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After winning second district title in three years and posting first-ever playoff win, the Morgan Eagles dominate all-District 10-1A, DII six-man football selection, Kopperl places four on first team

By advancing to the Class 1A, Division II postseason for the third straight season, capturing their second district title in three years and winning their first playoff game in school history, the Morgan Eagles dominated the all-District 10-1A, DII selections.

Claiming all of the district’s superlative awards, sophomore quarterback E.J. Aviles drew the Offensive MVP honors, senior linebacker Adrian Vera-Rico was named the Defensive MVP, sophomore wide receiver-safety Zach Mitchell shared the Newcomer of the Year award and Eagles head coach Eduardo Aviles was recognized as the Coach of the Year.

“The honors are a testament to our seniors and what they have strived to achieve since their freshman year,” Morgan head coach Eduardo Aviles said. “They are only the second class to make the playoffs every year in Morgan High School history. They went through growing pains as underclassmen and earned some tough experiences that paid off when they needed it the most for their senior season.  

“I am really proud to be named coach of the year. It has been a blessing to bring these guys together to be a productive group of young men. I hope they have learned that hard work and determination with some ability can go a long way.” 

After getting off to a slow start, Morgan (3-0 in district, 8-4 overall) qualified for the postseason for the third straight year by capturing the District 10-1A, DII title before winning the first playoff game in school history by knocking off the Fannindel Falcons, 70-34, in a Bi-District matchup.

“As a former Morgan player, it has really been a great honor and experience to come back to see the success we are having,” Aviles said. “It has been fun to put our student-athletes in a position to learn to work to win or be competitive. It means a lot to me to see this group be the first to win Bi-District and advance to be Area Finalists.”

Other Morgan players selected to the all-district first-team include senior Kason Sims at tight end, defensive lineman and placekicker, senior spread center Keylan Watts, freshman defensive lineman Adrian Alonzo and junior cornerback Mark Garcia. Second-team picks were senior T.J. Conner and junior Mark Garcia.

“I am really proud of the fact to clinch our district, then finally get the first in-school history postseason win,” Aviles said. “It has been a goal or dream of mine to come back and make us as successful as we could be in everything that we do. It has been very special to me to be at Morgan and to get it done with a group of kids that had some potential in junior high. They really learned the game and understood and believed in the preparation and determination it takes to make anything successful. 

“The cherry on top of this experience is to see my son help his team reach the team goals they set for themselves. That’s been pretty special in itself. I am very fortunate my family has been there for it all.”

Despite finish last in the four-team district, the young and inexperienced Kopperl Eagles (0-3, 3-7) showed signs of turning their fortunes around in only the second season since rebooting their football program. In the process, four Kopperl players drew all-district first-team honors and three more made the second-team.

Kopperl selections on the first team include sophomore Anthony Johnson at running back and defensive lineman, sophomore Christian Falk at spread back, defensive utility and punter, sophomore Hunter Johnson at tight end, and sophomore fullback Isaac Payen.

“This season was a learning season for us,” Kopperl’s first-year head coach Darrell Wallace said. “We were very young and inexperienced, but we got better in a lot of ways as the season progressed.  The boys showed heart and willingness to learn and that is always important.  All of our all-district selections were sophomores or below. Just knowing that gives us a bright future.”


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