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Player of the Decade: Finals showdown is set
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Player of the Decade

Player of the Decade: Finals showdown is set

The semifinals were wild.

You all cast more than 7,000 votes between the four semifinalists in our Player of the Decade contest. 

Though it was close, there were two decisive victories and both semifinalists are low-seed underdogs who have scored upsets in every round so far. 

Santa Ynez quarterback Mike McCoy is the Santa Barbara County finalist. McCoy will face the San Luis Obispo County finalist, Nick Kimball for the crown. 

McCoy, the No. 5 seed in Santa Barbara County, held a healthy lead over Righetti's Caleb Thomas, the No. 3 seed, before Thomas closed to within about 100 votes Friday afternoon. But McCoy was able to fend off Thomas in a wild finish.

At 5 p.m. Friday, McCoy had received 2,963 total votes across all three of our sites. Thomas came up just short, with 2,741 total votes. At 10 a.m. Friday, McCoy led 2,350-1,697. 

There wasn't much drama in SLO County.

Kimball, as he's done throughout the contest, had strong vote total across all three of our sites. The No. 8 seed in SLO County had nearly 300 more votes than Patrick Laird, the No. 2 seed. Kimball won the SLO County final 962-666. 

Both the top seeds in the Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County brackets were eliminated in stunning upsets by the two finalists.

Arroyo Grande's Seth Jacobs was eliminated in the first round of voting by Kimball and Lompoc's Toa Taua was eliminated in the second round by McCoy. 

McCoy knocked off a pair of Lompoc brothers to make it to the Santa Barbara final. McCoy first beat No. 4 seed Ainuu Taua in the opening round of voting then edged Toa Taua in the second round.

McCoy got past Toa Taua 589-394 in total votes the previous week of voting.

Kimball, the former Titan receiver, eased past former Arroyo Grande High standout receiver/defensive back/kicker Garrett Owens 495-220 in the second round. 

There were eight nominees from each county at the start of the tournament, with 16 total candidates. There are now just two. 

Player of the Decade Final

No. 5 Mike McCoy, Santa Ynez QB vs. No. 8 Nick Kimball, Nipomo WR

Mike McCoy's career:

Passing: 141 for 251 for 2,524 yards, 23 TDs, 14 INTs. Rushing: 123 carries, 1,091 yards, 13 TDs. Receiving: 33 catches, 510 yards, 5 TDs. All-purpose: 2,488 yards. Defense: 90 tackles (56 solo), 5 TFLs; 11 INTs, 21 pass breakups, 205 INT return yards. Kicking: 103 kickoffs for 4,071 yards, 23 TBs; 90 punts, 2,998 yards, 18 inside 20. Returns: 32 kickoff returns 682 yards, TD. Scoring: 21 TDs scored, 108 kick points; 9 for 11 on field goals, long of 48; 81 for 85 on PATs

College: Set to play at Hancock.


Nick Kimball's career: 

Receiving: 88 catches, 1,812 yards, 31 TDs (21 TD catches in 2014). Defense: 35 total tackles, 3 INTs. College: Played at Hancock and the University of LaVerne.

Notes: 2014 All-Area MVP had 1,240 yards in receptions, and 21 touchdowns, as he helped lead Nipomo to the Southern Section Northwest championship. Also made 35 tackles that year.


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