Prep Football: Apple Valley's Dustin Reynolds highlights the Daily Press' All-Area team

·8 min read
Apple Valley's Dustin Reynolds runs the ball against Glendora during the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs on Nov. 13, 2021.
Apple Valley's Dustin Reynolds runs the ball against Glendora during the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs on Nov. 13, 2021.

It might as well be unanimous. Apple Valley’s Dustin Reynolds is the Daily Press’ 2021 Football Player of the Year.

It was clear as day watching Reynolds wreak havoc while on the gridiron that many were a fan of his style of play. Just not playing against him.

One local head coach described Reynolds as “one of the most gifted linebackers I ever coached against.”

Another said Reynolds was “one of best defensive players I have ever seen around here.”

Prior to the start of the season, the star linebacker was passionate in describing his tenacity of play.

“I’m not one of those players that doesn’t care about getting reps and starting on defense. I am 110% ready for this season ahead and I’m coming back for that all-state and defense player of the year award,” Reynolds said after a summer practice. “When you watch me, remember that I am gonna put everything on the line because that is how I was taught as a kid.”

He literally left everything on the field after the final whistle signaled the end of Apple Valley’s season with a 31-3 loss in the title game of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.

His number was called after injuries forced running back Kaleb Most to miss much of the Sun Devils’ postseason run.

Sticking true to his self-description over the summer, Reynolds stepped up and played running back, which he hadn’t done much of since his freshman season.

Reynolds wound up taking 77 carries for 498 yards and five touchdowns over five games at running back.

Dustin Reynolds.
Dustin Reynolds.

He finished with 137 yards on 17 carries in the second round against Glendora, and again led the ground game in the semifinals with 17 carries for 135 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown where he broke multiple tackles to tie the game 28-28.

Defensively, he just missed out on claiming the Mojave River League’s Defensive Player of the Year after racking up 133 total tackles, including 28 solo and 19 for a loss. He also logged 10 sacks on the season and returned a fumble for a touchdown.

“He is an old-school linebacker that plays downhill and tries to hurt feelings,” Apple Valley head coach Kyle Godfrey said. “His ability to put the team first and step up as RB in the playoffs really brought life to the team. It gave us the spark we needed to believe we could still win even with so many key guys going down.”

Without further ado, here is the rest of the Daily Press’s 2021 All-Area football squad.

QUARTERBACK

Apple Valley's Jayden Denegal was named the Great American Rivalry MVP of the Bell Game after a 59-0 victory over Victor Valley at Newton T. Bass Stadium on Sept. 10, 2021.
Apple Valley's Jayden Denegal was named the Great American Rivalry MVP of the Bell Game after a 59-0 victory over Victor Valley at Newton T. Bass Stadium on Sept. 10, 2021.

Jayden Denegal, Apple Valley

The recent signee to the University of Michigan proved how good he is under center since taking a grasp of the starting gig as a sophomore. Denegal played in nine games this season and threw for 1,545 yards and 24 touchdowns. He rushed for 281 yards and eight more scores. Denegal missed the Sun Devils’ historic postseason run to the title game loss after suffering a season-ending injury against Oak Hills.

Just missed the cut: Andrew Garcia, Oak Hills; Jacob Higgs, Sultana.

RUNNING BACK

Rigoberto Cabral, Serrano; Frederick Hunter, Silverado; Kaleb Most, Apple Valley; Prince Thomas, Oak Hills
Rigoberto Cabral, Serrano; Frederick Hunter, Silverado; Kaleb Most, Apple Valley; Prince Thomas, Oak Hills

Rigoberto Cabral, Serrano; Frederick Hunter, Silverado; Kaleb Most, Apple Valley; Prince Thomas, Oak Hills

Thomas led the Mojave River League with 892 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, leading Most by 24 yards. The two averaged 7 and 7.4 yards per carry, respectively. Most missed most of the Sun Devils' postseason run due to injury. Cabral led the Diamondbacks' running game en route to winning the CIF-SS Div. 8 title. Cabral wasn't medically cleared until late in the season and ended with 741 yards and 10 touchdowns. During the regular season he split carries with Ron Elmidge, whose injury led to Cabral's name being called for a bulk of Serrano's rushes. Hunter was second in the Desert Sky League in rushing yards with 1,241 and 14 touchdowns, trailing Granite Hills' Kameron Smith, a sophomore.

Just missed the cut: Samajay Andrews, Apple Valley; Brandon Dumas, Victor Valley; Adrian Perez, Sultana; Kameron Smith, Granite Hills.

WIDE RECEIVER

Shea Gabriel, Oak Hills; Logan Moon, Apple Valley; Sterling Peck, Apple Valley; Lyndon Ravare, Silverado
Shea Gabriel, Oak Hills; Logan Moon, Apple Valley; Sterling Peck, Apple Valley; Lyndon Ravare, Silverado

Shea Gabriel, Oak Hills; Logan Moon, Apple Valley; Sterling Peck, Apple Valley; Lyndon Ravare, Silverado

The area was loaded with talent across the position this season. With 13 games in his back pocket, Ravare led the Desert Sky League with 981 yards. He was second in the league with 10 touchdowns, behind Granite Hills' Malik Kinney, and first with 20.9 yards per catch. Always a threat for a big-play, Ravare's longest play of the season went for 70 yards. Moon led the Mojave River League with 664 yards and nine touchdowns. Peck also reeled in 490 yards and six touchdowns. Gabriel, a junior, burst onto the scene in a big way. He was second in the league with 634 yards in 10 games this season. Gabriel also caught five touchdown passes and was a looming homerun-play with 18.6 yards per catch.

Just missed the cut: Myson Brown, Victor Valley; Jayon Gillett, Oak Hills; Malik Kinney, Granite Hills; Lamason Waller, Sultana.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Paki Finau, Oak Hills; Ty Johnson, Apple Valley; Daylon Metoyer, Oak Hills; Raymond Pulido, Apple Valley; Daniel Sonora, Serrano
Paki Finau, Oak Hills; Ty Johnson, Apple Valley; Daylon Metoyer, Oak Hills; Raymond Pulido, Apple Valley; Daniel Sonora, Serrano

Paki Finau, Oak Hills; Ty Johnson, Apple Valley; Daylon Metoyer, Oak Hills; Raymond Pulido, Apple Valley; Daniel Sonora, Serrano

This is not a knock on any of the Desert Sky League teams, but the Mojave River League was stacked with dogs in the trenches. Pulido, a junior with significant offers in his back pocket, highlights the list of offensive linemen in the MRL. He, along with Johnson, helped doze the way as Apple Valley racked up 2,970 rushing yards and averaged 6.5 yards per carry. In 11 games, Oak Hills rushers tallied 1,778 yards and 6.4 yards per carry. Sonora highlighted Serrano's line that led the way for 3,070 rushing yards on the season.

Just missed the cut: Geraldo Garcilazo, Victor Valley; Joseph Pfeifle, Hesperia; Carlos Ramirez, Granite Hills; Donovan Scantlebury; Silverado

DEFENSIVE LINE

Keenan Eck, Apple Valley; Jirah Leaupepetele, Apple Valley; Buddah Peleti, Oak Hills; James Reed, Apple Valley
Keenan Eck, Apple Valley; Jirah Leaupepetele, Apple Valley; Buddah Peleti, Oak Hills; James Reed, Apple Valley

Keenan Eck, Apple Valley; Jirah Leaupepetele, Apple Valley; Buddah Peleti, Oak Hills; James Reed, Apple Valley

Where to start? How about the nation’s leader in sacks? According to MaxPreps.com, Eck led the nation with 20 sacks as Apple Valley collectively tallied 63 sacks. Eck was a nightmare once past the line of scrimmage. Aside from the sacks, Eck was third on the team with eight tackles for a loss and second with 19 solo tackles. He also caused five fumbles on the season. Reed finished third on the team with nine sacks, while Leaupepetele was fifth with five sacks. Meanwhile, Peleti earned the Mojave River League’s Defensive Player of the Year award. Peleti, who recently signed with New Mexico State University, anchored the Oak Hills’ defensive front, allowing just 28 points in five league games. Peleti recorded 58 total tackles, including 39 solo and 12 for a loss, six sacks, and caused a fumble.

Just missed the cut: Jeremy Hughes, Granite Hills; Mathyus Solaita, Oak Hills; Sean Stinnett, Serrano

LINEBACKER

Jayson Crawley, Silverado; Gavin Hambrick, Apple Valley; Raymond Iglesias, Oak Hills; Richard Reed, Silverado
Jayson Crawley, Silverado; Gavin Hambrick, Apple Valley; Raymond Iglesias, Oak Hills; Richard Reed, Silverado

Jayson Crawley, Silverado; Gavin Hambrick, Apple Valley; Raymond Iglesias, Oak Hills; Richard Reed, Silverado

Linebackers are generally the heart and soul of a defense. Statistics aside, the High Desert was full of talent at the position. Hambrick, who recently signed with Boise State University, had a big role in the Sun Devils’ success this season. His biggest contribution was a game-ending tackle behind the line of the scrimmage to send Apple Valley into the title game. He tallied 13 solo tackles, five for a loss and seven sacks as a senior. Iglesias’ numbers weren’t quite as close, but if you watch Oak Hills in action it was clear what he meant to the defense. He tallied 29 solo tackles and assisted on 14. Five of his tackles resulted in negative yards and he also had a sack. As for Reed and Crawley, the team’s linebacker corps was the heart and soul of the defense that led the team to a deep postseason run. Reed was named the Desert Sky League’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Just missed the cut: Brel Fields, Silver Valley; Lance Henderson, Granite Hills; Aden Lopez, Hesperia; Elijah Young, Riverside Prep

DEFENSIVE BACK

Kalombay Badibanga, Serrano; Nate Downing, Apple Valley; Noah Lopez, Oak Hills; Isaiah Ojeda, Apple Valley
Kalombay Badibanga, Serrano; Nate Downing, Apple Valley; Noah Lopez, Oak Hills; Isaiah Ojeda, Apple Valley

Kalombay Badibanga, Serrano; Nate Downing, Apple Valley; Noah Lopez, Oak Hills; Isaiah Ojeda, Apple Valley

Downing and Ojeda helped lead the way for Apple Valley’s secondary all season long. Downing intercepted three passes and recorded nine solo tackles. Ojeda intercepted a pass and logged 12 solo tackles. Lopez was a man on a mission in Oak Hills’ secondary. He racked up 37 solo tackles and intercepted two passes. Badibanga showed up when Serrano needed him the most. He intercepted two passes in the postseason. He picked off a pass in a 14-13 first-round victory over Temescal Canyon, and against in Serrano’s 18-13 victory over Highland in the semifinals

UTILITY

Tanner Chaffee, Serrano; Darren Gandy, Silverado; Corinthians Jones, Victor Valley; Keith Reynolds, Adelanto
Tanner Chaffee, Serrano; Darren Gandy, Silverado; Corinthians Jones, Victor Valley; Keith Reynolds, Adelanto

Tanner Chaffee, Serrano; Darren Gandy, Silverado; Corinthians Jones, Victor Valley; Keith Reynolds, Adelanto

These four players are literal walking highlight reels. Put the ball in their hands and something is happening. Each of these players lined up at wide receiver this season and also played quarterback along with manning up opposing receivers in their teams’ secondaries. Gandy and Reynolds are both juniors and figure to be focal points on their teams next season. Chaffee and Jones wrapped up their playing days at their schools by both being key parts of their teams’ postseason runs.

Daily Press reporter Jose Quintero may be reached at 760-951-6274 or JQuintero@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DP_JoseQ.

This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Prep Football: Apple Valley's Dustin Reynolds highlights the Daily Press' All-Area team

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting