SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week's SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week are receiver/defensive back Chris Venable from M.L. King of Riverside and quarterback Jake Simmons from Rancho Cotate of Rohnert Park. Photos: Scott Padgett/kingwolvesathletics.com & Hudl.com.

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week are receiver/defensive back Chris Venable from M.L. King of Riverside and quarterback Jake Simmons from Rancho Cotate of Rohnert Park. Photos: Scott Padgett/kingwolvesathletics.com & Hudl.com.


Daniel Sayre of Seaside earns this week’s NorCal accolade for defense by returning his fifth interception of the season for a TD during a CCS playoff win. Others selected for this week are from Lawndale, Riverside, Mission Viejo, Rohnert Park and Sutter.

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Note: Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens also wrote several of these player bios. For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To find out how your business could benefit by sponsoring these honors each week or to nominate your own favorite player, email markjtennis@gmail.com.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Chris Venable
(M.L. King, Riverside) Jr.

Going on the road to open the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs, Venable led the defensive effort as the Wolves pulled off a surprising 45-35 win over Paloma Valley of Menifee.

Entering the game with a 4-6 record and facing a team that had not lost until the final week of the regular season, Venable had a team-high 10 total tackles and intercepted two passes. The Wolves didn’t allow any points in the fourth quarter and rallied from a 35-24 deficit after three quarters to get the win.

Also contributing on offense, Venable rushed for 42 yards on his lone carry while catching three passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

Recording double digit tackles in all but one game this season, he now has 142 total tackles and four interceptions while on offense he has rushed for 122 yards and two scores with 28 receptions for 711 yards and eight touchdowns.

Kaymen Cureton has made most of senior season so far at Leuzinger. Photo: leuzinger.org.

Kaymen Cureton has made most of senior season so far at Leuzinger. Photo: leuzinger.org.


Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Kaymen Cureton
(Leuzinger, Lawndale) Sr.

We like the Olympians in the CIF Southern Section Division X playoffs mostly because of their quarterback, who was hugely successful at Los Angeles High, his former school.

It’s hard to tell how high seeds may do in the new CIFSS competitive-equity divisions and Leuzinger was certainly tested in its first round matchup with Apple Valley. But with Cureton having another big game, the Olympians won 43-36.

The senior standout, who is a nephew of the late MLB Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, hit on 20 of 34 passes for 363 yards and five touchdowns. He added 25 yards rushing. For the season, Cureton has thrown for 2,713 yards and 28 TDs for the 9-2 Olympians with another 332 yards and three TDs rushing.

At L.A. High as a junior, the San Jose State commit passed for 3,787 yards and 30 TDs and rushed for 775 yards and four other scores.

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

Clay Eggeman
(Capistrano Valley, Mission Viejo) Sr.

The Cougars advanced in the CIFSS Division V playoffs with a 26-8 win over Foothill of Tustin and their senior kicker had a big part in the win.

More than half of Capo Valley’s kicking points on the night, in fact, were recorded from Eggeman’s kicking. He went a perfect 2 for 2 on extra points and a perfect 4 for 4 on field goals with a long of 36 yards for a total of 14 points on the night.

Eggeman also averaged 38 yards per punt with two of his four punts putting the opposition inside its own 20-yard line.

It was the first time all season he kicked more than two field goals in a game but he now has made 13 of his 14 field goal attempts and 47 of his 49 extra point attempts this season.
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Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Jake Simmons
(Rancho Cotate, Rohnert Park) Jr.

While he has had bigger games this season, Simmons made sure his head coach, Ed Conroy, would coach at least one more game as the Cougars advanced in the CIF North Coast Section Division III playoffs with a 35-28 win over Saint Mary’s of Albany.

Leading Northern California in passing yards, Simmons completed 26 of 43 pass attempts for 360 yards and two touchdowns. Just a junior, he also has now passed for 3,505 yards and 39 touchdowns this season while rushing for 638 yards and eight scores.

Simmons’ season started with back-to-back six touchdown games and has also featured a season-high 562 yards in Rancho Cotate’s season-opening loss to Analy of Sebastopol.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Daniel Sayre
(Seaside) Jr.

It only took the first six games for Sayre to return four different interceptions for touchdowns. He clicked for No. 4 on Sept. 30 and in Seaside’s 30-25 win last week over Stevenson of Pebble Beach in the CIF Central Coast Section Division V playoffs he finally struck for No. 5.

Sayre, who also had two pass breakups, three tackles and three assists in the game, scored on a 65-yard interception return. His longest interception return TDs so far have been 80, 85 and 75 yards.

Sayre also now has seven interceptions for the season and has been a top-notch receiver on offense. He’s had five catches in one game for 65 yards and had two TD catches for the season.

Seaside advanced to this week’s CCS D5 semifinals against Menlo School of Atherton, which is where last week’s NorCal Defensive POW, J.H. Tevis, is from.

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

James McHugh
(Sutter) Sr.

Not only did his team stay perfect on the season with a 49-0 win over Yreka, but this junior kicker remained perfect on the year on extra points as he went a perfect 7 for 7 on the night and is now a perfect 74 for 74 on the year on extra points while adding three field goals.

McHugh sometimes gets action as a running back in blowout wins and against Yreka he had five carries for 25 yards. He also averaged 42.5 yards on his two punt for the night.

McHugh had a perfect 10 for 10 kicking night on extra points earlier this season during a 70-0 win by the Huskies over Oroville.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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One Comment

  1. C Neumann
    Posted November 16, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Keeping track of my grandson at Sutter HS, NoCAl

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