NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Mountain View’s Gabe Barrett (at far left with freshman brother Liam) and Woodland Pioneer’s Lauren Bryson. Photos: Barrett Family &

For this week’s journeys, we venture to Mountain View near San Jose in the north and El Cajon east of San Diego in the south for our baseball honorees, while it’s to Woodland close to Sacramento in Northern California and the High Desert city of Palmdale in Southern California for this week’s softball award winners. Our two baseball players both threw no-hitters, but you’ll have to go inside to see which one had 17 strikeouts and which one had 16.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email We are picking the winners on Monday nights for the rest of the spring season.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Gabe Barrett
(Mountain View) Sr.

For this week’s Northern California Baseball Player of the Week award winner, we visit the San Jose metro area about 15-miles west-northwest of downtown San Jose where we report on an afternoon that will be a lasting memory for the Barrett family.

Last week, in a 3-0 victory over Wilcox of Santa Clara, Barrett, a 6-foot-1 right-handed pitcher who plays infield when he’s not on the mound, fired a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts and was separated from a perfecto by three walks. What made it a family affair is his little brother, freshman Liam Barrett, was the backstop for his big brother and the Spartans’ catcher handled everything without a glitch.

The one thing the brothers didn’t do was get a hit in five combined at-bats, but senior John Founds and Ken Pan had the backs of Gabe and Liam as each had an RBI and that was more than Mountain View needed in the no-no.

On the season when the Spartans were 6-2, Gabe was 3-0 with a 0.37 ERA and 39 strikeouts with only five hits and 10 walks in 19 innings pitched. He might not have gotten a knock against Wilcox, but on the season he was hitting .360 with two triples, a double, seven RBI and six runs scored.

The pair were featured in the San Jose Mercury-News and it was obvious the prep editor Darren Sabedra looked up info in our state record files without having to call us or text. The records show that there was an 18-strikeout no-hitter just a few years ago in the CIF Central Coast Section thrown by San Jose Valley Christian’s Patrick Wicklander.

Austin Smith had a 16-strikeout no-hitter last week for Granite Hills of El Cajon. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Austin Smith
(Granite Hills, El Cajon) Sr.

We head out the I-8 east of San Diego to El Cajon for our Southern California Baseball Player of the Week. There we find a pitcher and slugger who has been tearing it up on the mound and at the plate.

Last week, in a 5-0 win over West Hills of neighboring Santee, Smith tossed a no-hitter and struck out 16 batters with only two bases on balls keeping him from throwing a perfect game.

It was the second straight outing in which Austin was in command. Two weeks ago, he had a two-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a 1-0 victory over Scripps Ranch of San Diego.

Smith also stole two bases and scored a run in the West Hills win, and in the Scripps Ranch victory he was 3 for 3 with two doubles, and he scored the only run in the game.

The 11-5 Eagles had a game Wednesday with La Mesa Helix that was done before this week’s honorees were announced, but coming into that game Smith was 3-2 with a 1.98 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 35.1 innings pitched. At the plate, Austin was leading the team with a .415 batting average, and as a fielder he only had one error in 28 total chances.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Lauren Bryson
(Pioneer, Woodland) Sr.

For our Northern California Softball Player of the Week selection, we head about 20-miles west-northwest of the state capitol on I-5 to the rapidly growing community of Woodland and it’s now nearly 70,000 residents is where we land.

There we find a infielder and outfielder that we are not only honoring with a statewide award, but yesterday it was announced that Bryson has also been selected by the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section as one of 41 winners of this year’s A. Dale Lackey Student-Athlete Awards.

First off, we want to tell you why we chose Bryson as this week’s NorCal softball winner, and then we’ll tell you why the Sac-Joaquin Section chose her for one its prestigious honors.

Lauren already was written up in our Stat Stars feature last week for having four doubles (which makes the record book) in a win two weeks ago over Winters, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Last week, in a 10-0 win over Winters, Bryson blasted three home runs and had four RBI and four runs scored. Already this week, in a 12-2 win over crosstown arch-rival Woodland, Lauren hit her sixth home run of the season and drove in two runners.

So far in a 7-1 season, besides the six round trippers that are top 25 mark in the state and top five in the section, her .846 batting average was first not only in the section but in the entire state, among reported totals to MaxPreps. Bryson is also the Sac-Joaquin Section leader in slugging percentage at 1.846, and that is also the No. 2 reported mark in the state.

Now, about the A. Dale Lackey Student-Athlete Awards. Each year the Sac-Joaquin Section recognizes the top male and female student-athletes within the section and two-sport standout Bryson was more than deserving.

Bryson is a four-year softball player and also a three-year volleyball player with two Golden Empire All League selections in softball and one in volleyball. She’s a member of student body government and a four-year member of the Principal’s Honor Roll. She coaches two YMCA girls basketball teams and two youth league softball teams and volunteers as a tutor and at her local animal shelter. Lauren has a 4.41 GPA, which is No. 2 in her class of 321. She’ll attend Santa Clara University where she’ll play softball and major in business finance and criminal justice with a future goal of owning her own business.

Darkness is about to set in as Palmdale Highland’s Keira Carrillo looks to hit. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Keira Carrillo
(Highland, Palmdale) Jr.

The High Desert city of Palmdale around 70 miles north of Los Angeles is where we land in search of our Southern California Softball Player of the Week. There we find, Carrillo, a junior slugging outfielder that looks like she’s trying follow in the hitting footsteps of former Highland star and current UCLA redshirt senior Rachel Garcia, whose prowess helped lead the Bruins to an NCAA title in 2019.

It’s also a family affair for Keira as her two older sisters, Jocelyn and Rozelyn, also were standouts at Highland and are now playing at South Dakota State.

Carrillo has been smacking the ball around all season, and while her overall body of work helped solidify her for this week’s honors, her performances last week sealed the deal.

Keira began last week by going 3 for 4 with her one home run this season, three RBI and three runs scored in a blowout of Lancaster Antelope Valley. Carrillo followed that up with a 3 for 3 performance with a triple, double, two RBI and two runs scored in another run-rule victory over crosstown arch-rival Palmdale. On Friday she had another 3 for 3 outing with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored in another lopsided win over Antelope Valley – and already this week Carrillo went 2 for 4 with a triple and a run scored in a run-rule win over Lancaster.

So far, in a 10-1 season for the Bulldogs, Carrillo was batting .706 with the one homer, three triples, five doubles, 12 RBI and 19 runs scored. The .706 batting average also was the No. 11 reported mark in the state.

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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