Linden’s Aaron Judge gets more MLB all-star votes than anyone as his amazing season continues. We look back at the honors he got in his senior season for the Lions in 2010 and the advice he got from his football coach. In this column, we also have an updated list of state’s all-time leaders in softball for career hits and have info on head coach of nation’s No. 1 team about a milestone win he’s approaching. Plus, we have more on NBA Drafts (like this year’s) with the two of the top five picks coming from California high schools.
For more on the other Californians who will be in this year’s All-Star Game, CLICK HERE.
Note: We hope you enjoy this free story on CalHiSports.com. Starting for the 2017-18 school year, we will be doing a weekly column similar to this one every week that will encompass all five sports we cover year-round (football, boys bb, girls bb, baseball, softball) with new state record lists. That column will be for Gold Club members only. Get your Gold Club sub now. Some of our preseason football items are starting soon and most of those will be for Gold Club as well. For info, CLICK HERE.
Whenever there’s a breakout star in the world of sports from a California high school, we like to go through our files to recall what honors we may have bestowed upon that athlete.
This summer, there may not be a breakout star quite like Linden High’s Aaron Judge with the New York Yankees (although L.A. Dodger fans have one as well with Cody Bellinger, who is not from California).
Playing in the bright lights of New York hasn’t stopped Judge from putting up astronomical stats and hitting mammoth home runs. On the day in which Judge was declared the player receiving the most votes for this year’s MLB All-Star Game, he was first in the majors in home runs with 27, ranked third in RBI and fifth in batting average. So what were exactly his honors from his years at Linden?
The best one from us at Cal-Hi Sports actually wasn’t for baseball. He was all-state small schools multi-purpose (he pitched and hit for the Lions) but he also was one of just 15 in the state chosen in 2010 to be on our annual All-State Grid-Hoop Team. You see, in addition to baseball, Judge was a receiver/tight end in football who caught 17 TD passes and had nearly 1,000 yards receiving the previous fall and then in the basketball season he averaged nearly 19 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Judge, who is the son of educators in San Joaquin County, also was one of a handful named as one of our Division IV state athletes of the year. He wasn’t the D4 athlete of the year because we gave that honor to Cloverdale’s Robby Rowland, who was the top high school pick in the MLB Draft that year from Northern California (No. 89 overall) and who averaged 30 points per game in hoops with more than 2,500 career points.
Another factor that limited some of the honors for Judge when he was at Linden is that in his senior year local small school rival Escalon went 27-3, won the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section title in that division and was No. 1 in the state in its division. Top players off of a team like that, such as Nick Largent and Spencer Francheschetti, tend to be higher in the pecking order for all-state consideration. If Judge was on a team like that, he probably would have been small schools player of the year.
What Judge’s amazing rise with the Yankees shows once again is that playing multiple sports and not concentrating on just one had no negative impact on what he became. He was able to get a scholarship to Fresno State for baseball and once there he could start focusing in on one sport, which for him is baseball. He also wasn’t quite the 6-foot-7, 270-pounder that he is today, either. He was big at Linden — maybe 6-6 and 220 to 225 — but not like now.
Linden football coach Mark Miller recalls some advice he gave Judge. “I just told him that when he’s 60 years old, his body will thank him for not playing football.” Pretty soon, Aaron’s bank account will thank him, too.
Softball: Three So Far Confirmed
As New 200-Hit Club Members
Chino Hills standout Taylon Snow didn’t generate the type of attention in her senior season that older sister Tannon did two years ago, but she still ended with 235 career hits to place fifth on the reported all-time state list.
Tannon Snow hit 28 homers and drove in 89 runs in that 2015 season and is now at Auburn but didn’t play this season. Taylon will be playing at Auburn as well.
Two others who finished their prep careers with 200 or more hits this year are Maci Fines from Sheldon of Sacramento and Livy Schiele from Bishop’s of La Jolla. We saw Fines get her 200th hit on a home run in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship. Schiele’s team didn’t get as far in the CIF San Diego Section playoffs, but she also had state record book totals for career runs and doubles.
Here is an updated Cal-Hi Sports state record list for softball:
Most Hits (Career)
248 Zoe Casas, San Bernardino Aquinas, 2012-2015
244 Brenna Moss, Bakersfield North, 2008-2011
241 Kelsey Kollen, Santa Ana Mater Dei, 1995-1998
239 Mia Camuso, Redding Shasta, 2013-2016
235 Taylon Snow, Chino Hills, 2014-2017
231 Caitlyn Emberson, Taft, 2012-2015
227 Shelby Cromer, Stockton Lincoln, 1990-1993
225 Lisa Dodd, San Diego Mira Mesa, 2000-2002 & San Diego University City, 2003
223 Taylor Pack, Sutter, 2012-2015
218 Victoria Rich, Easton Washington, 2007-2010
218 Taylor VanZee, Hemet, 2011-2014
217 Nikki Schrey, Fresno Edison, 2002-2005
210 Kylie Reed, Norco, 2010-2013
209 Danielle Vega, San Bernardino Aquinas, 2009-2012
208 Monica Bagalayos, Stockton Lincoln, 1989-1992
207 Jessica Seely, Palo Cedro Foothill, 2014-2017
206 Julie Smith, Covina Royal Oak, 1983-1985 & Covina Charter Oak, 1986
206 Andrea Duran, Selma, 1999-2002
206 Amani Proctor, Fresno Buchanan, 2009-2012
206 Stephanie Bergman, Hesperia Oak Hills, 2010-2013
205 Tannon Snow, Chino Hills, 2012-2015
204 Jazmyn Jackson, San Jose Archbishop Mitty, 2011-2014
202 Jamie Southern, Clovis, 1997-2000
202 Dani Gilmore, Woodland Hills El Camino Real, 2008-2011
202 Amanda Lorenz, Moorpark, 2012-2015
201 Macy Fines, Sacramento Sheldon, 2014-2017
200 Livy Schiele, La Jolla Bishop’s, 2014-2017
196 Megan Langenfield, Bakersfield Centennial, 2003-2006
196 Bradi Kooyman, Lodi Elliot Christian, 2013-2016
194 Kristen Ponce, Bakersfield North, 2013-2016
Softball: Los Al’s Weil needs just 10 wins
in 2018 to reach 600 for his coaching career
The final piece of the puzzle of getting the coaching career record of Los Alamitos softball head coach Rob Weil was looking up the 1991 season record at Pacifica of Garden Grove. That came on a trip to the state library microfilm room, but the heavy lifting in getting all the numbers was provided by prep editor Eric-Paul Johnson of the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
Johnson covers Norco so looking up info to include Weil in the state record book after Weil’s team at Los Al had topped Norco in the CIF Southern Section Division I final was a classy move. Since Weil had a previous stint at Pacifica from 1990 to 2005 and took four years off before revving up the program at Los Al, his coaching totals weren’t that easy to get. It sure helps that the Mariners and Griffins in almost all of his seasons have been in the CIFSS playoffs.
Once the 1991 total was found (the Mariners weren’t in the playoffs that season), Weil’s record was computed at 590-157-7. That is for a 209-73-1 record at Los Al since 2009 and for the 381-84-6 total at Pacifica from 1990 to 2005.
When Weil’s team wins its 10th game next season, that will be No. 600 for him (by our count) and he would be the 16th in state history to do that.
For Gold Club members, to see the full, updated state list after the 2017 season, CLICK HERE.
NBA Draft: Just third time in state history
there there has been two among the first five
Once you accept the fact that Josh Jackson played for Prolific Prep of Napa and is a graduate of Justin-Siena High in Napa (where Prolific Prep players take classes) and therefore should count as a California high school product, it’s quite an achievement indeed for the state to have two of the top five picks in the first round of an NBA Draft.
That’s what happened two weeks ago when 2015 Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills & UCLA) went at No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers and Jackson went at No. 4 overall to the Phoenix Suns.
In fact, this marks only the third time in the history of the NBA Draft that California can claim two of the top five. The first time that happened was in 1955 when Jim Loscutoff (Palo Alto) was taken at No. 3 and Ken Sears (Watsonville) went right after at No. 4. The asterisk for that draft, however, is that there were two territorial picks that were made before No. 1 so those two players actually were more like No. 5 and No. 6. It also happened 24 years later in 1979 with David Greenwood (Los Angeles Verbum Dei) and Bill Cartwright (Elk Grove) getting tabbed at No. 2 and No. 3 overall behind No. 1 pick Magic Johnson. It almost happened in 1994 with Jason Kidd (Alameda St. Joseph) at No. 2 and his Cal teammate Lamond Murray (Fremont Kennedy) at No. 7 and in 1975 with David Meyers (La Habra Sonora) at No. 2 and Rich Kelley (Woodside) at No. 7.
Bringing up the late David Meyers as a No. 2 overall pick from UCLA also means that’s another list that Lonzo Ball is joining. The only other No. 2 overall selection from California and from UCLA is Sidney Wicks. The L.A. Hamilton grad was chosen at No. 2 in 1971.
Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports
One more player to add to the softball 200-hits list is Taylor VanZee (Hemet, 2011-14), who had 218 during her four-year career with the Bulldogs.