Raymon Price awarded with Defensive Player of the Year

Terrel Emerson, Sports Editor

Following the Sept. 26 Ventura game, defensive tackle David Fangupo said that people didn’t really understand how good a fellow defensive linemen like Raymon Price, was.

Nobody can no longer argue that point considering Price has been awarded defensive player of the year.

“All year I’ve had nothing but support from the other 10 guys around me, if anything I owe all my success to David [Fangupo] and the other guys,” Price said about his accomplishment.

Despite receiving credit for Price’s award, Fangupo was quick to deter attention away from himself.

“We were all leaders out there, all around we just had people that were ready to perform at any time,” he said.

Over the duration of the season, Price played in all 11 Falcon games tallying 49 tackles, which was good for sixth on the team, 10.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

That was a vast improvement from the previous season, in which he played in nine games and did not produce nearly the same numbers as he totaled 16 tackles and three sacks.

However, the big improvement was no surprise to defensive coordinator Tom Caines.

“He played [defensive] end last year because he wanted to and we had some needs at defensive end, but he was really a defensive tackle, so by moving him inside, it was his natural position,” Caines said.

Caines went on to state that the honor for Price was because every team had players that made plays, but Price could “dominate and change the game on his own.”

Price said that over the summer he made a conscious effort to take better care of his body and improve his techniques.

“The physicality was always there, I just had to play smarter,” Price said.

For the first time since the 2002 season, Cerritos had two shutouts in the same year, 33-0 over Pasadena City and 28-0 over Bakersfield.

Both Pasadena City and Bakersfield accounted for 200 passing yards and 104 rushing yards combined over the two contests.

The Cerritos defense also forced four turnovers.

In the two games Price chipped in with nine tackles and 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

“After the Fullerton game everything changed for us, we knew we could have won that game but it was like Coach Caines said ‘We lacked energy and we had a couple of mental mistakes.’ After beating Ventura it set the tone for us to make a run for the conference championship…then the rest was history,” Price said.

Despite his outstanding play over the season Price was still surprised to gain the Defensive Player of the Year honor.

“When the team met with Coach Mo [Frank Mazzotta], he was telling everyone who made All-Conference [and] he was reading off the names and he went from David [Fangupo] to the linebackers so I figured I must have not made it.

“Until he brought out a big package and that was when he announced I had been named Defensive Player of the Year and all I could do was shake Coach Mo’s hand,” Price reflected.

Price has multiple meetings with schools coming up this month however; he intends to graduate from Cerritos with a degree in Kinesiology.