County coaches, players in line for end of year awards
A pair of Valencia County football players were named finalists for the Class 3A/4A Player of the Year award, while all three county high school football coaches are up for Coach of the Year honors at the Albuquerque Football Coaches Association All-Metro Football award banquet this weekend.
Andrew Castillo, of Belen, and Darron Gallegos, of Los Lunas, were both announced among the five finalists for Athlete of the Year, while Belen’s John Lerma, Los Lunas’ Duane Toliver and Valencia’s Kevin Jolley were all named Coach of the Year finalists by the AFCA.
The winners will be announced at the annual banquet at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Sheraton Uptown in Albuquerque.
Castillo, a senior, was also named to the 3A/4A First Team on offense as a kick returner and to the Second Team on defense as a defensive back.
Gallegos, also a senior, earned Second Team defensive honors as a linebacker.
Six of Gallegos’ Tiger teammates earned First Team honors — four on offense and three on defense. On offense, Dakota Wood (center), Chris Romero (tackle), Jalen Chavez (running back) and Jacob Holland (receiver) earned First Team honors.
On defense Holland (defensive back), Tyler Hanso (defensive line) and Randy Moore (defensive back) were named to the First Team.
Chris Sanchez and Elliot Kittrell earned honorable mention honors for Los Lunas, while Zach Perales was named to the Metro All-Academic Team.
Joining Castillo as All-Metro First Team selections from Belen were Cody Thompson (guard), Isaiah Relaford (tackle) on offense and Tristin Baca (defensive line) and Trenton Barba (linebacker).
Barba and Baca also earned Second Team offense honors as running back and tight end, respectively. Joining Castillo on the Second Team for the Eagles as a defensive selection was Chris Peralta (punter).
Jonathan Madrid earned honorable mention honors while Timmy Vialpando was named to the All-Academic team for the Eagles.
Valencia landed two players on the All-Metro First teams — Nathan Jolley (guard) on offense and Estevan Gallegos (linebacker) on defense.
Jolley earned Second Team honors on defense as a defensive lineman and was joined by Nate Nash (cornerback). Running back Josh Burbank earned Second Team All-Metro honors.
Tyler McClarren and Troy Lowe earned honorable mention honors, while Matthew Crawford was named to the All-Academic Team.