Lions land on All-League teams

Valley Christian Academy roundup
By: Nick Pecoraro
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The Valley Christian Academy football team, despite having a 2-7 record through the 2018 campaign, landed three players on the Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic All-League team.

Seniors Drake Williams and John Hibbs and junior Bradyn McIntosh were selected to the SMAL first team.

Williams led the Lions with 1,221 all-purpose yards, running, receiving and returning kicks for VCA. He also led the team with 96 tackles from the linebacker position. Hibbs provided senior leadership while tallying 49 tackles and four touchdowns on offense. McIntosh, the team’s primary quarterback, threw three touchdown passes while contributing 60 tackles and a team-high four sacks on defense.

A wave of Lions’ youth made additions to the SMAL second team as sophomore Payton Meyers and freshmen Tommy Fasig and Hunter Clary earned spots for VCA.

Meyers was the team’s leading receiver and kick-returner. Clary and Fasig each led the Lions with three interceptions. Fasig also threw seven TD tosses splitting time under center with McIntosh.

Offensive and defensive linemen Reagan Valenzuela and Michael Newsom were named VCA honorable mention.


Lady Lions named to All-League volleyball team

Junior outside hitter Savannah Bowen earned first team All-League honors for the Lady Lions volleyball team, senior libero Alondra Raya made the SMAL second team and senior defensive specialist Grace John and junior opposite hitter McKenzie Grammer were named to honorable mention.

VCA went 12-6 overall in 2018 with a 10-4 mark in league. The Lions lost to Big Valley Christian of Modesto in the first round of the Division VI playoffs. VCA has now made the postseason in 12 straight years.


Rreshpja signs with Duquesne

VCA senior Bernarda Rreshpja, who just finished up volleyball season with the Lady Lions, signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Duquesne University in Pennsylvania last week.

Rreshpja, a 6-foot senior from Albania, is enjoying her first year at Valley Christian Academy.

(Rreshpja) is a guard that can handle the ball and shoot,” said VCA athletic director Brad Gunter. “She is an absolute sweetheart and is truly part of our VCA family. We are so excited for her and her family, and look forward to cheering her on at the next level.”

The VCA girls basketball season began Monday with a foundation game against Highlands, and non-league games begin Nov. 29.


All ‘Systems’ Go for boys hoops

The Lions’ boys team will be looking to reach the postseason for the sixth consecutive season under Coach Brad Gunter, who says the team will once again employ “The System”, VCA’s uptempo, rapid-substitution and high-scoring offensive scheme.

Drake Williams, who averaged over eight points per game last season as a junior, returns along with Bradyn McIntosh, Vince Cusick, Reagan Valenzuela, John Hibbs, Josiah Converse, Austin Androkitis and Michael Newsom from last year’s team.

We will carry 16 on the roster this season and look to play the majority of those guys every night,” Gunter said. “We have a big task ahead of us, especially with the NorCal D-VI champion (Sacramento Adventist) as a league opponent, but we will look to improve every day. We will look to ‘run, shoot, rebound, press and sub’ faster and faster every time we take the floor this year.”

The Lions’ first non-league game is set for Nov. 23 at home against Turlock Christian.


2018 All-Sacramento Metro Athletic League Football Teams

Coach of the Year- Mark Johnson, Woodland Christian

MVP- Carlos Pierre, QB/DB, Encina

Off Player of the Year- Anthony Uribes, QB/LB, Woodland Christian

Def Player of the Year- David Corona, OL/DL, Woodland Christian

1st Team Selections

Woodland Christian

Cooper Johnson, RB/LB/QB

Bryce Boyd, RB/DB

Ander Johnson, WR/DB

Elijah Johnson, QB/RB/LB

DJ Harder, OL/DL

Johnny Ortega, OL/DL

Isaiah Gutierrez, OL/DL/LS

Encina Prep

Devon Pacheco, RB/LB

DaVell Perry, TE/LB

Keondray Hall, WR/LB

Ezra Lee, WR/LB

Evan Roberts, OL/DL


Adam Jimenez, RB/LB

Julio Patino, TE/LB

Andy Rodriguez, RB/LB

Chris Cruz, WR/DB


Casey Baldwin, OL/DL

Nick Lechner, WR/DB

Steven Radford, OL/DL

Valley Christian Academy

Drake Williams, RB/LB

John Hibbs, WR/LB

Bradyn McIntosh, WR/QB/LB

Western Sierra

Chris Delaloye, WR/QB/LB

Aiden Lucia, QB/LB


2nd Team Selections

Woodland Christian

Dan Naschke, RB/DB

Jonathan Jamie, RB/DB

Matt Schaeffer, OL/DL/LB

Michael Nannini, RB/QB/DB

Santiago Pina, OL/DL

Encina Prep

Jaylin White, OL/DL

Braswell GaVontay, WR/DB

Myles Glazier, WR/DB

Isaac Brice, OL/DL

Marcos Colon, OL/DL


Gustavo Lopez, WR/DL

Karson Kohler, OL/DL

Victor Perez, RB/DL/LB

Mike Hernandez, OL/DL


Caleb Medrano, WR/DB

Drew Stroup, OL/LB

Kaiden Pennington, QB/LB

Elias Estrada, WR/DB

Valley Christian Academy

Payton Meyers, WR/DB

Thomas Fasig, WR/QB/DB

Hunter Clary, RB/DB

Western Sierra

Billy Sokol, RB/LB

Oscar Hernandez, WR/DB

Jacob Sarver, WR/DB

Honorable Mention

Woodland Christian

Landon Wright, RB/LB

Encina Prep

Theo Nevotti, RB/DB

Jimmy Hernandez, OL/DL


Carson Jackson, QB/DB

Robert Reichow, WR/RB/DB


Caleb Westphalen, RB/DB

Brody Siefker, RB/LB

Valley Christian Academy

Reagan Valenzuela, OL/DL

Michael Newsom, OL/DL

Western Sierra

Samson Haefele, RB/OL/LB

Daniel Long, OL/DL


2018 All-Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League Volleyball Teams

Coach of the Year- Morghan Pomeroy, Western Sierra

MVP- Brenna Mellish, Western Sierra


First Team


MacKinly Hamm, Western Sierra

Emily MacIntyre, Western Sierra

Lia Kaufman, Sac Country Day

Heidi Johnson, Sac Country Day

Savannah Bowen, Valley Christian Academy

Emily Hansen, Buckingham Charter

Second Team

Desiree McAdams, Western Sierra

Bella Mathisen, Sacramento Country Day

Alondra Raya, Valley Christian Academy

Jenny LeCheminant, Buckingham Charter

Jordyn Helms, Faith Christian

Juliana Conrad, Sac Adventist

Kenya Rodriguez, Cristo Rey

Lily Murdoch, El Dorado Adventist

Honorable Mention

Natalia Valencia, Cristo Rey

Kiyana Carrillo, Cristo Rey

Najae Reynolds, Buckingham Charter

Reagan Peters, Buckingham Charter

Sabrina Baratta, Sac Adventist

Izzy Burger, Sac Adventist

Grace John, Valley Christian Academy

McKenzie Grammer, Valley Christian Academy

Kyla Rood, Faith Christian

Emme Hurn, Faith Christian

Carla Perez, El Dorado Adventist

Natalie Perez, El Dorado Adventist

Tori Van Vleck, Sac Country Day

Jewel Turner, Sac Country Day

Olivia Droen, Western Sierra

Mariah Kawas, Western Sierra