This blog has carried regular updates on the remarkably successful season of Grace Brethren High in Simi Valley, California, (John McIntosh, pastor) and the key contributions of coach Terry Gourley. Here is an edited version, used by permission, of an internal e-mail from Coach Gourley about an honor that his son, Steve, recently received, along with information on the school’s ranking.
California has 994 football teams and those teams are divided up into 10 sections. Grace Brethren is in the Southern Section, which has approximately 400 football teams, larger than many states. Steve [Gourley] was second team all-Southern Section last year and we will find out if he makes first or second team this year on January 17th.
Inside each section there are divisions. The divisions are aligned with the strength and history of the program. Obviously, our program didn’t exist until the Gourleys arrived on the scene, as the school played eight-man football before.
In Steve’s first two years, we played in Division 13 and he was all-CIF D13 his sophomore year. Last year in D12 he was defensive player of the year and this year in D11 he was again defensive player of the year (despite the fact that we finished second in the division). Of course he was all-league and MVP defense of the league (but that is only four teams).
Now the big news. An entity called Cal Hi Sports that consists of editors, recruiters, coaches etc. at www.calhisports.com compiles statewide rankings throughout the year. Grace finished 12th in Division IV (out of over 200 schools).
Yesterday CalHiSports released its All State Small Schools 1st and 2nd team list. This list covers their division IV and V teams covering the entire state of Calfornia. Steve was just named to the CalHiSports All State Defense as a 1st Team Linebacker.
I’m sure you can tell how proud I am of Steve, but he deserves the accolades. By the way, his team voted him as Team MVP with over 80 percent of the vote and the senior class named him ‘Best Overall Personality’.