NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week are Nick Castro of Clovis West & Sydney Sprinkle of Palm Desert. Photos: @cw_hardball / &

Sometimes we just have to include a Monday game for this feature and we have this week with Palm Desert’s Sydney Sprinkle, who did more than sprinkle a few runs batted in during a game with Shadow Hills. We also have chosen two others with huge power numbers — one softball player from Oakland and a baseball player from La Mirada. Our other honoree is more of a pitcher from Clovis West of Fresno.

We hope you enjoy this free story on Cal-Hi For our State Top 20 baseball/softball rankings packages plus state record updates in both sports as they arise and more exclusive content, please check out our Gold Club membership today. For details, CLICK HERE.

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
Baseball Player of the Week

Nick Castro
(Clovis West, Fresno) Sr.

Just like in our basketball awards, the CIF Central Section is considered Northern California for the Player of the Week honors, and that’s exactly where we go to honor Castro as this week’s award winner.

The bottom line is Nick has been pretty quick with both his fastball and his bat, and has been showing it for a Golden Eagles’ team that was 10-2 to start the week and has been on the State Top 20 bubble list.

Last week, in a 4-0 shutout of Fresno Central, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander scattered three hits with two walks and only had two strikeouts, but sawed off some bats in a 4-0 Clovis West victory. He didn’t get a hit in that game but earlier in the week in a 10-3 victory over Bakersfield Frontier, he played the infield and was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.

For the season Castro, improved to 5-1 with a 0.00 ERA since in his one loss, 2-1 to Clovis North. Both runs were unearned in that game, as was a run in both a win over Fresno Sunnyside and a win over Frontier to open the season. With bat in hand, Castro was hitting .370 with six RBIs and five runs scored.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Nicole Hammoude
(Bishop O’Dowd, Oakland) Jr.

We go to the Oakland hills for our NorCal girls honoree to award a Dragons’ player who wants people to know there’s more to O’Dowd than just boys and girls basketball, and football championship caliber teams.

One thing is for sure, and that is Nicole pretty much knows her role for the 4-1 Dragons, and her job is to hit that yellow ball as far as she can.

Prior to having a week off due to rainouts and the schedule, the 5-foot-7 shortstop and outfielder was 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored in a 6-5 victory over College Park of Pleasant Hill. Then, after returning to action on Monday of this week, she blasted two more round-trippers with seven RBI and three runs scored in a 17-5 shellacking of Lafayette Acalanes.

So far this season, Hammoude is hitting .625 with six home runs, a double, 15 RBI and eight runs scored with a 1.812 slugging percentage. The six home runs is the top reported mark in the CIF North Coast Section and tied for third in the state, and she’s only played five games while some girls on the state list have played in more than 10 games.

We don’t want to create any problems at home, so we have to give a shout-out to big sister and Dragons’ senior catcher Frankie Hammoude, who could almost be an honoree herself, but for this feature she has to take a back seat to little sis. Frankie hasn’t hit as many homers or driven in as many runs, but she has eight hits in nine at-bats for a blazing .889 average, with three home runs and six driven in. Both the home runs and average are the No. 2 reported marks in the NCS.

La Mirada’s Eugene Jeon played in 26 varsity games for the Matadores last season as a freshman. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Eugene Jeon
(La Mirada) Soph.

Despite only being a sophomore, Eugene is not new to the Matadores’ scene after playing on varsity last season.

Last week, in a 11-2 win over perennial powerhouse Lakewood, the 6-foot, 200-pound third baseman won SoCal Prep Legends honors and is now the SoCal Player of the Week after going 3-for-4 and cracking a home run as all three of his hits, with five RBI and four runs scored. In the second half of the double-header, he was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored in a 6-0 victory that pushed La Mirada to 7-1-1 this season.

So far this season Jeon was hitting .370 with the three round trippers, a triple, double, six RBI and nine runs scored. Last season as a freshman, for a La Mirada team that went 24-6 before bowing out in the CIF Southern Section Division II second round to Palm Desert, Jeon appeared in 26 games and had 10 hits, including two doubles, with seven RBI and five runs scored.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Girls Player of the Week

Sydney Sprinkle
(Palm Desert) Soph.

For this week’s SoCal girls honoree, we go to the Coachella Valley to honor the Aztecs’ backstop that’s been carrying a big bat. The bottom line is Sprinkle hasn’t been sprinkling her hits, she’s been blasting them.

On Monday, in a massive rout of neighboring Shadow Hills of Indio, Sprinkle sprung all over the host Knights and stung the yellow ball to the tune of 5-for-5 with three home runs, a triple, 10 RBIs, and six runs scored in a 27-1 victory. The 10 RBIs in a game is just short of making the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book.

Last week, against a Hemet team that is a quite a bit better than Shadow Hills, Sydney was more than ready against the host Bulldogs. In a 5-1 victory, Sprinkle was 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.

So far this season for the 4-3 Aztecs, Sprinkle through those seven games was hitting .765 with five home runs, two triples, two doubles, 18 RBI and 12 runs scored. Her five home runs is among the reported leaders in the state and CIF Southern Section, her average is third in the CIFSS, and her 18 RBI is among the section leaders as well, all this despite only playing in six games while some girls on the list have twice as many games under their belts.

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

Enjoy this article?

Find out how you can get access to more exclusive content, one-of-a-kind California high school sports content!

Learn More

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


    Latest News

    Insider Blog