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Surprise, It's Howell

Posted: January 27, 2008 5:11 a.m.
Updated: March 29, 2008 2:01 a.m.
Deserving as he may be, Delano Howell's selection as CIF-Southern Section Northern Division Offensive Player of the Year may be a surprise to some.

The list was released and the Hart High senior running back, thanks to 2,249 rushing yards, 650 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns, was given the division's top offensive honor - an honor in the past that has gone many times to a player from the division champion.
That would be St. Bonaventure and the player expected to win the award would be running back Darrell Scott - the nation's top high school recruit who ran for 2,589 yards and scored 37 times.
But Scott has been a controversial figure since transferring from Moorpark before the 2007 season and had his services shopped around.
Hart head coach Mike Herrington, who was present at the voting, didn't say that was the reason why Howell was selected for the top prize and Scott was relegated to the first team.
"It was just the other coaches selected Delano the top running back by just a couple of points over Darrell Scott," Herrington said. "He got the nod."
Howell was even surprised by the selection.
"I didn't even know," he said. "I'm proud of that."
As for the selection over Scott, the Stanford-bound running back said: "I think (the coaches who voted) have good judgment. I worked my best and did my best."
A total of 12 locals were selected to the All-Northern Division team, which has offensive and defensive teams.
The most curious selection, though, was Valencia's Mike Lien.
Not because he was on the team, but because he was on the offensive team.
He led the Foothill League in tackles (190) and returned an interception for a touchdown.
Valencia head coach Larry Muir said he was told that it was because to get him on the Northern Division Team, the linebacker had to be put on the offense.
"He's one of the best defensive football players we've ever had," Muir said of Lien. "He plays fast. He's a throwback guy. A tough, tough football player."
Joining Lien on the offense are Hart quarterback B.R. Holbrook, Saugus running back Ryan Zirbel, Valencia wide receiver Stephen London, Canyon lineman A.J. Wallerstein and Saugus lineman Shane Watterson.
On the defense, Canyon defensive back Stephen Wirthlin, Hart linebacker Patrick Larimore, Saugus linebackers Nick Green and Justin McKillop, Canyon lineman Mike Spagnola and Hart defensive back Johnny MacArthur received honors.
It was MacArthur's first year playing football.
"He just had a great year, though a lot of the times he didn't know what he was doing," Herrington joked of the senior. "He's a great athlete, great competitor. He made a few mistakes because of a lack of knowledge, but made up with it with his desire."
St. Bonaventure's Todd Therrien was named Coach of the Year and Seraph Loren Powers was selected Defensive Player of the Year.


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