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When you select a junior as the State Athlete of the Year, which is what we did last year at Cal-Hi Sports when the boys’ honor went to Khalfani Muhammad from Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, it’s going to be pretty tough to choose someone else for the ensuing year, especially when that athlete goes out and does even better.
That’s the case for Muhammad, who has indeed repeated as the Cal-Hi Sports Boys State Athlete of the Year. So how rare is it for a repeater in that glorified category?
Since Cal-Hi Sports began the athlete of the year honors in the mid-1980s, we’ve never had a boys’ repeater. The all-time list as researched by our founder, the late Nelson Tennis, doesn’t have a repeater since Ralph Rose of Healdsburg for 1903-04. Nelson had the luxury of trying to fit as many prominent names onto that list as possible, which is why there are so few, but it does show the difficulty of putting together back-to-back seasons in two sports like Muhammad has done.
Muhammad capped his 2012-13 school year on June 1 at Veterans Stadium in Clovis by becoming just the third sprinter in state history to win back-to-back CIF state championships in the 100 and 200 meters.
Running a 10.33 to win the 100 and a 20.86 to win the 200, Muhammad also ran a leg on Notre Dame’s 4 x 100 relay team that finished third after winning it all last season. Before the state finals, Khalfani broke his own school record in the 100 with a 10.22 clocking at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet. That time also broke a CIFSS record previously set in 1984 by Henry Thomas of Hawthorne at 10.25.
Among the track honors he has already received are the Gatorade State Track and Field Athlete of the Year and the L.A. Daily News Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
After the CIF state meet, Muhammad went to Iowa for the USA Junior National Track and Field Championships where he finished fifth in the 100 meters and second in the 200 meter. final at the USA Junior National Track and Field Championships in Iowa.
In his senior year running the football for the Knights, Muhammad earned second-team all-state honors after he carried the ball 215 times and gained 1,420 yards while scoring 18 touchdowns. He also caught 18 passes for 307 yards and two scores. In his career, he combined for 4,101 yards and 47 touchdowns while rushing and catching the football.
Up next for Khalfani is being a member of the University of California football team. He’ll also run track for the Bears and already has fans in Berkeley comparing him to former Cal standout Jahvid Best. With a new spread offense being installed, however, by new head coach Sonny Dykes and because spread coaches love flipping the ball to speedsters like Muhammad coming out of the slot, comparisons to Best might not be correct. A better one might be to 2013 NFL first-round pick Tavon Austin (5-foot-9), who will play this season for the St. Louis Rams.
ALL-TIME CAL-HI SPORTS
BOYS STATE ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
(Selected by Cal-Hi Sports)
2012-13 – Khalfani Muhammad, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (football, track)
2011-12 – Khalfani Muhammad, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (football, track)
2010-11 – Marqise Lee, Gardena Serra (football, basketball, track)
2009-10 – Robert Woods, Gardena Serra (football, track)
2008-09 – Tyler Gaffney, San Diego Cathedral Catholic (football, baseball)
2007-08 – German Fernandez, Riverbank (cross country, track)
2006-07 – Mike Stanton, SO Notre Dame (football, basketball, baseball)
2005-06 – Chase Budinger, Carlsbad La Costa Canyon (basketball, volleyball)
2004-05 – Drew Shiller, Burlingame (football, basketball, baseball)
2003-04 – Kenny O’Neal, Oakland Skyline (football, track)
2002-03 – Steve Smith, Woodland Hills Taft (football, basketball, track)
2001-02 – Aaron Piersol, Newport Beach Newport Harbor (swimming)
2000-01 – Antwon Guidry, San Jose Leigh (football, basketball, track)
1999-00 – D.J. Williams, Concord De La Salle (football, track)
1998-99 – Chris Lewis, Long Beach Poly (football, volleyball)
1997-98 – C.C. Sabathia, Vallejo (football, basketball, baseball)
1996-97 – Ken-Yon Rambo, Long Beach Poly (football, track)
1995-96 – Chris Claiborne, Riverside J.W. North (football, basketball)
1994-95 – Eric Guerrero, San Jose Independence (wrestling)
1993-94 – McKay Christensen, Fresno Clovis West (football, baseball)
1992-93 – Calvin Harrison, Salinas North Salinas (track, basketball)
1991-92 – Jason Kidd, Alameda St. Joseph (basketball, baseball)
1990-91 – Rob Johnson, El Toro (football, basketball, baseball)
1989-90 – Ryan Hancock, Cupertino Monta Vista (football, baseball)
1988-89 – Lorenzo Neal, Lemoore (football, wrestling)
1987-88 – Adam Keefe, Irvine Woodbridge (basketball, volleyball)
1986-87 – LeRon Ellis, Santa Ana Mater Dei (water polo, basketball, track)
1985-86 – Brian Johnson, Oakland Skyline (football, baseball)
1984-85 – George Porter, Lompoc Cabrillo (basketball, track)
1983-84 – John Williams, L. A. Crenshaw (basketball)
1982-83 – Mike Smith, Hac. Heights Los Altos (football, basketball, volleyball)
1981-82 – Jim McCullough, Hemet (football, wrestling)
1980-81 – Kevin Willhite, Rancho Cordova (football, track)
1979-80 – Darryl Strawberry, L.A. Crenshaw (basketball, baseball)
1978-79 – John Elway, Granada Hills (football, baseball)
1977-78 – Jesse Vasallo, Mission Viejo (swimming)
1976-77 – Brian Goodell, Mission Viejo (swimming)
1975-76 – Greg Louganis, El Cajon Valhalla & Santa Ana (diving)
1974-75 – Bill Cartwright, Elk Grove (basketball)
1973-74 – Tim Shaw, Long Beach Wilson (water polo, swimming)
1972-73 – Lonnie Shelton, Bakersfield Foothill (football, track)
1971-72 – Scott McGregor, El Segundo (baseball)
1970-71 – Anthony Davis, San Fernando (football, baseball)
1969-70 – James McAlister, Pasadena Blair (football, track)
1968-69 – Jeff Burroughs, Long Beach Wilson (football, baseball)
1967-68 – Mark Spitz, Santa Clara (water polo, swimming)
1966-67 – Mickey Cureton, Compton Centennial (football)
1965-66 – Tim Danielson, Chula Vista (track)
1964-65 – Paul Wilson, Downey Warren (track)
1963-64 – Don Schollander, Santa Clara (water polo, swimming)
1962-63 – Tommie Smith, Lemoore (football, basketball, track)
1961-62 – Forrest Beaty, Glendale Hoover (track)
1960-61 – Ulis Williams, Compton (track)
1959-60 – Dennis Ralston, Bakersfield (tennis)
1958-59 – Dale Story, Orange (track)
1957-58 – Willie Davis, L. A. Roosevelt (basketball, baseball, track)
1956-57 – Bill Kilmer, Azusa Citrus (football, basketball, baseball)
1955-56 – Fred Lacour, S.F. St. Ignatius (basketball)
1954-55 – Dick Bass, Vallejo (football)
1953-54 – Don Bowden, San Jose Lincoln (track)
1952-53 – Ronnie Knox, Santa Monica (football)
1951-52 – Marty Keough, Pomona (football, basketball, baseball)
1950-51 – Charlie Powell, San Diego (football, baseball)
1949-50 – Lang Stanley, L.A. Jefferson (track)
1948-49 – John Henry Johnson, Pittsburg (football, basketball, track)
1947-48 – Bob Mathias, Tulare (football, track)
1946-47 – Bill McColl, San Diego Hoover (football, basketball, baseball)
1945-46 – George Stanich, Sacramento (basketball, baseball, track)
1944-45 – Jackie Jensen, Oakland (football, baseball)
1943-44 – Bill Sharman, Porterville (football, basketball, baseball)
1942-43 – Glenn Davis, La Verne Bonita (football, baseball)
1941-42 – Irv Noren, Pasadena (basketball, baseball)
1940-41 – Tommie Fears, Los Angeles Manual Arts (football)
1939-40 – Howie Dallmar, San Francisco Lowell (basketball, baseball)
1938-39 – Jim Jurkovich, Fresno (football, track)
1937-38 – Frankie Albert, Glendale (football, baseball, tennis)
1936-37 – Jackie Robinson, Pasadena Muir (football, basketball, baseball)
1935-36 – Bobby Doerr, Los Angeles Fremont (pro baseball)
1934-35 – Ted Williams, San Diego Hoover (baseball)
1933-34 – Hank Luisetti, San Francisco Galileo (basketball)
1932-33 – Don Budge, Oakland University (tennis)
1931-32 – Corney Johnson, Los Angeles (track)
1930-31 – Frank Sobrero, Oakland (football, basketball, baseball)
Note: List continues back to 1890-91 in the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book & Almanac. All selections prior to 1978-79 done retroactively through research by our founder, the late Nelson Tennis.
Mark Tennis contributed to this post.