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One last football hurrah

Published: Friday, July 20, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.

North Bay’s recently graduated high school football players get a chance for a last hurrah, and Petaluma and Casa Grande players will be prominently among them in the 2012 Kiwanis All-Star football game.

The game pits the best of June graduates from the Sonoma County League against the best from the North Bay League in one final high school game.

This year’s game will be played Saturday at Santa Rosa High School with kickoff at 7 p.m.

Adding a bit of extra intrigue to this season’s game is league realignment coming next fall, with Casa Grande and Windsor switching allegiance to join the NBL, while Elsie Allen and Piner change to the SCL.

Casa Grande’s last participants for the SCL will be linemen Thomas Kupelian, Sean Markovich, Luis Araiza and Isaac Samana; linebacker Weston Bryan; and defensive backs Bandon Singh and Steven Bentley.

Petaluma will be represented by linebacker Jack Perez, lineman James Hall, tight end Roman Jennings and defensive back Dylan Parks.

Tomales, although a North Central League II school, will help the SCL with running back Michael Guerrero, wide receiver Luke McFadden and linebacker Justin Kehoe.

Kupelian, Markovich and Samana were the muscle on an outstanding Casa Grande offensive line that helped the Gauchos rush for 2,316 yards and gain 4,635 yards last season.

Araiza was a sack master in his senior season, recording seven sacks among his 52 tackles. He can also play on the offensive line.

Bryan was among the Casa Grande team leaders with 93 tackles, 57 solo, last season.

Singh and Bentley were not only two of the Redwood Empire’s top defensive backs, they were also among the best wide receivers.

Bentley led the Gauchos with 39 catches for 660 yards and four touchdowns. Singh caught 27 throws for 324 yards and a team-high six touchdowns.

Defensively, Bentley had a whopping nine interceptions and blocked three field goal attempts. Singh had three interceptions.

Perez and Hall were perhaps Petaluma’s top all-around defensive players, with Hall doubling as one of the best offensive linemen at center and Perez doing a little bit of everything for the Trojans, including playing fullback when needed.

Jennings made several big catches at tight end, and was a strong pass rusher on the defensive side of the football.

Parks was the Trojans’ top receiver and a mainstay in the defensive backfield.

Guerrero and McFadden had great seasons for the Tomales, leading the Braves to a 9-3-1 season, the championship of the North Central League II and into the finals of the North Coast Section Division 5 playoffs.

Guerrero rushed for 1,388 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.

Tomales seldom passed the football, completing just 38 passes all season. Fifteen of those completions went to McFadden, who caught five for touchdowns.

Linebacker Kehoe was the leader of the formidable Tomales defense.

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