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2021 Spring All-Shasta County Football: Defense

Defensive standouts from the 2021 spring football season

The Shasta County Sports 2021 Spring Defensive Football Team is headlined by (from left) West Valley's Chris Whitney, Foothill's Jarius Mast, U-Prep's Connor Gilbreath and Shasta's Michael Traylor. (Graphic by Aaron Williams/Shasta County Sports)

The shortened spring football season wasn’t short on spectacular games, amazing performances and standout players.

The Shasta County Sports All-County Football Team, sponsored by Tri Counties Bank, highlights the achievements of the top players in the area and their athletic achievements. A first-team and a second-team are split into two sides — offense and defense — chosen by the SCS staff. Input from area coaches as well as coverage by the SCS staff weighed heavily in the selections as there were no all-league or all-Northern Section teams to lean on.

These 42 players showed week in, week out that they were the cream of the crop in Shasta County this season.

Below are the all-Shasta County offense selections. Some players may have played multiple positions and both sides of the ball. It was the goal of SCS to make sure deserving players found spots among the two teams, even if they may have shined more in a position other than there are listed at. Players who received disciplinary action from on-field incidents were penalized during the voting process.

Graphic illustrations are by Aaron Williams and all photos were from a collection of work by Mike Daly, Tony Hord, Brian Wilkes and Maddie Harrell.

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COACH OF THE YEAR – Dustin Fortenberry | U-Prep

In addition to forging through the delayed COVID football season, Fortenberry had the difficult task of navigating assuming the head coach role following the death of his friend and mentor Darren Trueblood. The Panthers coach took the lessons and culture learned from his friend and helped not only complete a successful season for U-Prep, but walked himself and players through the healing process. U-Prep, sporting “DT” patches and decals, honored their former coach by coming out and going 5-1 on the season, which set the single-season record for winning percentage. Emotions were high in the season opener – at home – and Fortenberry’s troops posted a 48-6 victory over Yreka.

“It was therapeutic almost, it was the opportunity to be out here together with these kids, to see the heartbreak for them not being able to play and then seeing the heartbreak of them losing our coach was incredibly difficult,” he told Shasta County Sports after the victory.

From there, the Panthers only dropped one game – to unbeaten West Valley – as Fortenberry had to press leading receiver Chris Jimenez into quarterback duty after starter Payton Henderson went down with an injury. Through it all, Fortenberry and his assistants help maintain the momentum started by Trueblood.

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Staff Reports is content produced by the Shasta County Sports team.

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