Sawyers should have been 4A Player of the Year
Every once in a while an all-league or all-region team comes across my desk that leaves me scratching my head in amazement.
This is one of those times.
The 15 area 4A coaches selected Douglas’ Johnny Pollack as the 4A Region Player of the Year.
Nothing against Pollack, but that award should have gone to Carson’s Dylan Sawyers, and the voting shouldn’t have been close.
Pollack, a senior, gained 1,054 yards on 181 carries and scored 11 touchdowns in leading the Tigers to a second-place finish in the Sierra League.
Pollack also was an outstanding linebacker, but let’s face it, the Tigers’ defense paled in comparison to the Carson defense.
Sawyers, a sophomore, gained 954 yards and scored 16 TDs, and he missed the Spanish Springs game entirely as well as the second half of blowout wins over Damonte Ranch, South Tahoe, Wooster and Fallon. He also caught 17 passes for 285 yards and six scores, and he also returned two kick-offs for touchdowns.
Had Sawyers not missed the equivalent of three games, he would have had more than 30 touchdowns and probably at least 1,500 yards rushing.
Sawyers may have suffered because coach Blair Roman showed class and didn’t try to run it up in the second half against the weak sisters of the Sierra League.
Sawyers should have gotten at least two High Desert votes because of his performances against McQueen and Reed.
Against the Lancers in a 38-34 loss, Sawyers threw a 44-yard option pass for a score, rushed for 90 yards and two scores and returned a kickoff 65 yards late in that game. Against Reed. He carried six times for 35 yards and a score, caught a 59-yard TD pass and returned a kick 95 yards for a score. He also had one of four Carson interceptions in that 54-27 victory over the Raiders, who would go on to the 4A regional championship.
Sawyers put up better numbers than Pollack in the head-to-head confrontation in the final game of the regular season.
Pollack was held to 50 yards on 17 carries in the 34-6 loss to Carson. He caught one pass for minus-4 yards. Sawyers, meanwhile, rushed 16 times for 125 yards and two scores, and he also caught two passes for 52 yards and a score.
As a linebacker, Pollack obviously chalked up more tackles than Sawyers, who played safety. Again, I will say that Carson’s defense was much better than Douglas’.
I can honestly say that without Sawyers Carson doesn’t win the Sierra League title. He had a legitimate shot to score every time he touched the ball, and you can’t say that about a lot of running backs. His ability to get wide opened things up for Mark Sinnott and vice versa.
I truly hope that the coaches didn’t pick Pollack over Sawyers because one is a senior and the other is a sophomore. That would be a huge injustice. The best player should win the award. It’s just that simple, and in this case Sawyers was the best player.