SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal players of the week are Curron Borders of Antelope and Chris Fewell from Lincoln of San Diego. Photos: &

This week we remind readers that besides looking for diamonds in the rough and unknown talent, we also use this feature for honoring and acknowledging entries in the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book and this week we have a player who qualifies in both categories. For our Record Book entry, we start not far from Downtown Los Angeles with our other two Southern California stops in San Diego and Santa Barbara County. In Northern California, we visit the Sacramento metro area, “The Valley” as the locals call the Central Section, and southeastern Alameda County.

We hope you enjoy this free story on Cal-Hi For our State Top 25 rankings packages for the rest of the football season plus State Stat Stars of the Week, state record updates and special features, please check out our Gold Club membership today. If you’re not a member, CLICK HERE.

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 Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Chris Fewell (Lincoln, San Diego) Jr.

For our Southern California Defensive Player of the Week stop, we head a little less than five miles due east on Imperial Avenue off the famous Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego.

At Lincoln, we find a member of the Hornets who has been a busy bee on defense for the No. 15 ranked team in the latest Cal-Hi Sports state rankings. Fewell, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior linebacker listed as a 3-star recruit at that position by 247Sports, has had a lot of action come his way with two 4-star senior recruits, Oregon-committed duo of Jahlil Florence and Jalil Tucker in the Hornets’ secondary – and he’s made the most of it.

Last week, in a 41-6 thrashing of La Jolla, Fewell picked off a pass and took it 70 yards to the house. He also had four tackles and three quarterback hurries.

When we said Fewell has been busy on defense this season, we meant it. Last week’s pick six was his third this season, all in consecutive games the past three weeks against Otay Ranch of Chula Vista and San Diego St. Augustine three and two weeks ago. That’s a rare feat and one that Florence and Tucker would love to equal at some point in their careers.

Hector Ceballos gets set to run a route for Franklin of L.A. from earlier game vs. Crenshaw. Photo: Amanda Scurlock / L.A. Sentinel.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Hector Ceballos (Franklin, Los Angeles) Jr.

It’s not often that we get a nomination for football from Cal-Hi Sports Managing Editor Ronnie Flores. Even though he does keep an eye out for possible gridiron winners, he’s more widely known as a basketball guru.

However, as a graduate of a Los Angeles City Section high school, Flores is always on the lookout for LA City kids and he found us one this week from the Highland Park District about halfway between Downtown LA and Pasadena that also makes the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book.

At Franklin is where we find our SoCal offensive honoree and it’s a Panthers’ junior wide receiver who has hauled in enough footballs to account for 15 on the team’s 37 TDs on offense so far this season.

Last week, in a 28-21 victory over nearby Eagle Rock that got Franklin to 6-1 this season, Ceballos had 27 pass receptions for 217 yards and three TDs receiving. Yes, that’s right. It was 27 catches for him in one game.

The 217 yards falls well short of the threshold Most Yards (Game) list in the Record Book but the 27 catches indeed makes the Most Receptions (Game) list. Franklin is an old school having opened in 1916, and they have a long history of prep football including several players listed in the Record Book but none as lofty or with the specter of Hector. Not only is the 27 receptions a new LA City Section record, it’s the second most all time in the state behind the 28 catches in 2011 of Jake Maulhardt of Camarillo. The old LA City Section record was 24 receptions in 1977 by Steve Martinez of Los Angeles Wilson.

The 217 yards was a career high for Ceballos, who has now gone over 200 yards receiving for the third time this season. Hector’s 77 receptions this season is the top reported mark in the state and his 1,081 receiving yards is No. 3, according to MaxPreps.

On a final note, the 77 receptions already makes the Single Season Receptions (Regular) season list after only seven games. We’ll keep you posted if he gets to 100 and starts challenging the leaders, but you’ll have to sign up to get our state stat stars weekly feature.

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

Leonel Valencia (Santa Ynez) Sr.

The Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County around five miles east of Highway 101 and just east of the historic town of Solvang is where we find our Southern California Special Teams Player of the Week.

It’s a rarity, but it’s has happened before. Valencia may have kicked his way to winning this award and a statewide honor, but his team didn’t win the game, and we hardly ever pick a Player of the Week from a losing team.

Last week, in a 25-19 loss to Buena of Ventura, Valencia did his part but Leonel needed more help from the Pirates’ offense. On the one TD Santa Ynez scored he booted the PAT but after all was said and done Valencia ended up accounting for 13 of the 19 total points since the other 12 points came on his splitting the uprights on all four of his field goals attempts with a longest of 36 yards. Leonel also had six kickoffs in the game with two touchbacks and added three tackles in the game on defense.

We’re pretty sure Valencia would have traded this honor for a couple of the stalled drives going for TDs, but at least he has given the Pirates’ faithful something to celebrate.

On the season, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior has made all six of his field goal attempts with the 36-yarder the longest. Maybe it’s because of all the missed field goals in the NFL last week, but 4-for-4 on field goals for Leonel is a feat that we just wanted to acknowledge.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Curron Borders (Antelope) Jr.

The Sacramento metro area a little less than 20-miles east of the state capitol on Interstate 80 is where we land in the search for the Northern California Offensive Player of the Week.

An Antelope is one of the world’s fleetest animals, reaching sustained speeds of 50-MPH, and while the Antelope mascot is the Titans and not the speedy deer-like creature, Curron has shown he can run pretty fast, and for a lot of yards.

Last week, in a match-up with visiting Woodcreek of Roseville, Curron ran for a career-high 321 yards and three TDs with two 2-point conversions, and the Titans needed every bit of Borders’ rushing numbers in a 28-21 victory.

It was the third time Borders has blasted his way for over 300 yards rushing this season for the 7-0 Titans. He had 315 yards and three TDs in a 41-13 win over Auburn Placer and 302 yards and five TDs in a 35-14 victory over Roseville.

On the season, the solidly-built 5-foot-7, 185-pound junior has rushed for 1,668 yards and 25 TDs on 144 carries for a whopping 11.6 yards per carry average. He also has run in six 2-point conversions, meaning he has 162 of the Titans’ 319 points this season.

The 1,668 rushing yards is the top reported mark in the state for Borders by 119 yards and the 162 points in the No. 2 reported mark in the state.

Will Henderson from Immanuel of Reedley has emerged as a defensive standout in the first year of his father, Josh, being the head coach of the team. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Will Henderson (Immanuel, Reedley) Jr.

We head to “The Valley” as the locals call the CIF Central Section, which for this feature and all other Player of the Week features in all sports boys and girls is considered Northern California.

In Reedley, about 10 miles east of Highway 99 and around halfway between Fresno and Visalia, is where we uncover our NorCal defensive honoree.

Last week’s match-up between Immanuel and Liberty of Madera Ranchos came down to defense and Henderson, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior who can play multiple positions on defense, was almost like a one-man wrecking crew and the Eagles needed all of his defense to hang on for a 14-13 road victory decided by a PAT that the hosts missed.

Henderson must have been all over the field in order to register 19 tackles with one for loss and 13 of them solo. He also had an interception. On offense, Will rushed for 30 yards and had one of the team’s two touchdowns, the lone one on the ground.

On the season for the 4-3 Eagles, the son of new Immanuel head coach Josh Henderson has 72 total tackles with 49 solo and three for losses, six quarterback hurries and the one interception. On offense Henderson has rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns.

We mentioned he is the son of Immanuel head coach Josh Henderson. Southern California football fans will remember Henderson as the head coach at Grace Brethren of Simi Valley who had a CIF state bowl game victory in 2018 when his team beat Del Oro of Loomis in the 2-AA game and a runner-up finish in the 2017 2-A game to St. Francis of Mountain View. Will’s older brother, Josh Henderson Jr., was a star running back on both of those teams.

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

Adam Harbourne (Foothill, Pleasanton) Sr.

The Tri-Valley portion southeastern Alameda County is our destination in the search for our Northern California Special Teams Player of the Week. At Foothill, we find a member of the Falcons who was flying high last week.

The final score was a lopsided 45-7 win over nearby Dougherty Valley of San Ramon, but for his part Harbourne got a lot of footballs airborne with his foot, including a 48-yard field goal believed to be one of the longest to split the uprights in the state this season. Adam was also a perfect 6-for-6 on PATs in the game.

On the season for the 5-2 Falcons, the 6-foot senior kicker has made all three field goal attempts and also had a 43-yarder in a season opening win over Castro Valley. He has missed three PATs but 27 of 30 isn’t too bad considering we don’t know the circumstances of the misses.

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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