Venice Co-Coaches Al Dellinger and Tony Chretin and their quarterback, Louis Jones, and Santa Monica center Eric Banducci won the top Westside honors at the annual Times high school football awards brunch.
Dellinger and Chretin were named the area's coaches of the year, Jones back of the year and Banducci lineman of the year.
The late Kevin Copeland of Dorsey High was honored in memory with the third annual Glenn Davis Award, given to the top high school football player in Southern California.
Copeland, a wide receiver who was considered one of the top players in the state, collapsed and later died from heart failure during a game against San Pedro this season. He was 17.
Dorsey, which had dedicated its season to Copeland, won its first Los Angeles City 4-A Division championship last week, defeating Carson, 26-15.
The invitational event, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times Fund, brought together parents, head coaches and 276 players from all-star first teams in 12 Times circulation areas: Westside, Central, Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties), Orange County, San Gabriel Valley, Southeast, South Coast, Glendale, South Bay, San Fernando Valley, San Diego County and Ventura County.
Each player received a plaque and certificate. In addition, the backs and linemen of the year received trophies.
This is the second time that Dellinger, 49, has been named a Times coach of the year. In 1977 he was honored as head coach of a Venice team that was undefeated in the regular season, won the Western League championship and finished the year with a 9-1-1 record.
The 1977 Gondoliers had several star players, including some who went on to college football and some who also played professionally. They included defensive back Dana McLemore (University of Hawaii, San Francisco 49ers), running back Keyvan Jenkins (Nevada Las Vegas, Canadian Football League), running back-defensive back Kinyon Jenkins, Keyvan's brother, (Nevada Las Vegas, San Diego State), quarterback Antonio Gasca (Santa Monica College, Cal State Long Beach) and offensive linemen Darryl Moore (USC) and Jeff Pew (Oregon).
The 1989 Venice team may not have had as many stars, but it had an 11-1 record. This year's players, Dellinger said, "got maximum mileage out of their ability. We also had a very, very good offensive line, a better offensive line" than that of the 1977 team.
A graduate of UCLA, Dellinger was an offensive lineman at University High School and Santa Monica College. He began coaching as a volunteer assistant at Palisades High School in 1966, was head coach at Fairfax High from 1967 to 1971, became an assistant at Venice in 1971 and went on to serve at Venice as a co-coach, head coach and co-coach again this year with Chretin.
Chretin, 37, played and coached on undefeated Venice B teams, became a varsity assistant in 1984 and moved to co-coach in charge of the defense this season as Dellinger handled the duties of offensive coordinator. Chretin is a graduate of Cal State Long Beach.
Dellinger said that Jones, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior, was the "best all-around player" he has seen in 25 years of coaching and was the catalyst for Venice's strong season.
A converted wide receiver, Jones moved to quarterback this year and continued to be a fine defensive back. He didn't pass often (37 completions in 87 attempts for 416 yards and five touchdowns). But he ran often and well (96 carries, 769 yards and 14 touchdowns), and he always ran the show.
Jones was the Gondoliers' leading tackler in the secondary, had eight sacks and five interceptions and forced four fumbles. He also handled the punting and kicking.
Banducci, who was a defensive lineman as well as a center, is a grandson of the late Bruno Banducci, who was a top lineman with the San Francisco 49ers.
Tebb Kusserow, Santa Monica High coach, said Banducci is an "excellent blocker with great quickness and strength." The 6-3, 240-pound senior was the leading tackler on the Vikings' line.
Besides Jones and Banducci, The Times' All-Westside first team on offense includes wide receivers Anthony Cope of Palisades and John Aylsworth of Santa Monica and linemen Darren Johnson of Westchester, Julio Diaz of Venice, Noah R. Kaiser of Westchester and Brian Gorski of Venice.
The first-team running backs are Damone Ewell of St. Monica, John Haqq of Culver City and Tim Holliday of Westchester.
On defense, the first team includes linemen Todd Kusserow of Santa Monica, Bryan McElroy of Palisades, Floyd Hines of St. Bernard and Devon Sando of Beverly Hills and linebackers Henry (Butch) Hahn of Westchester, Michael Curutchet of St. Monica and Art Cabral of Venice.
In the first-team defensive backfield are Albert (Lefty) Jones of St. Monica, Greg Hooks of Culver City, Lamar K. Lyons II of St. Monica and Terence Sullivan of St. Bernard.
The second team on offense has wide receivers John Song of Beverly Hills and Kyle Bryant of University and linemen Bryan Orange of Hamilton, Payam Saadat of St. Monica, Charles Geitzen of Hamilton, Nigel Mills of Venice and Hassan Allen of Westchester.
Bob Aylsworth of Santa Monica (John's brother) is the second-team quarterback, and the running backs are Mario Mattison of Fairfax, Walter Grissam of Westchester and Robert Hughes of University. The kicker is Culver City punter Rick Heineman.
On defense, the second-team linemen are Humberto Irigoyen of Daniel Murphy, Antonio Johnson of Culver City, Wes Smith of Westchester and Fabrice Perzik of Beverly Hills. The linebackers are Matt Schmitter of Santa Monica, Alex Kahan of Beverly Hills and Dominic Walker of Palisades.
Defensive backs are Troy Dunlap of Culver City, Lerone McElrath of Venice, Keith Walk Green of St. Monica and Tharen Todd of Fairfax.