The annual California High School Football Banquet was held Sunday afternoon at the CHS commons, where the athletes, coaches, family and friends gathered to reflect on the 2012 season and recognize players for their individual contributions to the season.
The Pintos finished the season 13-1. After winning the conference and district titles, they went on to advance to Class 3 semifinals at Maryville, where they ended the season with a tough loss. But it had been 13 years since a Pinto football team had gone that far in a season, so the 2012 team truly raised the bar.
The awards ceremony kicked off Sunday with Coach Jon Lindquist recognizing each of the freshman football players.
"We started off with 16 kids but due to injuries, ended up with only 11," Lindquist said. "But that didn't deter these kids, they just wanted to play and had a lot of fun."
Coach Rich Matzes then recognized each of the JV players.
"These are the kids who are going to make our varsity team better," Matzes said.
Albertson reflected on the varsity season before recognizing each of the players. "I've coached 20 years and this is the best team I've ever had. We opened the season by beating a good Boonville team and that kind of set the stage for the rest of the season. People wondered why we scheduled Blair Oaks for our Homecoming game, but we ended up beating them for the first time in 10 years....and we took the conference away from Blair Oaks, which is what we needed to do."
Albertson said he was impressed by the team's 11 seniors. "They led the team and embraced and encouraged the younger kids. They will go down in history as the seniors who put Pinto pride back in California football. They have set the bar for the work ethic."
Albertson added, "This has been the highlight of my coaching career."
After issuing letters to players who lettered this season, Albertson recognized those who earned All-Conference, All-District and All-State honors.
Three California Pintos were recently named to the Academic All-State football team by the Missouri Football Coaches Association: juniors Dylan Albertson and Luke Burger, and sophomore Jaden Barr.
"I'm really proud of these kids," Albertson said. "They do it on the field and off the field."
He then presented awards to the following: Team Captain Awards (voted by the players) - Logan Rowles, Curtis Fulks, Anthony Price and Garret Baquet; Offensive Player of the Year - Price and Albertson; Defensive Player of the Year - Rowles (a.k.a. "Hit Man"); Specialty Player - Efrain Torres; Lineman of the Year - Fulks and Jon Goans; Newcomer of the Year - Barr; and Practice Players of the Year - Jacob Kueffer and Charles Matzes.
Albertson then thanked many who contributed to the season.
Pinto Quarterback Club President Jay Gump presented gifts to the seniors, coaches and members of the training staff.
The senior players presented a gift to Albertson in recognition the honor of being named Tri-County Conference Coach of the Year.
CHS Athletic Director Bob Staton, with Paul and Susie Allee at his side, then presented the Randy Allee Scholarship to Fulks and Ryan Korte.
Albertson closed the ceremony by thanking all who attended and, following cake and ice cream, a highlight video of the 2012 season was presented.