NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

NorCal Defensive Player of the Week Bas Osborn of Windsor (57) gets in on a sack (left) during game earlier this season. At right, Rancho Buena Vista’s Dorian Richardson greets family after record-setting night. Photos: &

All three of our SoCal choices for this week also go into the state record book in the categories of single game rushing yards, single game sacks and career field goals. And one of our NorCal picks was in a 76-62 contest that beat a winner from last week. The full roster of six hails from Madera, Windsor, Loomis, Vista, Newhall and San Diego.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate someone by 12 noon on most Mondays, email

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Colt Nelson
(Madera) Jr.

We go to the CIF Central Section for the second consecutive week for the offensive winner and the player chosen actually turned the tables on last week’s honoree from Mt. Whitney of Visalia.

In a CIFCS Division 3 playoff game that was as wild as the final score indicates, a 76-62 victory by Madera that is tied for the fourth highest combined point total in state history according to the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book, Colt was more like a stud than a colt.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound quarterback was 21 of 33 for 412 yards and five touchdowns. Although he’s not much of a runner like most colts, he did find the end zone twice as well.

Nelson’s individual performance last week didn’t make the record book but his 604 yards passing with six TDs in a 48-42 victory over Merced in September does make the Most Yards (Game) list, and makes him one of only eight quarterbacks to pass for 600 or more yards in a game.

On the season and going into a game with top-seeded Tulare Western of Tulare, Nelson has passed for 3,390 yards and 30 TDs but he does have 14 interceptions.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Bas Osborne
(Windsor) Sr.

The Jaguars took their lumps this year under first-year head coach Kevin Ballatore but even though the Sonoma County fires only created a few hot spots in Windsor, Bas has been smoking all year on defense.

The fires actually got Osborne and his teammates another game and they made the most of it in a 28-7 CIF North Coast Section 28-7 victory over Mt. Eden of Hayward. Under NCS rules that were relaxed this year because teams lost games due to the fire, teams like Windsor, which was 3-5 overall and 2-3 in league, were seeded compared to the last several years when under .500 teams were not considered.

So, exactly what did the 6-foot, 200-pound defensive end do to earn the defensive honor? Well, Bas pretty much gave Mt. Eden the razz with his defense after recording 12 tackles with five of them sacks. Osborne, who also helps anchor the offensive line, now has 25.5 sacks and 98 tackles this season and that sacks total is the top reported number in the state.

And Osborne does it against tough opponents as well. He had 2.5 sacks and 11 tackles against previously state-ranked Oakley Freedom in a blowout loss and he had 2.5 sacks in another blowout loss to Del Oro of Loomis

Del Oro’s Ryan Whalley had a hair-raising kicking outing in team’s playoff win vs. Lincoln. Photo:

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

Ryan Whalley
(Del Oro, Loomis) Jr.

When what Whalley did was reported it was a slam dunk for the special teams award this week.

According to venerable Sacramento Bee sports writer Joe Davidson, first-year Del Oro head coach Jeff Walters went to the ground in a crouch because he couldn’t watch, but that was after he sent Whalley out to attempt a 53-yard field goal with seconds remaining. His heart may have been pounding but the bottom line is Whalley was ready.

Center Hunter Silva made a good snap, holder Josh Gazzaniga put it down perfectly, and Whalley split the uprights as time expired and the Golden Eagles escaped with a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II 16-14 victory over a Lincoln Zebras team looking for the biggest win in school history.

“I went to the ground, kept thinking, ‘be true, be true,’” Walters told Davidson. “Heard the hush over the crowd, then the cheer, and it was on.”

According to Davidson, the players hoisted the new Loomis town hero onto their shoulders after a post-game raucous celebration.

Two twists to the saga. First, Whalley only won the kicking job two weeks ago when he drilled a 53-yarder from the same spot as last Friday night’s kick. Second, part of the reason Walters probably could not watch was because he was a player on the 2002 Del Oro team that beat 10-0 Casa Roble 13-12 in the playoffs on a 48-yard field goal by Chris Thrall as time ran out.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Dorian Richardson
(Rancho Buena Vista, Vista) Jr.

To say Dorian was more than ready last Friday night to lead Rancho Buena Vista to its first playoff win in four years would be an understatement.

Richardson couldn’t quite get to half a millennium of rushing yardage that eight other players have done according to the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book, but the 5-foot-7, 170-pound Richardson got as close as you can, and in doing so he still makes the list as No. 9 all time for Most Yards (Game). Richardson also now holds the CIF San Diego Section record after rushing for 499 yards on 38 carries with eight TDs in a CIFSDS Division III 62-43 victory over Santana of Santee.

The previous high-water mark in the San Diego Section was 436 yards that was set in 2009 by Kenneth James of San Diego Mt. Carmel and ironically equaled in 2015 by Rancho Buena Vista running back Dominic Taylor.

For the season, Richardson has now rushed for 2,253 yards and 24 TDs.

It was reported that the eight TDs was a San Diego Section record and while it might be a record since the section was formed in the 1960s the record for the San Diego area and the state record is 11 touchdowns. That record was set in 1929 by Frank Greene of Coronado, and if you think we have blowouts now the score of that game was Coronado 108, Sweetwater (National City) 0.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

C.J. McMullen
(Hart, Newhall) Sr.

For the first time this season, we go to the Santa Clarita Valley to choose a weekly winner and the inaugural player from the area is more than deserving as the second honoree this week to make the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book.

There were a few upsets in the CIF Southern Section playoffs and McMullen was a huge part of the reason Hart beat previous state No. 30 Sierra Canyon last week 21-7 in the Division 3 playoffs to make that team the highest ranked team to go down to defeat to a non-ranked team.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defensive end and leader of a stingy defense had his average seven tackles against Sierra Canyon but the thing is they were all sacks. The seven sacks makes the Most QB Sacks (Game) list in the record book and the five sacks he had earlier this season in a 44-34 win against Ventura St. Bonaventure just misses the cutoff for listing of six sacks.

McMullen now has 24 career sacks and that makes the list for Most QB Sacks (Career) list as well with at least one more game to play this week against Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley. It’s also a new school record at Hart. The previous record was 19 by George Kase.

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

Matt Araiza
(Rancho Bernardo, San Diego) Sr.

For two of the three winners this week we go to the San Diego Section, and for the second-straight week the CIFSDS snags the special teams honoree. The Broncos’ kicker and punter also makes it three-for-three this week for Southern California award winners etching their name in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book and joins the offensive winner in setting a new CIFSDS record as well.

Last week, in a Division I 23-6 victory over El Cajon Valhalla, the 6-foot-2, 182-pound two-time San Diego Section Kicker of the Year booted three field goals to give him 11 this season and 36 in his career.

The 36 career field goals makes that list in the record book and is also the new high-water mark in the CIFSDS, breaking the mark of 34 set ironically by Rancho Bernardo’s Nate Tandberg from 1993-95.

Araiza, a left-footed kicker and punter, also made both extra points and is 24 of 24 on the season. He also had five touchbacks on five kickoffs making him 45 of 47 in that department. As a punter, Araiza had two punts for 88 yards and that’s right on average as he boasts a 43.6 yards per punt average. His longest field goal this year is 53 yards and the longest punt was a 71-yarder.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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  1. J Zarate
    Posted November 16, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Really , we had two Murrieta Valley Nighthawks have a great game in the best division in the nation. Spiker breaking the state record in total to receptions with 70 and Hank throwing for almost 500 yards. Come on

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      We’ve picked these guys for a million things over the last two years. Why not give some attention to the RBV running back? I can tell you we’re actively not going to pick any Mater Dei guys, either. We do look for player of week candidates every week who maybe don’t get much attention and by picking them might help them out more. And we had Spiker’s photo leading off the site all weekend.

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