SBCC football’s record-setting 2022 campaign produced even more accolades on Wednesday, as Craig Moropoulos was named the All-State Region IV Coach of the Year and seven Vaquero student-athletes earned All-Region First Team honors. The selections were made by the California Community College Football Coaches Association in conjunction with the JC Athletic Bureau.
Earning recognition on offense were Alex Johnson (QB), Donovan Davis (OL), Brandon Smith (RB) and Joe Bowman (K). On defense and special teams, it was Amir Brown (LB), Kai Singleton (LB) and Kayden Chan (PR). SBCC’s eight total selections were the second-most in the region.
All-Region Coach of the Year: Craig Moropoulos
Under Craig Moropoulos’ guidance, the Vaqueros improved on an already impressive 2021 campaign with perhaps the program’s best year ever in 2022. Two weeks after clinching its first outright conference title since 1991 with a 65-27 win at Santa Monica, SBCC dominated College of the Desert in the 2022 Beach Bowl at La Playa Stadium, taking home the program’s second-ever bowl game trophy and first since 1982.
Moropoulos had entered that game as the third SBCC head coach since 1955 to reach the nine-win mark, but with victory No. 10 would set new program records for wins (10), win percentage (.909), scoring average (45.4) and average margin of victory (+34.4), among numerous other all-time marks.
“I’m very proud of the commitment and dedication from the entire team during the 2022 season,” Moropoulos said. “It was an historic season at SBCC and one that will be a great memory for all involved!”
All-Region First Team Offense: Alex Johnson, Donovan Davis, Brandon Smith, Joe Bowman
Alex Johnson, Donovan Davis and Brandon Smith were stars on the SBCC offense this year. Johnson was named the APL Offensive Player of the Year with an incredibly efficient final seven games. Over that stretch, he threw nine touchdowns and just three picks, also establishing himself as a dual threat with seven rushing touchdowns.
Davis and Smith powered an unstoppable run game that set a new program record in rushing touchdowns (42). Smith also registered new all-time marks in individual rushing TDs (16), 200-yard rushing games (2), and single-game rushing yards (260 at Glendale on Oct. 1). With his second 200-yard game on the ground against Desert, he brought his total to 1,231 for the year, just four yards shy of a 42-year SBCC record.
All-Region First Team Defense: Amir Brown, Kai Singleton, Kayden Chan
Linebackers Amir Brown and Kai Singleton represent SBCC’s starting defensive 11 on the All-APL First Team. Brown’s presence was constantly felt all over the field, as he led the team with 55 tackles. He was named the Beach Bowl Defensive Player of the Game after posting a season-best 11 tackles including one solo stuff in the backfield. Singleton was credited with 35 tackles, including two for a loss. He also had half a sack, an interception and two pass breakups.
Splitting his contributions between wide receiver and punt returner, Kayden Chan finished second in the CCCAA in both punt return average (15.3) and punt return yards (307). He had a key play in a big game against Antelope Valley in late October. With SBCC trailing by one late in the third quarter, Chan took one back 50 yards to paydirt, putting SBCC up for good on the way to a 39-25 road win. He was also SBCC’s top contributor on kickoffs, averaging 32.4 yards per return and taking another one back 91 yards for six in a win over LA Valley.
Michael Jorgenson works in communications/media relations at Santa Barbara City College.