Hot off an eighth straight Division II state championship, the Soldotna Stars football program continued to haul in the postseason accolades Saturday with the release of the Division II All-State awards.
Four of the six major awards went to SoHi, including Offensive Player of the Year in senior quarterback Jersey Truesdell, Defensive Player of the Year in senior linebacker Galen Brantley III, Lineman of the Year in senior Melvin Lloyd and Utility Player of the Year in senior Wyatt Medcoff.
Soldotna head coach Galen Brantley Jr. said each player named to the list deserved a special spot in the history of the football program, starting with Truesdell.
“He just had a phenomenal season,” Brantley Jr. said.
Truesdell finished his senior campaign with 16 touchdown passes and zero interceptions, including the playoffs, and was among the region’s top rushers as well, running for 348 yards and eight TDs.
“It’s just kind of unheard of,” Brantley Jr. said. “He was just a phenomenal leader for us, he took care of the football, and made plays when we needed it. He’s the hub of our offense, everything we do moves through him. We’ve been able to do a lot with Jersey that we haven’t.”
Brantley III served as a dangerous passing target for opposing defenses but also led the SoHi defense in 2019. In the championship game against Lathrop, Brantley III had 17 tackles, a momentum-shifting pick-six and another pressure play that forced a Lathrop interception.
“He’s our defensive points leader throughout the season, he played really big in big games,” Brantley Jr. said about his son.
Lloyd blossomed in 2019 as a lineman on both sides of the ball, Brantley Jr. said, and went from a one-way player as a junior to a dominant two-way starter for the Stars.
“Melvin was a very special lineman for us, he was big for us with his size and strength,” Brantley Jr. said. “He’s a state placer in wrestling and track (in the shot put), and for a 300-pound guy he moves very well. He’s very strong and physical.”
Medcoff earned his utility moniker in 2019 as a running back that led Soldotna with 10 rushing TDs and an average of 17.6 yards per carry, a stealthy kickoff and punt returner that helped put SoHi in good field position, and a lethal defensive back that forced turnovers, including three interceptions in Week 1 against West Anchorage. Brantley Jr. said Medcoff finished his year last week with two picks in the annual Alaska Shriners Classic.
“For a guy that does so many things, he’s like our Swiss army knife,” Brantley Jr. said. “He returned kickoffs and punts and was a leader in the secondary.“
Kenai Central placed two players on the first-team lists, including center Hunter Beck on the offense and punter Justin Anderson on the special teams list.
Alaska Football Coaches Association All-State Teams
Offensive Player of the Year: Jersey Truesdell, Soldotna
Defensive Player of the Year: Galen Brantley III, Soldotna
Lineman of the Year: Melvin Lloyd, Soldotna
Utility Player of the Year: Wyatt Medcoff, Soldotna
Coach of the Year: Norm Davis, West Valley
Assistant Coach of the Year: Nathan Zody, Lathrop
Quarterback — Jace Henry, Lathrop; Jersey Truesdell, Soldotna; Running back — Justin Cummings, West Valley; Aaron Faletoi, Soldotna; Fullback — Wyatt Medcoff, Soldotna; Wide receiver — Jhon Rones, Lathrop; Avery Weston, West Valley; Tight end — Galen Brantley III, Soldotna; Tackle — Melvin Lloyd, Soldotna; Danny Panama, Lathrop; Guard — AJ Olo, Lathrop; Trent Walden, Soldotna; Center — Hunter Beck, Kenai.
Defensive line — Melvin Lloyd, Soldotna; Markeith Matthews, Lathrop; Brock Weatherspoon, North Pole; Zach Ziegler, Soldotna; Outside linebacker — Duston Corbin, Palmer; Hudson Metcalf, Soldotna; Inside linebacker — Galen Brantley III, Soldotna; Aaron Faletoi, Soldotna; Josiah Opp, Lathrop; Defensive back — Wyatt Medcoff, Soldotna; Jhon Rones, Lathrop; Jersey Truesdell, Soldotna; Avery Weston, West Valley.
First-team special teams:
Long snapper — Brady Shults, Palmer; Kicker — Jersey Truesdell, Soldotna; Punter — Justin Anderson, Kenai; Return specialist — Wyatt Medcoff, Soldotna.
Running back — Lavar Marshall, Palmer; Hudson Metcalf, Soldotna; Fullback — Duston Corbin, Palmer; Wide receiver — Alex Garcia, North Pole; Braedon Pitsch, Kenai; Tight end — Ethan Bleakney, Palmer; Tackle — Josh Avega-Miguel, Kodiak; Brock Weatherspoon, North Pole; Guard — Dylan Hose, Palmer; Justice Roy, Soldotna; Center — Wyatt Nelson, Lathrop.
Defensive line — Hunter Beck, Kenai; Ray Chmley, Soldotna; Isaiah Legget, West Valley; Tyler Linder, Palmer; Josh Miguel, Kodiak; Outside linebacker — Keegan Daoust, West Valley; Edgee Ocampo, Kodiak; Tucker Vann, Kenai; Inside linebacker — Jayden Christiansen, Palmer; Aaron Conwell, West Valley; Jose Martinez, Kodiak; Defensive back — Tyriq Luke, Lathrop; Vince Mangrobang, Kodiak; Braedon Pitsch, Kenai; Dawson VanTassel, Palmer; Andre Williams, Lathrop.
Long snapper — Dylan Zurflueh, Kodiak; Kicker — Skyler Denny, North Pole; Punter — Jake Golden, West Valley; Return specialist — Vince Mangrobang, Kodiak; Avery Weston, West Valley; Utility player — Finn Hill, Lathrop