NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week are quarterback Kaiden Bennett of Folsom and running back Ryan Camacho from West Ranch of Valencia. Photos: Willie Eashman & Katharine Lotze / SignalSCV.com.


At some point this season, just like we did for the record-breaking senior season of former Folsom QB Jake Browning, we knew we were going to write up Kaiden Bennett as one of our players of the week. This became that week. Our other honorees for this week are from San Jose, Bakersfield, Valencia, Yorba Linda and Glendora.

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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 markjtennis@gmail.com.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Kaiden Bennett
(Folsom) Sr.

Pick a week, any week, and likely you’ll find that Bennett could be the NorCal offensive honoree, so just like we did a few years ago when we honored former Bulldogs star and current Washington quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Jake Browning during his senior season, we’re honoring Bennett as the Northern California Offensive Player of the Week early in the season and after two remarkable performances.

The highlight reel of teammate Daniyel Ngata taking a shovel pass from Bennett and doing a rain dance into the end zone went viral on social media, but regardless of the flash and dash the high-powered Folsom offense runs through quarterback Bennett, just like it did with Browning, Jake Jeffrey and Joe Curry before him.

Last week in a 62-6 shellacking of an Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills) team that most everyone had as the No. 2 or No. 3 team in the Sacramento metro area, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound dual-threat signal-caller with offers from Howard, Sacramento State, San Diego State, UC Davis, Utah and Texas-El Paso, shredded the Trojans defense after going a pinpoint 19 of 22 for 386 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed for a seventh score.

Two weeks ago against state-ranked Chaminade (West Hills), Bennett made the home crowd from the San Fernando Valley a bit disappointed after he only completed 13 passes in 17 attempts but just like last week six went for TDs in a 70-34 road win. In that game he rushed for two TDs for eight total touchdowns.

So far in a 4-1 season, Bennett has passed for 1,473 yards and 21 TDs with only two interceptions and both came in a season-opening loss to De La Salle. If Folsom makes it all the way to a CIF state bowl game like last season when the Bulldogs won the 1-AA championship, Bennett is on a pace to better his mark of 4,431 yards passing and 57 touchdowns.

Bennett can’t come close to the all-time best 16,775 passing yards that puts Browning atop the list for Most Yards (Career) in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book, but he currently sits at 6,131 yards and 80 TDs and that means all he needs to do is add a little over 2,300 yards and less than 10 TD passes to make the record book lists in both categories.

Ulysses Alvarado has helped Overfelt of San Jose to 5-0 start with rushing on offense and lots of tackles on defense. Photo: Twitter.com.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Ulysses Alvarado
(Overfelt, San Jose) Sr.

We go to the public schools of San Jose this week to honor a player who has been a big part of the reason Overfelt is off to a 3-0 start this season.

As odd as it may seem, believe it or not there are two stars on the Royals roster named after the hero of ancient Greek literature, senior linebacker and running back Alvarado, and quarterback Ulysses Reyes.

Another twist to this is Alvarado is being honored as the NorCal Defensive Player of the Week while he’s also the biggest offensive threat in the arsenal of Overfelt head coach Carlo Maningo.

Last week, in a 48-31 victory over Menlo of Atherton, the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder had 11 tackles with one for loss, and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. A true Royals’ hero like his namesake, Ulysses also rushed for 172 yards and one touchdown. He even got into the act on special teams after returning a punt 48 yards.

Defensively, Alvarado is third on the team with 26 tackles and second on the team with his two interceptions. Offensively, Ulysses is far and away the leading rusher with 568 yards and four touchdowns. He even has one of the two pass receiving TDs for the Royals.

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

Brayden Blevins
(Liberty, Bakersfield) Soph.

Whenever we pick a player from the CIF Central Section for one of our weekly honors, we remind readers that for this feature everything north of and including Bakersfield is considered Northern California.

It’s pretty hard for a kicker to go perfect in one season, or even harder to make a team record 28 straight field goals like San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould has done, but for a high school sophomore what Blevins has accomplished so far for the 3-2 Patriots this season is pretty remarkable.

Last week, in a 48-10 win over Clovis, the somewhat diminutive 5-foot-7, 155-pound kicker continued to have a huge leg and foot. He made two field goals in two attempts, including a season best 41-yarder and was six of six on extra points.

So far this season Blevins is a perfect five of five on field goals and 17 for 17 on point after touchdowns. We just hope by honoring him as the Northern California Special Teams Player of the Week we don’t jinx him as we’ve been known to do on many occasions.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Ryan Camacho
(West Ranch, Valencia) Sr.

A huge part of the reason the Wildcats have scratched and clawed their way to a 5-0 start is because of this 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior running back and cornerback who is also a standout baseball player.

Camacho was macho last week in a 56-0 rout of Oak Park after rushing for 332 yards on only 10 carries with five of the 10 going to pay dirt for touchdowns. That’s 33.2 yards per carry for those who can’t do math and it breaks the school record of 289 yards set last season by Jake Rice. So far this season, Ryan has rushed for 815 yards and 16 touchdowns.

On defense, Camacho has two pass interceptions and on special teams he’s had an 82-yard kick-off return for a touchdown.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention his twin brother, 5-foot-9, 185-pound wide receiver Jovan Camacho. He’s the Wildcats’ leading receiver with 23 catches for 493 yards and seven touchdowns.

Both twins excel at baseball and were recently featured by Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times, but it’s Ryan who has been projected as a potential D1 prospect.

Last season Ryan, an outfielder for the Wildcats, batted .382, while his twin Jovan, also an outfielder batted a respectable .280 last season.

It was a good week to pick Yorba Linda’s versatile Ricky Lane with a 99-yard interception return. Photo: Hudl.com.


Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Ricky Lane
(Yorba Linda)

We go back to Orange County for the second straight week for our Southern California Defensive Player of the Week, and like many times this one could be multi-purpose.

The bottom line is when Lane gets a lane to run in you better look out, because last week he found one on both defense and offense in 30-3 victory over Foothill of Santa Ana.

With time running out in the first half, Ricky decided to get picky after he intercepted a pass at the one and raced down the sideline 99 yards for a touchdown that gave the Mustangs a 20-0 lead.

In the third quarter on offense Lane hauled in a perfect pass from quarterback Giovanni Micallef and outraced two defenders for an 86-yard touchdown.

On the season, Lane has 17 receptions for 347 of the Mustangs’ 424 receiving yards and both of the TD receptions. On defense, he has two interceptions and he also excels on special teams, punting for a 34.7 yard average, and returning punts, including a 31-yarder.

Two years ago as a sophomore on the 12-3 Yorba Linda team that made it all the way to the CIF Southern Regional 4-A Bowl Game championship before bowing out to Long Beach St. Anthony, Lane was the team’s leading receiver with 883 yards and seven TDs and also led the team with five interceptions.

For good measure, and like our other two SoCal honorees, Lane is also a standout on the Mustangs’ baseball team after leading Yorba Linda with a .394 batting average.

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

Cade Marshman
(Glendora) Jr.

For our Southern California Special Teams honoree we go east on historic Route 66 to the San Gabriel Valley for a player that was all over the field last week in a 42-7 drubbing of West Covina.

Cade made the grade for this award by returning a punt 89 yards for a touchdown and for five punt returns for 125 yards, but he did a lot more.

On offense, the 6-0foot, 160-pound wide receiver had seven catches for 80 yards and one touchdown in the West Covina win, and on the season he leads the Tartans with 23 catches for 335 yards and three touchdowns.

On defense as a free safety, Marshman was the man there as well after scoring twice, once on a 10-yard scoop of a fumble and also on a 20-yard interception.

Last but not least, Marshman also plays baseball like our other two SoCal award winners, and although his .278 average might not seem that great the league that Glendora plays in and the competition it faces is at the elite level.

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


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