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Defensive MVP Taylor leads Beatty’s all-league football picks

Senior linebacker Max Taylor was named the defensive most valuable player and senior Jose Moreno was named first team on offense and defense to highlight the postseason honors for the Beatty High School football team in the Class 1A Southern League.

Jacob Henry, Fabian Perez and Alan Sandoval were honored for both offense and defense, while Geovannie Maldonado was picked for offense and Luis Rodriguez and Efrain Villanueva were chosen for defense.

Beatty coach Leo Verzilli said the choice of the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Taylor for defensive MVP did not require any lobbying on his part.

“They knew right off,” Verzilli said. “When we were at the meeting, they said without a doubt he was one we knew we had to block. They made special arrangements to have him blocked. He was a force.”

While linemen are often anonymous, Verzilli said Moreno made himself obvious on the field on just about every play.

“He was double teamed every time defensively, and he still went sideline to sideline to make plays,” Verzilli said. “Offensively, it was not uncommon for him to be 10 or 15 yards downfield still blocking, looking for another block to make.”

Perez, along with Villanueva the only Beatty junior to be honored, was the kind of back who can beat you with both his speed and his hard running, Verzilli said.

“He wasn’t tackled very often by just one person,” the coach said of the first-team running back. “The first tackler never brought him down.”

Perez was named to the second-team defense as a linebacker.

With a ground-oriented offense, getting noticed as a receiver isn’t always easy. But Verzilli said Maldonado made the first team offense thanks to his consistency.

“He made it more as a tight end,” he said of the 6-foot, 185-pound senior. “We don’t throw a lot, but he caught almost everything we threw to him.”

Henry, the second-team quarterback on offense, earned a spot on the first team with Moreno on the defensive line. While he was stuck behind Da’Juan Brown of Spring Mountain and Preston Higbee of Pahranagat Valley at quarterback, he was another easy choice on the defensive side of the ball, Verzilli said.

“Without question, they just ran the other way,” Verzilli said. “They didn’t even bother trying to go to his side. He kept everything in front of him. Smart kid, just played so well both sides of the ball.”

Sandoval, an honorable mention choice for his play at running back, was a first-teamer on defense. Verzilli said it was because of his ability to excel at whatever an offense threw at him.

“Great pass coverage, great run support,” Verzilli said of the outside linebacker.

Junior lineman Juan Lopez made the second-team offense, while senior lineman Luis Rodriguez and junior safety Efrain Villanueva were picked for the second-team defense.

While the Hornets were well-represented on the all-league team, Verzilli said he was disappointed there was no room on the offense for center James Quirk, a 6-1, 220-pound senior.

“He’s so smart and he knew everything that was supposed to happen on every play, but he had hellacious competition at that position,” Verzilli said. “There was just no room for him because the competition was so stiff on that offensive line.”

The release of the all-league team wraps up a strong season for the Hornets, considered the best team in the state not to make the playoffs. But Verzilli knew that would be tough the moment realignment was finalized and Beatty found itself with Pahranagat Valley and Spring Mountain in a division from which two teams would reach the postseason. But the Hornets beat everybody else, mostly decisively, and finished 6-2 for their fourth winning season in five years.

“We had a great year,” Verzilli said. “We had a fantastic group of kids.”

Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at trysinski@pvtimes.com On Twitter:@PVTimesSports

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