To kick off our end-of-school year content of honoring the best multi-sport and overall athletes of the year (boys and girls), we begin with a look at the state’s 15 best football-basketball combo athletes on our 36th annual Cal-Hi Sports Grid-Hoop All-State team. Leading the group is player of the year Jax Leatherwood of San Diego Scripps Ranch. We have even more listed as Grid-Hoop athletes of distinction and some of these players are sure to be on our upcoming boys state athlete of the year lists.
FOR WRITEUP OF GRID-HOOP STATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR JAX LEATHERWOOD, CLICK HERE.
Note: We hope you enjoy this free post on Cal-Hi Sports. We will be posting plenty more content throughout the summer for football and basketball, however, that will be exclusive to Cal-Hi Sports and will be for Gold Club members only, including upcoming all-area, all-section, all-county preseason football teams. You can sign up for as low as $3.99 for one month. To join our team CLICK HERE.
To go straight to our Gold Club archive of all previous 15-member Grid-Hoop All-State Teams, CLICK HERE.
For the last two school years, we’ve done our best to publish all our all-state teams and honor squads while the COVID-19 pandemic still looms over our state (since March of 2020). The only casualty of the pandemic has been some pre-season lists and the 2020-21 Cal-Hi Sports All-State Grid-Hoop team, which would have been our 35th annual honors squad for football-basketball combo athletes.
There was no fall 2020 football season, but there was a short spring football season in 2021 and a basketball season that extended into early summer. With no CIF state championships, not many official all-section football lists and because of the timing of the sports seasons and not many athletes able to play both sports in 2020-21, we couldn’t produce a credible Grid-Hoop team. With the return of CIF state championships and a regular sports calendar, the annual Cal-Hi Sports Grid-Hoop All-State Team is back for 2021-22.
The COVID-19 pandemic, along with Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) reform and the NCAA Transfer Portal, has changed recruiting, especially on the basketball side. In recent years, the competition to attain a basketball scholarship for a high school athlete has been cut throat. The cycle of extended eligibility for NCAA athletes because of COVID-19 is just now returning to normal and many athletes, parents and coaches feel basketball players just can’t afford to play a secondary sport. You will notice few of the 15 athletes on our 36th annual Cal-Hi Sports Grid-Hoop All-State Team will play basketball at the next level.
Even though pro stars (even some who’ve been named to past Grid-Hoop All-State Teams) are always singing the virtues of sticking with multiple sports, many are sticking to one sport earlier than ever. That has weakened the depth of recent teams along with the trend of big-time football recruits not playing hoops their senior season. In recent years, would-be locks and/or Player of the Year candidates for the team who were selected as underclassman have not played hoops their senior season. That happened in 2019-20 when Bakersfield Christian’s Ben Yurosek was selected Grid-Hoop Player of the Year as athletes such as Ethan Garbers and John Humphreys (Corona Del Mar pass-catch combo), QB Jay Butterfield (Liberty, Brentwood) and DL Deshawn Lynch (Folsom) didn’t play. Yurosek may have gotten grid-hoop player of the year honors regardless, but the teams themselves were impacted.
What this current Grid-Hoop situation has created is more athletes from small schools being honored, as the number of Grid-Hoop standouts at large school state powers has shrank. The silver lining is we love honoring small school standouts who otherwise wouldn’t get mentioned and many of those players do go on to make an impact, some in MLB as 3 or 4-sport standouts. If past all-state Grid-Hoop teams are any indication, a few from this year’s 15-man team and the other athletes of distinction will eventually play in the NFL and we might even see someone break into the big leagues (like Linden’s Aaron Judge).
Judge, along with New York Yankees’ teammate Giancarlo Stanton (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame), remain two of our all-time favorite grid-hoopers since they were so good while in high school at their recognized second and third best sports.
Grid-Hoopers love basketball, but our last Grid-Hoop POY to make it in the NBA was Matt Barnes of Fair Oaks Del Campo in 1997-98. It goes to show just how hard it is to make the NBA, as our great state has yet to produce 500 total NBA players.
Without last year’s team to reference who has moved up and improved, and who decided not to play basketball, we’re proud to name these next athletes to headline the 2021-22 Grid-Hoop All-State team.
Below is the complete Cal-Hi Sports Grid-Hoop All-State Team for the 2021-22 school year:
Jake Jackson (Madison, San Diego) 6-5 Jr. TE/F
If there’s an athlete similar to Jax Leatherwood, you don’t have to look far in San Diego. And for three sports, Jake could arguably be even higher. In football, he caught 30 passes for 741 yards and 10 TDs and is getting D1 recruiting interest. In basketball, Jake poured in 20.4 ppg, including a 30-point outing he had in his final game (a loss to Leatherwood’s team at Scripps Ranch). Baseball could be Jackson’s best sport, though. He was just named to our All-State Underclass team as one of just three outfielders.
(Scripps Ranch, San Diego) 6-7 Jr. QB/F
Came up big in both sports and was spectacular when it mattered, helping the Falcons become just the fourth sports program ever to win CIF state titles in football and basketball in the same school year. Leatherwood, who has committed to Nevada for football, has been chosen as our 2021-22 Grid-Hoop State Player of the Year. To say it was a memorable 3-month stretch for him and his school would be an understatement.
Jadyn Marshall (St. Mary’s, Stockton) 6-1 Sr. RB/WR/G
This UCLA football commit was able to play only four games as a junior because of COVID-19 or else his career receiving numbers would have been quite impressive. Even after spending much of his senior year in the offensive backfield, he still finished with 112 receptions for 1,921 yards and 15 TDs, including 68 receptions, 1,128 yards and 9 TDs as an all-state sophomore. The overall first team all-state choice as a senior had 29 receptions for 563 yards and 5 TDs receiving, one TD on a kickoff return, one on a punt return and 11 rushing. He gained 982 yards rushing on 87 carries for the San Joaquin Section D1 semifinalists. Against good competition in a tough basketball league, Marshall was the Rams’ leading scorer (9.8 ppg), rebounder (7.1 rpg), assist man (3.5 apg) and second in steals (1.6 spg). Marshall also came up big with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists when St. Mary’s knocked off 27-0 Ponderosa of Shingle Springs in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 playoffs. We’ll get to Jadyn’s track accomplishments later this month.
Ray-John Spears (Sacred Heart Cathedral, S.F.) 6-1 Sr. QB/SG
No one should have to tell anyone how great the competition is in the West Catholic Athletic League. Ray-John was not only all-league in both sports, but did even more in both. In football, Spears was the dual threat QB who led the Irish to the CIF D4-A state championship with a win over Northview of Covina. He also was the San Francisco Chronicle S.F. regional player of the year. In basketball, Ray-John was a four-year starter for the Irish. He averaged 19.6 ppg this season and had several 30-point outings.
Noah Thomas (Pleasant Valley, Chico) 6-2 Sr. WR/DB/G
Similar to Leatherwood, Thomas came up big at the CIF state basketball championships and like Marshall, he’s also a standout track and field athlete (triple jump/long jump). Thomas led the Vikings to their second CIF state title in five years by scoring 24 points in PV’s 57-53 victory over Venice in the D3 game at the Golden 1 Center. An Oregon Tech commit, Thomas was chosen first team Division 3 All-State after averaging 16.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.1 apg and 2.8 spg for the state champs. In addition to track and basketball, Thomas was also an EAL champion in football, as he helped the Vikings to a 5-0 league mark and 7-4 record with 32 receptions for 532 yards (16.6 ypc) and 8 TDs. Similar to many Grid-Hoopers, what sets him apart is not statistics, but his competitiveness and stamina. PV hoops coach Tim Keating states Thomas has the best motor he’s seen in his 32 years of coaching.
Tyler Dutto (Miramonte, Orinda) 6-4 Sr. WR/DB/G
He had an outstanding senior season on the gridiron, as he excelled on both sides of the ball for a club that made the second round of the CIF North Coast Section D5 playoffs. Dutto latched on to 67 balls for 1,240 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. As a safety, Dutto had 19 tackles and four interceptions. He was also spectacular for a hoop team that went 24-6 and made it to the NorCal D1 playoffs. He averaged 10.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 6.2 apg and 3.3 spg. Even more than his numbers, Dutto was impactful on the hardwood with his relentlessness and team play. He was MVP of the Marin Catholic tourney and first team all-DAL and second team all Bay Area.
Dylan Lawson (Sunny Hills, Fullerton) 6-4 Sr. WR/F
Arguably the best Grid-Hooper from the massive CIF Southern Section, Lawson was highly honored in both sports for the Lancers. He helped the football team go 7-4 by hauling in 60 catches for 797 yards and 11 touchdowns. For his efforts on the gridiron, Lawson was named Freeway League Offensive MVP and was chosen to the all-CIFSS D6 team. In hoops, he also was named all-CIFSS (Division 4AA) and named to the Cal-Hi Sports All-State D4 team. Lawson averaged 16.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 2.1 spg and 1.4 bpg for a team that went 25-9 and advanced to the SoCal D4 playoffs. The Freeway League co-MVP in basketball, Lawson is headed to the University of San Diego to continue his football career.
Anthony Garcia (Capital Christian, Sacramento) 6-3 Sr. QB/G
Had a big senior season on the gridiron for the Cougars, as he completed 146 of 250 passes (.584) for 2,689 yards with 34 TDs and just four interceptions. He added 553 yards and 8 touchdowns on the ground. For his efforts, Garcia was named All-State Medium Schools (Third Team) and earned a scholarship to San Jose St. Naturally, he was a good athlete and leader in basketball who helped the Cougars to a first place finish in the Capital Athletic League and to a 17-10 record. After moving up to the varsity as a freshman, Garcia capped off his hoops career by averaging 15 ppg, 8 rpg and 3 spg. According to hoops head coach Michael Lorente, the son of former Sacramento Grant QB Aaron Garcia was a leader in the locker room and on campus and D1 caliber in hoops.
Jaeden Moore (Central Valley Christian, Visalia) 6-4 Jr. DL/TE/F
A big-time talent who is being heavily recruited as an edge rusher, Moore already has football offers from tons of Pac-12 region schools. Considered one of the top players in the CIF Central Section, Moore amassed 17.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries for a team that captured the CIF Central Section D3 title with a 27-25 victory over Bakersfield Christian. On offense, he caught 60 passes for 975 yards and 13 TDs and was named first team All-State Underclass (Juniors). CVC also was competitive in hoops behind Moore’s efforts, as he averaged 14.7 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 3.8 apg for the Central Section D5 champs (who finished 10-18). It will be interesting to see if he plays basketball next year as an early Grid-Hooper POY front-runner along with Jax Leatherwood.
Lamont Wilkerson (Scripps Ranch, San Diego) 6-0 Sr. DB/G
The Falcons are the only program to have two selections on this year’s Grid-Hoop squad, as Wilkerson’s big plays at critical moments are just too hard to ignore. Wilkerson, who moved to Texas as a junior to live with his father and work on his discipline and academics, had the game-sealing interception in the CIF Division 2-A state title game win over Wilcox (Santa Clara). He finished the season with 35 tackles and two interceptions for a 13-1 football team. He capped off his monster senior year by scoring 19 points in the Falcons’ 46-37 victory over Justin-Siena (Napa) in the CIF D4 state title game. Wilkerson brought that level of athleticism and big-play ability we no longer consistently see at the state D4 and D5 level in basketball because of competitive equity. His football background, particularly the quickness and toughness it produced, made a big difference for Scripps Ranch hoops in the playoffs.
Dae’Shaun Bias (Sunnyside, Fresno) 6-2 Sr. WR/F
Named to the PAGMETER all-Central Section team in both sports, Bias was productive, and at times spectacular, for two winning teams. With speed to burn and good hands, Bias helped Sunnyside go 8-2 by hauling in 62 catches for 1,071 yards and 14 TDs. Not only was he one of the best WRs in the Valley, he was also the NYL MVP in hoops, leading the Wildcats to the league title and a 22-8 record. He averaged 17.7 ppg and 9.0 rpg and has the ability to play both sports at the next level.
Jamar “J.J.” Howard (Mission Prep, San Luis Obispo) 6-6 Jr. WR/F
After transferring over from San Luis Obispo, Howard played football and finished with 19 receptions for 494 yards and 4 TDs. He’s a good athlete who could develop into a football recruit, but the reason he makes this team is his basketball prowess. In fact, he just might be the best overall player on this team, and is the No. 1 ranked prospect from the CIF Central Section for 2022-23. He averaged 25 ppg and 8 rpg for the Royals, was named all-Central Section and just received his first two college offers this past week from Stonehill College and Seattle University. Expect more in the coming months.
Demarreya Lewis-Cooper (Enterprise, Redding) 6-0 Sr. QB/G
Similar to Bias, Lewis-Cooper just gets it done on both the gridiron and the hardwood. He led Enterprise to a 21-9 mark and second place finish in the EAL behind eventual D3 state champ Pleasant Valley. He finished with 18.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.9 apg, and 2.6 spg, including a 21-point effort vs. PV in a seven-point loss after losing the first league game by a sizable margin. For his efforts he was named first team Division 3 All-State. In football, the first team all-Northern Section signal-caller was just as impressive, amassing 3,064 total yards as a dual threat QB (1,969 passing, 1,095 rushing) in 12 games. Lewis-Cooper passed for 33 touchdowns and added 8 scores on the ground, while completing over 60 percent of his passes and throwing only eight interceptions. Having recently seen him on the grassroots basketball circuit, it apparent he’ll try hoops at the next level.
(Clovis West, Fresno) 6-1 Soph. WR/G
He’s very promising in both sports following in the footsteps of older brother Marcel, who now plays football at San Jose State and would have been on last year’s Grid-Hoop team. In football, Marshel caught 63 passes last season for 1,028 yards. He’s also continued to rise during the summer prior to his junior season coming up and has gained offers as a receiver from Cal, Colorado State, Fresno State, UMass and others could be coming. In basketball, Sanders started for a Golden Eagles’ team that won the CIF Central Section Open Division championship before falling to Modesto Christian in the CIF NorCal Open Division playoffs. Sanders also was second team All-TRAC in hoops.
La’Danian Streets (Central, Fresno) 6-1 Jr. WR/G
Similar to Jaedon Moore, Streets is another CIF Central Section athlete who will have to make a decision if he wants to play hoops next year because the gridiron is where he’ll play on the next level. With that, he was pretty darn impressive in hoops as the leading scorer (12.1 ppg) for the 19-12 Grizzlies and an all-TRAC and PAGMETER all-Central Section selection. On the gridiron, he was named second team all-section with 42 receptions for 578 yards and 9 TDs for a 9-2 club.
More Grid-Hoopers of Distinction (listed alphabetically):
Dante Antonini (St. Vincent de Paul, Petaluma) 6-3 Sr. ATH/F
All-state small schools football player for multi-purpose skills (7 TDs rushing, 11 TDs receiving, 110 tackles); averaged 8.4 ppg for hoops team that went to NCS D5 playoffs; will play football at UC Davis.
Alex Argander (Modesto Christian) 6-3 Sr. QB/G
Averaged 5.2 ppg, 5.0 apg, shot 34% from 3-point as table-setter for NorCal open champs; Was starting QB in football until he was banged up.
Jayden Barnett (Hoover, San Diego) 5-10 Sr. WR/DB/G
All-Central League in both sports was a broken field scoring threat on the gridiron and provided much of the same spark for the hoops team (9.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 3.3 spg).
Garrett Bass-Sulpizio (La Jolla Country Day) 6-5 Jr. QB/F
Coastal League Offensive Player of the Year is getting D1 looks after passing for 3,380 yards, 38 TDs with 8 rushing TDs; “Bito” was player of the game on more than one occasion for 19-11 hoops team.
Markell Brooks (Golden Valley, Bakersfield) 6-6 Sr. WR/F
All-Area first team choice in hoops after averaging 18.5 ppg, 12.0 rpg, and 2.9 bpg for Central Section D3 champions; Golden Valley didn’t fare nearly as well on the gridiron but Brooks was a contributor.
Xander Chisolm (Liberty, Bakersfield) 6-2 Jr. QB/G
Dual-threat signal caller is a D1 athlete who knows his way around the hardwood (5.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.7 spg).
TJ Costello (Dublin) 6-1 Sr. TE/LB/F
All Bay Area News Group for football at slot back/TE/LB for 6-5 team; starter on basketball team (5.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.5 spg) that made NCS Open Division playoffs. Also played baseball.
Prince Ellis (South, Bakersfield) 5-9 Jr. DB/RB/G
Will go down as one of best in school history after earning SEYL MVP honors (19 ppg); Racked up 24 tackles and three interceptions on the gridiron.
Jack Endries (Monte Vista, Danville) 6-4 Sr. TE/F
3rd Team All-State FB pick as TE with 49 catches for 579 yards and nine TDs; played for hoops team and was honorable mention all-league.
Qu’Ran Gossett (Bishop Diego, Santa Barbara) 5-10 Jr. RB/G
Defensive stopper and averaged 4.0 ppg in hoops for team that won CIFSS D3 title; rushed for 1,004 yards and 14 TDs for 8-2 football squad.
Connor Gilbreath (University Prep, Redding) 6-5 Sr. DL/F
All-State Small Schools (Second Team) in football for section title team; 6.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg for Northern Section D4 champs in hoops.
Joshua Glanz (Eastlake, Chula Vista) 6-6 Soph. OT/C
Big tackle prospect (270 pounds) already fields high major D1 offers and contributed 7.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg for 14-13 hoops team.
Percy Jackson (Venice) 6-3 Sr. DE/F
First team all-L.A. City D1 football choice; enforcer and interior presence for SoCal D4 hoop champs.
Elijah Johnson (Venice) 5-11 Sr. DB/G
Had 16 tackles, 2 INTs and 5 deflections to help Gondos win their first-ever L.A. City football crown under long-time coach Angelo Gasca; also contributed to SoCal D4 champ hoop team.
C.J. Jones (Sunnyside, Fresno) 6-3 Fr. WR/F
Good in hoops (8 ppg), with a chance to be one of the best Grid-Hoopers in the nation by his junior year. Had 56 receptions, 819 yards and 10 TDs as a 14-year-old last fall in football.
Manasse Itete (Modesto Christian) 6-6 Soph. DT/F
Yet another talented athlete for the Crusaders who doesn’t have big football experience, but he’s such a specimen he’s got the Pac-12 hot on his trail. More of a basketball player now (10.7 ppg 7.8 rpg 62% FG), his future is in football. He’d still be a D1 basketball player, but has a chance to be a special football player with more experience.
Logan Kilbert (Sierra, Tollhouse) 6-3 Soph. WR/G
All-State D5 in hoops and a promising prospect; had 32 receptions for 631 yards and 9 TDs for 6-4 football team.
Connor McFall (Kingsburg) 6-2 Jr. WR/G
All-Valley ability as a wideout (32 receptions, 556 yards, 6 TDs) and just as impactful in hoops (13.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.3 spg)
Zyun McGee (Mira Mesa, San Diego) 6-1 Sr. WR/G
All Eastern League choice in hoops had 23 catches for 403 yards and 2 TDs on the gridiron.
Dominic Nankil (Mater Dei, Chula Vista) 6-1 Jr. QB/G
New Mexico State has offered this signal-caller who was named all-state Juniors (Third Team) after passing for 3,427 yards, 38 TDs, 4 INTs for D2AA state champs; contributor on 16-12 hoops team.
Luke Olmstead (Coastal Christian, Cambria) 6-2 Sr. ATH/G
All-State D5 in hoops and contributor on football team that played four games.
Ryan Osborne (Fall River, McArthur) 6-0 Sr. ATH/G
All-State Small Schools (First Team) as multi-purpose QB for D7-AA state champs and state’s only other unbeaten football team (13-0) other than Mater Dei of Santa Ana; averaged 16 ppg for 17-9 team in basketball.
Jamari Phillips (Modesto Christian) 6-3 Soph. WR/G
Played 3 games at wideout and free safety and would be considered a big-time prospect if he wasn’t so good at basketball. Phillips, of course, led the Crusaders to the NorCal open title by averaging 23.5 ppg while shooting 41 % from 3-point.
Karson Seaman (Los Molinos) 6-5 Sr. OL/C
Big, strong lineman who had 104 tackles also rushed for three TDs in goal-line situations; in basketball, averaged 22.0 ppg and 11.8 rebs for 17-8 team.
Cody Smith (Liberty Ranch, Galt) 6-7 Jr. TE/PF
D1 college prospect as a TE, named team defensive player of the year in hoops (15 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.2 bpg) for NorCal D4 finalist.
Justin Stroud (Central Valley Christian, Visalia) 6-4 Soph. TE/F
There have been a plethora of talented Stroud’s in The Valley and he’s the latest; showing lots of potential on the hardwood.
Ya’j Vance (Edison, Fresno) 6-1 Jr. QB/G
Proud Tigers struggled on gridiron (2-7), but Vance had 2,141 yards passing (21 TDs), completed 61 % and scored twice on the ground; Capable scorer in hoops.
Kai Wallin (Jesuit, Carmichael) 6-6 Sr. DE/PF
Key starter and screener for super shooter Andrej Stojakovic last 2 years helped Jesuit go 16-0 in pandemic season (2021) and averaged 7.8 ppg; League defensive lineman of year in football who had 9.5 sacks; also caught 14 passes for 253 yds and 2 TDs.
Peyton Waters (Birmingham, Van Nuys) 6-0 Soph. DB/WR/G
First Team all-L.A. City open division at DB and a contributor on talented hoops team that lost in overtime to eventual champ L.A. Fairfax in post-season.
Brady Webb (Durham) 6-4 Sr. TE/F
All-State D5 in hoops (14.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and two-way performer on 6-5 football team.
Rashid Williams (Pittsburg) 6-2 Jr. WR/F
Second team All-State Underclass (Juniors) on the gridiron (55 receptions/753 yards/11 TDs) and already committed to Washington; Contributor to hoops team.
Tyler Williams (Bishop Diego, Santa Barbara) 6-3 Sr. WR/DB/F
CIFSS D3A Player of the Year in basketball only played one football game as a senior, but was a standout earlier in his career.