The San Pedro High football team had a turbulent regular season, but the end made it all worth it when they held off Dorsey of Los Angeles, 22-20 at El Camino College for their sixth CIF-Los Angeles City Section (Division 1) championship, which is their fifth outright title.
Finishing off the year 8-6 overall, the Pirates only managed one Marine League victory in their four league games, the final one on October 26 against Gardena which ended a four-game losing streak but once the playoffs began as the sixth seed of Division 1, San Pedro peaked at the right time to end 2018 on a high note with five consecutive victories.
Key reason why was the emergence of junior RB/LB Joshua Ward, who came out of nowhere to be named the CIF-LACS Division 1 Player Of The Year, due in large part to his incredible performances in the playoffs and his consistency throughout the entire year.
Ward made San Pedro football playoff history on November 16 when he rushed for 268 yards and five touchdowns in the Pirates' 44-14 semifinal win over South Gate, then rushed for 91 yards and two more scores in the Division 1 championship win over Dorsey. Ward was also solid defensively during the year, as his all-around play on offense, defense and special teams has given him one final accolade...
The 2018 San Pedro News Pilot Prep Football Player Of The Year honor.
For the year, Ward rushed for Ward rushed for 1,361 yards and 18 touchdowns on 205 carries (6.5 yards per carry average), caught 16 passes for 198 yards and three more touchdowns, returned one kickoff for another touchdown, and also coming up with 70 tackles, four sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries on defense.
Over at Mary Star, fourth-year coach Jason Gelber would guide the Stars to a promising 4-0 start, and a near miss of the Camino Real League championship as they would finish 7-4 overall, 2-1 as league runner-up before the season ended in the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 12 playoffs to eventual champion Linfield Christian of Temecula.
Despite the early exit, senior quarterback Kevin Costa was solid for Mary Star all year in his final prep season, emerging as more of a dual threat with over 1,300 yards passing and 500 yards rushing to be named the 2018 San Pedro News Pilot Most Outstanding Player. The All-Camino Real League first team selection also recovered a fumble on defense.
Other award winners for the Pilot are Mary Star senior WR/LB Joe James (Defensive Player Of The Year), Mary Star junior two-way lineman Jesse Tello (Lineman Of The Year), San Pedro's Idaho-bound senior WR/DB Camren Thomas (Special Teams Player Of The Year) and San Pedro sophomore defensive back Richie Sanchez (Newcomer Of The Year).
Here is the 2018 All-San Pedro News Pilot Prep Football Team
(Note: Joshua Ward photo courtesy of Vince Pirozzi)
QB – Kevin Costa (Mary Star, senior)
RB – Joshua Ward (San Pedro, junior)
RB – Luke Sabra (Mary Star, senior)
WR – Camren Thomas (San Pedro, senior)
WR – Isaac Colloca (Mary Star, junior)
WR – Jerad Braff (San Pedro, junior)
OL – Arthur Whitlow (San Pedro, senior)
OL – Jesse Tello (Mary Star, junior)
OL – Luis Villegas (San Pedro, senior)
OL – Vincent Tuberosi (Mary Star, senior)
OL – Gerson Kemp (San Pedro, senior)
ATH. – Justin Bernal (San Pedro, senior)
DL – Isaiah Howard (San Pedro, sophomore)
DL – Pedro Cazares (San Pedro, junior)
DL – Josh Fennessey (Mary Star, senior)
DL – Jordan Fajardo (Mary Star, junior)
LB - Andres Srsen (San Pedro, junior)
LB – Adam Turbide (Mary Star, junior)
LB – Joe James (Mary Star, senior)
LB – Miguel Lopez-Rosales (San Pedro, junior)
DB – Richie Sanchez (San Pedro, sophomore)
DB – Andy Vega (Mary Star, senior)
DB – Aaron Martinez (Mary Star, junior)
DB – Joshua Johnson (San Pedro, sophomore)
K – Noah Guastella (Mary Star, senior)
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Joshua Ward.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kevin Costa.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Joe James.
LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: Jesse Tello.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Camren Thomas.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Richie Sanchez.