The Greenwave’s Sean McCormick was the heart and soul of this year’s state championship 3A football team.
The Fallon senior earned co-Most Valuable Player honors along with Truckee’s Marcus Bellon in all-region postseason honors. Coaches will vote later on all-state.
Fallon compiled a 12-0 record and defeated Truckee, 28-7, in the state championship. The city of Fallon recently honored the team with the traditional dyeing of the fountain followed by an awards presentation conducted by Mayor Ken Tedford and the city council.
“It’s awesome how Mayor Tedford and the city get involved,” said Greenwave head coach Brooke Hill. “This is special to us and this is what makes Fallon great. This is what’s great about rural football.”
In addition to McCormick receiving co-MVP, Hill won his fourth coach of the year honor for guiding Fallon to its second 3A state win in four seasons. Quarterback Elijah Jackson was named offensive player of the year, and lineman of the year went to Ben Dooley.
Hill said coach of the year is not only for him but his assistants.
“It’s a coaching staff award,” said Hill, who took over the program in 2009 and became the winningest coach in Greenwave history this season. “I have the best staff in the league.”
Hill credited Lalo Otuafi for running the offense, while Hill called the defense. In looking back at the season, Hill said he had an inkling Fallon could be in the hunt this year for a state title.
“We had a lot of experience coming back,” Hill said. “If they worked hard during the off-season, we would have a shot at it.”
The Wave breezed through the season — except for a close 32-29 win at Truckee in early September— and dominated the 3A. At one stretch, Fallon shut out four consecutive opponents.
“These 27 kids are good athletes,” Hill said.
McCormick emerged as the work horse for the Greenwave, rushing for 1,800 yards on 191 carries and scoring 27 touchdowns. He was also every team’s nightmare on defense by accounting for 63 tackles and eight interceptions.
“He will go down as one of the best athletes (in Greenwave history),” Hill said “He’s one of the kids we brought up as a freshman (2015 state title game), so he’s won a couple of state football championships for Fallon.”
McCormick, the reigning Northern 3A Player of the Year, is also the team’s all-time touchdown leader with 53 and broke the record for rushing yards in a season. Before the season, McCormick verbally committed to play for the University of Idaho and visited the campus last weekend.
Jackson, who missed half of the 2017 season due to injuries, completed 109 of 175 passes for 1,952 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also rushed 73 times for 856 yards and 14 touchdowns. His longest pass of the season was a 95-yard strike.
“He came back and was just short of 2,000 yards passing,” Hill said. “He managed the game very well.”
Dooley anchored the offensive line, one of five Fallon players receiving postseason honors. The offensive line paved the way for the Wave to rush for 3,390 yards and pass almost 2,000 yards. Benni Otuafi and Nick Delgaldo were first-team offensive linemen, while Gabe Hardy and Thomas Steele were named to the second team.
Hill said Dooley has Division I talent. Earlier this season, Dooley verbally committed to Boise State.
“He’s gifted athletically,” Hill said of his big 6-foot, 5-inch, 295-pound lineman. “Ben’s a smart, competitive kid.”
Dooley, along with Sean and Tommy McCormick, also won state 3A titles in wrestling.
Hill said Hardy and Steele could have easily been on the first team.
“I felt like we had the best offensive line of the year,” Hill said.
First-team wide receiver Brock Richardson was Jackson’s main receiver, snagging 47 passes for 1,093 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also rushed for 382 yards on 14 carries for 10 touchdowns. He was also named to the defense first-team as a cornerback. He had 41 tackles and three interceptions.
“Brock is one of the leading receivers in the state,” Hill said. “He’s only a junior, and he may break the records Sean set. He’s an explosive athlete.”
Tommy McCormick was named to the first team as athlete or the league’s top utility player. He caught 34 passes for 634 yards and six touchdowns, and on defense, made 63 tackles and three interceptions. He was also second team offense as a wide receiver and second-team defense as a linebacker.
“He’s equally good on both side of the ball,” Hill said. “He had one of the best camps of anybody at Boise.”
Brenden Larsen had a banner season and was named as a first-team linebacker. The Fallon senior finished the year with 96 tackles and two interceptions and also had three quarterback sacks.
“Brenden was my eyes on the field,” Hill pointed out. “He’s a smart, intelligent kid — physical — and loves the contact.”
Trey Rooks was named as a first-team defensive lineman with 41 tackles and five sacks, and Ethan Andrews joined Richardson as a first-team cornerback with 29 tackles and three interceptions. Hill said Rooks was a force at defensive end.
“He stepped up during the last month for us,” Hill said. “He’s worthy of first team.”
Hill said Andrews intercepted two passes against Truckee during the regular season.
“Teams didn’t throw too much to his side,” Hill added.
Tristan Rodarte was named to the second team as a defensive lineman. He led the team with six sacks and had 47 tackles, and as a punter, averaged 36.9 yards per kick.