Seniors Michael Lowder #31, Phil Rhodes #22, and Travis Farewell #9 were three of the twelve
Warriors selected to the ALL-SSL 1st team in 2010. The CIF Champion Warriors finished the
season with a 13-1 record. Photo's by The Tehachapi News.

15 Mountain Football Players
Selected For All-SSL

Posted on January 10, 2011, by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News

After an amazing season that produced a CIF Championship in their first year in Division II, the Tehachapi Warriors were recognized for All-SSL and All-Area honors on offense, defense and special teams.

Tehachapi won their third section championship in four years, and 11th overall in school history.

In addition, the Warriors have been to 15 CIF Section Championships since 1980, giving them the distinction of at least one title game appearance every other year.

In the final rankings, Tehachapi finished as the fourth-ranked team in the Kern County - Central Section polls and 96th in the state among all schools according to MaxPreps.

Earning first team honors were Phil Rhodes, Marcus Curiel, Niko Taliulu, Cesar Meza, Cameron King, Cory Lange, Travis Farewell, Michael Lowder, Adam Bullard, Troy Mathews, Zach Timm and David Lara.

On the second team, Levi Garrett was selected at quarterback, Colt Murrow on the offensive line and Kash Knudson at defensive back. Farewell also coupled his first team honors on offense with honorable mention as a kicker and punter.

Garrett earned second team honors after finishing with 570 yards passing and eight touchdowns, including an unforgettable 44 yard pass in double-coverage to Phil Rhodes in 'the drive' of the CIF championship.

Colt Murrow was selected as a second team lineman after helping to anchor an offense that averaged an incredible 7.15 yards per rush, and Kash Knudson was selected after producing 43 tackles, four pass knockdowns and 203 yards in punt returns.

The following is a breakdown of all first team All-SSL selections for Tehachapi.

Phil Rhodes - Senior

Rhodes wanted to make his mark in Mountain Football history with a dominating senior season, and it is safe to say that after his inspiring play during the year, he did just that. Rhodes was the heart and soul of a team that brushed off individual ambitions for the sake of the entire squad. In the end, Rhodes still produced an amazing season that earned him second team All-Area, collecting 1,258 yards, 102 yards receiving, 333 yards on kickoff returns, 43 tackles, and a team leading 17 touchdowns.

Michael Lowder - Senior

A consistent source of intensity and inspiration for his teammates, Lowder left it all on the field every week and finished his senior year as one of the valley's most talented defensive backs. Lowder was also selected as a second team All-Area player, finishing with an SSL leading six interceptions along with 69 tackles. Lowder also had 266 yards rushing and 387 yards on kickoff returns, returning two kickoffs for touchdowns.

Travis Farewell - Senior

Farewell had contributions in virtually every capacity this season for the Warriors as a three-way starter as tight-end, linebacker, and kicker-punter. His final season totals had him contributing with 106 yards receiving, 70 tackles, 16 touchbacks, a 39.97 punt average, 49 PATs, two field goals and 61 total points. Farewell was also a Hometown Sports special teams player of the year nominee.

Cameron King - Senior

A punishing hitter on the Warrior line of scrimmage, King was a two-way first team selection for Tehachapi on the offensive line and linebacker. The standout senior finished with 119 tackles, four sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception on defense and contributor to Tehachapi's record setting 13 wins in one season.

Cesar Meza - Senior

The plow that made the wing-t offense work to perfection, Meza was consistently the lead blocker of an offensive assault that produced 51 touchdowns on the ground and 293 rushing yards per game. Meza was one of Tehachapi's most talented players, harnessing a rare combination of speed and strength unmatched by his SSL competitors.

Niko Taliulu - Senior

A three-year starter on the offensive line for the Warriors, Taliulu earned his second CIF football championship after earning one in 2008 and distinction as one of the top linemen in the history of Tehachapi High. Taliulu also earned first team All-Area and was a Kern County player of the year nominee, helping the Warriors produce a school record 462 points in one season. Taliulu was first team all-league on the offensive and defensive line.

Zach Timm - Senior

A dominating pass rusher for the Warrior defense, Timm's 14.5 sacks was good for second best in the entire central section, landing him first team All-Area honors along with first team league honors on the defensive line. Timm also had 84 tackles and 111 yards rushing in a memorable senior season.

Adam Bullard - Junior

A highly-regarded defensive linebacker in Kern County, Bullard earned second team All-Area honors to couple with his first team all-league selection after leading the team with 133 tackles on the year. Bullard also had an interception, three fumble recoveries and 1.5 sacks to help lead the Mountain Defense.

Marcus Curiel - Junior

The dominating performance by the Tehachapi fullback helped make the Mountain Wing-T one of the most formidable in the central section, finishing with 1,112 yards rushing, 49 yards receiving and tied for the team lead in rushing touchdowns with 16 on the year. Curiel's powerful strength and cutback ability in the open field was a tremendous asset for the Warriors this past year and will make him one of the top players to watch in Kern County next season.

Cory Lange - Junior

For only the second time since joining the South Sequoia League in 1992, Tehachapi boasted the top receiver in the league thanks to the performance of Cory Lange this past season. The talented junior hauled in 509 yards through the air and eight touchdowns, tops in both categories in the SSL. Lange also had 88 tackles, four sacks, five fumble recoveries, two interceptions and four touchdowns on defense.

David Lara - Junior

The linebacker standout seemed to be in on every play for the Warriors this past season, finishing with 105 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and five fumble recoveries. One of the youngest players on the team, Lara was a standout for Tehachapi on defense, helping the Warriors give up only two touchdowns or less to the opposition in eight games this past season.

Troy Mathews - Junior

The talented defensive lineman provided a plug in the middle of the line that never let Tehachapi's opponents get on track in the running game. At seasonís end, Mathews finished with 90 tackles, five sacks and four fumble recoveries. Mathews also had a key tackle in one of Tehachapi's goal line stands in the CIF championship, helping preserve the eventual Division II title win.

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