When the talks about forming a superpower football conference with the Big VIII League and Southwestern League began nearly four years ago, people got excited. The new football-only conference split the schools into two separate leagues based on competitive equity, their 2021 league results and CalPreps.com power ratings.

The upper half includes Centennial, Norco, and Roosevelt of the Big VIII League and Chaparral, Murrieta Valley, and Vista Murrieta of the Southwestern League. The lower half of the conference was comprised of Corona, King, and Santiago from the Big VIII League and Great Oak, Murrieta Mesa, and Temecula Valley from the Southwestern League.

The upper tier of the Big West Conference created quite the buzz this season as it brought together several of the Inland area’s most successful football programs. Officials at the CIF Southern Section offices said it could be one of the top public-school leagues in the state and one of the best in the nation.

The average CalPreps.com rating of the schools in the upper half of the conference was a 52.6 in 2021, which would have placed first in the nation among public schools and second overall behind only the Trinity League (77.3).

Murrieta Valley senior, Tiger Bachmeier, was named the Big West Upper Division Special Teams Player of the Year after having 659 return yards with three touchdown returns. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

The six programs in the lower half of the conference had an average CalPreps.com rating of 12.8 in 2021, which was boosted strongly by Temecula Valley’s 26.2 rating. The ratings of the other five schools ranged between 2.8 and 16.6, heavily behind the 32.2-or-higher ratings of the six schools in the upper half of the conference.

Of the six former Southwestern league teams, five made it to the playoffs. Next season could tell a different tale, but in the meantime, it’s time to recognize the top student athletes from the 2022 football season that were selected to the Big West All-League teams.

For these newly formed divisions, the inaugural year is showcasing First Team selections only, with Player of the Year nods, MVP’s, a Coach of the year (Upper Division only) and some honorable mentions (Lower Division only) made by Temecula Valley. Apparently, the Lower Division also couldn’t decide on just one MVP selection, so they dished out three, as well as two Defensive Player’s of the Year, and two Defensive Linemen of the Year. The following list is only showing local players from teams inside the Valley News sports coverage area.

Big West Upper Division

Special Teams Player of the Year – Tiger Bachmeier, Murrieta Valley (12)

On top of his 1525 receiving yards, and 15 touchdown catches, Bachmeier had 659 return yards on special teams with three touchdown returns.

Coach of the Year – Andrew Ramer, Chaparral

Ramer and his Chaparral Pumas took second place in league this year and made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.

Chaparral head coach, Andrew Ramer, was named the Big West Upper Division Coach of the Year after his Pumas took second place this year and made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. Valley News/Time Stood Still Photography


  • Caron Tyler, Chaparral (12)
  • Stacy Dobbins, Chaparral (11)
  • Devyne Pearson, Chaparral (12)
  • Izaiah Souriolle, Chaparral (12)
  • Jacob Alvarez, Chaparral (10)
  • Bear Bachmeier, Murrieta Valley (10)
  • Asa Chatman, Murrieta Valley (11)
  • Brandon Gilbert, Murrieta Valley (10)
  • Jason Steele, Murrieta Valley (12)
  • Grant Wayne, Vista Murrieta (12)
  • Akili Smith Jr., Vista Murrieta (10)
  • Brody Guinn, Vista Murrieta (11)


  • Raymond Valencia, Chaparral (12)
  • Aiden Alefosio, Chaparral (11)
  • Blake Lowe, Chaparral (11)
  • Luke Riestra, Norco (12)
  • Chase Miller, Norco (12)
  • Clayton Zentner, Norco (12)
  • Darius Holmes, Vista Murrieta (12)
Great Oak’s Remington Churchward was one of three players named MVP of the Big West Lower Division. Valley News/Rob Davis Photography

Big West South (Lower) Division

Most Valuable Players

Remington Churchward, Great Oak (12)

Craig “CJ” Moran, Murrieta Mesa (11)

Jaden Eddy, Temecula Valley (11)

Offensive Player of the Year

Ian Montoya, Murrieta Mesa (12)

Defensive Player of the Year

Trevor Schuck, Great Oak (12)

Jake Sinz, Temecula Valley (12)

Offensive Linemen of the Year

Jack Trimble, Great Oak (12)

Defensive Linemen of the Year

Michael Hickey, Murrieta Mesa (12)

Noy Ron, Temecula Valley (12)

Special Teams Player of the Year

Mason Krause, Temecula Valley (12)


  • Cade Bryant, Great Oak (12)
  • Rob Russ, Great Oak (12)
  • Isaiah Lopez, Great Oak (12)
  • Nicholas Pogue, Great Oak (12)
  • James Trevino, Great Oak (11)
  • Cole Vasquez, Great Oak (11)
  • Julian Silva, Murrieta Mesa (11)
  • AJ Reid, Murrieta Mesa (12)
  • Victor Aranda, Murrieta Mesa (12)
  • Jeffrey Engelstad, Murrieta Mesa (12)
  • Aubrey Olson, Murrieta Mesa (11)
  • Mekhi Carson, Murrieta Mesa (12)
  • Ryan Sanchez, Temecula Valley (12)
  • Gavin Wellonen, Temecula Valley (12)
  • Trip Dickerson, Temecula Valley (11)
  • Dominic Paris, Temecula Valley (12)

Honorable Mention

Temecula Valley:

  • Logan Prestifilipo (12)
  • Sean McCullough (9)
  • Bryce DeWald (12)
  • Zane Anthony (12)
  • Jesse Powless (10)
  • Bryson Beaver (9)
  • Bruce Sage (11)
  • Tyler Caldwell (9)
Temecula Valley’s Jake Sinz (99) pictured here putting pressure on Chaparral QB Dash Beirly earlier this year, was one of two players named Defensive Player of the Year in the Big West Lower Division. Valley News/David Canales photo


  • Ryder Chapin, Great Oak (12)
  • Cole Walker, Great Oak (11)
  • Ryder Smith, Great Oak (9)
  • Troy Bean, Great Oak (12)
  • Ethan Spence, Great Oak (12)
  • Brandon Thai, Great Oak (11)
  • Lance Vitte, Murrieta Mesa (11)
  • Luke Van Den Berg, Murrieta Mesa (11)
  • Ifeyani Onye, Murrieta Mesa (11)
  • Chiko Orji, Murrieta Mesa (11)
  • Blake Carter, Temecula Valley (12)
  • Lucas Valencia, Temecula Valley (12)
  • Jake Bester, Temecula Valley (11)
  • Jaylen McPherson, Temecula Valley (12)

Honorable Mention

Temecula Valley:

  • Lucas Lenhart (12)
  • Jayden Davis (12)
  • Chase Roberts (11)
  • John Early (12)
  • Blake Nichols (12)
  • Andrew Sellas (12)
  • Caden Rose (11)

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports @reedermedia.com.

JP Raineri
JP Raineri

JP is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and head of the Sports Department for the Valley News. Over his time in the Temecula Valley, JP, a former Southwestern League head baseball coach, was also an on-air radio personality at Q103.3, KATY 101.3, Hot 103.9, and was a television host for the Outdoor Channel. When not covering local, or national sports, JP also serves as an Associate Baseball Scout with NSR.