Welcome to the fourth annual Bay Area 75 — SportStars’ countdown of the top 75 Bay Area athletes from the 2015-16 school year. The only criteria used in generating the list were that the athletes must be from one of the nine Bay Area counties, and they must have played in a sport which culminated in a sanctioned section title or reached a national-level of success.
Note: This article/list is from our partners at SportStars Magazine. The magazine currently covers the San Francisco Bay Area and CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. This list includes at least one athlete from each county and has 15 different sports represented. All sports fans know rankings are an opinion, and certainly subjective. They also spark debate and conversation. Reach out to SportStars on on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #BA75. For more info on the magazine and company, CLICK HERE.
75. Uriah Howard
Miramonte-Orinda, Basketball, Senior
The Eastern Washington-commit was a force in the paint for the 32-1 Matadors. She averaged 13.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.5 steals for the CIF NorCal Open Division champs.
74. Bubba Gomez
Fremont Christian, Baseball, Freshman
It was a brilliant two-way season for the frosh. He was 13-3 with three saves and a 0.55 ERA in 24 appearances (12 starts). He had 181 striekouts and three no-hitters in 89.1 innings of work. At the plate, he hit .500 with 55 RBI on 44 hits.
73. Megan McCandless
Granada-Livermore, Cross Country/Track, Senior
She closed our her incredibly consistent career with a second-place finish in the CIF State Div. II race one week after winning the NCS Div. II title. Her state time was the fastest of any East Bay girl that day. In the spring, she was NCS runner-up in the 3200 meters and finished 7th at state.
72. Nina Bessolo
Castro Valley, Basketball, Senior
The 5-foot, 11-inch, UC Davis-bound forward was a matchup nightmare for opponents. She averaged 17.7 points and 9.6 rebounds in leading the Trojans to an NCS Div. I title and CIF NorCal Div. I runner-up finish.
71. Rashaan Fontenette
Oak Grove-San Jose, Football, Senior
He was named the San Jose Mercury News Player of the Year and was a SportStars All-NorCal selection after rushing for 2,538 yards, 36 total TDs and leading his team to a Central Coast Section title.
70. Kate Formico
Archbishop Mitty-San Jose, Volleyball, Junior
The first-team All-Mercury News player led the Monarchs’ staunch defense and ball-control game with 492 digs (4.1 per set). Her pivotal play helped Mitty win CCS, NorCal and state titles.
69. Kaylie Collins
Carondelet-Concord, Soccer, Senior
When the Cougars top scorer was lost to injury, they put their faith in Collins and the defense. The USC-bound goalkeeper responded with just 10 goals allowed and 112 saves to lead Carondelet to the NCS Div. I final.
68. Oscar Frayer
Moreau Catholic-Hayward, Basketball, Senior
The Grand Canyon-signee averaged 15.8 points and 9.6 rebounds for the NCS Div. III champions. A four-year standout, he will go down as one of school’s all-time best.
67. Bennett Williams
St. Francis-Mountain View, Football, Junior
A true ballhawk, Williams was in on 25 pass defenses and had nine interceptions. He also racked up 81 tackles and three forced fumbles. His efforts landed him on the SportStars All-NorCal defense.
Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F., Basketball, Junior
Thomas scored 30 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked 3 shots in the CIF State Div. III final, which the Irish won 50-47. She averaged 23.3 points and 11.8 rebounds on the season.
65. Ryan Werner
Bellarmine-San Jose, Water polo, Senior
The Mercury News Boys Water Polo Player of the Year scored 87 goals on this season to help lift the Bells to a Central Coast Section Div. I championship.
64. Jonathan Harvey
De La Salle-Concord, Football/Track, Senior
In the fall, Harvey caught 13 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns, including one in the Spartans’ CIF Open Div. State Bowl victory. In the spring, he swept the NCS Meet of Champions hurdles events.
63. Jake Bergstrom
Bellarmine-San Jose, Football, Senior
The linchpin of the Bells defense, Bergstrom posted 103 tackles, three sacks and an interception — earning a spot on the SportStars All-NorCal Defense. The University of San Diego-bound talent was a major reason Bellarmine reached the CIF Div. I State Bowl.
62. Devin Spencer
Monte Vista-Danville, Lacrosse, Senior
The University of Massachusetts-bound attacker had two goals and four assists in the Mustangs’ NCS Div. I final win over De La Salle. Monte Vista finished 22-1, but were undefeated on the field as the only loss was an early-season forfeit.
61. Albert Gwo
Los Altos, Swimming, Senior
The Cal-bound sprinting talent won a pair of CCS titles before repeating as the 50 freestyle CIF state champion. He also added a state runner-up finish in the 100 freestyle.
60. Jake Peralta
Clayton Valley Charter-Concord, Football, Senior
The wiry safety had 116 tackles, five interceptions and a whopping 19 pass break-ups. In the CIF Div. II-AA State Bowl, he also served as the emergency starting QB for Clayton Valley’s run-heavy offense and rushed for 123 yards and a TD.
59. Miranda Heckman
Granada-Livermore, Swimming, Freshman
The Matadors next distance star won both the 200 and 500 freestyles in her first NCS Championship Meet. Then she set the CIF state meet record (4:46.13) during qualifying for the 500 freestyle. She would win the 500 and finish third in the 200.
58. Isaiah Hodgins
Berean Christian-Walnut Creek, Football, Junior
The dynamic and long-framed wide receiver pledged to Washington State after setting Bay Area bests in 2015 with 94 catches and 1,483 yards. He had 29 total TDs and also added 36 tackles and six interceptions on defense.
57. Jordan Parker
Pittsburg, Football, Senior
The Oklahoma-bound cornerback was named to SportStars’ All-NorCal Defense for a second straight year after he battled through an early-season ankle injury to still produce 28 tackles and three interceptions. He also added 455 receiving yards and five TDs on offense.
56. Conner Roberts
De La Salle-Concord, Baseball, Senior
The first of two Spartans lights-out aces on this list, Roberts went 10-0 with a 0.79 ERA in 14 appearances (10 starts). He struck out 82 and walked just 22 in 61.1 innings. He was the winning pitcher in the NCS Div. I championship game.
55. Maddy Holland
Archbishop Mitty-San Jose, Basketball, Junior
She was named Mercury News Player of the Year and first-team All-NorCal after pacing a potent Monarchs team. She led the Central Coast Section Open Div. champs in scoring (10.8), rebounds (8.9) and assists (3.9).
54. Grace Roberts-Burbank
Branson-Ross, Volleyball, Senior
Burbank was a second-team MaxPreps.com Small Schools All-American after averaging five kills per set and 93 percent serving (37 aces) for the CIF Div. V state champions. She will play for Harvard next fall.
53. Jonas Skulstad
Monte Vista-Danville, Soccer, Senior
A transfer from Egersund, Norway, Skulstad earned a rapid reputation as a major playmaker for the Mustangs. He finished the year with 10 goals and six assists and helped Monte Vista win the NCS Div. I title.
52. Damon Wiley
De La Salle-Concord, Football/Rugby, Senior
Wiley was the Bay Area News Group’s East Bay Player of the Year after leading the state champions in tackles (84), sacks (11) and tackles for loss (21). He was also an impact player in his first season of rugby, a sport he’ll play for Cal in the fall.
51. Chris Taylor-Yamanoha
Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park, Football, Senior
The Louisville-bound talent hauled in an impressive 82 catches for 1,473 yards and 23 touchdowns in helping lead the Cougars to a 8-4 season. Taylor-Yamanoha also rushed the ball eight times for 103 yards and three more scores.
50. Taylor Dixon
Liberty-Brentwood, Volleyball, Senior
The CSU San Marcos-bound outside hitter delivered a remarkable 34-kill, 23-dig performance in a five-set playoff loss to eventual NorCal finalist Monte Vista. Dixon finished the season with 473 kills, 351 digs and 64 aces.
49. Donovin Guerrero
De La Salle-Concord, Wrestling, Senior
Guerrero was the Bay Area News Group’s Wrestler of the Year after a season winning his third NCS title and was the highest East Bay finisher at the CIF State Tournament (2nd, 126 pounds). He finished his Spartans career with four EBAL titles, three NCS titles and two state medals.
48. Mata Hingano
California-San Ramon, Rugby, Senior
The accomplished fullback for Danville Oaks Rugby Club was named as a high school All-American and was a USA U20’s selection. She is a four-year Rugby NorCal All-Star and will be attending Army next year.
47. Luis Lopez
De Anza-Richmond, Soccer, Senior
With his 10 goals and 29 assists, Lopez made everything go for a Dons program which won its first NCS championship with a 2-0 win over Campolindo-Moraga. De Anza’s historic season ended with a 21-4-1 record.
46. Lexi Liebowitz
San Ramon Valley-Danville, Girls Water Polo, Junior
Despite playing for much of the season with a torn ligament in her shooting hand, she still scored 73 goals and dished out 72 assists, 37 steals and eight blocks in helping the Wolves win their fifth straight North Coast Section Div. I championship. She had 16 goals and 29 assists in the postseason.
45. Damari Milstead
Moreau Catholic-Hayward, Basketball, Junior
The versatile 6-foot guard was electric night-in and night-out, averaging 19.1 points and 5.4 assists to help the Mariners go 25-5 and win the North Coast Section Div. III title. He currently holds offers from Washington State, Oregon State, USC and Nevada, among others.
44. Isaiah Floyd
Foothill-Pleasanton, Football, Senior
Long-time Foothill coach Matt Sweeney once called him “the perfect football player,” and Floyd did much to earn the praise. In addition to being the top cornerback on defense, he also rushed for 1,850 yards as the featured tailback. He scored 38 total TDs for the NCS Div. I finalists.
43. Kirsten Sibley
Carondelet-Concord, Volleyball, Senior
The Hawaii-bound outside hitter wasn’t just a kill machine for the NCS Div. III runners-up. Sibley was named the Bay Area News Group’s East Bay Volleyball Player of the Year after a well-rounded season of 325 kills, 241 digs, 73 blocks and 68 aces.
42. Nick Sparks
De La Salle-Concord, Baseball, Senior
The other half of the Spartans’ one-two pitching punch, the Saint Mary’s-bound lefty went 11-0 with a 0.36 ERA in 13 appearances (10 starts). He struck out 62 and walked just 20 over 58.2 innings pitched for the NCS Div. I champs.
41. Aaron Banks
El Cerrito, Basketball, Junior
The litany of football offers for this 6-foot-7, 305-pound, four-star recruit include Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA and USC, — and that’s not even close to being the full list. In hoops, Banks averaged 10.2 points and six rebounds a game for a team that reached the CIF NorCal Div. II final.
40. Madelyn Murphy
Cardondelet-Concord, Swimming, Senior
On her final day swimming for Cardondelet, she set four NCS records (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 free relay) in her final NCS Championships appearance. She closed out her career with her name on five NCS marks.
39. Kevin Milam
Heritage-Brentwood, Baseball, Senior
The Saint Mary’s College commit is one of the area’s top pitchers who also happened to lead his team in nearly every offensive category. He hit .468 with 36 hits, 25 RBI and 17 extra-base hits. On the hill, he went 11-0 with one save and a 0.76 ERA in 13 appearances (11 starts). He struck out 78 and walked 18 over 73.1 innings.
38. Maddy Johnston
Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton, Water Polo, Senior
Johnston was undoubtedly the best player on the best CCS team. The San Jose Mercury News Player of the Year scored 97 goals with 66 steals to lead Sacred Heart to the CCS Div. II title.
37. Jack Newman
Analy-Sebatasopol, Football/Baseball, Junior
Newman was one of three QBs on the SportStars All-NorCal Team after throwing for 4,091 yards and 50 TDs — both Bay Area-bests. In spring, Newman hit .286 with 14 RBI for a 23-7 Tigers baseball team that reached the NCS Div. III final.
36. James Kelbert
Leland-San Jose, Water Polo/Swimming, Senior
In addition to being a lights-out keeper for water polo, Kelbert also shined in basketball for the second straight winter. He was on the SportStars All-NorCal team after averaged 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 3.7 assists for the CCS Div. II champs.
35. Jillienne Aguleira
Woodside-Priory, Soccer, Senior
Aguleira scored a Central Coast Section-best 39 goals this season to bring her career total to 105. Woodside won the CCS Open Div. title to finish 18-1-2. She’ll play at Arizona.
34. Katherine Claybaugh
San Ramon Valley-Danville, Volleyball, Senior
Her 450 kills (5.7 per set) were the most in NCS among teams on MaxPreps. She powered the Wolves to third in the ultracompetitive EBAL but was injured leading up to the playoffs.
33. Keanu Andrade
De La Salle-Concord, Football/Rugby, Senior
The Spartans’ linebacker tied for the team lead with 84 tackles. He had nine tackles-for-loss, four sacks, two passes defended and two fumble recoveries. In rugby, the fly-half is a four-year Rugby NorCal All-Star and a three-year High School All-American. He will play for rugby Cal in the fall.
32. Max Flower
Campolindo-Moraga, Football/Baseball, Senior
The Cougars’ two-sport star makes his second straight appearance in the Bay Area 75. He caught 59 passes for 985 yards and 14 touchdowns in the fall and then hit .345 in the spring while leading Campolindo in runs (23). The Cal Baseball-pledge had 29 hits and 17 RBI with a team-best 7 doubles.
31. Jake Haener
Monte Vista-Danville, Football, Junior
He’s established himself as the Bay Area’s top QB to watch for 2016. Haener completed 208 of 321 passes for a 65 percent completion rate. He racked up 3,005 passing yards, 35 TDs and just six interceptions. In May, he advanced to the finals of the Elite 11 national quarterback camp/competition.
30. Jake Killingsworth
Serra-San Mateo, Basketball, Senior
The Mercury News Basketball Player of the Year was also a SportStars’ first-team All-NorCal selection after averaging a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds for the CIF Div. II state champions. He scored 15 points and grabbed 16 boards in the state final.
29. Gillian Meeks
Gunn-Palo Alto, Cross Country/Track, Senior
Her winning time of 17 minutes, 16 seconds in the CIF Div. II state championship race was the Bay Area’s fastest girls time across all divisions on the Woodward Park course in Fresno. She was also the CCS champion in the 1600 meters and placed fifth in the event at the state meet.
28. Jack Cassidy
Campolindo-Moraga, Football/Baseball, Senior
The defensive leader for the Cougars football team, Cassidy was the leading tackler and had a team-best nine sacks. He also had one interception, two caused fumbles and one fumble recovery. On offense he rushed for 448 yards and 13 TD and caught 16 passes for three more TDs. During the spring, Cassidy hit .376 and led the team in hits (32) and RBI (24).
27. Alex Liang
Palo Alto, Swimming, Junior
The CCS champion in both events, Liang swam the 200 freestyle in a state-meet-record 1 minute, 36.65 seconds. He then went on to win the 500 freestyle in another state meet record, 4:23.41.
26. Darius Carbin
Mt. Pleasant-San Jose, Track, Senior
In addition to winning the CCS title in the triple jump with a leap of 48 feet, 1.75 inches, Carbin then won the high jump in grand fashion. Carbin cleared each of his three attempts at the CIF State Meet, and eventually won at 7 feet, 0 inches.
25. Briana Perez
Alhambra-Martinez, Softball, Junior
Perez returns to the Bay Area 75 after another phenomenal season at the plate. She hit .613 with a team-best 56 runs and six triples. Her season totals included 46 hits, 40 RBI, 6 doubles and 6 HR. She was also 21-for-21 in stolen base attempts.
24. Cooper Teare
St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda, Cross Country/Track, Junior
Teare notched state championships victories six months apart, both in photo finishes. He won the Div. V state race in 15:06.4, which was also the fastest time of any Bay Area boy at the state tournament. In the spring, he won the 3,200 state finals race by two-thousandths of a second.
23. Jacqueline DiSanto
Menlo-Atherton-Atherton, Volleyball, Senior
Disanto’s all-around game was very difficult to defend against. She finished with 310 kills, 56 aces, 355 digs and a 94 percent serve receive efficiency in 484 attempts; she led her team to a 27-8 record and its first CIF NorCal title.
22. Sara Choy
Saratoga, Tennis, Sophomore
Choy has been nothing short of dominant the past two seasons. She won her second consecutive CCS singles title this year. She also won three national age-group tournament championships. Choy has gone undefeated with a record of 59-0 in her two years at SHP
21. Danielle Williams
Amador Valley-Pleasanton, Softball, Sophomore
She went 20-4 in regular season with a 0.40 ERA and batted a team-best .477. She would lead the team with 31 hits, three triples, and two home runs. The Missouri-commit had 245 strikeouts through 144 IP.
20. Jared Horn
Vintage-Napa, Football/Baseball, Senior
Headed to Cal on a baseball scholarship, the right-hander went 9-2 with two saves and a 0.67 ERA in 15 appearances. He struck out 124 and walked just 17 in 73.2 innings of work. He was drafted by the Brewers in the 20th round of the MLB Draft, but will likely choose school. Horn also started at quarterback for the Vintage football team, throwing for 1,345 yards and nine TDs.
19. Karlee Sparacino
Alhambra-Martinez, Softball, Junior
It’s hard to stand out as a hitter in the loaded Bulldogs lineup, but the Oregon-commit did just that with a phenomenal season. She hit .620 and led the team in hits (49), RBI (57), extra-base hits (20) and home runs (7). She also scored 51 runs, had 10 doubles, three triples and was 22-for-23 in stolen base attempts.
18. Alexis Dirige
Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F., Volleyball, Senior
The Washington State-bound Dirige is a 5-foot-2 ball vacuum. She was a MaxPreps.com Medium Schools All-American after recording 687 digs, serving with 90.9 percent efficiency with 52 aces, and returning 555 serves for an Irish team which went 30-9 and were CIF NorCal Div. III runners-up.
17. Jullen Ison
Moreau Catholic-Hayward, Football/Basketball, Junior
Ison may be small in stature (5-foot-8), but he’s got big game on both sides of the football. His stats were video-game like in 2015, including 3,044 rushing yards and 45 touchdowns on offense, and 70 tackles, two sacks and an interception on defense. He also provided athleticism off the bench for the Mariners’ section-title-winning hoops team.
16. Minyon Moore
Salesian-Richmond, Basketball, Senior
The USC-bound Moore averaged 21 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 5.2 steals for a 27-win Pride team. She was a Cal-Hi Sports All-State Elite selection, as well as a SportStars 1st-Team All-NorCal selection. She scored 40 in a CIF Open Div. first-round upset of favored Archbishop Mitty-San Jose.
15. Holly Azevedo
Pioneer-San Jose, Softball, Junior
Landing in the Top 15 for the second straight year, the UCLA-commit has all but proven herself as the Bay Area’s most dominant pitcher. She went 25-3 in the circle with a 0.18 ERA, three perfect games and 17 shutouts. In 191 innings, she struck out 334 and walked just 16. She also hit .482 with 40 hits and 20 RBI.
14. Jeremy Ydens
St. Francis-Mountain View, Baseball, Senior
Another UCLA-bound talent, Ydens lands in the Top 20 for the second straight year after batting .453, with 38 runs, 48 hits, 14 RBI and 21 stolen bases. The gifted outfielder also took on a top pitching role this season and went 8-0 with a 0.96 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 65.2 innings as he helped lead the Lancers to back-to-back CCS Open titles.
13. Jordan Ratinho
De La Salle-Concord, Basketball, Senior
The USF-bound guard delivered whatever the Spartans needed on their way to 31 wins and a CIF NorCal Open Div. title. He was bestowed Player of the Year honors from multiple Bay Area publications as the best player for the region’s best team. He was also a 1st-Team SportStars All-NorCal selection.
12. Joel Schneidmiller
Saratoga, Volleyball/Basketball, Junior
The 6-foot-5 UC Irvine-commit was easily the Bay Area’s most feared outside hitter during the spring. He led the Falcons to a 33-6 record and the CIF NorCal Div. II title behind a staggering 770 kills (6.8/set), 73 aces, 148 blocks and 295 digs. In two varsity seasons, he’s totaled 1,202 kills and converted on 65.2 percent of his attempts. During basketball season, he was a key contributor as a scorer and rebounder.
11. Jurnee Woodward
Vacaville, Track, Junior
Woodward continues to carry on the tradition of elite Vacaville hurdlers, and has a chance to potentially finish as the most accomplished of them all. She was the state champ in the 300-meter hurdles title after falling in her qualifying heat but still managing to recover and finish third. In the finals, she ran the nation’s second-fastest time this season in 40.62 seconds to capture the victory. She also finished third in the 100 meter hurdles.
10. Devin Asiasi
De La Salle-Concord, Football, Senior
A two-way, four-star talent, the Michigan-commit was a dominant force on both sides of the ball for the CIF Open Division State Bowl champs. As a quick-twitch defensive end, Asiasi had 49 tackles (11 for loss) and four sacks despite drawing constant double teams. He also led the Spartans in all three major receiving categories with 17 catches for 311 yards and five TDs.
9. Elena Bruckner
Valley Christian-San Jose, Track/Volleyball, Senior
Her 54-feet, 7-inch throw in the girls shot put in the WCAL finals on May 13 was just three inches off the national record. At the state meet, the Texas-bound star threw 49-5.75 to repeat as champion. She finished second in the discus. She owns the CCS record in both events, and held the state‘s top marks throughout much of the year. She also provided 118 kills and 116 digs for the Warriors’ state-champion volleyball team.
8. Antoine Custer
De La Salle-Concord, Football, Senior
It’s Custer’s second year in the Top 10 after an outstanding two-way season for the state-champion Spartans. He rushed for 1,340 yards and 16 TDs. Defensively he had 37 tackles and three interceptions (two returned for TDs). He had over 2,000 all-purpose yards and had 21 total TDs, including three return TDs on special teams.
7. Solin Piearcy
Cupertino, Wrestling/Field Hockey/Track, Senior
Forget being the best girls wrestler in the Bay Area, she was arguably the region’s best wrestler period for 2015-16. She was a perfect 33-0 with 32 wins by pin and claimed the CIF state 143-pound title, then Piearcy traveled to the Girls National Folkstyle Championships in Oklahoma City and came back a national champion. She also played field hockey in the fall and competed in multiple track and field events in the spring. She finished runner-up in the high jump at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Championships.
6. Boss Tagaloa
De La Salle-Concord, Football, Senior
SportStars’ NorCal Defensive Player of the Year closed out his four-year varsity career ranked among Rivals.com’s Top 15 defensive tackles in the nation and then fielded offers from SEC, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac 12 schools before choosing UCLA. He had 48 tackles (15 for loss) and 6.5 sacks in 2015, but was at his absolute best in the Open Div. State Bowl where he had 10 tackles (three for loss). He was the storied programs’ first four-year player.
5. Ronika Stone
Valley Christian-San Jose, Volleyball, Senior
The Oregon-bound outside hitter was a MaxPreps.com first-team All-American as well as the site’s National Medium Schools Player of the Year after leading the Warriors to a second CIF State Division III championship in three years. The daughter of former NFL lineman Ron Stone, she used her high pedigree of athleticism to post 498 kills (an average of 5.6 per set), 25 aces, 46 blocks and 331 digs (3.8 average). This is Stone’s third year making the Bay Area 75, and her highest placement.
4. Andrew Daschbach
Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton, Baseball/Basketball/Football, Senior
Daschbach easily gets the award for the Bay Area’s finest multi-sport athlete of 2015-16. He began the school year as one of the state’s best tight ends. His 1,286 receiving yards was tops for Northern California tight ends according to stats reported to MaxPreps.com. He had 62 catches, 15 which went for touchdowns. He also had 57 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions on defense. During the winter, he started and averaged 8.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2 steals over 19 games for a Gators basketball team which went 15-11. In the spring, he starred at third base and was among the top hitters for the Gators baseball team. Baseball is the sport he’s committed to for college, and has chosen Stanford.
3. Maxime Rooney
Granada-Livermore, Swimming, Senior
The University of Florida-bound senior won the 200-yard freestyle final at the NCS Championships in 1 minute, 33.7 seconds. The time set a national high school record that would stand for only a handful of hours. Santa Margarita-Rancho Santa Margarita swimmer Grant Shouls won the Southern Section 200 freestyle final in 1:33.26 later that night. Shouls owns the overall and private school record with the time, and Rooney’s swim remains the public schools record. Rooney also set new NCS marks in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly. He will graduate as the NCS record holder in four individual events and one relay. His last ever swim for Granada set a CIF State Meet record in the 100 freestyle, doing so as the lead leg for the Matadors’ 400 freestyle relay.
2. Sabrina Ionescu
Miramonte-Orinda, Basketball, Senior
It’s Ionescu’s third straight year on this list, and her second straight year occupying the No. 2 spot. It didn’t seem like she could top her junior season, but she absolutely did — and then some. She averaged 25.9 points, 8.8 assists, 7.3 rebounds and 4.5 steals to propel her team to a 32-1 record and a CIF NorCal Open Div. title. She was the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game, the USA Today National Player of the Year and took State Player of the Year honors from both Cal-Hi Sports and Gatorade. And obviously, she was the SportStars NorCal Girls Player of the Year. As of June 14, she was reportedly days away from choosing between Oregon and Washington.
No. 1 Najee Harris
Antioch, Football, Junior
Najee Harris had this spot locked up before the calendar even turned to 2016.
The No. 1-ranked football recruit in the country for the Class of 2017, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound freight train of a running back has almost single-handedly made Friday nights at Eells Field matter again.
It was a standing-room-only crowd in Antioch when the Panthers’ season came to an end in a scintillating 55-54 North Coast Section Division I semfinal loss to Foothill-Pleasanton. That night Harris rushed for 390 yards, six touchdowns and a pair of 2-point conversion runs.
In his postgame comments, a victorious Foothill coach Matt Sweeney may have best summed up Najee Harris’ 2015 season in two simple sentences.
“The thing I like most about him is that he’s 100 percent committed to Antioch football,” Sweeney said in obvious admiration. “Players like him can get caught up looking ahead to bigger things, but he’s giving every ounce of his effort to this team, and I think that’s awesome.”
And what happened when the Alabama-commit poured every ounce of his talent and effort into his football team? A lot of really good things. He rushed for 2,744 yards, 36 touchdowns and 33 two-point conversions as he helped lead a long-since-dominant program back to glory. Antioch went 11-1, won its first league title since 1984 and completed its first undefeated regular season sine 1977.
It was a season to solidify all the hype and was deserving of the many postseason accolades, which included Cal-Hi Sports’ Mr. State Football, San Francisco Chronicle Metro Player of the Year and the SportStars NorCal Player of the Year.
What will 100 percent of Najee Harris look like for Antioch in 2016? Opposing East Bay coaches may be the only individuals who don’t want to find out.
“It’s hard to imagine Najee Harris doing any more for a team, a school or community than he has over the last three seasons,” MaxPreps.com national columnist Mitch Stephens said. “But knowing his drive, work ethic and of course, once-in-a-generation talent, he’ll find a way to give more. Can’t wait to watch all of it.”
Neither can we, Mitch. Neither can we.