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St. Francis High football receives league recognition

Football: Following 10-win season, 15 Golden Knights players pick up All-Mission League accolades.

January 03, 2014|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • St. Francis' John Carroll is one of 15 Golden Knights recognized on the recently-released Mission League first- and second-team football list. (Tim Berger/File Photo)
St. Francis' John Carroll is one of 15 Golden Knights…

With an experienced personnel in place, things appeared promising for the St. Francis High football team entering the 2013 season.

After going 4-7 in 2012, the Golden Knights regrouped to go 10-3, 3-2 for third place in the grueling Mission League, before surging to the CIF Southern Section Western Division semifinals.

Simply put, with a prolific offense and steady defense, the Golden Knights earned plenty of attention on the field from their league opponents and coaching staffs.

As a result, 15 St. Francis players received all-league accolades, as voted on by the league six coaches. Nine athletes were selected to the first team, while six others earned spots on the second team.

“I think we got quite a bit of respect from the coaches around our league,” said St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds, whose team reached the semifinals for first time since 2005 after the Golden Knights eliminated Culver City and fourth-seeded Camarillo before falling to top-seeded Gardena Serra. “It’s nice to see that happen.

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“Our only losses were against Serra [twice] and [CIF and state champion] Chaminade. Our win-loss record was great, but this team was by far one of the most fun to be around. To get this many all-league selections says something about what our players were able to do.”

Among those named to the first-team offense were Ty Gangi, Joe Mudie, Dylan Crawford, John Carroll and Kareem Zeenni. Earning first-team spots on defense were Marko Tinoco, Ricky Urzua, Avery Williams and Brody Felkel.

Gangi, a senior quarterback, often set the tone for the Golden Knights with his shrewd passing attack and innate running ability. He completed 189 of 342 passes (55%) for 2,882 yards and 25 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He additionally showcased his versatility as a standout runner, rushing 117 times for 421 yards and 12 touchdowns. On the season, he tallied 38 total touchdowns, including eight in the postseason.

“He was only a one-year starter at quarterback,” Bonds said. “Ty exceeded all of the expectations from the coaching staff and I.

“He knew how to put the ball right there on the money. He had that gifted ability to be a strong passer and runner. Ty is very smart and a joy to coach.”

Gangi said the Golden Knights were able to flourish on both sides of the ball.

“We had a group of players who were able to work hard,” Gangi said. “We had a lot of fun doing it each game.

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