State Defensive POY: David Bailey

In the last three games of its mythical national title season, the defensive unit at Mater Dei of Santa Ana was even more impressive than the offense so it only makes sense that the leading player off of that unit is the statewide winner. This also is the second straight season the Monarchs have had the honoree in this category.

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In the last three games played by state and national No. 1 Mater Dei of Santa Ana, the high-powered offenses at Centennial of Corona, Servite of Anaheim and Serra of San Mateo were held down to 16, 7 and 7 points.

Bailey collects one of the 15.5 sacks that he had during 2021 season for Mater Dei. Photo: @MDFootball /

The leading player on that side of the ball for the Monarchs, especially after 2020-21 State Athlete of the Year Domani Jackson went down with a knee injury after the first game, was linebacker David Bailey. He has now added the major honor of State Defensive Player of the Year to his list of accolades.

We first noticed Bailey as a defensive playmaker in his first varsity game as a sophomore in 2019 in a matchup vs. Centennial. He endured some injury issues since then — including missing three of the five games from last spring — but had a sensational senior season.

We also happened to see two of Bailey’s top outings. The first was in the regular season vs. Servite and even though the Friars were able to move the ball that night in a 47-38 loss Bailey had a huge outing with 3.5 sacks. Then in the CIF state final vs. Serra, despite playing with a cast on his hand, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound linebacker had five solo tackles, including two for loss and one sack.

Bailey ended the season with 54 tackles, which was one off of the team lead, but he led the Monarchs with 15.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss.

Some of Bailey’s other honors so far include being named Orange County Defensive Player of the Year and an invite to the All-American Bowl that will be played next Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.

It might not be obvious to some that this is the second straight season that Mater Dei has had the State Defensive Player of the Year. That’s because the last season was in the spring, plus that winner, linebacker Raesjon Davis, was also the overall Mr. Football State Player of the Year. When that happens, we don’t write up the defensive player as a separate post.

Bailey, who also has been an honors student at Mater Dei, signed a letter of intent last month with Stanford.


Henry To’oto’o will be starting at linebacker for Alabama in the upcoming national title game vs. Georgia. Photo: Mark Tennis.

2021 — David Bailey (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) LB
2020 — Raesjon Davis (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) LB
2019 — Justin Flowe (Upland) LB
2018 — Henry To’oto’o (De La Salle, Concord) LB
2017 — Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village) DL (Jr.)
2016 — Jaelen Phillips
(Redlands East Valley, Redlands) DL
2015 — Oluwole Betiku (Serra, Gardena) DL
2014 — Iman Marshall (Long Beach Poly) DB
2013 — Adoree Jackson (Serra, Gardena) DB
2012 — Michael Hutchings (De La Salle, Concord) LB
2011 — Michael Barton (De La Salle, Concord) LB
2010 — Viliami Moala (Grant, Sacramento) NG
2009 — Viliami Moala (Grant, Sacramento) NG (Jr.)
2008 — Vontaze Burfict (Centennial, Corona) LB
2007 — Jurrell Casey (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) DL
2006 — Chris Galippo (Servite, Anaheim) LB
2005 — Darian Hagan Jr. (Crenshaw, Los Angeles) CB
2004 — Luthur Brown (Lakewood) LB
2003 — Brigham Harwell (Los Altos, Hacienda Heights) DT
2002 — Lawrence Jackson (Inglewood) DE
2001 — Derek Landri (De La Salle, Concord) DT
2000 — Kevin Simon (De La Salle, Concord) LB
1999 — D.J. Williams (De La Salle, Concord) LB
1998 — D.J. Williams (De La Salle, Concord) LB (Jr.)
1997 — Robert Thomas (Imperial) LB
1996 — Andre Carter (Oak Grove, San Jose) DE
1995 — Chris Claiborne (J.W. North, Riverside) LB
1994 — Clyde Sanders (Grant, Sacramento) DE
1993 — Darrell Russell (St. Augustine, San Diego) DT
1992 — Travis Kirschke (Esperanza, Anaheim) DT
1991 — LeRoi Glover (Point Loma, San Diego) DT
1990 — Jamir Miller (El Cerrito) LB
1989 — Willie McGinest (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach) DE
1988 — Tommie Smith (Antelope Valley, Lancaster) DB
1987 — Arnold Ale (Carson) LB
1986 — Scott Ross (El Toro) LB
1985 — Randy Austin (Canyon, Canyon Country) LB
1984 — Mark Green (Poly, Riverside) DB
1983 — Chance Johnson (Compton) DB
1982 — Tim McDonald (Edison, Fresno) DB
1981 — George Ebertin (Bellarmine, San Jose) LB
1980 — Jack Del Rio (Hayward) LB
1979 — Darrell Hooper (Carson) DB
1978 — Michael Richardson (Compton) DB
1977 — Chuck Willig (St. Paul, Santa Fe Springs) DB
1976 — Dennis Smith (Santa Monica) DB
1975 — John Van Buren (South Hills, Covina) DB
1974 — Jerry Robinson (Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa) NG
1973 — Frank Manumaluena (Banning, Wilmington) LB
1972 — Lonnie Shelton (Foothill, Bakersfield) DL
1971 — Paul Kinne (Paso Robles) DB

1970 — Fred McNeill (Baldwin Park) LB
1969 — Artimus Parker (Sacramento) LB
1968 — Willie Buchanon (Oceanside) DB

1967 — Jeff Siemon (Bakersfield) LB

1966 — Mel Gray (Montgomery, Santa Rosa) DB
1965 — John Albanese (Bellarmine, San Jose) LB
1964 — George Buehler (Whittier) LB

1963 — Tim Rossovich (St. Francis, Mountain View) LB
1962 — George Wilfert (Bellarmine, San Jose) DL
1961 — Ted Norlund (Lowell, San Francisco) DL
1960 — Rich Koeper (Sequoia, Redwood City) DL

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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