More Boys State Athletes of the Year

Aaron Gordon hasn't been on the Mitty track team since his freshman year, but just on the basketball court is a State Athlete of the Year. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Aaron Gordon hasn’t been on the Mitty track team since his freshman year, but just on the basketball court is a State Athlete of the Year. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Khalfani Muhammad is Division III so four other divisional honorees needed to be chosen. There’s also state bests among juniors, sophomores, freshmen. One athlete is in both groups.

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Congratulations to the following boys for being selected as a 2012-13 Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Year:

DIVISION I:
Adrian Salas (Clovis) Football, Wrestling
There were several top two-sport athletes in the Fresno area, including Christian Rossi of Clovis North, Keonta Vernon of Tulare, L.J. Moore of Central, Darius Armstead of Visalia Mt. Whitney and junior Nick Nevills, also of Clovis. Salas, however, was a CIF state champ in wrestling and was nearly the CIF Central Section Player of the Year in football. He finished an impressive high school wrestling career by capturing the 185-pound state championship and he was a state medalist three times, leading a Cougars’ team (along with Nevills) that easily captured a third straight CIF state championship. On the year, Salas also compiled a 42-1 record. In football, he was perhaps the top two-way player in the section and earned second team all-state honors. Salas was the Tri River Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a linebacker. On offense, he rushed for 708 yards and scored 12 touchdowns.

Adrian Salas combined his talents in football and wrestling to put together a truly memorable senior year. Photo: Ronnie Flores.

Adrian Salas combined his talents in football and wrestling to put together a truly memorable senior year. Photo: Ronnie Flores.


More D1 Senior Athletes of the Year
Derek Babiash (Poway) Football, Track
Andrew Buckley (De La Salle, Concord) Football, Baseball
Spencer Cramer (Santa Monica) Basketball, Volleyball
Michael Davis (Glendale) Football, Track
Juan Gonzalez (El Toro, Lake Forest) Cross Country, Track
Tyler Hecht (Franklin, Elk Grove) Football, Wrestling
Rico Hoey (Rancho Cucamonga) Golf
Michael Hutchings (De La Salle, Concord) Football
Marcus Lee (Deer Valley, Antioch) Basketball, Volleyball
Ryan McMahon (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Football, Baseball
L.J. Moore (Central, Fresno) Football, Track
Nick Ponzio (Great Oak, Temecula) Football, Track
Jeffrey Prothro (James Logan, Union City) Football, Track
Max Redfield (Mission Viejo) Football, Basketball
Christian Roldan (El Rancho, Pico Rivera) Soccer
Christian Rossi (Clovis North, Fresno) Football, Baseball
Joey Sanfillipo (Bellarmine, San Jose) Football, Track
Connor Stapleton (Davis) Water Polo, Swimming
Keonta Vernon (Tulare) Football, Basketball

DIVISION II:
Aaron Gordon (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) Basketball
He will go down in the record books after becoming just the 10th player to earn back-to-back Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year honors. Gordon averaged 21.6 points, 15.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists for the Monarchs during their NorCal Open Division championship season. A member of the FIBA USA U-19 team that won a gold medal, he was called by VCU coach Shaka Smart as “the best pressing forward I’ve seen” and he is expected to contribute right away as a freshman at Arizona. He was also the MVP at the FIBA World Championships and McDonald’s All-American Game. Gordon finished his high school career with 2,386 points and his 1,666 career rebounds is fourth best on the all-time state list.

More D2 Senior Athletes of the Year
Gage Brymer (University, Irvine) Tennis
Spencer Havird (Valhalla, El Cajon) Football, Basketball
Jesse Holmes (Chico) Football, Basketball
Tyree Robinson (Lincoln, San Diego) Football, Basketball
Tyrell Robinson (Lincoln, San Diego) Football, Basketball

DIVISION III:
Khalfani Muhammad (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) Football, Track
As noted last year when Muhammad was chosen for the first time, it hasn’t been that long since Notre Dame had a State Athlete of the Year. The school’s previous overall winner was Mike Stanton for 2006-07. He now goes by Giancarlo Stanton and is one of the top young players in the major leagues. He’d also rank as the best three-sport athlete the state has had so far for the 21st century.

More D3 Senior Athletes of the Year
Darius Armstead (Mt. Whitney, Visalia) Football, Track
Stevie Berman (Saratoga) Basketball, Baseball
Mat Boesen (West, Torrance) Football, Wrestling
Nikko Hayes (Lompoc) Football, Track
Dom Miroglio (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) Football, Baseball
Isaiah Pineiro (Placer, Auburn) Football, Basketball
Brett Stephens (Campolindo, Moraga) Football, Baseball
Stephen Stumph (Campolindo, Moraga) Swimming
Jacob Taylor (Rim of the World, Lake Arrowhead) Football

Division IV:
Adoree’ Jackson (Serra, Gardena) Football, Track
He is the only junior who has been chosen for one of the five divisional athlete of the year honors. Jackson is more than on his way to following in the path of Serra football-track superstars such as Robert Woods, George Farmer and Marqise Lee.

More D4 Senior Athletes of the Year
Nathan Ahlers (Sutter) Football, Baseball
Bryce Fitzner (Francis Parker, San Diego) Football, Basketball, Volleyball
John Lawson (Drake, San Anselmo) Cross Country, Track

Division V:
Darren Carrington (Horizon Christian, San Diego) Football, Basketball
The son of former NFL player Darren Carrington Sr. not only shined on the football field but on the basketball court this past school year. Committed to Oregon, he caught 51 passes for 902 yards and 12 touchdowns and made 65 tackles from the defensive backfield. He even lined up some under center and passed for 436 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 202 yards and two more scores. On the basketball court, Carrington averaged almost a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds per game. In Horizon Christian’s Division V state championship 47-46 win over St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda, he led the way with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

More D5 Senior Athletes of the Year
Jake Holguin (Rio Hondo Prep, Arcadia) Football, Basketball
Ray Lomas (Central Catholic, Modesto) Football, Wrestling

Seniors:
Khalfani Muhammad (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) Football, Track
As the overall State Boys Athlete of the Year, Muhammad also is the obvious choice among all graduating seniors.

Note: For additional seniors who have been singled out, look for lists under each CIF division.

Juniors:
Adoree’ Jackson (Serra, Gardena) Football, Track
After getting the top athlete honor among sophomores for 2011-12, Jackson moves up logically to get the top designation for juniors for 2012-13. One of just four juniors to be named to our All-State football first team last season, he also stood out for the Serra track team. He is considered one of the top defensive backs in the country for the upcoming season. He was unable to defend his CIF state title in the long jump at the CIF state track meet, but he did come in second and was a part of two winnings relay teams as the Cavaliers won the overall state title. Serra’s 4×100 relay team not only won the state title but broke a school record with a national best mark of 40.41 seconds.

More Junior Athletes of the Year
Robert Berwick (Atascadero) Football, Basketball
Keller Chryst (Palo Alto) Football, Basketball
Kyle Gornay (Redlands) Swimming
Blake Haney (Stockdale, Bakersfield) Track
Stanley Johnson (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Basketball
Derrick Jones III (Bloomington) Wrestling
Nifae Lealao (Capital Christian, Sacramento) Football, Basketball
Marquis Morris (De La Salle, Concord) Football, Track
Nick Nevills (Clovis) Football, Wrestling
Curtis Ogren (St. Francis, Mountain View) Swimming
Jordan Poland (La Jolla Country Day) Football, Basketball
Colin Zeng (The King’s Academy, Sunnyvale) Diving

SOPHOMORES:
Joe DeMers (College Park, Pleasant Hill) Basketball, Baseball
Lots of players had outstanding single-sport seasons among the sophomores, but DeMers gets the nod as our State Sophomore Athlete of the Year after standing out on the basketball court and the baseball diamond. On the court, he started and averaged a second-best 11.1 points per game for a Falcons’ team that reached the CIF Division II state championship game. Baseball is DeMers’ top sport, however, and he was the State Sophomore of the Year. He went 10-0 on the mound with a 1.00 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 63 innings. Already committed to Washington, he also hit .373 with two home runs and 25 runs batted in.

More Sophomore Athletes of the Year
Jake Browning (Folsom) Football
Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) Basketball

Freshmen:
Aaron Pico (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Wrestling
This pick of Pico follows the one of St. John Bosco wrestler Zahid Valencia as last year’s State Frosh Athlete of the Year. Like Valencia, Pico made history at the CIF state wrestling finals with an individual title in the 132-pound weight class. In Pico’s five matches, the smallest margin was 11 points as he dominated his way in every match, ending 42-0 with a total of 22 pins. Pico was named the Long Beach Press-Telegram Wrestler of the Year. With him, Zahid Valencia and Anthony Valencia (Zahid’s twin brother), St. John Bosco’s wrestling program could be soaring for many years.

More Freshmen Athletes of the Year
Devin Asiasi (De La Salle, Concord) Football, Basketball
Tarrik Brock (Crespi, Encino) Track
Israel Saavedra (Modesto) Wrestling
Trevor Stanback (Chaminade, West Hills) Basketball
Austin Tamagno (Brea Olinda, Brea) Track

Note: We did not list two athletes who are at charter schools or are taking on-line high school courses – golfer Cameron Champ of Sacramento and swimmer Justin Lynch of Vallejo. Lynch recently broke a 16-under U.S. swimming record that had previously been held by Michael Phelps. Champ is a graduating senior. Lynch would be classified as a junior.

Paul Muyskens contributed to this post.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @CalHiSports


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