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Big offseason nets Etok an MVP award

Andi Etok holds the RVC 2 Showcase Defensive MVP trophy on March 7, 2021. Cliff Jackson / Staff Photo
Andi Etok holds the RVC 2 Showcase Defensive MVP trophy on March 7, 2021. Cliff Jackson / Staff Photo

Andi Etok used to be scared of injuries, but now he’s unafraid of anything in a sport he’s been involved with since freshman year.

Etok, a senior defensive back who moved to Valley Christian from Oak Grove for his final high school campaign, joined football after his father passed away. And he hasn’t looked back, soon thereafter realizing he had a future on the gridiron.

“After my sophomore year I knew that if I kept balling maybe I could see if I could get to the next level and all that,” Etok said.

Sunday’s showing at the second-ever Routes vs. Coverage Showcase at Willow Glen High School was indicative of all the work he put in.

Against some of the region’s stiffest competition in the 1-on-1 portion and then the 7-on-7 tournament, Etok broke up countless passes, provided lockdown coverage and had multiple interceptions.

That performance garnered Etok Defensive MVP honors after his team won the championship game.

“Just all the talent puts me to get better, get better in my life and just get more work in and we’ll see how this season is going to go.”

His showing was just he needed, coming back from a calf strain that sidelined him for one two two weeks.

Etok’s senior season is set to start soon at Valley Christian, joining a historically great program that is coming off an 11-win year and a trip to the Central Coast Section championship game before falling to Serra.

“I feel great,” Etok said. “Coming back, just came off an injury. I feel blessed. Blessed playing. I’m just blessed to be back, and we’ve got the season starting next week. Just waiting to play. Just get out there.”

This offseason, Etok has dialed it up even more after producing one interception and three pass deflections as a junior at Oak Grove, keying the program’s run to a league title and a trip to the CCS finals against Los Gatos.

He began the offseason around 150 pounds and is now at 170 pounds, also adding two inches to his frame and standing at 6-feet tall.
“This offseason I actually gained at least 15-plus pounds, which is bigger, faster and stronger,” Etok said. “I gained some height too, so let’s see if I can use that talent on the football field this year.”

Pacific University in Oregon offered Etok in December, and he said he’s hearing from more schools as well, including Division I programs like the University of Colorado.

In college, Etok said he was thinking about majoring in marketing, following in his father’s footsteps.

“I’m looking for work that can support my family, see how they’ll do with my family and basically what’s going to work best for us, to have a great education and, for example, sports wise,” Etok said.

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