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County Football Insider

County Football Insider: Bowers is Freshman of the Week in SEC again

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For the second time this season, Brock Bowers of Napa has been honored by the Southeastern Conference.

Bowers, a tight end for the University of Georgia, was named as the SEC Freshman of the Week after catching five passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 30-13 win over Kentucky, it was announced in a report at on Oct. 18.

Bowers caught a 27-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and pulled in a 20-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter for Georgia (7-0 overall, 5-0 SEC) in the game on Oct. 16 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

“He helped the Bulldogs distance themselves 21-7 from the Wildcats with an acrobatic 27-yard catch in the end zone. In the fourth quarter, Bowers put the game out of reach for Kentucky as he caught a 20-yard touchdown catch that was lofted over the hands of the Wildcats,” the report at said.

Bowers also had 45 yards after the catch.

“He’s a real good player. He made plays,” quarterback Stetson Bennett said at

Bowers is a Napa High School graduate and leads Georgia in receiving, with 25 receptions for 416 yards and six touchdowns.

He has started six of the team’s seven games and is averaging 16.6 yards per reception and 59.4 yards per game.

Bowers was named as the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week after catching two touchdown passes and also running for a TD in Georgia’s 62-0 win over Vanderbilt on Sept. 25.

“Our tight ends are weapons. They’re size guys. They make plays down the field,” coach Kirby Smart said at “We’ve got a talented tight end room. As long as they buy in to the team-first concept, then we’ve got a chance to be successful.”

Bowers, named as the All-Napa County Player of the Year by the Napa Valley Register and the Vine Valley Athletic League Most Valuable Player in 2019, enrolled at Georgia this past January.

MaxPreps named Bowers to its Preseason All-America First Team offense and also its Preseason California All-State First Team offense in 2020.

Georgia continues it season on Saturday, Oct. 30 against Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.

Former Napa High principal, coach Casanega passes away

Ken Casanega, a former Napa High School principal and head football coach and a member of the 1946 San Francisco 49ers’ team, passed away Sunday, Oct. 10 in Medford, Oregon, The San Francisco Chronicle reported at on Oct. 14.

Casanega “was the oldest living 49er and the last surviving member of the franchise’s original 1946 team,” The Chronicle reported. He was 100.

Casanega was Napa’s head coach during the 1950 and 1951 seasons and compiled a 9-7-2 record.

He was a halfback for Santa Clara University, playing for the Broncos from 1938-1942. He was inducted into Santa Clara’s Hall of Fame in 1965.

According to Santa Clara University, at

“In 1946, Casanega became one of the original San Francisco 49ers. He spent two seasons with the team and intercepted 8 passes, the 2nd most interceptions in the All-American Football Conference.”

According to Pro-Football-Reference, Casanega was a quarterback, defensive back and halfback with the 49ers.

He went to Castlemont High in Oakland.

St. Helena among top teams

St. Helena High (5-1 overall, 3-0 North Central League I) is No. 15 among the Top Small School Teams, reported on Oct. 14.

It’s the first state small schools Top-16 rankings of the 2021 season for small schools, the report at said.

“We’ll do these rankings several more times through the end of the CIF state bowls,” said. - The Youth Sports Network

Three Napa Valley teams are in this week’s - The Youth Sports Network high school computer rankings, announced at on Oct. 19.

Vintage (4-3 overall, 3-1 Vine Valley Athletic League) is No. 5, St. Helena (5-1 overall, 3-0 North Central League I) is No. 9, and American Canyon (4-3 overall, 2-1 Vine Valley Athletic League) is No. 10.

Vintage in NCS Rankings

Vintage High School (4-3 overall) is No. 22 in the North Coast Section Rankings, announced by MaxPreps at on Oct. 17.

The rankings are led by No. 1 De La Salle-Concord (5-2).

The top-10 also has:

No. 2 Pittsburg (4-1), No. 3 California-San Ramon (6-1), No. 4 Clayton Valley Charter-Concord (5-2), No. 5 Windsor (7-0), No. 6 San Ramon Valley-Danville (5-2), No. 7 Marin Catholic-Kentfield (6-1), No. 8 Monte Vista-Danville (6-0), No. 9 Dublin (5-2), No. 10 Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park (6-1).

The next 10 teams:

No. 11 El Cerrito (5-2), No. 12 Benicia (5-2), No. 13 Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa (5-2), No. 14 Liberty-Brentwood (3-4), No. 15 Foothill-Pleasanton (6-2), No. 16 Las Lomas-Walnut Creek (5-2), No. 17 Amador Valley-Pleasanton (4-3), No. 18 Antioch (4-3), No. 19 Heritage-Brentwood (4-3), No. 20 San Marin-Novato (7-0).

Also in the rankings:

No. 21 Casa Grande-Petaluma (5-2), No. 23 Del Norte-Crescent City (5-1), No. 24 San Leandro (4-3), No. 25 Campolindo-Moraga (4-3).

NCS teams in NorCal Rankings

Five North Coast Section teams are listed in the Week-9, Top-20 NorCal Football Rankings, announced by SportStars Magazine at on Oct. 18.

De La Salle-Concord (5-2) is No. 2.

De La Salle is followed by No. 6. Pittsburg (4-1), No. 17 Windsor (7-0), No. 18 California-San Ramon (6-1), and No. 20 Clayton Valley-Concord (5-2).

The “next five knocking” include No. 21 Monte Vista-Danville (6-0), No. 23 San Ramon Valley-Danville (5-2), and No. 24 Marin Catholic-Kentfield (6-1).

NorCal JC teams in the rankings

Eleven Northern California teams are listed in this week’s JC Athletic Bureau Coaches Poll, announced on Oct. 19 in a report by the California Community College Athletic Association at

At No. 1, College of San Mateo (6-0) leads the poll.

The poll also includes:

No. 3 City College of San Francisco (6-0), No. 9 Diablo Valley-Pleasant Hill (4-2), No. 10 Modesto (4-2), No. 16 Butte-Oroville (3-3), No. 17 Laney-Oakland (3-3), No. 18 American River-Sacramento (3-3), No. 19 Contra Costa-San Pablo (5-0), No. 20 Sierra-Rocklin (3-2), No. 23 Shasta-Redding (3-2), and No. 24 Feather River-Quincy (5-0).

Washington State fired football coach Nick Rolovich and four of his assistants on Monday for refusing a state mandate that all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19, making him the first major college coach to lose his job over vaccination status.Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, had set a deadline of Monday for thousands of state employees, including the Cougars coach, to be vaccinated. Rolovich applied for a religious exemption, which was denied Monday, Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said.Defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will be elevated to acting coach and his first game in charge will be Saturday at home against BYU.Also fired for refusing vaccination were assistant coaches Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber. Chun said there may be no precedent for a team losing its head coach and so many assistants in the middle of a season.SEE MORE: Brooklyn Nets Won't Play Kyrie Irving Due To Vaccination RequirementThe 42-year-old Rolovich was the highest-paid state employee with an annual salary of more than $3 million in a contract that runs through 2025. He had said he wouldn't get vaccinated but wouldn't specify his reasons. He was the only unvaccinated head coach in the Pac-12 and had worn a mask during games.Rolovich was fired for cause, which means the university does not have to honor the rest of his contract, although lawsuits over the decision are likely. The Washington State athletic department is currently facing a shortfall of more than $30 million.Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

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