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The Madera Tribune

All-Madera Tribune Team: Football

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webmaster | 12/22/12

Most Valuable Player

A.J. Leon, Liberty Fullback, Sr.

Resume: When times got tough for Liberty head coach Mike Nolte, he turned to old reliable — fullback A.J. Leon. Leon rushed for more than 50 yards in every game and averaged 85 yards rushing for the season.

He was mainly responsible for the Hawks scoring on their first drive after halftime nine out of 13 games this season to lead Liberty to its first football Valley Championship. He recorded five 100-plus yard games, including a Liberty season-high of 166. Leon also provided sure tackling at outside linebacker, but his time on defense was limited because of how he was used on offense.

Leon finished the season with 1,192 yards, good for fifth place all-time in Liberty history. He scored 14 touchdowns, fourth all-time. He finishes his three-year career with 2,706 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns, both third all-time. Leon was named first team All-North Sequoia League as a running back.

Coach of the Year

Mike Nolte, Liberty

Resume: Not many coaches enter a season returning all three of their top rushers from the year before. That was a luxury Nolte had entering the season with Sam McHatton, Leon and Brandon Hutchings returning. However, that luxury lasted just one play into the season as McHatton went down with an ankle injury...


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