Casa Grande High School’s Gauchos wrapped up the 2018 football season with honors and accolades at an awards celebration and ceremony Sunday night.
It was a varsity-only affair with each player mentioned and several taking home special awards.
Chosen team Most Valuable Player was senior Jordan Gramajo. Casa head coach Denis Brunk said several opposing coaches remarked after playing the Gauchos that Gramajo was the best two-way player on the field.
On defense, the linebacker was among the team’s top tacklers, and he was at his best when a big play was needed.
On offense, he was an all-league first-team choice as a wide receiver, but he also played running back, getting a yard or 12 when the Gauchos needed to score or keep the chains moving. Although he carried just 32 times, he tied for the team lead with five rushing touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Jadon Bosarge was Named Offensive Player of the Year. At times during the season, he was practically the entire Casa Grande offense. He finished with 1,452 passing yards and 465 rushing yards. He passed for 10 touchdowns and ran for three more.
Either running or throwing, he accounted for all 72 yards of the decisive 1-minute drive that won the Egg Bowl.
Senior Aaron Krupinsky, called by defensive coordinator Marcus Ezeff “the best defensive back I’ve ever coached,” was chosen Defensive Player of the Year.
Krupinsky played all over the Casa Grande defense from linebacker to safety, and led the team in tackles.
Daniel Chavez was named Lineman of the Year. “He played every game like it was his last one,” said offensive line coach Frank Giamona. “He was someone we could count on to be a leader.”
Chavez played some on defense, but his major contribution was as a leader and a stabilizing influence on an offensive line that, for much of the season, was in a state of flux because of a continuing string of injuries.
The Ken Hahn Coaches’ Award, named for the late long-time videographer for Casa Grande, and the man responsible for setting up much of the equipment still used by coaches on the sidelines and in the meeting room, was presented to Cole Shimek. The projected two-way starter missed most of the season with a broken collar bone, but he continued to battle to play and supported the Gauchos in every way possible.
The CJ Banasek Strong Award for strength and courage went to running back Alex Johnson, who missed the first four games of the season because of transfer rules, but came on strong to help lead the Casa charge to third place in the Vine Valley Athletic League.
The Vincero Award, named for the courage and determination displayed by the late Casa Grande basketball coach James Forni, was presented to linebacker/offensive lineman Jack Green.
Giamona, who presented the award, explained that it is called the “Gaucho Award” because G stands for “Genuine”; A for “Attitude”; U for “Unselfish”; C for “Character”; H for “Hustle”; and O for “Outstanding.”
“Jack possessed all of those characteristics,” Giamona said.