SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal honorees are Dylan Wheatley from Redlands Citrus Valley & Youlas Dickson from Atwater Buhach Colony. Photos: Twitter.com & mercedsunstar.com.


There were several performances statewide that got close to qualifying for the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book and we honor one of the players that got close and three that actually do earn a spot. We also had another player who could have qualified for Multi-Purpose if we had that category like we do for All State teams, but he still earned a weekly honor.

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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 Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Dylan Wheatley
(Citrus Valley, Redlands) Jr.

For our Southern California offensive honoree, we head out to the Inland Empire east of San Bernardino to a school appropriately named for a region that prior to World War II was one of largest orange producing areas in the world.

Dylan wasn’t exactly picking oranges, but in his most recent performance, and in more than one game this season, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound quarterback has been picking out his receivers with pinpoint accuracy.

Last week, in a 56-7 rout of neighboring Yucaipa that got the CIF Southern Section Division 6 No. 5 ranked Blackhawks to 6-0 and 1-0 in the Citrus Belt League standings, Wheatley completely dazzled the home crowd after going 14-of-17 passing for 319 yards and six touchdowns.

The six TD passes is a reported Citrus Valley record for a school that had its first varsity team in the 2009 season. The twist is this is the third time this season Wheatley has thrown six TD passes. He first had six TDs in a win over Ontario Colony in week two and followed that up the next week with six scoring strikes in a big win over La Quinta.

Going into a Friday night game at crosstown arch-rival Redlands, Wheatley has thrown for 1,531 yards and 30 TDs with only two interceptions. Although his passing yardage is not among the reported leaders of the CIF Southern Section, the 30 TD passes is tied for second.

Nick Billoups is starting to get a lot of recruiting attention, but for what role? He’s about as versatile as you can get. Photo: StudentSports.com.


Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Nick Billoups
(San Clemente) Sr.

To the southernmost part of Orange County is where we go for our Southern California defensive award winner. There we find a quarterback who was nominated by our Orange County correspondent Chuck Nan, but we’re not sure Nan knew Nick was going to be honored for defense since his latest performance was truly Multi-Purpose. Defense is where it is that Nick finds his niche for this honor.

Last week, in a 44-28 Tritons victory over nearby Tesoro of Las Flores, Billoups had what Nan called “the game of his life” after the 6-foot-2, 184-pound signal caller who also plays defensive back had a hand in five of his team’s six touchdowns.

Billoups’ first score came on a 28-yard run that gave San Clemente a 10-0 lead. Then, after Tesoro closed to 10-7, Billoups started earning his defensive honors with a 48-yard pick six that gave Cal-Hi Sports No. 23 and CIF Southern Section Division 1/2 No. 10 ranked San Clemente a 17-7 lead. Next, after an interception gave the ball back to the Tritons, he took it in on a 1-yard plunge to give San Clemente a 24-7 halftime lead.

After using his legs and an interception to score his first three TDs, Nick went to his quick release and had a 7-yard TD pass to Cole Batson that gave the Tritons a 31-7 lead. After Tesoro fought back to close it to 31-21, Billoups found Batson a second time as the two connected on a 17-yard TD pass to give San Clemente a 38-21 lead with seven minutes to go in the game.

Finally, after Tesoro scored quickly to get it to 38-28, and after San Clemente punted the ball back to Tesoro, Billoups, who transferred to San Clemente after playing two years at St. Anthony of Long Beach, came up huge again on defense after intercepting a pass he returned 34 yards to the Tesoro one where teammate James Bohls scored the game’s final points.

All in all, it was two TDs rushing, two TDs passing, and two pass interceptions with the one that was returned for a score. The bottom line is Billoups’ truly amazing all-around performance was very worthy for one of our weekly statewide honors.

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

Ezekeal “Zeke” Mata
(Mission Hills, San Marcos) Sr.

North San Diego County is where we land for our Southern California special teams honoree, and there we find Zeke whom we have to fete for his recent performance as a kicking specialist.

It’s a rare occurrence when opposing fans or coaches would send us a nomination for a player that just helped beat their team, but while we won’t give you any names, we will tell you that in a true show of sportsmanship that’s just how we came upon Mata. It was from one of Oceanside’s coaches.

Last week, in a 27-0 victory over Avocado League rival Oceanside, Mata was magnificent. He had two field goals of 53 and 29 yards. We are not positive, but despite the 53-yard field goal not making the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book, we have not heard of a longer field goal being reported this year.

Kicking field goals was not the only thing Mata did well. He made his three PAT attempts, plus all his kickoffs were touchbacks with two reportedly splitting the uprights.

As a punter, he hit a 65-yarder that went out of bounds at the Oceanside 10-yard line, and two of his other punts went out of bounds at the one and the four. Mata has been one of the state’s top kickers the past two seasons and this latest outing definitely proves that.

Dylan Overstreet actually has been making big plays at Casa Roble long before last week’s hard-to-fathom interception return. Photo: Hudl.com.


Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Dylan Overstreet
(Casa Roble, Orangevale) Sr.

The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and the Metro Sacramento suburb that neighbors Folsom is our destination for the Northern California Defensive Player of the week, and for this honoree his spot in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book could be a real prominent one.

Now, that various forms of reliable video like YouTube and Hudl, plus other sources for looking at plays in a game are available, Cal-Hi Sports co-founder and publisher Mark Tennis looked at some film more than once to confirm what Overstreet accomplished in his most recent performance.

Last week, in a 56-0 shellacking of Sacramento Mira Loma, Overstreet had two pick six interception returns for touchdowns. The two interceptions for scores is more than enough to qualify for being named a weekly defensive honoree, but what makes Dylan’s accomplishment even more magnificent is Tennis confirmed that one of the returns to pay dirt was for 108 yards. We believe that ties the record set first in 1997 by Jason Requejo of Carpinteria and tied in 1999 by Andrew King from Rancho Buena Vista (Vista) for the longest interception return in state history.

Overstreet also had four tackles in the game and for good measure Overstreet got in on the offense with one carry for 41 yards rushing but he didn’t score.

So far this season, the 5-foot-9, 168-pound free safety and running back has three interceptions, a forced fumble and 40 tackles on defense, and he has 494 yards and seven TDs combined rushing and receiving.

To see Dylan’s 108-yard pick six, CLICK HERE.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Mason Frost
(Santa Rosa) Sr.

We had a number of big-time offensive performances in Northern California last week, but we’re going to the Redwood Empire portion of the CIF North Coast Section and to the City of Roses for this week’s Northern California offensive award winner for two reasons.

First, this feature is a way to help us track new additions to the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book and Frost is going to get an entry, and second we like to spread things around and occasionally honor a diamond in the rough, and Mason qualifies after being nominated and uncovered by Nate Smith of Prep2Prep.

To say Frost stepped up big at a time when his team really needed him is an understatement, and while some teams roll up those extra yards and scores to set records, Santa Rosa head coach Russell Ponce needed every ounce of effort Mason could give him.

Last week, in a 50-44 overtime victory over El Molino of Forestville, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder went for a school record 439 yards rushing on 27 carries with six TDs, including two TD runs of over 80 yards, and a 25-yard run to pay dirt for the game winner on the Panthers’ first offensive play in overtime.

Santa Rosa came into the game 1-5 so getting a win to open their four games in the North Bay League – Redwood Division was essential to their playoff hopes, but the twist is Frost is an unlikely hero.

Frost was a baseball player at Santa Rosa that decided to come out for football this season. He made the team but as a wide receiver, then he got banged up. Concurrent with his return, the starting quarterback broke his hand and Frost went from wide receiver to running back.

“When our quarterback broke his hand we had to change back to a running game and Mason became our primary running back,” Ponce remarked.

In his first outing at running back, and in a 30-6 victory over Franklin (Stockton) two weeks ago, Frost had 115 yards and one touchdown.

“I wish I could take credit for discovering him but I had never heard of him,” Ponce said. “He came to our meeting and started lifting weights, and then I saw him on the basketball court and he looked like he could jump through the roof.”

“He’s special,” continued Ponce. “I just don’t get kids like that. Plus, he’s humble, a tough kid, and always has a smile on his face. Thank you so much for recognizing him.”

Not only does Frost get recognized but his 439 yards gets a spot in the Record Book on the Most Yards (Game) list for rushing, and the mark is also No. 6 all time in the CIF North Coast Section and No. 2 in the Redwood Empire.

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

Youlas Dickson III
(Buhach Colony, Atwater) Sr.

For our Northern California Special Teams Player of the Week we go to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section a second time only this time we go to the southern portion of the section 20 miles south of Turlock on Highway 99 for another player who is going to grace the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book.

Last week, in a 64-0 thrashing of El Capitan of Merced that got Buhach Colony to 6-0 overall this season and 2-0 in the Central California Conference, Dickson took a kickoff and went 85 yards for a touchdown.

What makes it even more noteworthy is the run to paydirt for a score on the kickoff was the seventh time this season that Youlas has returned a kickoff or a punt for a touchdown (four kickoffs, three punts), and not only does that get him a spot in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book in the category of most kick return TDs for a season, it may be a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section record with at least four more games to play. With the way Buhach Colony is going, he may also have some more games in the CIFSJS Division III playoffs and beyond if the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Dickson and his Thunder teammates can make some noise from here on out.

For some more added perspective, one of those from Northern California who had six kick return TDs for one season was current L.A. Rams cornerback Marcus Peters when he was playing at McClymonds of Oakland.

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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