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By Zach Cavanagh

The first season of the Pacific Hills League was incredibly tight, with all three of the league’s games coming down to game-ending, goal-line stands and a combined margin of victory of 15 points.

The end result was a three-way tie for the inaugural league title among Dana Hills (3-2, 1-1), Laguna Hills (2-2, 1-1) and Portola (3-2, 1-1). There were no tiebreakers, as Dana Hills beat Laguna Hills, Laguna Hills beat Portola, and Portola beat Dana Hills.

For earning a slice of the league title, Dana Hills’ first since 2012 and only the second in school history, the Dolphins earned their share of recognition in the league awards.

Dana Hills junior kicker Kian Afrookhteh (1) was named the Pacific Hills League special teams MVP. Afrookhteh kicked for 14 touchbacks and hit six of nine field goals this season. Photo: Alan Gibby/Zone57

Dana Hills earned two positional MVPs, with senior linebacker Lukas Saavedra being named defensive MVP and junior kicker Kian Afrookhteh being named special teams MVP. Saavedra led the Dolphins in tackles with 42 total tackles and 28 solo tackles. Afrookhteh hit six of eight field goals this season, with a long of 43 yards, and he racked up 14 touchbacks on kickoffs while posting a nearly 30-yard punt average.

Dana Hills senior linebacker Lukas Saavedra (10) was named the Pacific Hills League defensive MVP. Saavedra led Dana Hills with 48 tackles. Photo: Alan Gibby/Zone57

Dana Hills also earned six entries on the all-league first team: senior linebacker Seth Lyons, senior lineman Christian Preijers, senior receiver and defensive back William Craven, junior quarterback Bo Kelly, junior lineman Abraham Munoz and junior receiver and defensive back Omarjaye Black.

The Dolphins also had five players named second team all-league: senior tight end and defensive end Nathan Helman, senior receiver Noah Simpson, junior defensive back Hayden Dendiu, junior receiver James Alleman and sophomore lineman Brendon See.

Zach Cavanagh Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at zcavanagh@picketfencemedia.com.

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