NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are James Giles from Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo (left) and Jacob Trach from Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove. Photos: &

Family ties are a big angle for this week’s honorees with one of them being the grandson of the head coach and another who’s got a twin brother who also is a standout on the same team. The six recipients this week are from Elk Grove, Tulare, Atherton, San Marino, Mission Viejo and Goleta.

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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

Jacob Trach (Cosumnes Oaks, Elk Grove) Jr.

To say Trach, a 5-foot-6, 155-pound running back, was on track last week would be a bit of an understatement.

He already had two pretty good games in a season-opening 47-39 home loss to a very solid Capital Christian of Sacramento, and a 24-8 win over visiting Stockton McNair, but last Friday against visiting River City of West Sacramento Trach took the cake. Trach also chewed up a lot of yardage and did a lot of tracking down the end zone on 13 carries after he rushed for 383 yards and six touchdowns, including a 70-yarder in a 55-20 victory.

The performance got him the nod as one of five finalists this week for the Sacramento Bee Prep of the Week.

On the season Trach, has racked up 720 yards with nine TDs on only 55 carries for a whopping 13.1 yards per carry.

Last season on team that went 5-6, Trach led the Wolfpack running backs with 1,093 yards and eight touchdowns.

According to photos on Twitter, Jacob thanked the Cosumnes Oaks linemen who blocked for him by buying each one a pizza.

Whether it’s Tulare Western or Tulare High, we seem to have player of the year candidates every week. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Jordan Burrell
(Tulare Western, Tulare) Jr.

We go to the Valley this week for our defensive award winner, and in doing so remind readers the CIF Central Section gets its players honored in Northern California for this feature.

After two wins on the road in Visalia, 48-28 at El Diamante and 35-28 at Mt. Whitney, the Mustangs came home and pranced on their own turf with the offense clicking and the defense pitching a shutout of neighboring Lemoore in a 35-0 whitewash.

Burrell, who has an offer from Nevada and other interest developing, did more than well on defense. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound cornerback was the sparkplug of a defense that came up with six turnovers, five of them interceptions. Jordan had three of the interceptions, one of which he returned for a 31-yard pick six that gave his team a 28-0 lead.

An interesting twist to honoring Burrell is this is the second straight week we honor a team with an outstanding pair of twins. Last week’s SoCal Defensive Player of the Week, Kejuan Markham of Long Beach Poly, has a twin that also got a shout-out, Keon Markham.

This week, the additional kudos go to Jordan’s twin, Elijah Burrell. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound dual-threat quarterback doesn’t have any offers yet, but does have mid-major interest like his brother.

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

Dante Cacchione
(Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton) Jr.

The Gators’ 6-foot-1, 170-pound wide receiver, defensive back and return specialist is getting recognized as the NorCal Special Teams honoree, and he may have had the game’s biggest play in a 15-13 win over Burlingame that snapped a two-year losing streak to the Panthers, but a few of his teammates on defense will get to share in his award.

The Sacred Heart Prep offense only scored three points, but after senior teammate Jake Davison returned the first of two fumble recoveries 10 yards for a TD that made it 9-0 Gators, and the visitors scored early in the fourth quarter to cut it to 9-7, Dante got some inferno in his legs and no one could catch Cacchione as he took the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to give the Gators a 15-7 lead they needed to hold off Burlingame.

Besides the honoree and his teammate Davison with his two fumble recoveries, shout-outs go to senior Tommy Barnds for his two pass interceptions, and junior Charlie Selna for a fourth down sack that sealed the deal.

Additional kudos go to Cacchione for his baseball prowess, and while we’re at it to his older brother Dominic Cacchione, a pitcher on last year’s Gators baseball team who is now at Arizona State.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Beau Hobbie
(San Marino) Sr.

Football is no hobby for Hobbie, or his grandfather, who happens to be Titans head coach Mike Hobbie, particularly in 2015 when Coach Hobbie took his 15-0 team to Sacramento only to lose to small school power Central Catholic (Modesto) in the final contest of the short-lived CIF Open Division Small School Bowl game championship.

Right now, Beau’s grandfather obviously does the coaching for 2-1 San Marino, and he calls the number of his grandson, a 5-foot-6, 160-pound senior running back, quite often, and when he does Beau gets on the go.

Last week, in a scoreboard lighter-upper 76-36 victory over El Monte, his grandfather called his number 22 times and Beau got going enough to rush for 308 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 123 yards on four kick-off returns for a not too shabby 41-yard per return average.

So far this season, Hobbie has rushed for 488 yards on 46 carries (10.6 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns. Last season, on a Titans team that went 8-3, Hobbie had 1,363 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns.

Mollkoy had four FGs last week and two were 40 yards or longer. Photo:

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

Jesse Mollkoy
(Dos Pueblos, Goleta) Sr.

For the first time this season, we go to the Gold Coast just north of Santa Barbara where we find our SoCal Special Teams award winner.

The bottom line this season is when Mollkoy gets ready to boot a field goal there’s no joy on the other sidelines, and that was particularly true last week against host Ventura.

With the Chargers trailing 24-23 with 5 seconds left, head coach Doug Caines wasn’t worried when he sent Mollkoy out to attempt a 43-yard field goal to win the game since the 5-foot-11, 170-pound kicker had already blasted three previous attempts between the goal posts, including a 47-yarder.

When Jesse put it through a fourth time, the Dos Pueblos fans that made the trip south were just as full of joy as Mollkoy was as they celebrated a 26-24 victory.

On the season, Mollkoy is the number six reported kicker in the state for field goals with 5 for 7 and his 47-yarder is the longest for any player on the top 10 reported list. He may have missed two field goals this season but on conversions Mollkoy is perfect on all six attempts.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

James Giles
(Capistrano Valley, Mission Viejo) Sr.

We go to Southern Orange County for the first time this season to honor a two-way standout that does most of his damage on defense.

However, two weeks ago in a 38-7 win over La Mirada, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound middle linebacker and tight end made a highlight reel play on offense when he made a one-handed TD catch that went viral on social media.

Now, after he was all over the place on defense in a 44-7 win at Pacifica of Garden Grove, Giles should be all smiles once again when he learns he’s the SoCal Defensive Player of the Week.

All Giles did was play a big role for a stingy defense that got Capistrano Valley to 3-0 to start the season after he had 10 tackles with a sack and an interception he returned 15 yards.

James is far and away the leading tackler on the Cougars with 39, including six for losses. Last season, on a 12-1 team that made it to the CIF Southern Section Division 4 semifinals, Giles, who despite having a 4.2 GPA does not show up as having offers on the scouting sites, was by far the leading tackler on the team with 121, including nine for losses, plus two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

With that kind of productivity, that type of size, those kind of grades and fitting in at the right position, it’s a good bet those college offers will start showing up soon.

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. Joseph Lucido
    Posted September 9, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Its time to give credit where its due. This week Trent Tompkins of Central High, Fresno, threw 8 touchdowns against Paso Robles. Now, while the competition was average in their overall ranking, Trent is not. He is spectacular and does nothing but lead his teams to victory. With the heart of a lion, this son of a former BMX world champion has been showcasing his exceptional ability to scan the field quickly, make lightning fast decisions mentally, and then delivering the ball with a rocket arm accurately, giving his 4 star receiver Jeremiah Hunter a chance to pile on the RAC yardage. If not for some extremely untimely fourth quarter turnovers last year versus Folsom and De la Salle, Central would have and SHOULD have beaten those teams and been in the D1 state championship. Trent is an exceptional, unique athlete with division 1 spice, and has outshined MANY so-called nationally ranked qbs at summer 7 on 7 tourneys. Start giving him the attention he rightly deserves.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted September 9, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      He’s literally written up every week on this site somewhere and photo has been published numerous times. We also have had him on all-state teams much higher than where he has tended to be ranked as a college prospect. Not sure how we have disrespected him as you feel we have.

      • Joseph Lucido
        Posted September 9, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        I dont think hes been disrespected, per se. I just think that he is just as good as the qbs from top schools like Mater Dei and Bosco. When it comes to state and maxpreps national rankings, and perhaps its because of competition, the fact that he is one inch from being 6 ft in some published information has damaged his opportunity to be seen fairly compared to a kid that is, let’s say 2 inches taller and going to a very wealthy, stacked school. Those schools recruit with scholarships, where a school like Central has to follow public school rules. I would like to see him compared in a pure fashion, but perhaps that is not realistic. This is kid should be a DIVISION 1 MAJOR RECRUIT. And I don’t get it. That’s fine. People will see.

        • Joseph Lucido
          Posted September 9, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          I want to retract the final sentence of my original comment. Agreed. It was harsh.


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