Chris Lands, The Bee’s 2021 Spring Player of the Year, wears the number 12 in memory of his grandmother at Monterey Trail High School in Elk Grove on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Lands is a do-everything player who rushed for 612 yards and seven touchdowns in an undefeated five game season for the Mustangs.
Very little felt right about high school football this season.
For starters, it was a spring sport, pushed out of the traditional fall months and into March and April because the pandemic pushed a lot of things out of order. But there were games, lessons learned, and there were spirited achievements worthy of All-Metro nomination, even if there were no Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
In keeping with tradition dating back to the 1940s, The Bee’s 2021 All-Metro team (spring flavor) is reflective of the teams and talents that made for a unique season and experience. The playoffs are generally the deciding factor in picking players and coaches of the year. Instead of The Bee trotting out a first, second and honorable mention lineups per the norm, we rallied up one large team. We spread the wealth unlike any time before, including players of the year and coaches of the year for large-enrollment schools, medium, small and really small.
The Bee’s 2021 Spring Player of the Year is Chris Lands, the explosive Monterey Trail senior do-all star. He rushed for 612 yards and seven touchdowns in helping the Mustangs go 5-0. He accumulated 805 total yards, including returns on special teams. Lands, uncommitted to college at this time, also made tackles for loss, had interceptions, forced fumbles and jammed up every opponent.
The Mustangs finished No. 2 in the area behind Folsom.
“Chris Lands is a Swiss Army knife, the ultimate competitive gamer,” Monterey Trail coach T.J. Ewing said. “His football IQ and football instincts are off the charts. He will be an asset on any college team.”
The Bee’s All-Metro team was picked through coaching nominations and personal observation by Bee staffers.
Player of the Year: Chris Lands, All-Purpose, Monterey Trail, Sr.
Quarterbacks: Frank Arcuri, Monterey Trail, Jr
Running Backs: Otha Williams, Monterey Trail
Wide receivers: Jamauri Jackson, Monterey Trail
Tight ends: Fata Puloka, Monterey Trail
Offensive linemen: Andreas Argumedo, Jasdev Banwait, & Xavier Powell, Monterey Trail
Defensive linemen: William Reyes, Monterey Trail
Linebackers: Nekhi Broadway & Tanaki Tonga, Monterey Trail
Defensive backs: Xaiver Powe, Monterey Trail
All Purpose: Ronnie Brutus, Monterey Trail
Specialists: Diego Soto, Monterey Trail