Monarchs dominate OFL all-star teams

Umpqua Valley's Knebel wins MVP award
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - Playing on both offense and defense took a toll on Robin Knebel this season, but not without reward.

Knebel, a lineman involved in contact on virtually every play, helped the Umpqua Valley Knights reach the Oregon Football League championship game for the first time and was selected as the league’s Most Valuable Player Monday night.

Knebel, 28, is a former standout at the University of Oregon, who trained briefly with the Baltimore Ravens. This is his fourth season with the Knights.

"There’s a lot of other great players in the league, so I’m definitely honored to be selected for this award," Knebel said. "It feels good, especially with the season we’re having."

The league Player of the Year awards went to Portland Monarchs quarterback Russell Schneider on offense and Umpqua Valley safety Anthony McIrvin on defense. Schneider, who played at Portland State, passed for 2,521 yards and 35 touchdowns. McIrvin, in his seventh year in the league, finished with 78 tackles - second in the league - and also had three interceptions.

The Special Teams award went to kicker Jason McGregor of the Rogue Warriors.

Umpqua Valley linebacker Brian Benson and Portland Monarchs strong safety Aaron Dickson shared the Rookie of the Year award.

The Coaching Staff award went to Umpqua Valley.

The Sportsmanship award went to the High Desert Lightning, which finished last in the standings but played out its season despite having just 14 player at one game.

The staff at oregonsports.com selected the award winners based on statistics and results from the regular season, and voting for the all-league teams done by coaches.

Portland (8-0) and Umpqua Valley (7-1) are set to meet in the championship game, June 12, at Milwaukie High School. Portland is the two-time defending champion. The game will be webcast live at www.oregonsports.com.

Knebel, who was selected as the Rookie of the Year in 2007 and Offensive Player of the Year in 2008, helped the Knights lead the league in rushing average at 199.5 yards per game. The team’s defense allowed just 11.8 points per game, including just six points in their regular-season meeting with the  Monarchs, who averaged 54 points in their other seven games.

Knebel finished with 48 tackles, putting him in the top 20 in the league. The Knights had five other players, including McIrvin and Benson, on the defensive first team.

Portland had seven players on the first-team offense.

The Knights reached the playoffs in just one of their previous seven seasons and were 2-6 last year, when they were outscored 220-136. The team lost 60-0 to Portland in its preseason opener, a game that helped lead Knebel to volunteer to play both sides of the line.

"Getting linemen is always a challenge," he said. "I’d never played both sides before, but thought I’m capable and it might give us a boost. And, I wasn’t the only guy who did that, too."

John Kiewert, another first-team all-league lineman, also played parts of games on both sides of the line.

The consistent contact, Knebel said, took a toll on his body.

"Yeah, I could feel it at the end of the season, and the playoff game," he said. "Having three weeks off before the title game is really going to help myself and the other guys on the team get ready for the Monarchs."


 
Most Valuable Player
Robin Knebel, Umpqua Valley Knights
Player of the Year
OFFENSE: Russell Schneider, Portland Monarchs
DEFENSE: Anthony McIrvin, Umpqua Valley Knights
SPECIAL TEAMS: Jason McGregor, Rogue Warriors
Rookie of the Year (tie)
Brian Benson, Umpqua Valley Knights
Aaron Dickson, Portland Monarchs
Coaching Staff of the Year
Umpqua Valley Knights
Sportsmanship Award
High Desert Lightning

ALL-LEAGUE FIRST TEAM
OFFENSE
Quarterback
Russell Schneider, Portland Monarchs
Running Back
Chance Kaeo, Oregon Outlaws
Fullback
Jason Hoyt, Portland Monarchs
Tight End
Aaron Sanchez, Portland Monarchs
Wide Receiver
Zach McGinnis, Umpqua Valley Knights
JJ Johnson, Portland Monarchs
Offensiver Line   
Robin Knebel, Umpqua Valley Knights
Caleb Hitt, Oregon Outlaws
Charlie Latt, Portland Monarchs
Matt Ohman, Portland Monarchs
Judiah Pickles, Portland Monarchs

DEFENSE
Defensive Line
Robin Knebel, Umpqua Valley Knights
John Kiewert, Umpqua Valley Knights
Justin Tutka, Portland Monarchs
Kevin Pardy, Springfield Buzzards
Linebacker
Beau Gates, Portland Monarchs
Brian Benson, Umpqua Valley Knights
Jake Klein, High Desert Lightning
Cornerback
Jonny Jones, Umpqua Valley Knights
Jered Roberts, Portland Monarchs
Strong Safety (tie)
Aaron Dickson, Portland Monarchs
Chip McIrvin, Umpqua Valley Knights
Free Safety
Shawn Cardoza, Umpqua Valley Knights
Utility
Bryan Andyke, High Desert Lightning

SPECIAL TEAMS
Returner   
Kristopher Butler, Klamath Crusaders
Punter
Ryan Smedley, Umpqua Valley Knights
Kicker
Shawn Cardoza, Umpqua Valley Knights


SECOND TEAM
OFFENSE
Quarterback
Jerred Hughes, Oregon Outlaws
Running Back
Alvin Thorton, Klamath Crusaders
Fullback
Mike Robinson, Rogue Warriors
Tight End
Jeff Randall, Umpqua Valley Knights
Wide Receiver
Titan Mann, Klamath Crusaders
Andrew Johnson, Portland Monarchs
Offensive Line
David Stidham, Umpqua Valley Knights
Gary Carter, Umpqua Valley Knights
Jesse Nork, Klamath Crusaders
Steve Thomas, Rogue Warrios
Joel Darvell, Rogue Warriors

DEFENSE
Defensive Line
Quinn Closson, Portland Monarchs
Johntai Olive, Portland Monarchs
Leon Ireland, Klamath Crusaders
Dustin Holmes, Oregon Outlaws
Linebacker
Mike Rifenbark, Umpqua Valley Knights
Branden Brooks, Portland Monarchs
Roy Price, High Desert Lightning
Cornerback
Jamil Wynn, Umpqua Valley Knights
AC Crawford, Oregon Outlaws
Strong Safety
Tre Moreland, Vancouver Vipers
Free Safety
Andrew Fuller, Portland Monarchs
Utility
Ryan Stills, Portland Monarchs

SPECIAL TEAMS
Returner
Jeremy Jones, Vancouver Vipers
Punter
Matt Tefs, Vancouver Vipers
Kicker
Jason McGregor, Rogue Warriors


HONORABLE MENTION
OFFENSE
Quarterback
Nate Ellis, Klamath Crusaders
Running Back
Walter McClurg, Umpqua Valley Knights
Fullback
Jeremy Burrows, Umpqua Valley Knights
Doug Hendrickson, Oregon Outlaws
Wide Receiver
Kenny Roberts, Portland Monarchs
Almeir Barlow, Rogue Warriors
Tight End
Doug Hendrickson, Oregon Outlaws
Offensive Line
Dan Hobden, Umpqua Valley Knights
Antwan Montoya, High Desert Lightning
Mike Pett, Klamath Crusaders
Jake Stennfeld, Portland Monarchs
Scott Cramer, Springfield Buzzards

DEFENSE
Defensive Line
Steve Fittinger, Portland Monarchs
Dominic Brock, Portland Monarchs
Ryan Stills, Portland Monarchs
Jamison Davis, Klamath Crusaders
Linebacker
Tim Ivanov, Vancouver Vipers
Will Hill, Oregon Outlaws
Ryan Davidson, Oregon Outlaws
Cornerback
Zack Saylors, High Desert Lightning
Chris Jackson, Portland Monarchs
Strong Safety
Bruce Franklin, Rogue Warriors
Free Safety
Ryan Saban, Vancouver Vipers
Utility
Aaron Sanchez, Portland Monarchs

SPECIAL TEAMS
Returner
Nikita Smith, Portland Monarchs
Punter
Russell Schneider, Portland Monarchs
Kicker
Jose Moreno, Portland Monarchs

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