Among others being selected for top state honors is one of the most dominating wrestlers in the nation — Seth Nevills of Clovis (juniors) and one of the best distance runners in the last 20 years — Cooper Teare of Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame (Division IV). And when learning of his background, how could we not choose Elsinore’s Anthony Reyes as the State Three-Sport Athlete of the Year?
For announcement of the Cal-Hi Sports Boys State Athlete of the Year for 2016-17, CLICK HERE.
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Congratulations to the following boys for being selected as a 2016-17 Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Year (thanks to Stockton office assistant editor Paul Muyskens for contributing writeups):
Javelin Guidry (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) Football, Track
When Javelin heads to the University of Utah to play football, he’ll be going to a college that doesn’t have a track team. Maybe he’ll help start one. And even if Guidry doesn’t compete in NCAA track, there still should be opportunities for him if sprinting is something he wants to continue doing.
Note: For other seniors who would be Athletes of Honor, please check below underneath each CIF division.
Seth Nevills (Clovis) Football, Wrestling
He was the State AOY for freshmen two years ago and sophomores last year and continues to move up. Unless something bizarre happens, like losing in a wrestling match, it’s hard to see anybody but Seth getting the top honor next year. That’s an honor his older brother, Nick, received for the 2013-14 school year. This also is the sixth time in seven years that a Clovis wrestler has earned one of these State AOY slots. If Nevills were an incoming 6-4, 275-pound football linemen, he’d be one of the hottest recruits around and all of the Nevills brothers (there are four in all and Seth is youngest) have starred in football along with wrestling. It’s the wrestling, though, that is his and their prime focus and he’s in the midst of a phenomenal prep career. This year, Seth went 37-0 in winning his third straight CIF heavyweight state title and all 37 wins were by pin. He’s also now up to 127-0 in his unbeaten prep career. He was so good that even though senior teammate Justin Mejia became just the second-ever four-time champion in CIF state history that the Fresno Bee named both of them as Co-Wrestlers of the Year. Nevills has committed to Penn State.
More Junior Athletes of Honor:
Marvin Bagley (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) Basketball
Tommy Brown (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Football, Track
Steven Comstock (Northview, Covina) Football, Wrestling
Iffy Joyner (Pittsburg) Football, Track
Jeremiah Martin (Cajon, San Bernardino) Football, Basketball
Grant Holman (Eastlake, Chula Vista) Baseball
Alex Sancov (Northgate, Walnut Creek) Swimming
J.T. Daniels (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Football
This honor came down to two heavyweights in two of the biggest sports as our State Sophomore of the Year in football got the nod over basketball’s La’Melo Ball of Chino Hills. Setting multiple Orange County records, Daniels led the Monarchs to a 13-1 record while passing for 4,849 yards and 67 touchdowns. Capturing their first outright league title since 1999, they went undefeated in the regular season and also had a win over eventual CIF Open Division champ St. John Bosco of Bellflower. A finalist for our Mr. Football State Player of the Year award, this is just another accolade to a growing list of them.
More Sophomore Athletes of Honor:
La’Melo Ball (Chino Hills) Basketball
Jonah Cooper (Foothill, Pleasanton) Swimming
Stefan Destanic (Woodbridge, Irvine) Tennis
Jaxen Turner (Rancho Verde, Moreno Valley) Football, Basketball
Kendall Milton (Buchanan, Clovis) Football, Track
Someone we saw before he even entered high school this season, Milton didn’t start the season on the varsity team at Buchanan but he ended it there and rushed for 478 yards and six touchdowns. Averaging more than seven yards per carry, Milton also caught seven passes for 101 yards and a score in eight games. Already with offers from multiple schools like Arizona, UCLA and USC, he added another offer from a Pac-12 school recently with an offer from Washington. Milton also was one of the top running backs regardless of class at recent The Opening Oakland Regional. During track season, Milton was one of the top sprinters in the league in the 100 while he also was a member of the 4×100 relay team that finished in sixth place at the CIF Central Section Masters Championship.
More Frosh Athletes of Honor:
Lucas Gordon (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) Baseball
Max McKennon (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Tennis
Solomon Strader (Trinity Classical, Santa Clarita) Track
Kyree Walker (Moreau Catholic, Hayward) Basketball
DIVISION I SCHOOLS:
Javelin Guidry (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) Football, Track
As with most years, the winner in this category falls automatically to the overall State Boys Athlete of the Year. That’s the case once again with Guidry.
More Division I Athletes of Honor:
Joseph Anderson (Upland) Track
Jacob Brumm (Torrey Pines, San Diego) Tennis
Hagen Danner (Huntington Beach) Baseball
Wyatt Davis (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Football
Anthony Flores (Valley Christian, San Jose) Football, Baseball
Luis Grijalva (Armijo, Fairfield) Cross Country, Track
Najee Harris (Antioch) Football
Matt Lloyd (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) Golf
Bryce Mefford (Oak Ridge, El Dorado Hills) Swimming
Justin Mejia (Clovis) Wrestling
Tanner Olson (Saugus) Swimming
Bryan Thompson (Rancho Verde, Moreno Valley) Football, Track
Ethan Thompson (Bishop Montgomery, Torrance) Basketball
DIVISION II SCHOOLS:
Andrew Azua (Sanger) Football, Wrestling, Baseball
He may not be known much outside of the CIF Central Section but Azua had one of the best three-sport school years that we evaluated. Football was the main course for Azua and he rushed for nearly 1,500 yards in helping Sanger go unbeaten through the CIF Central Section Division II playoffs and then take a close loss to Serra of San Mateo in the NorCal D2-A regional final. Azua then turned to wrestling and if anybody knows anything in wrestling is that the Central Section has the toughest competition in California. Azua didn’t just goof around on the mat, either. He went to the CIF state championships in the 182-pound weight class. His final sport was baseball and on the diamond Azua earned all-league honors. He capped the year by scoring four touchdowns and getting MVP honors in the 63rd annual City/County All-Star Game last month.
More Division II Athletes of Honor:
Josh Johnson (Valley View, Moreno Valley) Football, Track
Noah Newton (Pleasant Valley, Chico) Golf
Christian Pinzon (Bellflower) Soccer
Tariq Thompson (St. Augustine, San Diego) Football, Basketball
Damien Wallace (Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa) Football, Basketball
DIVISION III SCHOOLS:
Niamey Harris (Mission, San Francisco) Football, Basketball
Not only was he named to our Grid-Hoop All-State team but he was our Grid-Hoop State Player of the Year after quarterbacking the football team and averaging in double figures on the court during his senior season. Leading the Bears to the CIF San Francisco Section AAA championship game, Harris was named the AAA Player of the Year for the second year in a row and was also named to the San Francisco Chronicle’s All-Metro team. Also named the AAA Player of the Year for the second year in a row on the basketball court, Niamey averaged 15.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.6 steals this season as the Bears won the CIF Division III state championship. Harris was recently the No. 1 player on the Bay Area 75, an athlete of the year countdown for the Bay Area produced by our partners at SportStars Magazine.
More Division III Athletes of Honor:
David McColl (La Jolla) Football, Basketball, Volleyball
Tanner Murray (San Lorenzo Valley, Felton) Football, Basketball, Baseball
Jack Newman (Analy, Sebastopol) Football, Basketball, Baseball
Earnie Sears (Alemany, Mission Hills) Basketball, Track
Reese Smith (Oak Park) Football, Track
Tim Tague (Miramonte, Orinda) Football, Baseball
DIVISION IV SCHOOLS:
Cooper Teare (St. Joseph Notre Dame, Alameda) Cross Country, Track
Moving up from being the D5 State AOY for last year, Cooper was regarded by most as the best boys cross country runner in the state in the fall, even ahead of D1 state champ Luis Grijalva. Teare won the CIF Division 5 state title (but in all other sports this year the Pilots were D4) and was an All-American at Nike Cross Nationals. In track, Teare assembled a resume this year perhaps never before accomplished by any California male distance runner. He ranks in the top five at every distance in state history from 1,500 meters to 5,000 meters. He also ranks No. 11 all-time among high schoolers with a 4:00.16 mile, second in state history, in addition to winning the New Balance National Indoor championship in the mile and qualifying for the Pan American Junior Championships in Peru in the 1,500.
More Division IV Athletes of Honor:
Jullen Ison (Moreau Catholic, Hayward) Football, Basketball
Parker Jenks (Marysville) Football, Track
Marquel Johnson (St. Patrick-St. Vincent, Vallejo) Football, Basketball, Baseball
Cody Rentfro (Hilmar) Football, Wrestling
Lucas Triplett (Fort Bragg) Football, Basketball
Alex Wright (Woodcrest Christian, Riverside) Basketball, Volleyball
DIVISION V SCHOOLS:
Zach Bushling (Kern Valley, Lake Isabella) Football, Basketball, Baseball
Starting off his three-sport senior season, Bushling passed for 1,338 yards and nine touchdowns while also rushing for 272 yards and five scores in his best of four varsity football seasons with the Broncos. Also playing on defense he recorded 52 tackles and five interceptions while also doing the kicking and punting as the Broncos made the postseason. Moving from outside to inside, Bushling topped his scoring average of 16 points per game from his junior year by averaging 23.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Back outside to end the year, he was used even more as a pitcher this season as he went 5-1 with a 3.36 ERA and two saves. Also a four-year varsity player in baseball, he hit .579 with 29 runs batted in this year and finished his high school career hitting .579 with 149 runs batted in and 19 home runs.
More Division V Athletes of Honor:
Matthew DeRoos (Tri-City Christian, Vista) Track
Jake Halderman (Hayfork) Basketball, Baseball
D.J. Wilson (Horizon, San Diego) Football, Basketball
THREE-SPORT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
Anthony Reyes (Elsinore)
For a school that has been going since the 1890s, whenever a coach says anybody is historically great means a lot. This is what Elsinore basketball coach Pete Rettinger told the Riverside Press-Enterprise when it named Reyes as its Large Schools Athlete of the Year: “Most accomplished male athlete in the history of Elsinore High School. A phenomenal athlete, yet a better person.” Reyes actually played four sports for the Tigers this school year, but we’re going with him in this category, which was created four years ago as a salute to those committed enough to play three. In football as a running back, Reyes rushed for 1,488 yards and scored 19 TDs. In basketball, he knocked down 14.4 points and grabbed 10.5 rebounds per game. Then in the spring, Reyes was on Elsinore’s track team and went to the CIF state finals in both the long jump and triple jump. And at the same time he was doing all those events in track, Reyes also was contributing as an outside hitter for the Elsinore boys volleyball team. The inspirational aspect of Reyes’ life is that he never knew his father and his mother, Kimberly Moore, died of cancer when he was a freshman. Since then, Reyes has been living with a cousin. Up next for him will be a track scholarship at UC Riverside. If you guessed that someone who’s been outstanding in all of those sports might be a future decathlete, you’d be right.