Five Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears football players were tabbed First Team All-State on Tuesday, with sophomore Phillip Fenumiai earning top honors at quarterback and senior Colin Gozelski named at three different positions.
Joining Fenumiai and Gozelski on the First Team was junior La Fifita at linebacker and senior captain Vinh Le at defensive back. Gozelski also was a First Team selection at defensive back.
Senior Chris Holloway was a Second Team selection at receiver, senior Justin Brooks was selected at defensive end, senior Peter Jorgensen was chosen at kicker, and Gozelski was the Second Team punter.
Sjoroos said Fenumiai has raised the bar for quarterback play at Juneau-Douglas in just his second year under center with two more to play.
"There were obviously some good names on the list, so it was nice for him to bring his game to another level in the playoffs the way he did," he said. "He got a lot of respect in the (All-State) meeting from the Cook Inlet schools. Chugiak and West both got a chance to see him play, and we put him in a position to run the ball more (at the end of the season). I think that helped him get more comfortable in the games because of the fact that he doesn't play defense.
"You get to deliver a few hits by running the ball and I think that helps get you into the flow of things," he continued. "He played really good football, especially those last three games, and I don't think it's a coincidence that's when he started running the ball more. It's a part of his game that we'll use more next year."
Gozelski was one of the state's top players in his lone year on the football field, and Sjoroos said he was one of the most talked about guys at the meeting.
"Nothing but good things to say," he said. "He got a lot of respect in that meeting and deservedly so. He really is an exceptional athlete. He developed and he got better and better and better each game. I think he had a hunger about him that most kids don't have because he only had that one year to play. It was like he was trying to cram a whole career into one season and not many guys can do that, but he found a way."
Service's Michael McCrae was chosen as the state's Offensive Player of the Year, and West defensive end Lyndon Tulimasaelii was the Defensive Player of the Year. Colony's Trey Farber earned Lineman of the Year honors and his head coach, Brian McIntosh, was tabbed the state's top coach for 2010. Josh Garcia, of West, was the Assistant of the Year.
Sjoroos also was honored after being selected to coach the North team in the 2011 Al Aska Shrine game, which will pit a North team made up of Railbelt Conference players against the South team's Cook Inlet players in a new format which begins next year. It was the first time a coach from Juneau-Douglas has been chosen to coach a team in the game, which is entering its 33rd year this season.
"Everybody is super excited about the new format, and next year I'll be coaching the Railbelt kids," Sjoroos said. "It's a week after the state championship game and it's a cool thing. I'm really honored."
Gozelski and Holloway were both selected to play for the South team in this weekend's 33rd annual Shrine game.