All-league teams picked

Football: La Cañada has share of players honored on the All-Rio Hondo squads.

December 22, 2010|By Andrew Shortall,
(Cheryl A. Guerreo/Staff…)

La Cañada High football Coach Dan Yoder must look at this year's All-Rio Hondo League teams and realize he has his work cut out for him next year.

The Rio Hondo's all-league teams were released and eight Spartans — all seniors —were among the honorees. All but one of the La Cañada athletes played both ways on offense and defense.

"There's going to be a lot of vacancies next year, and that opens up a lot of doors for competition," Yoder said.

Michael Arkfeld took home the highest honor of any Spartan this year. He was named the Rio Hondo League's co-Defensive Back of the Year.

Yoder refers to Arkfeld as a "jack-of-all trades" because the player did a bit of everything. He spent some time at wide receiver and at running back, as well as returning punts and kick-offs. It was in La Cañada's secondary that he really started making a name for himself, though. Arkfeld finished the season with six interceptions, 41 tackles, seven passes defended and one fumble recovery.


"[Arkfeld] had big numbers at defensive back in the beginning of the season," Yoder said. "Later on his numbers went down, not because he underperformed, but because teams stopped throwing the ball his way. It's nice when you have a player that can shut a whole side of the field."

Jay Kolina, another two-way player for the Spartans, made the all-league first team at tight end. He was also a second-team selection for his work at defensive end. Kolina was easily the leading receiver for a run-first La Cañada offense, grabbing 17 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns. He also racked up 20 tackles and two sacks on defense.

"He's just an outstanding kid and a great leader," Yoder said. "He was probably one of our best football bodies out there and he has a great football mind to go with it."

Scott Gray, the motor for La Cañada's offense this season, was named to the second-team as quarterback. He finished the season with 1,457 total yards (852 passing and 605 rushing) and 19 touchdowns (13 rushing and six passing). La Cañada didn't look the same without Gray under center in a game against Arroyo when the Spartans' offense only generated 86 yards — a season-low by 99 yards.

"Scott just has that leadership, that confidence and that swagger. He's just a great athlete too, if he wasn't at quarterback, he would have been somewhere else for us," Yoder said.

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