La Salle football players pick up dozen honors
La Salle Lancers win 12 All-Del Rey League awards, including MVP, Defensive MVP and top lineman.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: La Salle quarterback Austin Wallis threw for 1,513 yards, 20 touchdowns versus two interceptions this season, earning a Del Ray League first-team selection. (Photo by Libby Cline)
The league champion Lancers picked up 12 honors, including Israel Lacy winning the league’s MVP, Shane Tierney being named the defensive MVP and Bryce Shaw being hailed as the offensive lineman of the year.
“We had a great season and we lost in the playoffs to a team that reached the semifinals,” said Lancers first-year Coach Russell Gordon, formerly of Campbell Hall. “Overall, it was a tremendous year and I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish.”
La Salle finished the regular season as the area’s lone unbeaten team at 10-0, with the win total marking the most victories by a Lancers team this century.
The Lancers’ win total eclipsed that of the previous four seasons combined as La Salle won its first league championship since 2007 after coming off a 1-9 campaign the previous season.
The one big drawback, however, for La Salle was a CIF Southern Section Northwest Division first-round playoff upset defeat to visiting Compton Centennial, 12-10.
While the Lancers received big contributions from several players, Lacy led the squad as the top rusher out of a three-player attack in finishing with a team-high 837 yards on 68 carries with 12 rushing touchdowns.
Lacy also hauled in seven receptions for 135 yards and one touchdown, totaled nine kick returns for 283 yards and one touchdown (on a 95-yard return) and 12 punt returns for 200 yards.
“Izzy was an all-around great athlete. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do for us,” Gordon said. “There were a lot of deserving guys, but he was special.”
As for the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Tierney, the defensive lineman was a force in leading the Lancers in tackles (87) and tying Shaw for the team lead with five sacks.
Tierney also tallied three batted balls, two fumble recoveries and caused a fumble.
“This means a huge amount to me. Football has been the center of my life since I was kid,” Tierney said. “I’ve never been happier and this award represents all the hard work I’ve put in.”
Tierney saw his first varsity action when he was called up for the Lancers’ playoff push in 2009.
Since then, Tierney suffered on teams his sophomore and junior years that combined for a 1-19 record.
“You have no idea what it was like to be a part of this team and to see us come around,” Tierney said. “I always felt we were a talented groups of guys, but mistakes just cost us the last two years.”
Shaw was a two-way player for the Lancers, an anchor on the offensive line and a solid defensive tackle who finished with 42 tackles.
La Salle’s first-teamers consisted of halfback/linebacker Marcus Tappan (four rushing touchdowns and 15 catches for 255 yards and five touchdowns), linebacker Bobby LaSalle (71 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions and five fumble recoveries), offensive lineman Tommy Sparks and quarterback Austin Wallis (97 for 151 for 1, 513 passing yards and 20 touchdowns versus two interceptions).
La Salle’s second-team selections were wide receiver Jared Akins (16 receptions for 321 yards and four touchdowns), defensive back/running back Bryce Harvey (25 tackles and three interceptions and 509 rushing yards with five touchdowns), linebacker Kyle Lewis (47 tackles and three sacks), running back Amir Evans (836 rushing yards and eight touchdowns) and defensive back Garrett Stone (23 tackles and five interceptions).