SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

The NorCal Defensive Player of the Week is Ben Schrider from St. Mary's of Berkeley while the SoCal Offensive Player of the Week is Santa Margarita's K.J. Costello. Photos: Student Sports.

The NorCal Defensive Player of the Week is Ben Schrider from Berkeley St. Mary’s while the SoCal Offensive POW is Santa Margarita’s K.J. Costello. Photos: Student Sports.


Only one is named from each region for offense, defense and special teams and we’re going to do our best to spread it around as much as possible. This week’s honors go to Santa Margarita, Carlsbad, El Toro, Ridgeview of Bakersfield, St. Mary’s of Berkeley and Patterson.

Note: For purposes of this feature, we are considering the CIF Central Section to be in the north.

To nominate a player for next week, email markjtennis@gmail.com by Monday at 12 noon and be sure to include a photo that we can use (which means it’s not from the local newspaper or from another web site). Please feel free to call at 209-463-9050 as well both for nominations or to see if your business or small company would like to become a sponsor for this weekly content. Thanks to Stockton office assistant Paul Muyskens for contributing to these selections and writeups.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

K.J. Costello (Santa Margarita, Rancho Santa Margarita) Jr.
The well-built 6-4, 205-pounder has had an amazing start to the season and has set records in both games for the Eagles, which helped them become our highest ranked newcomer this week into our state rankings at No. 20 overall. During their 56-27 win on Friday night against Santiago of Corona (led by Elite 11 MVP Blake Barnett), Costello passed for 408 yards and four touchdowns. That helped Santa Margarita set a school record for yards in a game with 618, according to school SID Adrian Peters. Already this season, Costello also has set the school record for completions in a game with 27 the week before in Santa Margarita’s season opener. Costello happens to be one of the nation’s top junior quarterbacks.
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Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defense Player of the Week

Troy Cassidy (Carlsbad) Jr.
A 6-foot-3 outside linebacker with the hands to play tight end, he already has a touchdown catch this season but he had a bigger impact on defense with 15 tackles, one sack and forced a fumble as the Lancers got their first win of the season defeating Lincoln of San Diego 45-0. In two games, Cassidy has a total of 25 tackles, two forced fumbles, two sacks and has three receptions for 33 yards and one TD. Cassidy is regarded as one of the top junior linebackers in the CIF San Diego Section.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Kaleb Fossum (El Toro, Lake Forest) Sr.
While contributing on offense with five catches, it was on special teams that Fossum made a huge impact for the Chargers in their 34-28 win over Capistrano Valley. Playing against a team that had last week’s honoree in this category, Fossum returned two punts for touchdowns to beat the Cougars. Fossum also plays baseball for the Chargers.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Sheldon Croney (Ridgeview, Bakersfield) Sr.
While the uniform he is wearing has changed from last year when he played for Garces of Bakersfield, the results haven’t changed much as the BVarsity Offensive Player of the Year. Croney, who rushed for 2,377 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior, is off to the races this year and the Wolf Pack are 2-0 after a 42-21 win at Liberty of Bakersfield. Playing against a team that knocked off Mission Viejo in its first game, Croney racked up 288 yards on 25 carries and scored twice. He also showed why Division I schools like Boise State, Fresno State and Oregon State have offered him. Sheldon is a cousin of former NFL standout linebacker Joey Porter, who is from Foothill of Bakersfield.
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Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Ben Schrider (St. Mary’s, Berkeley)
While some recruiting services have him as a tight end , it was on the defensive side of the ball that he stood out to us last season and last week. Schrider, who we noticed for the first time as a sophomore doing tests at the NorCal Nike SPARQ Combine, had a big game last Saturday as he recorded 5.5 sacks and caused a fumble during a 17-6 win over Miramonte of Orinda. Miramonte was last year’s CIF North Coast Section Division II champion so the win offered more proof that St. Mary’s could be in store for a special season.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Special Teams Player of the Week

Damarrio Hammonds (Patterson) Sr.
One of the most exciting players in the Stanislaus District of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, Hammonds had an 82-yard punt return TD plus another 20-yard punt return to help the Tigers knock off Ripon 38-14. In Patterson’s first game, Hammonds also had a 45-yard punt return. He’s obviously more than just returning kicks, though. Hammonds shines as a corner on defense (he had an interception in the first game) and he’s also caught four TD passes in his first two games.

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


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