In addition to Mickey Moniak, statewide honors also are going out to Royce Lewis from JSerra of San Juan Capistrano (juniors), Brandon Dieter from South Hills of West Covina (sophomores), Jasiah Dixon of Orange Lutheran (frosh), Sean Reynolds of Redondo (medium schools) and Brett Super from Sage Hill of Newport Beach (small schools).
For more on Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year Mickey Moniak, CLICK HERE.
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Congratulations to the following five players also who also have been selected this week as Cal-Hi Sports State Players of the Year.
Royce Lewis (JSerra, San Juan Capistrano)
He already had been the Trinity League MVP as a sophomore and was asked to do even more for a veteran team due to injuries, including a stint in centerfield during the early part of the season.
Lewis didn’t miss a beat. En route to being the Trinity League MVP once again, the third baseman batted .429 with a .531 on-base and had four homers, nine doubles, three triples and 21 RBI. Lewis also scored 42 runs.
“In a team surrounded by great players, Royce stood out as the best,” JSerra head coach Brett Kay said of the OC Varsity & OCSidelines Player of the Year as well as the L.A. Times Player of the Year. “In a county surrounded by great players, Royce stood out as the best. I could not advocate more than I would than for this kid. As good as a player he is, he is a better person.”
Lewis is the first State Junior of the Year from Orange County since Gerald Laird from La Quinta of Westminster in 1997.
Last 10 State Juniors of the Year: 2015 – Jeremy Ydens (Mountain View St. Francis); 2014 – Joe DeMers (Pleasant Hill College Park); 2013 – Jack Flaherty (North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake); 2012 – Brett Seeburger (Vista); 2011 – Rio Ruiz (La Puente Bishop Amat); 2010 – J.D. Davis (Elk Grove); 2009 – Jake Rodriguez (Elk Grove); 2008 – Matt Hobgood (Norco); 2007 – Kevin Eichhorn (Aptos); 2006 – Mike Moustakas (Chatsworth).
Brandon Dieter (South Hills, West Covina)
Earlier this week, Brandon was named by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune as its player of the year and now he adds our statewide honor in a close call over other strong candidates, including Pleasant Hill College Park’s Christian Encarnacion-Strand, San Diego Rancho Bernardo’s Joey Magrini, San Jose Valley Christian’s Patrick Wicklander and Corona Santiago’s Bryce Turang.
Dieter played a huge factor in the Huskies capturing the CIF Southern Section Division II championship. On the year, he was 7-2 with a 1.10 ERA on the mound while also hitting .311. He also stood out in the infield defensively when not on the mound.
Committed already to Stanford, Dieter pitched five shutout innings and had two big at-bats (single, run scored) vs. Redlands East Valley in the section final. South Hills also won in Dieter’s final eight starts and he did not allow more than two runs in a game during that span.
“He’s the only kid I’ve coached that fits the bill of what I think Stanford student athletes are all about,” South Hills head coach Darren Murphy told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “He’s a special player and special players do special things.”
The last sophomore from the San Gabriel Valley to be State Sophomore of the Year was Eric Valenzuela of Bishop Amat in 1994. South Hills had the State Freshman of the Year, Ty France, in 2009.
Last 10 State Sophomores of the Year: 2015 – Hunter Greene (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame); 2014 – Mickey Moniak (Carlsbad La Costa Canyon); 2013 – Joe DeMers (Pleasant Hill College Park); 2012 – Alex Jackson (San Diego Rancho Bernardo); 2011 – Ryan Tellez (Elk Grove); 2010 – Rio Ruiz (La Puente Bishop Amat); 2009 – Christan Lopes (Valencia); 2008 – Jake Rodriguez (Elk Grove); 2007 – Max Stassi (Yuba City); 2006 – Jordan Pries (Alameda).
Jasiah Dixon (Lutheran, Orange)
Looking for top contenders in this category and then picking a winner was once again a tough task. In the end, it was what Dixon did as a freshman in some of Orange Lutheran’s biggest games that was the difference.
The 6-foot, 195-pounder, who has been involved in USA Baseball national junior development teams, belted a three-run homer when the Lancers beat Huntington Beach 4-3 in the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs. He also ripped a three-run homer when Orange Lutheran beat La Costa Canyon and Mr. Baseball State POY Mickey Moniak 10-1 at the Boras Classic.
For the season, competing in the ultra-tough Trinity League, Dixon batted .283 and had three homers. He also went 2-for-3 and 2-for-4 in league games against Mater Dei and Santa Margarita late in the season.
Mater Dei’s Sergio Santos (who was recently pitching in relief for the New York Yankees) was the last player from Orange County to be State Freshman of the Year. He was the pick for 1999.
Last 10 State Freshmen of the Year: 2015 – Joey Magrisi (San Diego Rancho Bernardo); 2014 – Tommy Palomera (Chatsworth); 2013 – Conrado Diaz (San Ysidro); 2012 – Jagger Rusconi (Valencia West Ranch); 2011 – Alex Jackson (San Diego Rancho Bernardo); 2010 – J.R. Crawford (Lakewood); 2009 – Ty France (Covina South Hills); 2008 – Christian Lopes (Valencia); 2007 – James Roberts (San Jose Archbishop Mitty); 2006 – Matt Davidson (Yucaipa).
Sean Reynolds (Redondo Union, Redondo Beach)
While Sean’s pro career is now underway with the Miami Marlins after being a fourth round draft pick earlier this month, his high school honors have yet to end. The latest is being named as our Medium Schools State Player of the Year.
Originally signed with Rice University, Reynolds was 13-0 with a 1.08 ERA while hitting .366 with nine home runs with 34 runs batted in during a CIFSS Division III championship season.
Named by the South Bay Daily Breeze as its player of the year, Reynolds won four playoff games, including the championship game, for the Sea Hawks. They ended up winning back-to-back section titles after previously never having won one in program history.
This is the third time since 2010 that a South Bay player has picked up the honor for medium schools. The others were Angelo Gumbs of Torrance for 2010 and Dominic Smith of Gardena Serra for 2013.
Last 10 Medium Schools State Players of the Year: 2015 – Peter Lambert (San Dimas); 2014 – Chris Mathewson (Fontana Kaiser); 2013 – Dominic Smith (Gardena Serra); 2012 – Troy Conyers (Lakeside El Capitan); 2011 – Rio Ruiz (La Puente Bishop Amat); 2010 – Angelo Gumbs (Torrance); 2009 – Ryan Wilkins (San Diego Cathedral Catholic); 2008 – Kyle Skipworth (Riverside Rubidoux); 2007 – Mike Stanton (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame); 2006 – Robby Alcombrack (Lake of the Pines Bear River).
Brett Super (Sage Hill, Newport Beach)
Someone we seemingly wrote about every week in our State Stat Stars of the Week feature, this junior was named as the CIFSS Division VI Player of the Year and now has a statewide honor to go with it.
Leading the Lightning (28-1, No. 1 in final Division V state rankings) to their first CIFSS Division VI championship in program history, Super also already has been named as the Academy League MVP and third-team All-Orange County.
On the stump, Super went 13-0 with a 0.51 ERA and struck out 133 batters while walking just 20 in 97 innings. Not allowing a run over the final 41 innings he pitched this season, he also had eight complete games and six shutouts while also hitting .268 with 24 runs batted in. Super also pitched two no-hitters and now has four no-hitters in his career.
This is the first time in the history of state small schools players of the year (back to 1947) that a player from an Orange County school has been chosen.
Last 10 Small Schools State Players of the Year: 2015 – Nico Hoerner (Oakland Head-Royce); 2014 – Nico Hoerner (Oakland Head-Royce); 2013 – Carlos Salazar (Kerman); 2012 – Nolan Gannon (Solana Beach Santa Fe Christian); 2011 – Robb Woodcock (Kentfield Marin Catholic); 2010 – Dylan Covey (Sierra Madre Maranatha); 2009 – Andrew Rich (Easton Washington); 2008 – Clay Cederquist (Fowler); 2007 – Nick Noonan (San Diego Francis Parker); 2006 – Eddie McKiernan (Monrovia).
Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens contributed to this report. Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports