NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week's honorees in action are Sam Metcalf (left) of Farmersville and Joey DeMarco from Torrey Pines of San Diego. Photos: & John DeMarco (Joey's dad).

Two of this week’s honorees in action are Sam Metcalf (left) of Farmersville and Joey DeMarco of Torrey Pines. Photos: & Joey’s dad.

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 Farmersville, San Francisco, Petaluma, Upland, San Diego and La Quinta.

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 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 Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Sam Metcalf (Farmersville) Sr.

Much was made earlier this season when Folsom’s Jake Browning broke the career state passing record of 11,022 yards set in 2005 by Valencia’s Michael Herrick. Metcalf has now gone past that total as well and is now No. 2 on the all-time list at 11,091 yards, according to CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett.
Metcalf mug 200
While it wasn’t the seven-touchdown performance he had earlier this season, Sam passed for a season-high 496 yards when he completed 32 of his 53 pass attempts with four touchdowns during a 45-42 win over Immanuel of Reedley.

Not known for rushing, Metcalf also ran for a season-high 30 yards on seven carries. On the year, he has thrown for 2,527 yards and 30 touchdowns with just two interceptions in six games as the Aztecs have won four in a row and are looking to defend their CIF Central Section Division VI championship. Metcalf also now has 130 career TD passes and could get to No. 2 all-time in the state behind Browning in that category as well.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Niamey Harris (Mission, San Francisco) Soph.

Balboa of San Francisco was looking for the lead in the fourth quarter when it trailed Mission 18-16 before this sophomore changed the momentum of the game in a big way.
Player of the Week 120
Harris intercepted a pass deep in the end zone and returned it all the way to the other end zone for a 106-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Bears would go on and outscore the Buccaneers 28-0 in the fourth quarter for a 46-16 win.

While the big play by Harris doesn’t tie the state record for longest interception return for a score of 108 yards it does earn him a spot in the state record book and it appears to be tied for the longest interception return TD in Northern California history.

“I actually saw the 106-yard TD on a pick six way back in 1973 when Earl Hanibal did it for now closed Norte Del Rio of Sacramento in a game against Foothill,” said Cal-Hi Sports editor Mark Tennis. “I was just in junior high myself but remember going to that game in the rain at the Highlands Bowl and took the bus myself. It’s the first big play like that I ever recall seeing myself.”

Harris, by the way, is a promising young athlete for the Bears. He started as a freshman last year for Mission’s varsity basketball team.

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

Matt Abramo (Casa Grande, Petaluma) Sr.

It has been a tough season for the Gauchos to score points and win games this season, but they have won two of their last three after a 19-14 win over Maria Carrillo of Santa Rosa and this future Washington State Cougars’ kicker (who’s also regarded as one of the top kickers in the state) played a big part in that win.

Kicking seven points with his leg, he made an extra point and two field goals, including a long of 41 yards, while also handling punting and kickoff duties.

All five of Abramo’s kickoffs went for touchbacks while he averaged 34 yards a punt with three of his four punts pinning the Pumas inside their own 20-yard line.

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Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Sarkis Panossian (Western Christian, Upland) Sr.

In a game that saw teammate Anthony Hudson with a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, this senior did it all as the Fighting Lancers hung on for their second win of the season by a 47-44 final score over Aquinas of San Bernardino.

Making the most of his 30 carries, Panossian rushed for 272 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw a 62-yard touchdown pass on his lone pass attempt on the night.

The main reason we decided to choose him for this honor this week, however, is everything else he did to contribute to the win. On defense, Panossian had 10 tackles and forced a fumble. On special teams, he did all of the kicking and made five PATs.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Joey DeMarco (Torrey Pines, San Diego) Sr.

DeMarco mugThe Torrey Pines defense is one of the best in San Diego (judging from a narrow 8-7 defeat against Cathedral Catholic) and DeMarco was a terror at defensive end in last Friday’s 14-0 shutout victory over El Camino of Oceanside.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder charged in for four sacks, batted away a pass, forced a fumble, hurried the QB three other times and was credited with 10.5 total tackles.

DeMarco also played every snap on offense as a tackle and was credited with two pancake blocks.

In addition to football, the senior also has been one of the top shot putters in the San Diego Section in track & field. He also boasts a 3.53 GPA and could be sleeper D1 college prospect.

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

Lucas Norblom (La Quinta) Sr.

Since a one-point loss in their season opener, the Blackhawks haven’t lost a game and they won again 63-21 at Coachella Valley of Thermal last Friday night to improve to 8-1.

It was a perfect night for this senior kicker as well. Norblom went a perfect 7 for 7 on extra point attempts while also making both of his field goal attempts with a season-long of 43 yards.

Including a game earlier this season that saw him go 12 for 12 on extra point attempts (a total that gets his name into the state record book), Norblom has made 62 of 64 this season with a perfect 4-for-4 on the year on field goal attempts.

Also La Quinta’s punter and kicker, he had nine of his 10 kickoffs go for touchbacks against the Arabs.

Paul Muyskens contributed to this content item. Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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  1. Sara Hayes
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Th e Blackhawks will miss LucasNorblom next year. !!!

  2. Salpi Panossian
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    My Son is Sarkis Panossian #9 Running Back! I want to thank So Cal for taking notice of my son’s contributions on the Western Christian High School Fighting Lancers team and his talent!!! Hard work pays off!!! Thank you!!!
    RES9ECT #9

  3. Tracy Norblom
    Posted October 28, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Wow what a great surprise for our son. Kicking is a lot of hard work and kickers don’t get much positive recognition. Thanks for the props CalHi Sports!
    Proud parents of Goldentoe

  4. Chacho Libre
    Posted October 29, 2014 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    @markjtennis – My son, Jason Requejo, holds the record for the longest interception return for a touchdown, 108 yards, back in 97´, Carpinteria vs Santa Paula. I was at the game, and video shot from the end zone by a friend revealed my son juggling the ball at the back of the end zone while trying to stay inbounds, before gaining control and sprinting to the other end zone. Still insist the record should be 109 yards. Hope his record stands for the ages.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted October 29, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      There is another 108-yarder on the books but it should be very hard to break. It’s not really a smart play, you know, to bring it back out unless the offensive player has fallen down and the returner has clear sailing back up the field at least 30 yards or so. Carpinteria’s Shad Lara also still holds the state record for most interceptions in a season with 17.

  5. Jason Metcalf
    Posted November 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    On behalf of Sam Metcalf thank you for the recognition and he will continue to work hard! See you at the top

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