless. Though the Stanford commit tore his MCL against Aloha in the Crusaders’ eighth game of the year, Alfieri still ran for 1,712 yards and 22 touchdowns.

At defensive end, Martinek was unblockable along the Crusader defensive line and often times commanded a double team from Metro League opponents. The Oregon State verbal commit was too fast for bigger offensive tackles and too strong for smaller offensive linemen, who many times found themselves flat on their backs as Martinek motored to the quarterback. Martinek’s constant intensity and pass rushing force took the pressure off a young Crusader secondary that was picked on early in the year, but matured as the season progressed.

Jesuit — who won the Metro League by two games and is playing in the 6A state championship game against Central Catholic on Saturday— put seven additional players on the Metro League’s first team. Center Charlie Landgraf, tight end Henry Mondeaux, offensive tackle Mike Miller, offensive tackle Nick Miller, defensive back Trent Werner, Alfieri (running back), and Martinek (defensive end) all were first-team picks.

Southridge tied Jesuit with seven first-team all-Metro League nods, including Martinez, senior kicker Alex Beekman, senior offensive lineman Tyler Cox, senior defensive back Logan Sackley, senior defensive end Jordan Taula’i, senior linebacker Mike Varadi and junior fullback Zackary Wilbur.

Sunset’s predominant passing combination of junior quarterback Willy Pflug and senior wide receiver Jeff Bieber led the Apollos’ first-team all-Metro League picks. Linebacker Jared Steward, defensive lineman Josh Brown, and punter Logan Lachenmeier were also first-team nods for Sunset.

Beaverton’s Bryce Barker was named to the second-team at both wide receiver and defensive back. Junior linebacker Tovey Brown and senior defensive back Drew Kimmer were also second-team nods. Junior linebacker Casey Cornwell, junior defensive end Jared Hilbers, senior running back Grant Johnson, sophomore quarterback Sam Noyer, senior offensive lineman Daniel Sanchez and senior defensive end Kiuna Talalemotu made the all-Metro League third team for the Beavers.

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