State Athlete of Year: Kazmeir Allen

Kazmeir Allen of Tulare had one of the best two-sport years in CIF Central Section history. It’ll be fun to see what he does this fall at UCLA. Photos: @PAGMETER & Hudl.com.


With a national record of 72 touchdowns scored during the football season, Tulare High’s Kazmeir Allen followed that up by winning the CIF state title in the 100-meter dash. Some may still argue that wasn’t enough to even be the Boys Athlete of the Year in the CIF Central Section, but it was enough for us. Allen is the first State Boys Athlete of the Year from Tulare since 1948 when Bob Mathias went from Tulare graduation in June to winning the gold medal in the decathlon at the London Olympics.

For the rundown on the other 2017-18 State Boys Athletes of the Year, CLICK HERE.

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Both the state record and national record for most touchdowns scored in one season fell in football games played at Bob Mathias Stadium in the San Joaquin Valley town of Tulare.

Senior running back Kazmeir Allen was the one breaking those records and today Allen can now share in an honor in which the legendary Mathias is listed for. This would be the accolade as State Boys High School Athlete of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports.

Tulare’s Bob Mathias, the last from that school to be State Athlete of the Year (chosen retroactively) for 1947-48 school year, is shown on the cover of the fourth edition of the Cal-Hi Sports all-sports state record book.


Mathias was chosen for it retroactively in the late 1970s based on his accomplishment of winning the 1948 Olympic gold medal in the decathlon just after graduating from Tulare. Before that, Mathias (who died in 2006 at the age of 76) was a standout football player and all-around athlete at Tulare. Afterward, he became an All-American football player at Stanford, won the decathlon gold medal at the Olympics once again in 1952 and was a member of the U.S. Congress representing the Central Valley in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Allen, in fact, is now the first State Athlete of the Year from Tulare since Mathias. He gets it for scoring 72 touchdowns in football that broke the national record and for winning the CIF 100-meter state title in track.

Still, choosing Allen was not easy. In the CIF Central Section alone, there was another super-sized contender. That would of course be four-time CIF state heavyweight wrestling champion Seth Nevills of Clovis. If Allen hadn’t done what he did, Nevills likely would have followed up being the State Junior of the Year with being State Athlete of the Year even though this year Nevills didn’t play football. Also strongly considered for the top honor was Mater Dei of Santa Ana football quarterback J.T. Daniels and Grid-Hoop State Player of the Year Jeremiah Martin from Cajon of San Bernardino. Daniels was a deserving choice to be the Gatorade National Athlete of the Year announced on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, but that was a vote among Gatorade’s various single-sport national players of the year. Gatorade’s honor program doesn’t include many sports (like wrestling and swimming and golf) and doesn’t include any multi-sport athletes (like Allen would be).

After placing in the 100-meter state final as a junior, and making him one of the state’s top returnees for 2018, Allen seemed to use that experience to lift him to a phenomenal football season in the fall of 2017. In leading the Tribe (the school was known as the Redskins for years until a state law forced a change two years ago) to the CIF Central Section Division 2 title, Allen rushed for 3,336 yards and 62 touchdowns. He also had 29 catches for 833 yards and nine TDs and had a kickoff return for a score.

When Allen scored his 65th touchdown in a section playoff game vs. Garces of Bakersfield, he surpassed the previous state record of 64 set in 2000 by Tyler Ebell of Ventura. He pushed his total to 72 in a NorCal D2AA bowl game loss to eventual state champ Serra of San Mateo, but that was enough to break the reported national record of 71 set in 2000 by T.A. McLendon of Albemarle, N.C.

We don’t have a multi-million dollar p.r. firm attached to our state honors, but at least one of Kazmeir’s earlier honors from us received attention from Fresno TV. Photo: kmph.com


As Allen was displaying his increased speed even though he also was 20 pounds heavier than his previous season size, his early college commitment to Boise State began to get shaky. Offers came in from places like Wisconsin and elsewhere. Former NFL head coach Chip Kelly then got the UCLA job and his first order of business was heading up to Tulare. Allen switched his commitment and signed with the Bruins in February.

Some athletes who do what Allen did and then get rewarded with a scholarship to a place like UCLA might take it easy for the rest of their senior season. Kazmeir did no such thing. He wanted to get back to the CIF state track meet and do even better in the 100.

After qualifying for the final, the pre-meet favorite was sensational junior Asani Hampton of Yucaipa. Hampton had the lead in the race, too. Several news reports, however, indicated Allen reached down for some extra gas in the last 20 to 30 yards and nipped Hampton right at the tape. His winning time was 10.44 seconds with Hampton at 10.45.

The combination of 72 touchdowns scored in one football season and winning the 100-meter dash state final in a place like California (where there are no divisions in track) has never happened before. It’s almost as unique as being a teenager and winning the Olympic decathlon gold medal.

ALL-TIME CAL-HI SPORTS
STATE BOYS ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

(Selected by Cal-Hi Sports)

Last year’s winner, Javelin Guidry, poses for photo with Vista Murrieta track coach Coley Candaele after he won 100-meter title at CIF state meet. Photo: Twitter.com.


2017-18 – Kazmeir Allen, Tulare (football, track)
2016-17 – Javelin Guidry, Murrieta Vista Murrieta (football, track)
2015-16 – Michael Norman, Murrieta Vista Murrieta (track)
2014-15 – T.J. DeFalco, Huntington Beach (volleyball)
2013-14 – Nick Nevills, Clovis (football, wrestling)
2012-13 – Khalfani Muhammad, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (football, track)
2011-12 – Khalfani Muhammad, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (football, track)
2010-11 – Marqise Lee, Gardena Serra (football, basketball, track)
2009-10 – Robert Woods, Gardena Serra (football, track)
2008-09 – Tyler Gaffney, San Diego Cathedral Catholic (football, baseball)
2007-08 – German Fernandez, Riverbank (cross country, track)
2006-07 – Mike Stanton, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (football, basketball, baseball)
2005-06 – Chase Budinger, Carlsbad La Costa Canyon (basketball, volleyball)
2004-05 – Drew Shiller, Burlingame (football, basketball, baseball)
2003-04 – Kenny O’Neal, Oakland Skyline (football, track)
2002-03 – Steve Smith, Woodland Hills Taft (football, basketball, track)
2001-02 – Aaron Piersol, Newport Beach Newport Harbor (swimming)
2000-01 – Antwon Guidry, San Jose Leigh (football, basketball, track)
1999-00 – D.J. Williams, Concord De La Salle (football, track)
1998-99 – Chris Lewis, Long Beach Poly (football, volleyball)
1997-98 – C.C. Sabathia, Vallejo (football, basketball, baseball)
1996-97 – Ken-Yon Rambo, Long Beach Poly (football, track)
1995-96 – Chris Claiborne, Riverside J.W. North (football, basketball)
1994-95 – Eric Guerrero, San Jose Independence (wrestling)
1993-94 – McKay Christensen, Fresno Clovis West (football, baseball)
1992-93 – Calvin Harrison, Salinas North Salinas (track, basketball)
1991-92 – Jason Kidd, Alameda St. Joseph (basketball, baseball)
1990-91 – Rob Johnson, El Toro (football, basketball, baseball)
1989-90 – Ryan Hancock, Cupertino Monta Vista (football, baseball)
1988-89 – Lorenzo Neal, Lemoore (football, wrestling)
1987-88 – Adam Keefe, Irvine Woodbridge (basketball, volleyball)
1986-87 – LeRon Ellis, Santa Ana Mater Dei (water polo, basketball, track)
1985-86 – Brian Johnson, Oakland Skyline (football, baseball)
1984-85 – George Porter, Lompoc Cabrillo (basketball, track)
1983-84 – John Williams, L. A. Crenshaw (basketball)
1982-83 – Mike Smith, Hacienda Heights Los Altos (football, basketball, volleyball)
1981-82 – Jim McCullough, Hemet (football, wrestling)
1980-81 – Kevin Willhite, Rancho Cordova (football, track)
1979-80 – Darryl Strawberry, L.A. Crenshaw (basketball, baseball)
1978-79 – John Elway, Granada Hills (football, baseball)
1977-78 – Jesse Vasallo, Mission Viejo (swimming)
1976-77 – Brian Goodell, Mission Viejo (swimming)
1975-76 – Greg Louganis, El Cajon Valhalla & Santa Ana (diving)
1974-75 – Bill Cartwright, Elk Grove (basketball)
1973-74 – Tim Shaw, Long Beach Wilson (water polo, swimming)
1972-73 – Lonnie Shelton, Bakersfield Foothill (football, track)
1971-72 – Scott McGregor, El Segundo (baseball)
1970-71 – Anthony Davis, San Fernando (football, baseball)
1969-70 – James McAlister, Pasadena Blair (football, track)
1968-69 – Jeff Burroughs, Long Beach Wilson (football, baseball)
1967-68 – Mark Spitz, Santa Clara (water polo, swimming)
1966-67 – Mickey Cureton, Compton Centennial (football)
1965-66 – Tim Danielson, Chula Vista (track)
1964-65 – Paul Wilson, Downey Warren (track)
1963-64 – Don Schollander, Santa Clara (water polo, swimming)
1962-63 – Tommie Smith, Lemoore (football, basketball, track)
1961-62 – Forrest Beaty, Glendale Hoover (track)
1960-61 – Ulis Williams, Compton (track)
1959-60 – Dennis Ralston, Bakersfield (tennis)
1958-59 – Dale Story, Orange (track)
1957-58 – Willie Davis, L. A. Roosevelt (basketball, baseball, track)
1956-57 – Bill Kilmer, Azusa Citrus (football, basketball, baseball)
1955-56 – Fred Lacour, S.F. St. Ignatius (basketball)
1954-55 – Dick Bass, Vallejo (football)
1953-54 – Don Bowden, San Jose Lincoln (track)
1952-53 – Ronnie Knox, Santa Monica (football)
1951-52 – Marty Keough, Pomona (football, basketball, baseball)
1950-51 – Charlie Powell, San Diego (football, baseball)
1949-50 – Lang Stanley, L.A. Jefferson (track)
1948-49 – John Henry Johnson, Pittsburg (football, basketball, track)
1947-48 – Bob Mathias, Tulare (football, track)
1946-47 – Bill McColl, San Diego Hoover (football, basketball, baseball)
1945-46 – George Stanich, Sacramento (basketball, baseball, track)
1944-45 – Jackie Jensen, Oakland (football, baseball)
1943-44 – Bill Sharman, Porterville (football, basketball, baseball)
1942-43 – Glenn Davis, La Verne Bonita (football, baseball)
1941-42 – Irv Noren, Pasadena (basketball, baseball)
1940-41 – Tommie Fears, Los Angeles Manual Arts (football)
1939-40 – Howie Dallmar, San Francisco Lowell (basketball, baseball)
1938-39 – Jim Jurkovich, Fresno (football, track)
1937-38 – Frankie Albert, Glendale (football, baseball, tennis)
1936-37 – Jackie Robinson, Pasadena Muir (football, basketball, baseball)
1935-36 – Bobby Doerr, Los Angeles Fremont (pro baseball)
1934-35 – Ted Williams, San Diego Hoover (baseball)
1933-34 – Hank Luisetti, San Francisco Galileo (basketball)
1932-33 – Don Budge, Oakland University (tennis)
1931-32 – Corney Johnson, Los Angeles (track)
1930-31 – Frank Sobrero, Oakland (football, basketball, baseball)

Note: List continues back to 1890-91 in the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book & Almanac. All selections prior to 1978-79 done retroactively through research by our founder, the late Nelson Tennis.

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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