NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal honorees are Jakob Galloway (left) from Banning of Wilmington and Kenneth Lorenzo from Encinal of Alameda. Photos: &

The college town of Chico, the Island City of Alameda and the Valley metropolis of Fresno are the NorCal stops this week, and in Southern California it’s the metro LA area, the Inland Empire and the far west reaches of Los Angeles County. We remind readers one of the things we do with the Players of the Week is look for entries in the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book and this week we have one.

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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
Defensive Player of the Week

Kenneth Lorenzo (Encinal, Alameda) Jr.

We find our way to the Island City of Alameda west of Oakland across the Oakland Estuary part of San Francisco Bay for this selection.

At Encinal, we find a member of the Jets that was flying so high on defense, that after turning on the afterburners, he’s snagged the Northern California Defensive Player of the week award.

Lorenzo might only be 5-foot-6 but he got up in the air last week in a 32-22 victory over Berkeley when the Encinal defensive back had four interceptions in the game.

Lorenzo also had a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, his second of the season and in a second-straight game after he returned one 88-yards two weeks ago in a win over Mt. Eden of Hayward.

The four picks in a game misses making the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book since the cut-off is five but its believed to be the most in a game in California so far this season.

Dion Coleman of Chico High may be breaking or tying a number of CIF Northern Section records over the next three seasons. He’s just a sophomore. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Dion Coleman (Chico) Soph.

The CIF Northern Section and the college town of Chico is our destination for the NorCal winner in this category. There we find a Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book entry as well.

To say Dion was “on” or that Coleman was “the man,” are clichés we know, but it’s true. He was certainly on and despite being only a sophomore definitely was the man.

Last week, in a 57-25 pounding of Yuba City that got Chico to 4-1 on the season, Coleman burned the Honkers for eight rushing touchdowns, including a 67-yard romp to pay dirt, and he did it on 30 carries for 340 yards on the ground.

Not only do the eight rushing TDs make the record Book, it gives Coleman a record for the most touchdowns scored in the history of the CIF Northern Section for 11-man football. It was reported as a section record tie, but the only two others in our files with eight TDs in a game played eight-man football (which are kept in separate categories). Coleman also is the second player in the state this year with eight TDs in a game, joining Sacramento Mira Loma’s Hamzah Mustafa. Note that we do not differentiate between rushing TDs and just scoring TDs.

So far this season, the solidly-built 5-foot-7, 175-pound Coleman has rushed for 923 yards and 16 TDs and he’s done it on a mere 67 carries. That turns into a 13.8 yard average per carry and also means a shade over four times he touches the pigskin he scores. His totals are for four games since he didn’t play in a season-opening loss at Whitney of Rocklin.

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

Imari Conley (Central, Fresno) Jr.

We find ourselves in the heart of “The Valley” as the locals like to call the CIF Central Section which we consider Northern California for these awards.

In Fresno at Central is where we find our Northern California Special Teams Player of the Week, and my gosh did he come up huge in a game that had not only implications for the state rankings but in the Tri-River Athletic Conference and ultimately the Central Section playoffs and even the state playoffs down the road for that matter.

With their at the time No. 19 ranking (now No. 17) and a lot of the other things mentioned on the line, and trailing once ranked Clovis 20-19 after the visitors scored with under four minutes left, Conley turned things around quick, fast and in a hurry for the Grizzlies. The junior standout, who also plays defensive back and occasional wide receiver, returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to the house.

Teammate Ah’marion Gaines-Smith ran in the 2-point conversion and the defense took care of business on the final Clovis drive in a 27-20 victory.

Conley also had six tackles in the game and a 10-yard pass reception. In addition, he’s one of the top track sprinters in the section.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Jakob Galloway (Banning, Wilmington) Sr.

For our Southern California Offensive Player of the Week honor, we find ourselves landing at Banning in the Wilmington District of Los Angeles just west of Long Beach and not far from the Port of Los Angeles.

Last week, in a wild-and-wacky 48-41 victory over nearby San Pedro that came down to the last play of the game, Galloway didn’t have his biggest game of the season, and he wasn’t involved in the play that won the game, but if he hadn’t rushed for 284 yards on 26 carries with two TDs, chances are the Pilots would not have been in a position to seize victory from the jaws of defeat.

Galloway may have done the galloping but the play that won the game came when leading by a point with 11 seconds left, Banning blocked a 35-yard field goal that was run back for a touchdown as time expired.

We mentioned the performance against San Pedro wasn’t the best one Jakob has had for the 5-1 Pilots this season, and so this award is as much for the overall season Galloway has had so far as he’s now rushed for over 200 yards in four consecutive games.

His best game came in a 54-40 victory over nearby Torrance North when he rushed for 385 yards and four touchdowns. Jakob followed that up with 265 yards and two TDs in the one loss Banning has had this season, 27-21, to Palos Verdes of Palos Verdes Estates. Two weeks ago, in a 56-13 win over El Camino of Woodland Hills, Galloway went for 240 yards and four TDs on only five carries, and he had a fifth score on a pass reception.

So far this season Galloway has gobbled up enough turf to go for 1,261 yards and 13 touchdowns. Jakob also has 180 yards receiving and two more scores, he has 27 tackles, he has punted a couple of times, and he has done some kickoffs as well.

On a final note the 1,261 yards rushing is the No. 2 reported mark in the Los Angeles City Section and No. 3 in the state.

Westlake of Westlake Village has one of the state’s greatest kicking traditions. Nathan Alexander of the Warriors goes for a kick above. Photo:

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

Nathan Alexander
(Westlake, Westlake Village) Sr.

The far western end of the Los Angeles metro area in Westlake Village is where we find our Southern California Special Teams Player of the Week.

The expressions “what a difference a week makes” and “in a strange twist of fate” could not apply more to Alexander.

Last week, in our write-up of the SoCal Special Teams honoree, Nathan was a footnote. Although his name was not mentioned, the 37-yard field attempt he had blocked on the last play of the game that resulted in a 15-13 loss to Valencia made the blurb.

While he wrong side of glory two weeks ago, this past week in a 27-20 victory over Paraclete of Lancaster the Warriors’ junior kicker and punter got off the bad luck truck and more than took care of business.

In the Paraclete win, he was 2-for-2 on field goals, including a 40-yarder and he made all three PAT attempts. Alexander also punted four times and got them inside the 20 twice.

In another bit of a twist, the field goal that was blocked two weeks ago is his only kicking miss all season. Nathan has made all seven PATs he’s attempted, and the other five field goal attempts, including scoring all the points after splitting the uprights three times in a 9-6 victory over Birmingham of Lake Balboa.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Ryder Chapin (Great Oak, Temecula) Jr.

The far southeasterly portion of the Inland Empire is our destination for honoring our Southern California Defensive Player of the Week.

It’s in Temecula at Great Oak that we land. There, we find a 6-foot-2, 170-pound junior linebacker that played a huge role in helping the Wolfpack, who have played state-ranked teams, to get to 3-3 this season.

Last week, in a 24-10 victory over neighboring Murrieta Mesa of Murrieta, Great Oak was riding the shoulders of Ryder on defense after Chapin had three interceptions, he forced a fumble, and he had nine total tackles.

So far this season Chapin, has 48 tackles, three sacks, four interceptions, a fumble recovery and the forced fumble.

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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