The Eagles now have a state player of the year of their own in football as senior quarterback Matt Engle has been named as the State Medium Schools Player of the Year by CalHiSports.com.
The State Small Schools Player of the Year also has been chosen and the winner is running back Chase Twedell from Valley Christian of Cerritos.
Engle stands a shade under 6-foot tall, and doesn't necessarily have the size that colleges covet as their quarterback recruits. But with his throwing, running, kicking and leadership, there's no question he was among the state's best at the position this season.
For the regular season, Engle ranked first in the state with 39 touchdown passes, six higher than the second-place total. He also was fourth for passing yardage with 2,987. He went over 450 yards for two of his games: 493 vs. South of Torrance and 451 vs. West of Torrance.
El Segundo went 9-1 in the regular season with Engle at the helm, but did not get past the second round of the CIF Southern Section Div. X playoffs due to an overtime loss to Cathedral of Los Angeles.
For his three-year varsity career, Engle ended up as one of the state's most prolific passers ever. His career TD pass total of 95 ranks him fourth on the all-time state list. His career yardage total of 8,654 puts him eighth.
Engle is the son of El Camino College assistant coach Gene Engle, so it would not be a surprise if he wound up there to further his quarterbacking career. Many El Camino College players go on to earn major Div. I college scholarships and some (Derrick Deese of the 49ers comes first to mind) are in the NFL.
Twedell is the second player from Valley Christian to be honored as the state's best from the small school ranks. The only other Crusader to be chosen was Sean McQuown in 1986.
A 6-1, 190-pounder with legitimate big school speed, Twedell capped a strong season with 260 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries in a 26-22 loss to Carpinteria in the CIF Southern Section Div. XI title game. Twedell had those yards in just three quarters of play as an injury knocked him out of the lineup in the fourth quarter. Valley Christian was leading when the injury occured. In the semfinals against Oaks Christian of Westlake Village, Twedell motored for 234 yards on 22 carries and scored twice.
In two different games during the season, Twedell earned headlines for scoring six touchdowns. He finished with 2,580 yards and 36 scores.
Like Engel, for his three-year varsity career, Twedell also put his name among the top 15 on the all-time state list in several categories. For rushing, his total of 6,307 yards will go into the books at No. 12. For scoring, his total of 87 touchdowns will rank No. 13.
Players eligible for medium school consideration are from schools that were classified as Division III for the state rankings. Players eligible for small school consideration are from schools that were either Div. IV or Div. V for the state rankings. Players from schools that were Div. I or Div. II for the state rankings are considered large school.
The complete all-state football teams will be released on Sunday night.