Joshua Muema-Washington is Pacific League's Player of the Year
Muir quarterback earns league's highest honor after leading team to title.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Muir quarterback Joshua Muema-Washington threw for 2,597 yards and 19 touchdowns as the Mustangs finished 8-4 overall and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
The Mustangs bounced back from an 0-3 start during a brutal nonleague schedule in winning their final seven games of the regular season and claiming the league championship thanks in part to the exploits of quarterback Joshua Muema-Washington.
The senior signal-caller was named the Pacific League’s Player of the Year and was one of 24 Muir or Pasadena high players recently lauded by the Pacific League.
“This is an honor. There was really a lot of hard work during the summer, in training camp and with the offense,” Muema-Washington said. “I worked on getting with my receivers, knowing man coverages and zone coverages and just being a better football player.”
Muema-Washington threw for 2, 597 yards and 19 touchdowns as Muir finished 8-4 overall and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs under first-year Coach John Hardy. The quarterback also had five rushing scores.
“Josh really grew into a leader this season,” said Hardy, who was the Mustangs defensive coordinator in 2011. “It helps to have that senior leadership and have someone who can make plays, but isn’t wild.”
Overall, the Mustangs secured seven league first-team selections, with center Addison Farmer and offensive lineman Jeremy Rogers tabbed to the team along with kicker/punter Jorge Castro.
On defense, defensive backs LaMarr McDaniels and Charles Claxton, lineman Jujuan Brown and linebacker Mark Samuels also earned first-team nods.
To begin the season, perhaps there was no team with higher expectations in league than Pasadena, which was gunning for the team’s first league championship since 1984.
Unfortunately, fate dealt the Bulldogs a bad hand and foot as starting quarterback Brandon Cox, who verbally committed to Utah, broke a bone in his left foot in the second week and was lost for the season.
The injury proved Pasadena’s undoing as the Bulldogs finished 2012 with a 1-9 mark.
The injury, though, did provide for a bright spot as Pasadena senior running back Kylon Flemming was named to the league’s first team on offense.
Flemming averaged 8.2 yards per rush and finished with eight touchdowns and 780 rushing overall.
“This was his first year playing varsity football and he did a great job,” former Bulldogs Coach Randy Horton said. “He was big and fast and didn’t really realize how strong he was.”
While Fleming was Pasadena’s lone offensive first-teamer, defensive back Wardell Barry and punter Simon Simental were named to the defensive first team.
Muir’s second-team selections included running back Andreece Brown, Tyshaun Goodman, linebacker Terry Wilson, defensive backs Mike Burns and Jasper Iheaso, while Juan Lomeli and Dean Trevino were honorable mentions.
Pasadena was awarded four second-team selections in offensive lineman Jeremy Montoya, defensive end Charles Miles III, safety Brian Williams and Simental as a kicker, while Cory Cain and Christian Millares were named honorable mentions.