The annual high school, all-league football teams are being released this week. The West Catholic Athletic League teams released its list Monday, while the Peninsula Athletic League announced its all-league selections Tuesday.
And for possibly the first time in PAL history, linemen were named Most Valuable Player. Menlo-Atherton’s senior defensive end/offensive guard Noa Ngalu was named the Bay Division MVP, Burlingame senior two-way lineman Noah Lavulo was tabbed as Ocean Division MVP, while Jefferson Paul Matavao Poialii, another senior two-way lineman, was named co-MVP of the Lake Division, along with Capuchino quarterback Brandon Mailangi.
“That’s rare, isn’t it?” said PAL commissioner Terry Stogner of three linemen being selected MVP. “Maybe it will encourage more kids to be linemen. People are actually watching what [linemen] are doing. They’re not just looking at the guy running through the hole you made.”
The 6-2, 280-pound Ngalu, a University of Washington commit, was third in tackles for the CCS Open Division I champion Bears with 47, but he had a team-leading 13 tackles for loss, including six sacks. He also recovered a fumble and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown in a 28-21 win over Mitty. Offensively, Ngalu rushed three times for an average of 8 yards and was also a stalwart on the offensive line.
The 6-2, 230-pound Lavulo was a beast on both sides of the ball. On offense, he helped pave the way for the Panthers to rush for more than 2,670 yards as a team. Lavulo even got in on some of that action, carrying the ball four times for 16 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, he was second on the team in tackles with 56, with 10 tackles for a loss and three sacks. He also had a pair of fumble recoveries and interceptions, one that was returned 42 yards for a touchdown in Burlingame’s 49-12 win over Overfelt in the CCS Division IV semifinals.