Independence Football Players Named All-Conference

Shai Wheeler picking up yardage after catch. (Ron Morris)
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Four Independence High School football players were selected to the Southwest 4A Conference team.  The players named are senior defensive back Zach Repak, junior wide receiver Shai Wheeler, sophomore defensive linemen Tyson Clawson, and junior linebacker Omar Zazueta.

Zach Repak making a tackle. (Ron Morris)

Offensively, Shai Wheeler had an outstanding season.  He had accumulated 610 all-purpose yards in the nine games played due to the shortened season for the Patriots.  He caught 40 passes for 582 yards threw the air, he averaged 14.6 yards per reception, 64.7 yards per game, 51 yards was his longest reception, and contributed 8 touchdowns.

Junior linebacker Omar Zazueta led the defense in tackles.  He was an active defender with 36 solo tackles, 46 assisted tackles for a total of 82 on the season.  He also had one  quarterback sack and applied consistent pressure, while stripping the ball causing and recovering several fumbles during the season.

Tyson Clawson #20 ready to make a tackle. (Ron Morris)

Tyson Clawson, the sophomore defensive lineman was primarily selected due to his overall performance and ability to apply a great deal of pressure on opponents offensive lines.  He led the Patriots with 13.5 sacks, along with 23 solo tackles, 27 assisted tackles for a total of 50 in the nine games played.

Senior Zach Repak who was all over the field defensively for the Patriots delivered this season and deserves this nomination.  Repak a defensive back had 34 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles for a total of 50.  He also had one interception on the season.  However, his tight coverage on speedy receivers, knocked down and tipped passes takes a toll on opposing offensive teams.

Omar Zazueta #19 in action. (Ron Morris)

Honorable Mention in this writer’s view goes to running back Antwan Watson who made a significant contribution in his senior year with 701 all-purpose yards.  A steady hard worker who performed extremely well giving the Patriots a much improved ground game.  He was a workhorse with 124 carries, 629 yards rushing, averaged 5.1 yards per attempt, 69.9 yards per game, 54 yards was his longest run, had three 100 plus yard games, and scored 9 touchdowns.

Congratulations to all these fine student athletes!

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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