APTOS — Not much was said when the coaches of the Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan division selected Aptos senior running back and linebacker Marcos Reyes as the league’s Most Valuable Player.
His résumé spoke volumes.
“I said, ‘he’s the only two-way player we have, and he’s the best player in the league,’” said Aptos head coach Randy Blankenship. “They go, ‘yeah, he’s the beast.’”
“The beast” beat out a handful of other worthy candidates for the league’s top honor after rushing for 806 yards and 16 touchdowns over seven PCAL-G games. Reyes also starred at inside linebacker for a defense that allowed just 16 points per league game.
Palma senior quarterback Grant Sergent, and Salinas senior defensive lineman Sebastian Gomez were named the PCAL-G Offensive and Defensive M.V.P., respectively, after leading their teams to a share of the league championship.
Aptos finished tied for third with San Benito after losing a pair of heartbreakers against Palma and Salinas.
The Mariners made up for their regular-season shortcomings by winning the Central Coast Section Open Division III championship over Sacred Heart Prep on Dec. 1.
Reyes rushed for 214 yards and two touchdowns in the 35-34 win over the Gators to push his season totals to 1,754 yards and 31 touchdowns. The 5-foot-8, 190-pounder holds the program record for rushing yards in a game (292), season (1,754) and career (3,504). He also holds the program’s single-season (200) and a career (326) points record, and the program’s single-season (32) and career (55) touchdown record.
He’ll have another opportunity to add to his impressive marks in the Mariners’ California Interscholastic Federation NorCal bowl game. Aptos hosts McClymonds of Oakland on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Division 4-A.
Reyes also earned a spot on the PCAL-G First Team with Aptos senior linemen Hayden Mennie and Josh Sousa-Jimenez.
Mariners’ senior safety Silvano Lopez, junior defensive lineman Josh Powell and junior linebacker Dre Gomez made the PCAL-G First Team on defense.
Aptos also had three players named to the PCAL-G Second Team: senior quarterback Hunter Matys, junior tight end Casey Bailey and senior linebacker Shane Modena.
Junior kicker Danny Dahel earned a spot on the Sportsmanship Team, and the Mariners shared the team sportsmanship award with Gilroy.
Six locals were named to the PCAL-M First Team.
Monte Vista Christian senior running back Daniel Brierley, senior safety Scott Tinsley, senior lineman Alec Ramirez and junior lineman Anthony Shepherd made the cut, while Watsonville senior tight end Dylan Vargas and senior defensive lineman Rodrigo Hernandez also earned a spot.
M.V.C. finished runner-up in the division and advanced to the CCS playoffs.
Watsonville finished last after a trio of heartbreaking losses.
Carmel won the league title behind senior receiver Rashaan Ward and defensive lineman Robert Brown, whom were named the PCAL-M’s Offensive and Defensive Player of the year, respectively.
Scotts Valley senior quarterback and safety Kyle Rajala was named league M.V.P.
Four Mustangs made the PCAL-G Second Team: senior defensive lineman Jason Bettencourt, senior defensive back Nick Bautista, junior lineman Nolan Lukin and senior linebacker John Coniglio.
Two Wildcatz made the PCAL-G Second Team: senior running back Matthew Barcelo and senior defensive back Louie Guzman.
Eight locals made the PCAL-C First Team.
North Monterey County junior quarterback Brandon Ducusin, senior lineman Spencer Gonzalez, junior defensive back Riley Anderson and senior linebacker Adrian Gomez made the first team.
St. Francis had senior running back Andrew Seymour, senior defensive back Devin McLeod, senior linebacker Aaron Soto and junior defensive lineman Isaac Davila earn a spot.
Monterey won the league title behind senior running back Tim Byrd, who was named the PCAL-C Offensive M.V.P.
San Lorenzo Valley tied for second with King City. Cougars senior defensive lineman Aidan Callahan earned PCAL-C Defensive M.V.P. honors, while Mustangs’ junior Francisco Sandoval was named the Lineman of the Year.
St. Francis walked away with the team sportsmanship award.
N.M.C. had three named to the PCAL-C Second Team. Senior Isaiah Solorio made the team as a receiver and defensive back, senior lineman Christian Moreno was also named to the team on offense and defense and senior defensive back Lupe Sanchez was also honored.
St. Francis junior offensive lineman Lawson Orradre also made the PCAL-C Second Team.
Pajaro Valley junior running back Carlos Hernandez and senior defensive lineman Manny Murillo made the PCAL-SL First Team.
Gonzales’ record-setting senior running back Payton Flores was named the PCAL-SL M.V.P. after guiding the Spartans to the league title and an undefeated regular season.
Soquel sophomore running back Darius Bedford led the Knights to a runner-up finish and earned the PCAL-SL Offensive Player of the Year in the process.
Stevenson senior linebacker Alex Murray was honored as the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Pajaro Valley senior offensive lineman Aaron Olivares and senior linebacker Josue Gutierrez made the league’s second team. The Grizzlies’ senior offensive lineman Allen Hernandez earned a spot on the Sportsmanship Team.
Editor's Note: This article will publish in the Dec. 7 edition of the Register-Pajaronian newspaper.