Five Santa Monica High football players have been named all-Ocean League even though the Vikings settled for a third place finish in the 2009 season.
Linebacker/receiver Luke Zelon was the team’s most honored player, also being named all-CIF.
Quarterback Garrett Safron, Zelon, receiver Mikey Smith, kicker Jake Schmidt and defensive back Dylan Muskat received league honors.
Zelon is the one with the most college choices. At 6-foot-3, 219 pounds he demonstrated speed as well as power and was a team leader.
Travis Clark, in his first season as the Samohi head coach, was impressed with Safron’s work ethic and often said the senior was the league’s best quarterback.
Clark, who refers to the players as “my boys,” believes he has a strong nucleus for the 2010 season. Muskat was a sophomore and junior lineman Joel Ramos was a second team all-league choice.
However, the Vikings will need to improve if they expect to beat out Culver City for the league championship. Culver City has won it the last four years.
“I expect our running game to be improved next season with the players we have returning,” said Clark. “Our offensive linemen were young and our top three running backs are coming back.”
’’The running backs are Brandon Taylor, who was a junior, and Kori Garcia and Donovan Citrowski, who were sophomores.
After one game Cark said “we may have found our running back. Citrowski ran hard.”
But both Citrowski and Garcia were also needed on defense and the coach used all three runners as the season went along.
Clark must find a quarterback to replace Safron and a receiver to replace senior Chris Featherston.
The season began with a loss to Leuzinger on a night when Cody Williams suffered a cervical spine injury that left him hospitalized for three months.
Williams is home now but doctors don’t yet know how extensive his injury will be.