SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week honorees are Andre Bravo of Strathmore (left) for defense and Trey Tribble from Kaiser of Fontana for offense. Photos: &

Since we are always looking for performances that could qualify for the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book, or for players that don’t always get a lot of props, the fact all three honorees from Southern California are from unbeaten teams, and two of three from Northern California are from unbeatens, is a bit of an anomaly. This week’s award winners are from Fontana, Culver City, Spring Valley in Southern California, and Half Moon Bay, Strathmore and Santa Rosa.

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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 Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Trey Tribble (Kaiser, Fontana) Jr.

Out we go to the Inland Empire just south of Interstate 10 in Fontana, or maybe for those of us old enough to remember the original Star Trek, we’ve taken a trip back to the past to the episode “The Trouble with Tribbles,” because this Tribble has been a whole lot of trouble for opposing defenses trying to contain him this season.

Last week, in a 37-21 Sunkist League victory over crosstown rival Summit, Tribble didn’t exactly dribble, he aired it out for 303 yards on only 7-of-9 passing with two touchdowns, a 72-yarder to junior Joseph Glenn and a 67-yard TD pass to junior Nate Bedolla. In fact, he did have one short completion to Glenn, but on the other six passes completed the 6-foot, 165-pound Tribble averaged just under 50 yards per reception.

If that’s not enough Trey, as he’s known, fell just short of 500 total yards after rushing for 165 yards on 27 carries with three touchdowns.

So far this season for an 8-0 Cats team that is 3-0 in league and knocking on the door of the State Top 50 rankings, Tribble hasn’t really passed much with 973 yards and seven TDs, but he’s rushed for 1,020 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Tribble wasn’t the big star last year at Kaiser since that was Christian Hunter, who rushed for 3,839 yards and 55 TDs and earned a spot in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book for both marks, but Trey was a big contributor with 1,109 yards and 14 TDs and 1,153 and nine more scores for a Kaiser team that went 14-2 and won the CIF Southern Section Division 8 and CIF Southern Regional Division 3-A Bowl Game titles before falling to Wilcox of Santa Clara in the CIF Division 3-A state championship.

This is the view of Steele Canyon opponents the last two weeks whenever Chance Johnson gets his hands on a kick return or punt return. Photo:

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

Chance Johnson (Steele Canyon, Spring Valley) Jr.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for our Southern California Special Teams Player of the Week.

Yes, it’s a cliché, but in reality the bottom line is to say teams are taking a chance when they kick the ball to Chance, is a huge understatement.

Last week, in a 49-7 romp over neighboring Valhalla of El Cajon, the 6-foot, 185-pound return specialist who plays strong safety and slotback, took two kickoffs to the house with returns of 78 and 84 yards for touchdowns.

Two weeks ago, in a 35-13 victory over nearby El Capitan of Lakeside, Johnson had punt returns of 51 and 59 yards for touchdowns.

We said he has been busy, and the icing on the cake for Chance was between the two games he received an offer from San Jose State. Its not his first offer but the Spartans seem to be willing to take a chance on Chance, and it appears to be his top offer, so we shall see.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Isaiah Williams (Culver City) Sr.

Last week we just about went to the City within the City of Los Angeles just north of LA International Airport for our Southern California defensive honoree, but somehow after looking at the defensive numbers Williams has been putting up we felt we would have the opportunity to visit Culver City before the season was over, and this week we have that chance.

Led by junior quarterback Zevi Eckhaus and senior wide receiver Chris Miller, plus others, Culver City has been putting up some explosive offensive numbers, and Eckhaus had another monster performance worthy of recognition, but after two huge defensive performances it’s Williams that garners the honors this week.

Last week, in a 42-9 victory over El Segundo, Williams was like a one-man wrecking crew on defense after finishing with 18 tackles (two for loss) and a sack. His team-high tackles were 10 more than his next closest teammate.

Two weeks ago, when we strongly considered Williams, the Centaurs linebacker had 15 tackles with three for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery in a 32-27 win over nearby Lawndale. The high-water mark for Isaiah was 21 tackles and Culver City needed them all in a 55-52 victory over Palos Verdes of Palos Verdes Estates. So far this season Williams has recorded 102 tackles with nine for loss, five sacks and three fumble recoveries.

We can’t mention every one of Williams’ teammates who are putting up big numbers, but we know Isaiah would want to give a shout out to Eckhaus. Without his numbers along with Williams and all the Centaurs, Culver City would not be 8-0, Cal-Hi Sports No. 31 overall and No. 1 for Medium Schools. In the El Segundo win the 6-foot, 200-pound Eckhaus passed for 469 yards and five TDs. The 469 yards passing in one yard shy of making the current list in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book on the Most Yards (Game) for passing, but the 474 yards against Peninsula (Rolling Hills Estates) does and the 577 yards against Palos Verdes is among the current top 25 on the list.

Hoffman is only a junior but already is a three-year starter for Half Moon Bay. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Tristan Hofmann (Half Moon Bay) Jr.

How appropriate that two days after their big celebration and a week before Halloween we go to the World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay where this past weekend they had the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival and Great Pumpkin Parade that drew thousands to the San Mateo County coastal community.

The winning pumpkin in the 46th annual World Championship Pumpkin Weigh Off was a California record 2,175 pound pumpkin, but before all the festivities took place a native son put in a record-setting performance of a different kind that earns Hoffman the Northern California Offensive Player of the Week award.

Last Friday, in a 54-14 victory over Menlo School of Atherton, the 6-foot, 175-pound two-way star who plays running back and linebacker, had 29 carries for a school record 363 yards rushing and a school record six touchdowns.

“Tristan is a great kid, a great student with a 4.0 GPA and he comes from a great family,” ninth-year Half Moon Bay head coach Keith Holden remarked.

Hofmann’s father, Breen Hofmann, coaches on the Cougars staff, and his older brother, Chase Hofmann, was a senior when Tristan was a freshman on the 2017 team that won the CIF Central Coast Section Division 3 championship and CIF Northern Regional Division 3-A Bowl Game title before falling in a 44-42 heartbreaker to Steele Canyon (Spring Valley) in the CIF Division 3-A state title game.

So far this season, Hofmann has 129 carries for 981 yards and 19 TDs rushing and one TD receiving. As for being a two-way star the 6-foot, 175-pounder had four tackles with two for loss and a sack against Menlo. On the season, Tristan has 54 tackles, four sacks, a fumble recovery he returned for a touchdown, and three blocked punts.

On another note and in a little advance notice for Wednesday’s rankings, Half Moon Bay went into last week as the No. 2 team in the Cal-Hi Sports Small School rankings, but with previous No. 1 Escalon losing to Ripon, Hofmann and his Cougars teammates will be getting an early Halloween present when they will be elevated to the position of No. 1 small school in the state.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Andre Bravo (Strathmore) Sr.

For our Northern California Defensive Player of the Week we head to the CIF Central Section which we remind readers is considered NorCal for all our weekly players honors in all sports. This week we’re on Highway 65 southeast of Visalia and five miles north of Porterville where we find a player where when the fans recently shouted “bravo” it was for the performance of Bravo.

Last week, in a 19-7 victory over Corcoran that got the Spartans to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in the East Sequoia League standings, Bravo was magnificent on defense after coming up with two important interceptions and four tackles from his cornerback position.

On offense as a wide receiver the two-way star snagged two pass receptions including an 11-yard TD catch.

So far this season the 5-foot-11, 160-pound two-sport star who also plays on the Spartans’ basketball team, has a reported state leading nine interceptions with one he returned for a touchdown, plus 39 tackles.

On offense, Bravo has 15 pass receptions for 263 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns.

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

Giancarlo Woods (Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa) Sr.

We go to the Rose City and the Redwood Empire portion of the CIF North Coast Section for our Northern California Special Teams Player of the Week.

Sometimes finding a special teams player to honor can take some real research, and that was the case this week. When we finally did find two candidates, both were from the same team, but since we don’t do a co-anything and never have in over 40 years of personal and team awards and rankings, a choice had to be made, and the decision was to go with Woods.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Woods was a multi-purpose star last week in a 36-19 victory over Windsor, but he’s being honored for his 86-yard kickoff return he took all the way to the house for a touchdown. It was his second kickoff return for a TD this season after getting a 94-yard return for a score in a win over Sutter.

On offense against Windsor, Woods had season highs of eight pass receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns. On the season Woods leads Cardinal Newman with 28 pass receptions for 482 yards and eight touchdowns.

In winning the weekly honor Woods edges out senior Newman kicker Ethan Kollenborn. He was 3-for-4 on PATs and 3-for-4 on field goals with a longest of 40 yards. That makes Kollenborn 7-of-9 on field goals this season with three from over 40 yards and a longest of 43 yards.

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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