SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week's honorees are Brock Johnson (left) of Mission Viejo and Justin Rice from Modesto Central Catholic. Photos: Miguel Vasconcellos/ &

Two of this week’s honorees are Brock Johnson (left) of Mission Viejo and Justin Rice from Modesto Central Catholic. Photos: Miguel Vasconcellos/ & John Westberg/The Modesto Bee.

In the last set of honorees for football before this feature switches to boys and girls basketball next week, three of them are from teams ranked in the top five of the state rankings while another is from a team that has 10 straight shutout wins. The complete group is from Mission Viejo, Bellflower, San Diego, Modesto, Merced and Concord.

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 (remember switching to basketball), 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).

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Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Brock Johnson (Mission Viejo) Sr.

We’ve seen a picture before somewhere of the day when NFL QB Mark Sanchez was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets. That kid sitting next to him was the grandson of Mark’s high school coach, Bob Johnson of Mission Viejo, and last week that grown-up kid, Brock Johnson, broke a school record at Mission Viejo that Sanchez had set previously by throwing seven touchdown passes in one game.

Brock’s connection to Sanchez had to make last week’s outing in Mission Viejo’s 56-21 win over Chino Hills in the CIF Southern Section West Valley Division semifinals that much more special. He completed 13 of 18 passes for 372 yards in the win, connecting five times for TDs in the first half from 55, 51, 54, 54 and 11 yards.

Four of the scores went to sophomore Austin Osborne (six catches, 208 yards) while two were to Jason Lee and one went to Brenden Schooler.

Johnson, who has now passed for 3,091 yards on the season, and the rest of the unbeaten Diablos (ranked fifth in the state) will now take on No. 17 Vista Murrieta at Vista Murrieta on Friday in the CIFSS West Valley final.

Callier's return next season ensures that Bosco will have a centerpiece player on defense. Photo:

Callier’s return next season ensures that Bosco will have a centerpiece player on defense. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Jacob Callier (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Jr.

A 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end who was on our All State Sophomore Team last year, Callier has had a dominating season for the Braves’ defense.

Also regarded as an elite recruit for the Class of 2017, Callier scored twice on defense in Bosco’s 63-10 romp past Bishop Amat of La Puente in the CIFSS Pac-5 Division semifinals. He first returned a fumble 33 yards for a score and later intercepted a pass and returned it 42 yards for six points.

Both touchdowns were Callier’s first scores on the year. To watch him score the back to back touchdowns, CLICK HERE.

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

Matt Araiza (Rancho Bernardo, San Diego) Soph.

Just a sophomore, Araiza was perfect during the Broncos’ 48-14 win over Otay Ranch of Chula Vista in the CIF San Diego Section Division II playoffs.

On PATs in the game, Araiza went a perfect 7 for 7, but more impressively added 2 for 2 on field goal attampts, including a season-longest field goal of 45 yards. Amazingly, that perfection also was achieved on kickoffs since all 10 of Araiza’s during the game sailed into the end zone for touchbacks.

For the season, Araiza also has now increased his season total for field goals to 15, which is reportedly the highest total in the state.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Justin Rice (Central Catholic, Modesto) Sr.

One of two Players of the Week that set a school-record during a playoff win last week, he rushed for 308 yards and five touchdowns during a 48-14 win over Placer in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinals.

Now with 1,993 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns on the year, Rice should go over the 2,000 yard mark when the 13-0 Raiders face 12-1 Oakdale this week in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship game. Rice previously rushed for 288 yards in a 42-37 win by Central Catholic over Oakdale that ended the regular season.

Also on the year, this Fresno State recruit has rushed for over 200 yards in four games with three of those performances being at least 285 yards.
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Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Mark Hooker (Stone Ridge Christian, Merced) Sr.

As expected,the Knights recorded their 10th straight shutout with a 69-0 win over Big Valley Christian of Modesto in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII championship game and Hooker led the way for that defense with a whopping 5.5 sacks.

For the season, Hooker has 28.5 sacks with his best single game performance coming the night before Halloween when he recorded 6.5 against Turlock Christian.

With the shutout win, the Knights set a Cal-Hi Sports state record for consecutive shutout wins in a season with 10 and they tied the state record for consecutive shutouts in a season.

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

Antoine Custer (De La Salle, Concord) Sr.

Known more for his play as a running back, he turned heads on defense and special teams in the state top-ranked Spartans’ 70-14 victory over Pittsburg in the CIF North Coast Section Division I semifinals.

Kicking it to De La Salle on either punts or kickoffs has for years been a tricky proposition at best and doing it this year with Custer back there might almost be suicidal.

Against Pitt, Custer helped get the Spartans out to a quick lead by returning a punt for a score. Then later in the first quarter he struck by returning an interception into the end zone.

Combined with a kickoff return for a touchdown from earlier this season, Custer has now scored this season for the Spartans in five different ways – rushing, receiving, interception return, kickoff return, punt return.

Thanks to Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens for contributions to this post. 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. Matt araiza
    Posted December 1, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    First I would like to say thank you for recognizing me but your article about me has many errors. I was 2/3 on field goals. My season longest was a 42 not 45. And for kickoffs I only hit 2 touch backs but the other 8 had such a long hang time we pinned them inside the 20 yardline 6 times. One of the two times they broke the 20 I was the one with the tackle. Again thank you for the recognition I just thought I would clear things up.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted December 1, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for clearing that up, Matt. But all of the info used was taken from Rancho Bernardo’s MaxPreps page. It’s still there. 2 for 2 FG, 10 for 10 touchbacks, 7×7 PATs, long of 45. The person inputting stats for RB needs to be corrected as well.

      • Matt Araiza
        Posted December 2, 2015 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Oh I apologize for that, I will talk to my coach about it next practice.

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