One was the most prolific Curry this side of Golden State, albeit in a different arena.
The other two played all over the field in defining versatility and big-game moxie while leading their teams deep into the postseason.
And each was inspired during the 2016 high school football season by family, gravitating to their beloved sport at an early age and emerging as leaders and champions.
The 2016 Sacramento Bee All-Metro football team is led by Player of the Year Mason Hurst, the all-purpose star from Del Oro; Offensive Player of the Year Joe Curry, Folsom’s quarterback; and Defensive Player of the Year Josh Falo, the dynamic end-linebacker from Inderkum.
Dan Carmazzi is The Bee’s Coach of the Year after guiding Christian Brothers to its first Sac-Joaquin Section championship game in 30 seasons. For Carmazzi, it will be his last as he told The Bee on Thursday he is retiring as coach.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Hurst did a lot of everything for Del Oro, the final area team standing as the Golden Eagles reached the CIF State finals. The senior caught 78 passes for 1,615 yards – second-best in the section this season – and 17 touchdowns. Hurst produced 2,092 all-purpose yards, including playing on special-team returns, and he scored seven times on two-point conversions. As a defensive back. Hurst made 75 tackles, had two interceptions and forced two fumbles.
The 6-foot, 175-pound Curry was the latest standout Folsom passer, following Dano Graves, Tanner Trosin and Jake Browning. Curry studied them closely as a young player and aspired to be like them. A senior, Curry passed for 3,875 yards and a section-leading 53 touchdowns, and he was intercepted just seven times in 391 attempts.
The 6-5, 240-pound Falo wreaked havoc on teams on both sides of the ball. Deemed the nation’s No. 2 tight end prospect by various prep scouting websites, the senior excelled at linebacker and defensive end, his inspired efforts helping key playoff upsets.
Curry, Falo and Hurst were intertwined.
Folsom beat Del Oro 42-7 in Week 6 en route to another Sierra Foothill League championship, an area-record seventh consecutive trip to a section final. The Bulldogs finished No. 1 in The Bee’s final rankings for the fifth consecutive season, the most for an area program since the famed Cordova teams of the 1970s.
Del Oro recovered from the Folsom loss to repeat as the section Division II champion and Northern California titlist, though its quest to repeat as the CIF State winner fell short, 22-17, against San Clemente of Orange County.
Inderkum started 1-2, then won 10 consecutive games, toppling top-seeded Sacramento 35-33 in a D-II playoff opener in the mud and rolling red-hot Jesuit 52-35 in a rainy semifinal before falling to Del Oro in the section final, 35-13.
Falo’s statistics were not nearly as impressive as his ability, mainly because opponents double-teamed him or designed running or passing plays away from him. Falo had 39 tackles, and he caught 21 passes for 410 yards for a 29.3 yard average and eight touchdowns. Falo is the section’s most intensely recruited player, narrowing his scholarship choices to Alabama, Colorado, Oregon, Ohio State and USC.
“Josh was awesome, dominant, and he gave us great defense for our playoff run,” Inderkum coach Terry Stark said.
Falo likes Colorado, partly because his brother N.J. Falo is a linebacker with the Buffaloes.
“Family is really important to us, but I’m not sure where I’ll go,” Falo said. “I can’t thank my mom and brothers enough for what they’ve done for me.”
Hurst will attend Cal Poly on scholarship. He could play in the secondary, at wide receiver or on special-team returns.
“I’m versatile, and if they need a fourth-and-1 play up the middle, I can do that, or if they need a deep shot downfield as a receiver, I can do that,” Hurst said. “I just want to help out any way I can. I’ve always been like that.”
Curry has been contacted by smaller colleges and local community college programs.
“I just want to play at the next level – somewhere,” he said.
In his first varsity start, Curry passed for 564 yards and six touchdowns to beat Coeur d’Alene of Idaho 55-36 in a season opener. Curry led Folsom to the Division I section finals, in which the Bulldogs lost to St. Mary’s of Stockton.
“That first game, it was really relieving to play that well because I wasn’t sure how the season would turn out,” said Curry, who watched older brother, Dan, win a state title in 2010 as a Folsom linebacker. “Everything just fell into place. All the hard work paid off.”
Falo and Curry are the last brothers in their families to suit up for their prep programs. The Hurst family has one to go, a lineage that started with Logan Hurst, now a running back at Washington. Dawson Hurst started as a sophomore defensive back for Del Oro this season and made The Bee’s honorable mention list.
“Dawson pushes me, and my older brother Logan was always someone I looked up to, so I’ve been fortunate,” Hurst said.
How the teams were picked
The Bee’s All-Metro football selections were based on input from area coaches and other media outlets, college recruiters and personal observations.
Final Bee 2016 rankings
1. Folsom 12-2
2. Oak Ridge 10-3
3. Del Oro 13-3
4. Elk Grove 11-2
5. Inderkum 11-3
6. Sacramento 10-2
7. Antelope 12-1
8. Jesuit 9-4
9. Sheldon 8-4
10. Grant 8-4
11. Cosumnes Oaks 8-4
12. Davis 5-6
13. Christian Brothers 11-3
14. Roseville 9-2
15. Vista del Lago 8-4
16. Whitney 6-5
17. Placer 7-6
18. Yuba City 8-4
19. Capital Christian 11-3
20. Bradshaw Christian 12-1