SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of our latest players of the week are Hayden Hughes of Fair Oaks Del Campo (NorCal) & Taylor Shumaker from Esperanza of Anaheim (SoCal). Photos: &

One week after we had both NorCal honorees from the same county, this week we have both SoCal honorees from the same city, although one was for pitching and the other was for hitting. The NorCal stops this week, meanwhile, are in the Sacramento suburbs of Fair Oaks and along the Central Coast in Watsonville.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Taylor Shumaker (Esperanza, Anaheim) Soph.

Just like we did for our SoCal baseball honoree this week, we stay in Anaheim to find our Southern California Softball Player of the Week, only this time we are well east of Disneyland in the Santa Ana Canyon. At Esperanza we find a sophomore centerfielder who gained all-state underclass honors as one of the offensive sparkplugs in the spring of 2021 for an Aztecs’ squad that won the CIF Southern Section Division I title and ended as the 2021 State Team of the Year.

Last week, in two wins that solidified Esperanza’s spot in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, Shumaker came up with a big bat.

We don’t have stats from a 7-1 loss to crosstown Canyon that started the week on Monday, but two days later Shumaker smacked three home runs and had seven RBI in a 13-2 win over Santa Ana Foothill. Then in a Crestview League 9-0 playoff victory over Canyon that reversed the week’s earlier loss, the Aztecs’ leadoff hitter had two more hits to secure the league’s second playoff spot and it ended up knocking Canyon out of the CIFSS playoffs entirely.

We’ll see if Taylor can stay hot this week as Esperanza heads south to Santa Ana to face Mater Dei in the D1 opening round on Thursday.

Myles Johnson from Katella of Anaheim is one player this season who can legitimately wear Perfect Game gear since he pitched one of them last week. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Myles Johnson (Katella, Anaheim) Sr.

For our Southern California Baseball Player of the Week we head to the part of Anaheim where our destination is surrounded by a triangle of I-5 and Highways 57 and 91 on the other side of I-5 east of Disneyland. It’s one of the closest schools from where Cal-Hi Sports was operated out of the basement of the Anaheim Hilton Hotel in the early 1990s.

At Katella, we find a Cal State-Dominguez Hills-bound senior right-handed pitcher, and although he doesn’t make the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book for his most recent performance, Johnson etches his name in California high school baseball history.

Last week, in a 3-0 victory over neighboring Garden Grove on Tuesday, Myles drove all the way to a perfect game, striking out 16 of the 21 batters he faced. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect moment because with the victory the Knights secured a playoff spot. They finished 14-13 overall and 6-4 in the Golden West League with a 5-1 win over Garden Grove on Thursday and now open at home in the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs in a play-in game on Wednesday with Shadow Hills of Indio.

We know Myles has had some other strong outings and that his fastball has been greatly improved in velocity and location since last spring, but more specific stats are not available with Katella not using MaxPreps.

We’re also not sure if Johnson will be on the mound against Shadow Hills, but if he is he’ll have a chance to make the Record Book on the Most Consecutive Perfect Games list where he could be only the second player ever to record two consecutive perfect games.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Hayden Hughes (Del Campo, Fair Oaks) Sr.

To find our Northern California Baseball Player of the Week, we head a little over 15 miles east and slightly north of the state capitol about halfway between I-80 and Highway 50 to Fair Oaks where Del Campo is the home of this week’s award winner. Longtime MLB manager Dusty Baker always comes to mind thinking of Del Campo baseball (he’s from the school), but the Cougars have had some outstanding players and teams in recent seasons.

Last week was a big one for the Cougars and their senior slugger and right-handed pitcher. It started on Monday when Hughes tossed a two-hitter with nine strikeouts and one walk in a 7-0 win over visiting Sacramento El Camino. At the plate Hayden was also 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. On Wednesday, Hughes liked the road at El Camino just as much in a 17-1 rout when he went 2-for-2 with a walk, two RBI and three runs scored. On Saturday in a 6-5 victory at home against McClatchy of Sacramento, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound third-baseman when he’s not pitching, was 1-for-3 with an RBI double and he got plunked.

Finally, on Monday of this week, Hughes tossed a six-hitter with six strikeouts and no walks with one earned run in a 3-2 victory over visiting Christian Brothers of Sacramento that gives Del Campo nine straight wins and gets it to 22-4 this season and 11-2 in the Capital Athletic League. At the plate he had an RBI single and walked.

Heading into a Wednesday match-up at Christian Brothers, Hayden was 6-1 with a respectable 2.27 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched. At the plate he’s been one of the Cougars’ leading hitters with a .422 batting average, three home runs, six doubles, 24 RBI and 20 runs scored.

Mariah Montalvo is putting her travel ball experience to good use for her high school team at St. Francis of Watsonville. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Mariah Montalvo (St. Francis, Watsonville) Sr.

We head to Santa Cruz County and the city of Watsonville for the second straight week to find our Northern California Softball Player of the Week. At St. Francis, we discover a senior slugger who has put up some solid numbers at the plate for the 18-6 Sharks.

The Sharks played six games last week and went 5-1, and while the bat of Mariah was somewhat silenced in a loss to North Monterey County of neighboring Castroville on Monday, and a 3-1 win the next day over Santa Catalina of Monterey, Montalvo came alive on Wednesday in a 3-1 victory over Stevenson of Pebble Beach. In that game she hit home run No. 12 and went 3-for-4 at the plate.

In a Saturday double-header with Soledad, Mariah was like a one-girl wrecking crew. In a 19-6 win that went six innings, the catcher and third-base girl was 4-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, seven RBI and a run scored. In the second game, a 22-1 mercy-shortened five-inning affair, Montalvo hit home run No. 13, she had a double, three RBI and three runs scored.

Stats for a 4-2 loss to Stevenson this past Monday were not available, but with the exception of that game and so far this season, and heading into a Wednesday afternoon trip to Monterey, Montalvo was hitting .589 with the 13 home runs, three triples, nine doubles, 47 RBI and 34 runs scored. She also stole five bases and in the field Mariah had only made three errors in 165 total chances.

The 13 home runs is the second highest reported mark in the CIF Central Coast Section to the 16 of Jessica Oakland of St. Francis of Mountain View, and tied for fifth in the state. The 47 RBI is second behind Oakland in the CCS and No. 14 in the state, the 34 runs scored is No. 9 in the CCS and her .589 average is top 20 in the section as well.

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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