NU takes Metro awards by storm
A truckload of Nevada Union athletes were rewarded for their hard work over the fall season with all-league honors.
Two Miners, football player Jon Sheets and volleyball player Ali Daley, earned Most Valuable Player honors in their respective sports.
The Miner football team, which went 10-0 in the regular season en route to the Metro Conference title, had 10 players earn spots on the all-league first team.
Senior quarterback Jon Sheets threw for a league-best 1,430 yards on 75-of-131 passing with 18 touchdowns and was voted the league’s Offensive MVP.
He’s joined in the backfield by teammates Joey Bratton and Chris Thibodeau.
Bratton, a senior halfback, has scored a team-high 15 touchdowns – 12 on the ground and three through the air – along with rushing for 648 yards on 64 carries.
Thibodeau, a senior halfback is third on the team in rushing with 598 yards on 84 carries with eight touchdowns. He is second in receiving with 356 yards on 17 catches with three scores.
He is also tied with senior wide receiver Joe Dolan – also a first team selection – for third on the team in scoring with 12 touchdowns.
Dolan totaled a league-best 742 yards on 30 catches.
Senior tackle Shane Curry and senior guard Steve Glazier represent the Miners on the offensive line.
Senior linebackers Travis Toll and Steve Kenny, along with senior cornerback Jason Snavely and defensive lineman Brandon Julian impressed league coaches enough for first-team defensive honors.
Toll is fifth on the team in tackles with 35, has two sacks and has also recovered a pair of fumbles and snagged a interception.
Kenny is second on the team in tackles with 69, has three sacks and also has an interception and a fumble recovery.
Julian has 49 tackles, good enough for third on the team. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 200-pound senior is second on the team in sacks with seven.
Fullback Vu Pham, place kicker Kyle McTighe, tight end Phil Cosenza and offensive linemen Mark Ryan and Ian Pilcher were voted to the second-team offense.
Nose tackle Eric Harvey, linebacker Mike Manzinali and defensive back Matt Sharpe represent NU on the second-team defense.
Offensive lineman Sean Jackson, linebackers Noah Bailey and Kris Sulonen, and defensive back Jason Roenicke, each received honorable mentions.
The Lady Miners rolled to their first ever Sac-Joaquin Section crown thanks in part to the play of its front line.
Sophomore outside hitter Ali Daley, who led the team in kills with 352, was voted the Metro Conference MVP.
She’s joined by fellow outside hitter Erin Zajac, middle hitter/blocker Elena Schmidt and setter Meredith Ely on the league’s first team.
Schmidt, a junior, tallied 41 blocks along with a team-high 83 aces this season.
Heather Serr received a honorable mention.
The Miners made school history with a trip to the section tournament this year.
No players made more of a difference than all-league first teamers, midfielders Ben Hadjuk and Jose Zanudo, defender Chris Russo and goalkeeper Cody Bielen.
Hadjuk, a senior, tied Kyle McTighe and Brian Becker for the team lead in goals with seven, and chipped in four assists. Zanudo was right behind with five goals and five assists.
Bielen finished with 116 saves and 14 shutouts.
Senior midfielders Brian Gardner and Luke Stratigakes, who combined for seven goals and six assists, along with junior defender Phillip Plant and McTighe, a senior forward, earned honorable mentions.
Both the NU boys and girls water polo teams advanced to the section tournament this season, but fell in the first round.
For the girls, juniors Kayleigh Knight and Samantha Stowe earned All-Sacramento Valley League first- team honors.
Knight was also named to the all-section second team.
The boys all-league teams will be announced next week.
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The Nevada Union Junior Miners Football and Cheer teams traveled on Saturday to Casa Roble High School in Orangevale to play the Casa Roble Junior Rams in Sacramento Youth Football League action.