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COC football hogs All-Conferene awards

Posted: December 3, 2013 10:55 p.m.
Updated: December 3, 2013 10:55 p.m.

College of the Canyons interim head coach Ted Iacenda received National Division, Northern Conference Coach of the Year honors.

 

The 2013 All-National Division, Northern Conference team may as well be renamed the all-Cougars team.

College of the Canyons head coach Ted Iacenda won Coach of the Year, Cougars defensive lineman Antonio Guy won Defensive Player of the year and 12 players from the COC Football team received either first-team or second-team all conference honors upon the release of the 2013 postseason awards.

While Iacenda’s postseason recognition is the result of his performance in 2013, the award could have major implications in shaping the future of the COC football program.

Iacenda spent the 2013 season as the interim head coach following the departure of Garett Tujague, so Coach of the Year honors may help the shot caller build his case to be hired to the full-time position.

“You may call it negotiation. I call it begging to keep my job,” said Iacenda, who led the Cougars to an 8-3 record this season.

“The award didn’t come up on Monday when I had an interview, but if I make it to the final pool of candidates it’s something I would mention. I don’t think this award alone should guarantee me anything. It should be a part of the things they consider, but that in of itself isn’t enough when discussing the overall criteria of what they want when they look at who they want to hire.”

COC’s prominence in the postseason awards shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

With the exception of their 56-17 blowout loss to Fullerton in the National Bowl, the Cougars defensive unit performed at a near elite level for much of the year.

According to the voters, that effort began up front with Guy, who earned Defensive Player of the Year honors after amassing 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and four forced fumbles as a defensive tackle.

“I think my speed is what gave other players the most trouble,” Guy said.

The 6-foot-2, 290-pound defensive force has gotten attention from four-year institutions such as Texas State, Iowa State, Idaho State and Portland State.

“Whatever comes in comes in, it’s an honor to have the award,” Guy said. “I’ve started looking at schools but haven’t decided anything yet.”

Guy was joined on the defensive line by Wes Johnson, who was a unanimous selection to the first-team defense.

Other Cougars on the all conference defensive first team include linebackers Joey Cicoria and Ryan McAleenon, cornerback Lance Poole and safety Austin Murrillo.

Rounding things out on the defensive end was freshman linebacker Cory Harris, who received all-defensive second team honors.

While the COC offense wasn’t as consistently dynamic as the defensive unit, four Cougars were still selected as first-teamers.

Despite splitting time in a two-quarterback system, freshman Tony Dawson’s 1,783 total yards and 15 total touchdowns were enough get attention from voters.

Running back Matt Bowen, tight end Dan Vear and guard Brooks Porter joined Dawson on the first team.

Prominent Cougars second-teamers include center Cory McManus and receivers Travion Tucker and Louis Gipson.

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