Photo by Wendy Howell.
Vikings Head Coach Jeff Brownlee was selected as the 1A Conference Coach of the Year for 2017. Brownlee led the Vikings to the 1A Conference State Championship title, beating Superior 57-14 and ending a 23-year drought for the Vikings.
Brownlee has been coaching the Vikings for eight years and has amassed a 69-27 Conference record, and a 44-10 Region record since 2009. The
Vikings were the runner-up at the 1A State Championship in 2016.
Along with Brownlee, Vikings running back Chance Pearson was selected as the 1A Conference Offensive Player of the Year, and for the second year in a row, Viking Tate Grantham was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Pearson was selected to the 1A conference 1st Team as a running back and linebacker. He led the 1A Conference in rushing yards, with 1,492. He was fourth in touchdown scoring with 150 points, and third in touchdowns completed with 24. He was also third for punt returns with an average of 19.3 yards per return. Defensively, Pearson had 72 tackles, including 36 solo tackles, and four interceptions throughout the season.
Grantham was also selected to the 1A Conference 1st Team as a linebacker. He finished the season with 90 tackles including 43 solo tackles.
Six other Vikings players made the 1A Conference teams in 2017.
Daniel Lopez was selected to the 1A Conference 1st Team as a defensive back and running back. Lopez was ninth in the 1A Conference in receiving yards with 525, and ninth for total touchdowns with 17. Lopez carried the ball 80 times for 793 yards, caught 23 receptions in 2017.
Zack Perkins was selected to the 1A Conference 1st Team as a defensive lineman. He had 74 tackles, including 28 solo tackles, and four sacks in 2017. Perkins finished fourth in the 1A Conference in receiving yards with 604. He caught 27 receptions, averaged 38 yards per return, and had 11 touchdowns.
Juaquin Gutierrez was selected to the 1A Conference 1st Team as an offensive lineman. Gutierrez finished the season with 45 tackles, including 10 solo tackles.
Emmanuel Flores was also selected to the 1A Conference 1st Team as an offensive linemen. Flores finished the season with 27 tackles, including 13 solo tackles. He had one blocked punt, one fumble recovery and one sack.
David Lozano was selected to the 1A Conference 1st Team as a placekicker. Lozano placed first in the 1A Conference in kickoff yards with 3,248. He finished second in PAT attempts, with 17, and second in kick scoring with 17 points.
Diego Pedraza was selected to the 1A Conference 2nd Team as an offensive utility/flex player.
Pedraza finished the season 93 for 139 and passed 1,756 yards, and carried the ball 65 times for 248 yards. Pedraza finished fourth in total passing yards for the 1A Conference.
Israel Loveall was selected as Conference Player of the Year. Loveall was the sole 1A player nominated for the AZ Republic’s Player of the Year. Loveall set a national record for 8-man career TD passes. He threw for 2,630 yards and 47 touchdowns in nine regular-season games.