SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Norco's Victor Viramontes amassed more than 500 yards combined in rushing & passing and eight TDs in 71-70 three-overtime win vs. St. Bonaventure. Photo: Gary Evans/

Norco’s Victor Viramontes amassed more than 500 yards combined in rushing & passing and eight touchdowns in 71-70 three-overtime victory vs. St. Bonaventure of Ventura. Photo: Gary Evans/

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 Norco, Lake Forest, La Canada, Rio Linda, Milpitas and Piedmont.

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.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Victor Viramontes (Norco) Jr.

It would have been hard not to pick someone from the Cougars’ 71-70 win in triple overtime over St. Bonaventure of Ventura in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Viramontes, who is a 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior who is having a breakout season, passed for 214 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 324 yards and five more scores in the crazy contest.

We have seen some numbers reported even higher from his performance but for now we are going with the stats that we saw reported by the Ventura County Star.

For the season, Viramontes has 1,732 yards and 18 TDs passing with 1,586 yards and 17 TDs rushing.

Norco will now have to take on No. 1 St. John Bosco of Bellflower this week.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Joshua Sanchez (El Toro, Lake Forest) Sr.

The standout linebacker had 15 total tackles with four for loss as the Chargers defeated Los Alamitos in the opening round of the CIF West Valley Division playoffs.
Player of the Week 120
Los Alamitos came into the contest at 9-1 and was looked at as a darkhorse contender.

On the season, Sanchez leads the team with 92 total tackles and he will look to break 100 this week when El Toro plays at home against Great Oak of Temecula.

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

Areg Nazarian (St. Francis, La Canada) Jr.

Starting from the opening kickoff that he returned for six points, it was a night to remember for this junior speedster.

Nazarian later returned a second kickoff for a touchdown as the Golden Knights defeated Mayfair of Lakewood 49-14 in the CIFSS Southeast Division playoffs.

In addition to the kick returns, Nazarian also carried the ball 15 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns and he caught a TD pass for five in all.

With the win, St. Francis improved to 11-0 and remained No. 1 in the Cal-Hi Sports Division II South bowl game rankings.

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Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Marcel Brown (Rio Linda) Sr.

With over 1,400 rushing yards during the regular season, Brown has had several big performances this season but none have been bigger than what he did during a 62-51 victory against Placer of Auburn in the opening round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

Brown, who was on last year’s All-State Underclass team and was on the preseason all-section squad, piled up 349 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries and now has 30 TDs for the season.

The 6-foot, 210-pounder, who has offers from Arizona, Nevada, San Jose State, Washington, Utah and others, should go past 5,000 career yards in this week’s playoff game against Sierra of Manteca.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Christian Rita (Milpitas) Sr.

We honored Christian earlier this season as a South Bay/Peninsula Player of the Week but his pick-six ability has him taking home another honor from us, this time for all of Northern California.
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Rita had two interception returns for scores during a 56-0 win by the Trojans last week over Santa Clara. It also gives him five pick-six scores on the season.

In the same game, Rita caught a 45-yard touchdown pass for his eighth touchdown catch while on offense this season. He also has three kick returns for scores.

Milpitas and Rita take a 10-0 record into this week’s CIF Central Coast Section Open Division contest against 8-2 Bellarmine.

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

Andrew Strauch (Piedmont) Sr.

Recently mentioned as one of the top kickers in the state on a blog by prestigious kicking guru Chris Sailer, Strauch he was a perfect 7 for 7 on extra points and kicked a 31-yard field goal as the Highlanders moved to 11-0 with a 52-8 win over Kennedy of Richmond in the opening round of the CIF NCS Division IV playoffs.

Strauch already has been named to his all-league team for the second year in a row and enters this week 57 for 59 on extra points with six field goals and he has boomed 51 of his 61 kickoffs for touchbacks.

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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