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MEDIA PICKS: SOJO, MENO SHINE BRIGHTEST IN 2023

Friar seniors should be named league MVPs

By Media Partners from GSPN and Guam PDN

The 2023 ISA Football regular season is in the books. Here are some of our nominees for the exclusive ISA All-Island Football Team based on position. After careful consideration, the selection team agreed that Alex Sojo, quarterback from Father Duenas and teammate Vance Meno should be the offensive and defensive league MVP’s, respectively. 

(Disclaimer: This is just media’s picks. The coaches have the final say on who will get selected for the All-Island Team during their selection meeting Wednesday at 5:30 pm. Media partners congratulate all athletes for putting in the hard work to make this season successful.

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Offense

Quarterback
Alex Sojo, senior, FD (First Team and MVP)
Sojo is our pick for league MVP. The senior quarterback is the backbone of the league’s top offense. Sojo threw for over 100 yards in all his games and has a QBR rating score of 99.06. Aside from his passing abilities, Sojo was phenomenal as a rusher, leading FD in rush yards and touchdowns with five. He has the smoothest game in high school football in recent memory – maybe ever.

Aaron Johnson, senior, Guam High (Second Team)
As an option rusher, Johnson used his speed to put up points for the Panthers. Johnson has five plays over 50 yards, most of which were touchdowns. The defending ISA All-Island track and field sprinting champion helped the Panthers to a 4-1 record.

Jaydin Duenas, George Washington (Honorable Mention)
Duenas’ big game came against the JFK Islanders in their season finale. Duenas threw two touchdowns and also had a 60-yard completion, which set up another touchdown.

Mike Jesus, Southern High (Honorable Mention)
Jesus’ play as a quarterback will earn him a second team. Against the Panthers early in the season, Jesus rushed for a touchdown and threw a 15-yard touchdown in the game.

Running back
Cameron Brantley, Guam High (First Team)
The Panther senior running back uses his strength to break tackles to move the chains. Brantley ran for 110 yards against JFK and a touchdown. Another big game was against the Southern High Dolphins, a 96-yard performance, and a touchdown.

Kaden Apiag, GW (Second Team)
Apiag had a pair of big games in the 2023 season to lead the GW offense. Apiag had a 40-yard touchdown score against the Okkodo Bulldogs and also rushed for two touchdowns in the first half against the Southern Dolphins.

Javin Meno, FD (Honorable Mention)
Justin Sablan, GW (Honorable Mention)

Fullback
Donte Parker, Guam High (First Team)
He’s only a sophomore but is capable of playing multiple positions for Guam High. On short yardage situations, Parker’s number is called upon to get into the end zone. Parker also plays quarterback and multiple positions on defense for the Panthers.

Rayn Rios, GW (Second Team)
Another sophomore sensation who can do it all on the field. Rios’ number has been called upon several times to move the chains on short yardage/goal line situations.

Jaron Meno, FD (Honorable Mention)
Jermaine Molo, JFK (Honorable Mention)

Receiver
Judah Alcantara, Guam High (First Team)
Alcantara has caught touchdown passes from Johnson and Parker this season. Alcantara scored versus Southern High and JFK, the speedy receiver caught insurance touchdowns in both games to help the Panthers to victory.

Trey Blas, FD (First Team)
Alex Sojo’s favorite target has multiple 100-yard games. Blas has six touchdowns for the season and averages 21 yards per reception. Sojo and Blas have combined for several highlight plays this season.

Ethan Guerrero, Southern (Second Team)
The Dolphins’ top receiver is quarterback Mike Jesus’ favorite target. Guerrero’s ability to get open has helped earn him a spot on the all-island team. Guerrero scored a touchdown against the Dolphins and also surprised the Friars for a big gain that put Southern deep in Friar territory with a 17-yard reception.

Ricardo Leon Guerrero, GW (Second Team)
Leon Guerrero is a playmaker on offense for the Geckos. He has good hands and fights off defenders for receptions. Leon Guerrero has multiple touchdowns and two-point conversions.

Zach Muna, FD (Honorable Mention)
Aaron Johnson, GH (Honorable Mention)

Tight End
Corey Charfauros, GW (First Team)
Charfauros caught a touchdown in the first quarter against the JFK Islanders and also made a pair of two conversion receptions for the Geckos during the season.

John Paul Taimanglo, Southern (Second Team)

Utility
Vance Meno, FD (First Team)
Known for his defense, Meno was called upon for goal line and short yardage situations. Meno tied team touchdowns for FD with five total as a power rusher

Rayn Rios, GW (Second Team)

Offensive Linemen
Isaiah Hayashi, Guam High (First Team)
Don Paulino, FD (Second Team)
Marquis Aflague, FD (Honorable Mention)

Kicker
Alex Sojo, FD (First Team)
Alesana Jorlang, JFK (Second Team)
Ricardo Leon Guerrero, GW (Honorable Mention)

Kickoff/Punt Returner
Donte Parker, Guam High (First Team)
Parker had a punt return for 43 yards against the Okkodo Bulldogs

Trey Blas, FD (Second Team)

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Defense

Linebacker
Vance Meno, FD (First Team, MVP)
If opposing running backs get by the defensive line, Meno is there to meet them. The senior linebacker has done it all this season with sacks, a pair of interceptions, and forced fumbles. Meno leads the top-ranked defense in tackles and is therefore our pick for league defensive MVP.

Rayn Rios, GW (First Team)
The Rios bloodline has a knack to make tackles on the football field. The apple does not fall far from the tree with Rios shining in his sophomore year with three games over five tackles and a couple of blocked punts.

Kymani Taimanglo, Southern (Second Team)
Chase Artero, FD (Second Team)
Jermaine Molo, JFK (Honorable Mention)

Defensive End
Cameron Brantley, Guam High (First Team)
Brantley was responsible for three turnovers against the FD Friars. His usage is high for the Panthers as he is on the field for both offense and defense. Brantley is one of the league’s hardest hitters, and he forced five fumble this season. 

Jovince Meno, FD (First Team)
Kassmirh Engichy, GW (Second Team)

Defensive Linemen
Tristan Burgos, FD (First Team)
Burgos anchors a talented defensive Friar line that did not give up a touchdown in the regular season. Burgos stuffed the stat sheet for FD, specializing in tackles-for-losses while playing noseguard.

Isaiha Arriola, FD (First Team)
Seth Merfalen, GW (First Team)
Ysidro Flores, Guam High (Second Team)

Defensive Back
Braden Finn, Guam High (First Team)
Unofficially led the league in the interceptions department. Flinn had multiple interception games against JFK and Okkodo.

Kevin Beckwith, JFK (Second Team)
Judah Alcantara, Guam High (Honorable Mention)

Safety
Malcolm Lim, JFK (First Team)
Noah Duenas, FD (First Team)
Isaac Wessling, FD (Second Team) 

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COMING SOON …

All-Island Wrestling Alumni Tournament June 8

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro

QUICK HITS

Three graduating ruggers have signed Division I letters to play college rugby stateside.
Saige Calvo from Okkodo heads to Mount St. Mary’s
Mia Topasna from Academy heads to Lindenwood
Tanner Costa from FD heads to Iowa Central
—————————————–
Bailey Concepcion makes it to the Seattle Seahawks dance team for the 2nd straight year.

Congratulations @seadancer_bailey

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