NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal players of the week are Tyler Tremain (left) of Folsom and Amir Bankhead from Paraclete of Lancaster. Photos: ABC10 / &

For week three of our NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week honors for this very different spring season, we re-visit the Sacramento area and land in Folsom, head to the Bay Area and stop in San Francisco, head south and hit the Central Valley town of Corcoran, then continue south to the High Desert city of Lancaster, then go further south to the San Diego North County, and we finish up in southern San Diego County and in Chula Vista.

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

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Tyler Tremain
(Folsom) Jr.

We return to the Sacramento metro area for the second time this season for our NorCal offensive award winner, and for the second time it’s a quarterback, only this time he’s from a school that has a reputation as a quarterback factory.

Quite often we look for diamonds in the rough or record-shattering performances and shy away from honoring high profile players that more often than not get their props in other places, however in this shortened season we couldn’t let the kind of start Tremain has had go unnoticed.

Tremain actually was an unknown commodity coming into the season. He wasn’t even the projected starter but was thrust into the position when Ari Patu decided to forego his senior season and enroll early at Stanford. On top of that pressure, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior had some big shoes to fill since the Bulldogs’ signal-caller is a position that has produced a whole ton of passing records.

In fact, in the Football Individual Records: Career Passing section of the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book, the caption that accompanies the picture of 2014 Mr. Football State Player of the Year Jake Browning, the all-time leading passer for career yardage and TDs (plus a lot of other spots in the Record Book), says Folsom “is where state passing records go to die.”

Tremain isn’t close to making the Record Book and it’s not going to happen this season unless he explodes for a single game that makes that list, but he’s had three solid performances, and after Folsom lost the top spot in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section it held for over a decade last season, Tyler has things ticking and Folsom is back on top of the section and ranked No. 2 in Northern California and No. 9 in the state in the latest Cal-Hi Sports State Top 50 Football Rankings.

Last week, in a crushing 45-6 victory over Sierra Foothill League rival Del Oro of Loomis, Tremain had his best game of the season after passing for 399 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.

Coupled with his first two games, 297 yards passing with three TDs and one interception in a 23-18 victory over defending CIFSJS D1 champion Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills), and 302 yards passing and four TDs with two picks in a 35-25 victory over Granite Bay, Tremain now has 998 yards in the air with 12 TDs and three interceptions for a 123.0 quarterback rating. Tyler didn’t run much against Del Oro but he also has 53 yards rushing and one TD this season. The 998 yards passing is the top reported mark in the Sac-Joaquin Section and No. 2 in the state.

Second year Folsom head coach Paul Doherty likes what he sees in Tremain. “I’m thrilled with Tyler’s progress from his sophomore to his junior year and this year from week one to week three he has continued to improve. His biggest strides of progress have come from staying in the pocket, remaining a passer, and finding receivers downfield under pressure.”

Opponents having to deal with Tyler on offense get a dose of double-trouble when they have to deal with his twin brother on defense, Josh Tremain. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker is among the reported state leaders in tackles with 37 including seven for loss and two sacks.

But wait a minute, we better cover all the bases or we could create a rift in the Tremaine family, because with Folsom’s kicker the family poses a triple threat.

Tyler is No. 2 in passing in the state and Josh is the No. 5 reported tackler, but cousin Jake Tremain matches Josh as the No. 5 reported kicker in California. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound sophomore hasn’t missed on 13 PATs and two field goals. Jake is also doing double duty right now as a member of the Bulldogs’ baseball team.

If this keeps up, Folsom might start becoming known as Tremain town the next couple of years.

Jahsai Shannon could be one of the most versatile players in the CIF Central Coast Section for the spring season. Photo:

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

Jahsai Shannon
(St. Ignatius, San Francisco) Sr.

We head to the Sunset District in what’s called The West Side of San Francisco less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean for our Northern California Special Teams Player of the Week.

Shannon, a 6-foot senior who besides playing on special teams also plays running back and strong safety, had an all around super outing but it’s his special teams work that’s getting recognized.

In a season-opening 42-0 blanking of crosstown West Catholic Athletic League rival Archbishop Riordan, and in a game played in bright sunshine in an area sometimes blanketed by fog, Shannon started things off with a bang.

Shannon was hindered last season by a fracture in his ankle but he wasted no time showing his speed as Riordan must have thought Shannon was shot out of a cannon after he took the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to open the rout.

On offense, Jahsai added a first quarter rushing touchdown, and on defense he had a pass interception and two additional picks negated by penalties, all before exiting midway through the third quarter to cheer on the reserves from the sidelines.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Dalton Armbruster
(Corcoran) Sr.

It didn’t happen the first two weeks of the football season so reminding readers that for all our Player of the Week awards for all sports the CIF Central Section is considered part of Northern California.

Now, we finally get to visit The Valley as the locals call the Central Section, and we land in Corcoran, a town of around 25,000 that’s 20 miles south of Hanford and 20 miles west of Tulare where highways 43 and 137 intersect.

It’s in this town that’s affectionately known as “The Farming Capital of California” where we find our Northern California Defensive Player of the Week.

Last week, in a season-opening 28-14 win over Fowler, Armbruster, a senior defensive back and wide receiver, used his arms to bust up the Fowler passing game after coming up with three interceptions, including one he took to the house for a touchdown.

Just like our NorCal offensive award winner it’s a family affair for our defensive honoree’s team as the Armbruster brothers’ arms accounted for all the Corcoran touchdowns.

As a wide receiver, Dalton teamed up with his little brother, sophomore Gage Armbruster, to account for most of the 311 yards passing of senior quarterback Herman Luna. Dalton had eight receptions for 79 yards, and Gage had six catches for 116 yards and all three TDs Luna tossed.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Amir Bankhead
(Paraclete, Lancaster) Sr.

Our search for this week’s Southern California Offensive Player of the Week takes us to the Antelope Valley in the High Desert north of Los Angeles where we find a four-year varsity player that has fought injuries over the years, and now after playing running back he is being used in a Wildcat formation by Paraclete head coach Dean Herrington where Bankhead has helped get Paraclete off to a 2-1 in this abbreviated season.

Last week, in a hastily arranged game with Monrovia, which was looking for a game after its original opponent canceled, and Paraclete was willing to make the trek down the hill, the 5-foot-9, 205-pound Bankhead took the visiting Spirits to the bank in a 52-13 victory.

Several sources had different rushing numbers and the team’s reported numbers had not been updated as of Tuesday afternoon, but one thing is clear and that is Amir rushed for six TDs and over 300 yards with the highest number we saw being 350 yards rushing.

Bankhead opened the scoring with a 69-yard romp to paydirt from the Wildcat formation and never looked back. Bankhead was also 3 for 4 passing for 58 yards and caught three passes himself for 25 yards.

Should the 350 yards rushing be the final number, Bankhead, who reportedly has an offer from Colorado, would have 607 yards rushing and eight TD in the three games, and that yardage number would be the top reported mark in the state.

Jaiden Letua has been a leader of the Mission Hills defense so far this spring. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Jaiden Letua
(Mission Hills, San Marcos) Jr.

North San Diego County halfway between Oceanside and Escondido on Highway 78 is where we land in our search for the Southern California Defensive Player of the Week, who comes from the alma mater of San Francisco 49ers All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner.

Last week, in a 38-7 home victory over Temecula Valley of Temecula, Letua, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound junior, who like Warner was, is a Grizzlies’ linebacker. He had an excellent all around game but it’s on defense where he’s being recognized for this week’s SoCal defensive honors.

From his middle linebacker position, Letua returned an interception for a score for the second straight week.

Letua also scored on special teams in the same game when he recovered a long snap that went over the Temecula Valley punter’s head for a scoop and score that gave Mission Hills a 31-0 lead.

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

Adrian “Tai” Manolo
(Olympian, Chula Vista) Sr.

The South Bay portion of San Diego County around five miles north on Highway 125 of the Otay Mesa border crossing with Mexico is where we go for our Southern California Special Teams Player of the Week.

Chula Vista means “beautiful view” in Spanish and in a season-opening 57-14 blasting of crosstown rival Chula Vista about the only view the host Spartans had for most of the night was the backside of Tai’s jersey.

Manolo was a like a man among boys. The senior not only returns kickoffs, but plays wide receiver and cornerback, and even running back occasionally. He didn’t just score on special teams but it is his 90-yard kickoff return that is earning him the weekly honor.

What Manolo did do against Chula Vista is a rarity as he scored four different ways in the same game. Besides the long return, Tai also scored on a pick six, on a rushing play, and on a pass reception.

Like we said, the Chula Vista view of Manolo was not exactly a Chula Vista.

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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