South Bay/Peninsula Players of Week

Le Boulanger South Bay/Peninsula Defensive Player of the Week Michael Swift (left) from San Jose Branham poses with teammate Noah Viney after win over Mt. Pleasant of San Jose. Both teams were 8-0. Photo: John Murphy/Prep2Prep.com.

Le Boulanger South Bay/Peninsula Defensive Player of the Week Michael Swift (left) from San Jose Branham poses with teammate Leo Gonzalez after win over Mt. Pleasant of San Jose. Both teams were 8-0. Photo: John Murphy/Prep2Prep.com.

Presented by LE BOULANGER bakery, this is the latest in a new feature highlighting the most outstanding players from the South Bay/Peninsula region of the CIF Central Coast Section. This week’s three honorees are Michael Swift from Branham of San Jose, Gabe Campos from Capuchino of San Bruno and Cole Bunce from Bellarmine of San Jose. CLICK HERE for details on how South Bay/Peninsula football fans can win 2 free San Francisco 49ers tickets.

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Le Boulanger South Bay/Peninsula
Defensive Player of the Week

Michael Swift (Branham, San Jose) Jr.

The Bruins’ 5-foot-8, 150-pound junior cornerback may be more the size of a cub than a Bruin but on the football field he’s been a huge part of why Branham is 9-0 (6-0 in the West Valley League) and looking to make some noise in the upcoming CIF Central Coast Section Division III playoffs.

Swift mug 200With a win this week over crosstown Yerba Buena (3-6, 2-4), the Bruins will have turned around a team that was 1-9 two years ago and enter the playoffs undefeated. The Branham offense has been very productive but the defense with Swift as its leader has been vise-like, giving up an average of just over nine points a game.

“Michael is our emotional leader. He’s fiery, energetic and gets the team going,” Branham head coach Nick Gardiner told Cal-Hi Sports.

Last week in a 38-7 victory over cross-town league rival Mt. Pleasant that also was 8-0 entering the day, Swift was charged with legal theft after picking off two passes for interceptions to go along with five tackles coming up to stop the run.

With the two picks last week, Swift also now has five interceptions this season.

Le Boulanger South Bay/Peninsula
Offensive Player of the Week

Gabe Campos (Capuchino, San Bruno) Sr.

The 5-foot-8 senior usually doesn’t start for the Mustangs, but got an opportunity in last Friday’s home game against Jefferson of Daly City and delivered what the San Mateo Daily Journal called “the best performance of his life.”

In leading Cap to a 35-9 victory, Campos racked up a career-high of 185 yards rushing on just 14 carries. The most remarkable aspect of his night, though, was that he scored touchdowns on his first three carries on bursts of 60, 80 and 5 yards.

Choosing Campos for this honor also should be looked as a shout out to the entire Capuchino team, which was 0-10 last season and improved to 5-4 with last week’s triumph.

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Le Boulanger South Bay/Peninsula
Special Teams Player of the Week

Cole Bunce (Bellarmine, San Jose) Jr.

If the Bells have the ball toward the end of the first half in their huge game on Saturday against Serra of San Mateo, it’s a good chance that Bunce will be warming up for a field goal attempt.

In last week’s 17-14 victory over St. Francis that pushed the Bells to 8-1 overall, Bunce nailed a 45-yard field goal to close the first half. And since Bellarmine won by three points, the boot ended up being very important.

It wasn’t the first time he made a long field goal at the end of the first half in a big game. Bunce also did it with a 39-yard field goal when Bellarmine topped St. Ignatius of San Francisco 31-28. Again, it was a three-point win.

Note: To send in nominations for next week’s LE BOULANGER South Bay/Peninsula Players of the Week, send info to markjtennis@gmail.com or to marketingharoldabend@gmail.com. Please include usable photo if possible as well, which means not from a newspaper or major national website.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at marketingharoldabend@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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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