When it comes to postseason awards, there's so many different categories players get boxed into.
There is, of course, the most prized trophy, the MVP award, where coaches or media members try to assign value to a player. Then there's always Offensive Player of the Year honors and Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Some players, though, just can't be crammed into a single category.
That's certainly true of Deville "Joker" Dickerson, the Lompoc High senior who has the ability to impact the game in every way imaginable. Yet, here we are attempting to put Dickerson's spectacular abilities into a single category. Either way, Dickerson is clearly in a class of his own in finding ways to impact the game.
The Times has chosen Dickerson as the All-Area All-Purpose Player of the Year, chosen by sports editor Joe Bailey. But, truthfully, Dickerson made a case for the All-Area MVP award, though it's quite difficult for a receiver/defensive back to win that honor. (That, of course, went to teammate Sheldon Canley Jr., who had a spectacular season at running back).
Dickerson had a strong case for either Offensive Player of the Year or Defensive Player of the Year, as well.
Though Dickerson's game defies a simple explanation, All-Purpose Player of the Year seems to do the best job.
No matter what position Dickerson found himself in this season, he always seemed to make the play. He was a star receiver who caught 61 passes in 11 games, good for 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns. The Idaho State commit also had eight return touchdowns on the season, scoring four times each on kick and punt returns. He's clearly the area's best special teams player. Teams resorted to kicking the ball directly out of bounds to prevent Dickerson from returning kickoffs.
Dickerson also threw a touchdown pass and ran for another, meaning he accounted for 19 touchdowns in 11 games, which is a wild figure for someone with just a single rushing touchdown.
Dickerson broke the school record set by former NFL star Napoleon Kaufman in 1990, with 11 total return touchdowns in his career. Dickerson scored 24 touchdowns in 29 games at Lompoc. He also blocked eight kicks.
"He's just so explosive and he's the ultimate competitor," Lompoc coach Andrew Jones said of Dickerson last season. "He's a fun guy to coach and it's amazing because every coach tells me they're not going to kick to him and for some reason he still keeps scoring. He has this extra gear and an ability to find a lane, he's extremely slippery. He puts on this speed burst and he's just gone. He's definitely a dynamic player and I'm definitely going to miss him in the future."
Dickerson will likely play cornerback at the next level, but showed he can play all over the field during his time at Lompoc. He made 41 tackles in his senior season and intercepted a pass. He had 22 pass break-ups during his prep career at LHS, with five interceptions.
He averaged a staggering 35 yards on punt returns this season and 38 yards per kick return. Not bad for a 5-foot-10, 170-pound player who will play at the FCS level in the near future.