Among others earning top state honors are Najee Harris of Antioch (juniors), U.S. Olympian Ben Hallock of Harvard-Westlake (Division III) and Andrew Daschbach of Sacred Heart Prep (Division IV). Alexander Mattison of San Bernardino also is third-ever State Three-Sport Athlete of the Year. Finally, what would a State Athlete of the Year package be without someone from the Clovis wrestling team?
For announcement of the Cal-Hi Sports Boys State Athlete of the Year for 2015-16, CLICK HERE.
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Congratulations to the following boys for being selected as a 2015-16 Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Year (thanks to Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens for contributing writeups):
Michael Norman (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) Track
In addition to the 200- and 400-meter dashes, Norman also had a best during the season of 10.27 in the 100 and ran 10.28 at the Inland Empire Championships. The winning time in the 100 at the CIF state finals was 10.43 with two of Norman’s Vista Murrieta teammates, Antonio Mitchell and Cole Dubots, finishing second and third at 10.55 and 10.58.
Note: For other seniors who would be Athletes of Honor, please check below underneath each CIF division.
Najee Harris (Antioch) Football
For the first time since 1986, we named a non-senior as Mr. Football State Player of the Year and for good reason. Harris he led the state in scoring despite missing much of the second half at times because of comfortable leads for the 11-1 Panthers. Committed to Alabama and considered by many as the top Class of 2017 recruit in the nation, he finished his junior season with 2,744 yards and 39 touchdowns while also converting 33 2-point conversions. Harris has continued to convince many onlookers in recent months of his unique combination of size, speed and elusiveness. This is the second time in three years that the State Junior Athlete of the Year is from the East Bay. Two years ago, baseball-basketball player Joe DeMers of Pleasant Hill College Park was selected.
More Junior Athletes of Honor:
Aaron Banks (El Cerrito) Football, Basketball
Cole Dubots (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) Football, Track
Niamey Harris (Mission, San Francisco) Football, Basketball
Jaylen Johnson (Edison, Fresno) Football, Basketball
Royce Lewis (JSerra, San Juan Capistrano) Baseball
Justin Mejia (Clovis) Wrestling
Bryan Ortega (Paramount) Soccer
Bronson Osborn (Esperanza, Anaheim) Track
Earnie Sears (Alemany, Mission Hills) Basketball, Track
Seth Nevills (Clovis) Wrestling/Football
After earning the Freshman AOY honor from last year, the younger brother of 2014 State Athlete of the Year Nick Nevills moves up to take the top slot among sophomores. Seth is like Nick in that he also plays football to go along with being a national elite wrestler. A Clovis wrestler, many of whom also play football, has in fact been one of our State Athletes of the Year for five of the last six years. Seth captured his second straight CIF state heavyweight wrestling title with a 7-4 win in the final over senior Christian Rebottaro from Monte Vista Christian of Watsonville. He also improved his career record to 90-0 and kept alive his goal to become a four-time CIF state champion. Seth and his three older brothers have combined to seven CIF titles.
More Sophomore Athletes of Honor:
Jordan Brown (Woodcreek, Roseville) Basketball
Steven Comstock (Northview, Covina) Football, Wrestling
Brandon Dieter (South Hills, West Covina) Baseball
Cade Olivas (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Wrestling
Cameron Rising (Newbury Park) Football
Kobe Smith (Serra, Gardena) Football, Basketball
Onyeka Okongwu (Chino Hills) Basketball
His toughest competition for this honor may have been his own teammate as we gave him the nod over La’Melo Ball for Frosh State POY after the basketball season and now he takes home this honor for all sports. During Chino Hills’ run to becoming the No. 1 team in the nation, he averaged eight points per game and was a dominating presence in the paint for the Huskies. Some of his best games came against tougher opponents, such as when he scored 19 points and had 11 rebounds against Foothills Christian. Okongwu’s national presence has only grown in the summer and he’s now up into the top on some national Class of 2019 recruiting lists. The last basketball-only player to be Frosh State Athlete of the Year was current NBA player Tyson Chandler from Dominguez of Compton for 1997-98.
More Frosh Athletes of Honor:
La’Melo Ball (Chino Hills) Basketball
Jaison Dixon (Lutheran, Orange) Baseball
Mathew Olguin (Buchanan, Clovis) Wrestling
Cassius Stanley (Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood) Basketball
DIVISION I SCHOOLS:
Michael Norman (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) Track
This is another category that most years falls automatically to the overall State Boys Athlete of the Year. That’s the case again this time with Norman.
More Division I Athletes of Honor:
Keanu Andrade (De La Salle, Concord) Football, Rugby
J.T. Arruda (Buchanan, Clovis) Soccer, Baseball
Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills) Basketball
Isaac Cortes (Great Oak, Temecula) Track
Thomas Dunstan (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Water Polo
Jamal Hicks (Narbonne, Harbor City) Football, Basketball
Josh Hokit (Clovis) Football, Wrestling
Jared Horn (Vintage, Napa) Football, Baseball
Seth Knowlton (Great Oak, Temecula) Football, Track
Matt Manning (Sheldon, Sacramento) Basketball, Baseball
Casey McGary (Loyola, Los Angeles) Volleyball
Sean McGrew (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Football, Track
Mickey Moniak (La Costa Canyon, Carlsbad) Baseball
Ryan Robards (Elk Grove) Football, Baseball
Phillip Rocha (Arcadia) Cross Country, Track
Maxime Rooney (Granada, Livermore) Swimming
Grant Shoults (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) Swimming
Elliot Smith-Hastie (Loyola, Los Angeles) Soccer
Charles Williams (Bullard, Fresno) Football, Track
DIVISION II SCHOOLS:
Isaiah Holmes (Oakmont, Roseville) Track
As one of the nation’s top competitors in three events – long jump, high jump and triple jump – and a promising future decathlete at UCLA, choosing Holmes for one of our athletes of the year seemed to make sense. Holmes, known as the Prince of Flight, captured the CIF state meet title in the long jump with a mark of 25-5 and has a wind-aided best of 25-11 ¾. He also placed fifth in the triple jump with a p.r. of 48-0 ¾ and was fifth in the high jump at 6-8. Holmes, however, has a best clearance in the high jump of 7-feet, 1-inch. In addition, he was the second-best 110-meter high hurdler in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section. This is actually the second time in three years someone from the Sacramento area has been D2 State Athlete of the Year. For 2013-14, the recipient was football-basketball player Alex Van Dyke from Burbank of Sacramento.
More Division II Athletes of Honor:
Montel Aaron (Antelope) Football, Basketball
Tayvian Cunningham (Wood, Vacaville) Football, Track
Khalil Dorsey (Colony, Ontario) Football, Track
Jack Harris (Aptos) Football, Baseball
James Kelbert (Leland, San Jose) Water Polo, Basketball
Lane Pritchard (Red Bluff) Football, Basketball, Baseball
Trey Udoffia (Del Oro, Loomis) Football, Basketball
DIVISION III SCHOOLS:
Ben Hallock (Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood) Water Polo
There have been some girls from Harvard-Westlake who’ve been State Athlete of the Year and several players of the year in various sports, but Hallock is the first one from the school to be a state athlete of the year. He was strongly considered for the top overall honor after a dominant water polo season and gaining a roster spot for the U.S. National Team that will be competing in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. Hallock, considered the nation’s No. 1 recruit who will head to Stanford after the Olympics, was named the CIF Southern Section Division I player of the year even though Harvard-Westlake lost in the final to Mater Dei. He scored 97 goals and had 86 assists for the Wolverines despite missing three weeks with an injured thumb and also was the L.A. Daily News Player of the Year for the second straight season.
More Division III Athletes of Honor:
T.J. Brock (Chaminade, West Hills) Track
Lewis Butler (Hoover, San Diego) Football, Basketball
Takoda Browne (Kearny, San Diego) Football, Basketball, Track
Isaiah Diego-Williams (Serra, San Mateo) Football, Track
Ju’waine Hughes (Hanford) Football, Basketball
Mique Juarez (North, Torrance) Football
Shane Reynolds (Redondo, Redondo Beach) Baseball
Joel Schneidmiller (Saratoga) Basketball, Volleyball
Sterling Strother (Campolindo, Moraga) Football, Basketball
Caden Voges (Sacramento) Football, Baseball
DIVISION IV SCHOOLS:
Andrew Daschbach (Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton) Football, Basketball, Baseball
Before being named to our All-State Small Schools First Team for baseball, Daschbach also stood out on the court and gridiron. Playing on both sides of the ball in football, he caught 62 passes for 1,286 yards and 15 touchdowns while also recording five sacks and 57 total tackles to start his senior season. During basketball season, Dashbach averaged 8.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. His best sport, however, is baseball. He was All-Metro and All-Mercury News in baseball as an infielder and that’s the sport he’ll play at Stanford. Dashbach actually is the second Gator to be the D4 State Athlete of the Year in the last five years. In 2012, we chose record-breaking swimmer Tom Kremer.
More Division IV Athletes of Honor:
Garret Hill (San Marino) Football, Baseball
Tiegen Jones (Capital Christian, Sacramento) Basketball, Baseball
Mason Randall (Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton) Football, Basketball
Christian Rebottaro (Monte Vista Christian, Watsonville) Football, Wrestling
J.P. Shohfi (San Marino) Football
Darius Vines (St. Bonaventure, Ventura) Football, Basketball, Baseball
DIVISION V SCHOOLS:
Cooper Teare (St. Joseph Notre Dame, Alameda) Cross Country, Track
Losing just one race all season, Cooper won the race that meant the most to end the year. The junior went to Clovis and returned home as the 3,200-meter state champion, coming from behind to win by 0.002 seconds. His time of 8 minutes, 51.845 seconds also was the fifth fastest in CIF NCS history. Teare was named by the East Bay Times as its boys track and field athlete of the year after also being named their cross country runner of the year earlier in the year after capturing the CIF Division V boys state championship. And in case you’re wondering, Teare is indeed the first boys athlete of the year from St. Joe since Jason Kidd for 1991-92. That year, Kidd was the overall State Athlete of the Year. He also played baseball in addition to playing basketball.
More Division V Athletes of Honor:
Donovan Switalski (East Nicolaus, Nicolaus) Football, Wrestling
Note: Juniors Zach Bushling (Kern Valley, Lake Isabella) Football, Basketball, Baseball & Brett Super (Sage Hill, Newport Beach) Baseball also were considered.
THREE-SPORT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
Alexander Mattison (San Bernardino)
This multiple-sport standout stood out the most on the football field as he rushed for a school-record 2,057 yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 games before heading to play next year at Boise State. Named at the Ken Hubbs Award banquet as the Athlete of the Year for the Riverside/San Bernardino area, Mattison later in the school year became a CIF Southern Section runner up in the 195-pound weight class in wrestling. Mattison’s third sport was track. He was a league champion in the 110-meter high hurdles and also was second in his league meet in the long jump. Mattison joins the first two honorees for this category, which was created two years ago – Orinda Miramonte’s Drew Anderson for 2013-14 and Temecula Great Oak’s Brandon Presley for 2014-15.