NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of the six NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week are Bryun Parham of Long Beach Poly and JT Willis of Lincoln. Photos: ALLinPress / Courtesy school & Hudl.com.


This week’s first set of weekly honorees for the 2021 spring season go out to a Fighting Zebras’ quarterback, a CIF state champ from 2019, a quarterback who directed emotional win in memory of his late coach, a linebacker with extreme intelligence, the No. 1 punter in the nation and to a player from the small Northern California town of Portola.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email markjtennis@gmail.com. We pick the winners on Monday nights.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

J.T. Willis
(Lincoln) Sr.

For our NorCal Offensive Player of the Week, we go out the Interstate-80 corridor east of Sacramento and 10 miles north of Rocklin on Highway 65 to find our award winner.

The student section for the Fighting Zebras known as “The Zoo” wasn’t there to cheer on Willis and the team, but the senior signal-caller still had an unbelievably solid first game in the COVID-19 shortened season to lead Lincoln to a 54-41 victory over Foothill League rival Placer of Auburn. The Hillmen have been a local powerhouse in recent years and this was the first victory by the Fighting Zebras over the Hillmen since 2016.

Willis didn’t account for all the Lincoln TDs in the barnburner but he had five of the eight on an impressive 20 of 28 passing for 244 yards and the five scores with no interceptions. JT even had 21 yards rushing on three carries.

For a first game, and under the circumstances of the pandemic and not having beaten an arch rival in five years, the 137.5 quarterback rating for Willis is a pretty darn good way to start a season that up until now has been up in the air.

We know Willis would want to give a shout-out to his teammates, particularly his favorite target Kyle Remigio. The senior wide receiver had three of the TD pass receptions and finished with five catches for 119 yards receiving.

Seeley attended prestigious Nike event prior to his junior season at Clayton Valley. Photo: Twitter.com.


Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Dylan Seeley
(Clayton Valley, Concord) Sr.

The Clayton Valley 20-15 victory on the road in Sacramento at Inderkum had multiple stars in a game where interceptions played a big role in the outcome.

Seeley didn’t get the interception that sealed the deal, that pick came from senior Ryan Sparks with 1:12 left, but the 6-foot-1, 220-pound middle linebacker was dealing on defense all night for the Ugly Eagles.

Seeley had two interceptions in the game, one in the first quarter and one in the fourth quarter prior to Sparks’ pick as the Uglies intercepted Inderkum on its final two series of the game.

Seeley also tied for team-high with seven tackles, six solo. He even got in the act on offense with a 24-yard pass reception.

As a junior during the fall of 2019, Seeley was one of the leaders on defense for a team that went to the CIF D2-AA state championship and then defeated Aquinas of San Bernardino. Dylan had 75 tackles for the season with one interception and a blocked field goal.

On top of football, Seeley also is reported with a 3.94 GPA.

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

Shane Curren
(Portola) Sr.

It’s not often that we go to the far north and choose a player from the CIF Northern Section, but this is the week we do, and as a result we head 50 miles north of Truckee and 30 miles west of the Nevada border to a town that’s known as the home of the Western Pacific Railroad Museum.

To say Shane was on his game would be pretty accurate, and although he wasn’t a one-man wrecking crew Curren was close to being just that in the Tigers’ 39-0 blanking of nearby Loyalton.

From a scoring standpoint, Curren’s foot was all the scoring that was needed after the 6-foot, 165-pound kicker booted three field goals in the victory. His kicking prowess is a big part of why we’re making him the NorCal Special Teams Player of the Week, but there’s more to his special teams work. Shane is also the team’s punter, returns punts, and kicks off as well.

There was only one punt return but Curren took it 51 yards to house and pay dirt. As a punter he only had one punt for 37 yards, and he had seven decent kickoffs as well.

But wait a minute, you guessed it, Shane was not done. Portola likes to run the ball and although he didn’t lead the team in rushing yardage, Curren had the most carries and TDs and finished with nine of the team’s 19 rushing attempts for 65 yards and two touchdowns.

Besides his kicking and running, there’s still even more. On defense at safety, Curren had an interception to go with two tackles. It’s just that with three made field goals and a 51-yard punt return TD in the same game special teams it is for Shane.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Bryun Parham
(Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) Sr.

Besides St. Francis-Mira Costa listed above, another of the great games on opening weekend in SoCal was the one between Long Beach Poly and Serra of Gardena. It went into overtime and thanks in part to a huge sack by Parham the Jackrabbits were able to post a 27-21 triumph.

For the game, Bryun came up with six tackles, two for loss, two sacks and four more hurries. He led a defense that held Serra to 64 yards rushing on 19 attempts.

The team captain of the Jackrabbits and San Jose State commit had 102 tackles, 24 TFL, 8 sacks, and 3 caused fumbles as a junior and earned First Team All-CIFSS honors.

“Bryun is an exceptional talent and has one of the highest football IQs I have ever seen,” Long Beach Poly head coach Stephen Barbee told Cal-Hi Sports. “His film study of an opponent is unparalleled, which sets him up to be successful on Friday night. His ability to understand offensive sets, certain game situations and what the offense is trying to do really gave us an advantage facing a very talented Serra offense. He played lights out and forced the Serra team to account for him on every play.”

Segovia has been selected for the All-American Bowl that will be broadcast on NBC. Photo: nbcsports.com.


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

Brenden Segovia
(Oaks Christian, Westlake Village)

We got out Highway 101 to the farthest reaches of Los Angeles County near the border with Ventura County for our SoCal Special Teams Player of the Week.

To say Segovia has a booming foot and legs would be a bit on an understatement. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior, who is listed by every major recruiting service as one of the top punting and kicking prospects in the nation, and who had 12 D1 offers before settling on Maryland, showed his stuff in fine fettle against Paraclete.

On kickoffs Brenden blasted five out of six as touchbacks and averaged 57.2 yards per kickoff. As a punter, his numbers were even better. On five punts, Segovia averaged 53.8 yards per punt with a longest of 72 yards.

Segovia connected on his only field goal when he split the uprights from 30 yards out, and about the only thing that wasn’t perfect on the night was he missed one PAT out of five attempts.

If you look at the box score of the Oaks Christian win, you’ll see some solid defensive stars as well, including junior Sterling Lane with four sacks and junior Carson Schwesinger with two interceptions, but there were others we liked on defense as well while it was just a good week to honor Segovia, and very deservedly so.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Jack Jacobs
(St. Francis, La Canada) Soph.

For our Southern California Offensive honoree, we head to the Crescenta Valley in the western edge of the San Gabriel Valley just northwest of Pasadena around 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

It’s up in the hills that we find a young quarterback who has a father, Brian Jacobs, that used to block for signal-callers as an All State offensive lineman at Hart of Newhall, and then later at UCLA.

Jack and his teammates had an extra incentive in the Golden Knights’ thrilling 38-35 victory on the road at Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. The team was playing with a heavy heart since because of the delay of the season caused by COVID-19, it was the first game they have played without their longtime beloved head coach Jim Bonds, who passed away late last October after a two-year battle with cancer.

Playing for interim head coach and former assistant Ted Corcoran, the Golden Knights led by Jacobs got the job done.

The way the game was decided could not have been more exciting for the few fans that were there in both sets of stands, only it was the visitors that got the biggest thrill.

Trailing 35-31 and facing fourth-and-10 from the 11-yard line with 23 seconds left, Jacobs found Evan Jernagan with the winning TD pass.

Even with just a few seconds left, the hosts were not done. In three plays, Mira Costa drove to the St. Francis 23-yard line but a 40-yard field goal attempt that would have tied the game sailed wide left and Jacobs and his mates could celebrate.

Besides his game-winning TD pass, the line for Jacobs was 24 of 39 passing for 395 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 15 yards.

Jacobs’ favorite target, senior Bryson Reeves, had a game himself worthy of honors after hauling in nine passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns.

Somewhere up there, Bonds, who like Brian Jacobs was a Hart graduate, is smiling.

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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