NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week are Justin Guin from San Marin of Novato (left) and Ray Hall of Valencia. Photos: Harold Abend & Dan Watson/The Signal.


This week is a week of strange twists in Northern California. We have a defensive honoree from Novato who will face the special teams winner from Sutter this week, and who also is in a race with the this week’s offensive award winner from Santa Clara for the NorCal rushing lead. Our Southern California stops are in San Diego, Gardena and Valencia in the Santa Clarita Valley.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email markjtennis@gmail.com. Note that next week will be the final week of football honorees since we will be switching to boys and girls basketball for the following week.

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Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Justin Guin (San Marin, Novato) Sr.

The Redwood Empire portion of the CIF North Coast Section around 25 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge is where we land in search of our Northern California Defensive Player of the Week – and for this one we witnessed it with our own eyes.

We don’t have a Multi-Purpose honor for weekly awards like we do for some of the All State teams, but if there ever was one Guin would certainly win after his most recent performance. Oddly enough, and in a bit of a twist, Guin is being honored for defense, but we’ll get to that later.

Last week, in a somewhat surprisingly easy 36-0 victory by NCS D5 top-seeded San Marin over No. 2 seed Del Norte of Crescent City, maybe the surprise was the pre-game hype that had some picking the visiting Warriors and not the Mustangs to win, when the hype really should have been about Guin, a player co-head coach Dominic DiMare says “has the heart of a lion.”

Guin was like a one-man wrecking crew. He did a lot of roaring on both sides of the line of scrimmage and it was the Mustangs that were doing the riding on the shoulders of Justin to the win and a first NCS title in 20 years.

On defense, for which he’s being honored as a free safety, Guin had two fumble recoveries, 12 tackles with three for losses, and he broke up a pass attempt. On special teams, he had a 29-yard punt return.

Now we get to the twist. We mentioned that some of the pre-game hype was about Del Norte and its two 1,000 yard rushers. Well, the defense of Guin and his teammates held the entire Warriors running game to 109 yards on 29 carries and zero yards passing.

Justin outdid the entire Del Norte team with 149 yards on 16 carries with three TDs, including setting the tone for things to come with a 67-yard blast past everyone for the game’s first score.

In another bit of a twist, it wasn’t close to his best game. That came when he rushed for 274 yards and three TDs in a 36-26 win over Mill Valley Tamalpais. In fact, Justin has rushed for over 200 yards three times this season.

Guin also is the leading reported rusher in the NCS and his 2,072 yards with 32 TDs is No. 9 in the state and No. 4 in Northern California with everyone ahead of him with completed seasons.

Guin and the Mustangs teammates will head to Yuba City on Friday night to play Sutter for the Northern Regional 5-AA Bowl Game, and in another strange twist they will face this week’s special team’s winner. If Guin rushes for 73 yards he will move into the No. 4 rushing spot in the state and No. 2 in Northern California.

In one final entwine, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Guin does not have a college offer. Maybe things might change for Guin now that some of the hype is about him. Stay tuned.

Luther Glenn has been one of the top playoff running backs in Northern California this season. Photo: MaxPreps.com.


Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Luther Glenn (Wilcox, Santa Clara) Sr.

The Mission City of Santa Clara and Silicon Valley and a stone’s throw away from where the 49ers play at Levi’s Stadium is where we land for this honoree. At Wilcox, we find a player that had a hand in snapping a 10-game winning streak to earn NorCal offensive honors. On MaxPreps he’s listed as Kamauri and Luther K. Glen but when we saw his name on the Bay Area News Group list of top performers earlier this week they called him Luther Glenn.

Either way, last week, in a 54-20 CIF Central Coast Section Division II title game victory by third-seeded Wilcox over previously unbeaten Menlo of Atherton, Luther was sleek as a sleuthhound. The 5-foot-10 running back only had 11 carries, but he rushed for 204 yards and four TD’s, including a 61-yard romp to pay dirt. Glenn also had a TD receiving for five total scores, plus he had three tackles on defense and he punted once for 42 yards.

It was his third 200-yard performance of the season with a high-water mark (in a week he could have been honored) of 329 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-27 victory over Mountain View. It should be noted that although Wilcox lost 31-26 to CIF North Coast Section Division 1 champion and CIF NorCal 1-A Bowl Game finalist Pittsburg, Glenn rushed for 102 yards and one touchdown.

So far this season for the 9-4 Chargers, Glenn has rushed for 2,046 yards and 25 touchdowns and he has 260 yards and five TDs receiving. The yardage mark is No. 11 in the state and No. 5 in Northern California. In a bit of a twist, the only running back ahead of him still in action is our NorCal defensive honoree.

Luther also has a kickoff return for a touchdown, a 2-point conversion, 28 tackles, two interceptions, and he punts for a 43.6 yard average and returns punts.

Glenn will try to add some big numbers to his totals and Wilcox will need him when the Chargers host Manteca in the CIF Northern Regional 2-A Bowl Game.

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

Leighton Tarke (Sutter) Sr.

For our NorCal Special Teams honoree, we head to the CIF Northern Section and to the shadows of the majestic Sutter Buttes that rise up out of the Sacramento Valley. We land at a school that has a rich tradition of not only being one of the top small schools for football in the state but one of the top teams in the entire northernmost section.

At Sutter we find another multi-purpose standout in a kicker and strong safety and three-sport star (football, baseball and soccer) that came up huge last week in more than one way, and the Huskies needed every ounce of his production in a 34-31 Division 3 title game victory over Paradise in overtime.

As a kicker for which he’s being honored, Tarke was right on target. He was 3-for-3 on PATs and 2-for-2 on field goals, including the OT game winner. He also had one touchback on his six kickoffs.

When we said multi-purpose we meant it since we very well could have honored Leighton on defense, but in a crazy twist that went to a player he will be facing this Friday at home when Sutter faces San Marin (Novato) in the NorCal 5-AA Bowl Game.

All he did on defense is come up with 20 tackles.

So far this season for the 10-1 Huskies, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Tarke is 42-of-48 on PATs and 5-for-7 on field goals. He had nine touchbacks on kickoffs and he punts, although he didn’t against Paradise.

On defense Leighton ha 103 tackles, an interception, four passes defended and two forced fumbles.

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

Ray Hall (Valencia) Sr.

The Santa Clarita Valley is our SoCal stop for this category and at Valencia is where we find our Southern California Special Teams Player of the Week, a wide receiver and kick returner who played a big role in helping Valencia win its first ever CIF Southern Section championship.

Last week, in a 28-14 victory over Oaks Christian of Westlake Village in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 title game, Hall etched his name into local legend lore when he returned a kickoff 99 yards to the house that began the second half. That score helped turn all the momentum in favor of the Vikings. Hall also scored on a touchdown reception in the same game and has been a versatile performer for head coach Larry Muir all season long.

Hall and his teammates now move on to the CIF Southern Regional 2-A Bowl Game where they will be hosting Scripps Ranch of San Diego with last week’s SoCal defensive award winner, Xander Medina.

Elaijah Lux did something at Patrick Henry of San Diego last week that not even Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams did and that’s lead the Patriots to a CIF San Diego Section title. Photo: San Diego Prep Insider / Facebook.com.


Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Elijaih Lux (Patrick Henry, San Diego) Sr.

We visited a Mission city in Northern California and now we stop at the Mission city of San Diego where we find our Southern California Offensive Player of the Week.

To say Lux was deluxe last week in a 49-21 CIF San Diego Section Division 4 title game victory over cross-town University City would be a real understatement. All the senior running back did was rush for a whopping career high 350 yards on 28 carries with four touchdowns.

It was the fourth time this season Lux has cracked the 200-yard mark. His 1,903 yards with 19 TDs is a top 20 reported mark in the state and No. 2 in the San Diego Section. Lux also has 190 yards receiving and one TD and he’s even passed for a touchdown.

Elijaih and his teammates will now move on to the CIF Southern Regional 3-A Bowl Game where the Patriots will host Birmingham of Lake Balboa (also named the Patriots and with the same logo as Patrick Henry).

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

D’Angelo Davis (Serra, Gardena) Jr.

For our final stop this week, it’s for SoCal defense and we land in Gardena, about halfway between Inglewood and Torrance. At Serra, a school with a strong football and athletics tradition where one of our 1989 State Team of the Year honors is noted on the scoreboard, we find a blossoming junior as our award winner.

Last week, in a 31-3 rout on the road at Apple Valley in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 championship, Davis was part of a stingy defense and finished with 10 tackles with four for losses, including three sacks.

We know D’Angelo would want to give a shout out to two teammates that also had 10 tackles in the game, senior Melvin Bailey and sophomore Tanu Sosa.

So far this season for Cal-Hi Sports No. 21 and 9-4 Serra, the 6-foot-1, 240-pound defensive end has 76 tackles with 24 for losses, nine sacks, four fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, a blocked field goal, and three passes defended.

Davis and the defense, and a potent Cavaliers’ offense, will now move on to the CIF Southern Regional 1-A Bowl Game where they will host Long Beach Poly.

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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