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Six Falcons get first team

Football: CV gets its share of first-team honorees, while Glendale gets two and Hoover one.

December 19, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

With the continued dominance of Arcadia High and Burroughs, along with the rise of Pasadena and the surprising run of Muir, the Pacific League was a tough place to play football this season.

Of the three local members, only Crescenta Valley made the playoffs, with a fourth-place finish and Glendale and Hoover entered the season-ending "Battle for the Victory Bell" with nary a league win between them.

The talent of their league opposition made things challenging at times for the Falcons, Nitros and Tornadoes, but likely also made it all the more meaningful when some of their own were recognized along with the best in the all-league voting conducted by the league's coaches.

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The Falcons, who went 6-5 overall and 4-3 in league, had the most selections overall among the locals, including six first-teamers.

Senior running back Marro Lee was named first-team offensive skill position after leading the Falcons with 1,187 yards in 201 carries with nine touchdowns. He also caught 27 passes for another 223 yards.

"He had a great year for us," Crescenta Valley Coach Paul Schilling said of Lee. "He did everything we asked him."

Paving the way for Lee's runs was senior Armen Pashai, who earned a spot as a first-team offensive lineman

"The biggest thing I can say about Armen was his leadership," Schilling said.

Senior Pavle Atanackovic earned first-team kicker honors after converting eight field goals, including a 52-yarder against Glendale and a 49-yarder against La Cañada. He also never missed an extra point in 35 attempts.

"He is a great athlete and if he didn't kick the ball into the end zone, he could actually go down there and make a tackle," Schilling said.

On the defensive side for Crescenta Valley, senior Noah Stubblefield was selected as a first-team defensive lineman, senior Justin Springfield made it as a first-team linebacker and junior Chad Eggerston was named a first-team defensive back.

"He did such a great job, he was so tough," Schilling said of Stubblefield, who had 36 tackles, a team-high seven sacks and a fumble recovery. "He was a force. He was quick, so even though he was small, he could move and give guys trouble."

Springfield tied with Eggerston for the team lead in tackles (60), recorded five sacks and had one interception and one fumble recovery.

"Justin was probably one of our best all-around football players," Schilling said. "He's kind of like an NFL rush defensive end. He's fast enough to drop into coverage, he was awesome."

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