SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week are Roderick Robinson from Lincoln of San Diego and Taeshaun Lyons from Tennyson of Hayward. Photos: &

For the second straight week, this feature that also is used to track entries into the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book, has not just one but three. We also have two of the most highly recruited athletes in California, which isn’t usually the case, but this is a good week for both Roderick and Rodrick to get their player of the week honors for this season handled. Our two most inspirational honorees, though, may be in San Jose and Chino Hills.

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Notes: We have a new twist to this feature that gives more flexibility to one of the honorees by expanding the Special Teams category to now be Multi-Purpose/Special Teams. Multi-Purpose is already a category for All State honors. For these honors, we also consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Roderick Robinson (Lincoln, San Diego) Sr.

Our very first stop at Lincoln in San Diego is where we find two Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book entries produced by Robinson, a big, strong and bruising 6-foot-2, 220-pound running back who has been hard to stop this season.

Lincoln has had some great running backs, including 1977 Mr. Football State Player of the Year, 1981 Heisman Trophy winner, and College and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Marcus Allen and Super Bowl MVP Terrell Davis, and while Robinson has a long way to go to get even close to what those two accomplished, he has done something neither Allen or any other Lincoln running back has done, and that is etching himself into the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book.

Last week, in a 56-20 victory by the at the time No. 35 ranked Hornets over the then No. 36 Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista, Robinson rushed for a school record 476 yards and eight touchdowns. The rushing yards ties Robinson for the No. 17 spot all time in the Record Book on the Most Rushing Yards (Game) list, and the eight TDs ties him for the No. 9 spot all time on the Most Touchdowns (Game) list. It also ties for the CIF San Diego Section record if one doesn’t count totals from before the section was formed in 1960. We would since in 1929 Frank Greene of Coronado set the state record of 11 TDs in one game.

Robinson’s performance also helped Lincoln jump eight spots to No. 27 in the most recent state rankings, and knocked Mater Dei Catholic out of the Top 50.

So far this season in four games for the 3-1 Hornets, the UCLA-committed Robinson is the No. 6 reported leading rusher in the nation with 1,273, and he’s No. 1 in California and obviously the CIF San Diego Section. His 15 TDs rushing is tied for No. 2 in the state and is tops in the section.


Rodrick Pleasant hopes to be in the same conversation someday with some of the other well-known players from his school. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Rodrick Pleasant (Serra, Gardena) Sr.

We head to the South Bay area of Los Angeles County where we find a player whose name sounds similar to our SoCal Offensive honoree, but this Rodrick spells his first name sans the “e” unlike Roderick Robinson from San Diego Lincoln.

So far this season, Pleasant hasn’t been very pleasant to opposing offenses, and as a result of his most recent performance, Rodrick has earned the Southern California Defensive Player of the Week award.

Recently Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times put it out on Twitter that a lot of track stars are doing well on the gridiron in Southern California, and Pleasant may be at the top of the list.

Last week, in a 16-13 win by No. 18 ranked Serra over previous No. 20 Warren of Downey, the 10.14 sprinter turned on the jets to score on an 96-yard kickoff return, but that was just icing on the cake for his SoCal defensive award since he had two interceptions in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.

Last year’s State Junior Athlete of the Year now has four interceptions and has scored TDs this season three different ways, on the kickoff return, on an interception for a pick six, and on one of the two pass receptions he has all season.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Pleasant has nearly 30 offers, including just about every Pac-12 schools plus some other big-time D1 programs, and why not. He first established himself as the fastest sophomore in California prep history at the 100 and 200 meters and that earned him the 2021 State Sophomore Athlete of the Year honors. At this year’s State Meet in Clovis, Pleasant earned a spot in the record books when he swept both the 100 and 200 state titles.

After missing a lot of games last football season with injuries, Pleasant is having a more blockbuster senior season. If he stays healthy and duplicates his feats in track, this week’s SoCal defensive honoree will be one of the easier State Athlete of the Year selections ever.

Mackenzie Aguilera is the first female varsity player at her school and she did that when she was a freshman in 2019 season. Photo:

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

Mackenzie Aguilera (Don Lugo, Chino) Sr.

For our Southern California Multi-Purpose/Special Teams Player of the Week selection, we head around 35 miles due east of downtown Los Angeles on Highway 60, and then make a right turn on Highway 71 before getting off on the Chino Avenue exit and landing a couple of blocks east of the freeway at Don Antonio Lugo High in Chino.

Don Lugo produced one of the greatest girls/women’s basketball players in the game’s history, and that’s two-time Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year and WNBA legend Diana Taurasi.

Now, 20-plus years later after Taurasi won the basketball honors in 1999-2000, she’s still the talk of Chino, but right now there’s a new girl in town, and that’s Conquistadores’ kicker Aguilera.

Last week, in a 40-0 victory over Hawthorne that got Don Lugo its first win after two losses to open the season, Aguilera was 2-for-2 on field goals, including a 38-yarder, and she split the uprights on all four PAT attempts.

So far this season, the three-sport star who also plays soccer and softball, has gone 6-for-8 on field goals with a boot of 40-yards her longest, and she’s 7-for-7 on points after. Forget the girl part of it, like Temecula Rancho Christian’s Emma Baker from a few years ago, Mackenzie is just one of the best kickers around period.

Stats for her freshman season were not reported but in researching our first girls award winner this season we found a newspaper article that said she was kicking in 2019 just a few months after her mother passed away from breast cancer.

Somewhere up there in the Great Beyond her mother must be smiling in pride toward Mackenzie for what she has and is accomplishing.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Taeshaun Lyons (Tennyson, Hayward) Sr.

The East Bay portion of the San Francisco Bay Area around midway between Oakland and San Jose and about a mile east of the 880 freeway is our destination, and in Hayward at Tennyson is where we find Lyons, our Northern California Offensive Player of the Week.

At Tennyson is where we have our Northern California entry into the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book. Last week, in a 48-6 victory over crosstown Mt. Eden that gets the Lancers to 3-0 this season, not only does Lyons etch his name in the record book he did it with a school record 293 yards receiving with three touchdowns.

The receiving yardage is good enough to make the Most Yards (Game) list in the Single-Game Receiving section and is the No. 5 highest total in the history of the CIF North Coast Section.

Complete stats were not available for this season but last year Lyons had 28 catches for 907 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Lyons is also one of the top recruits in Southern Alameda County in recent memory. Taeshaun currently holds 20 Division I offers including several from the Pac-12. His warmest offers according to are from Notre Dame and Washington.


Baron Taylor from Inderkum of Sacramento has a knack for being around the ball. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Baron Taylor (Inderkum, Sacramento) Jr.

Just about six miles north of the state capitol building and at Inderkum in the Natomas neighborhood of Sacramento off the I-5 is where we find our Northern California Defensive Player of the Week, and what we find is a player named Baron who has been a “robber baron” of sorts on defense all season do far for the 2-2 Tigers.

Last week was a perfect example. In a 14-13 victory over Cosumnes Oaks of Elk Grove in which Inderkum trailed 13-7 at the half and the end of three quarters, Taylor had three interceptions and the Tigers needed every bit of his defensive prowess to pull out the victory.

So far this season the 5-foot-11, 160-pound defensive back has five interceptions, plus a fumble recovery and seven passes batted down.

The five interceptions leads the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and is tied for the top reported mark in the state.

One of Baron’s interceptions came on a jump ball in which the ball deflected off of someone’s foot and landed in his hands. It was one of the plays of the week on the 49ers Sac-Hi Sports TV Show.

Tayden Phillips of San Jose Lincoln had a heart condition when he was born that required open heart surgery to fix when he was 10 years old. Photo:

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

Tayden Phillips (Lincoln, San Jose) Sr.

Do you know the way to San Jose? We do, and that’s where we land about a mile west of downtown to honor a San Jose public school dual-threat quarterback who did more than just pass and run to earn this week’s Northern California Multi-Purpose/Special Teams Player of the Week.

Last week, in a big 32-28 victory over Aragon of San Mateo that gets Lincoln to 3-0 so far this season, Phillips, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound three-sport star who also plays baseball and basketball, rushed for 185 yards on 15 carries with three TDs, and he was 5-for-8 passing for 110 yards.

It was not reflected on his stats reported to MaxPreps, but part of the reason Tayden is being honored is the San Jose Mercury News reported that Phillips also returned kicks, returned punts, played defensive back, and punted in the game as well.

If that’s not multi-purpose than what is?

Plus, if you don’t know the story of Tayden as profiled last season by our friends from the 49ers Cal-Hi Sports Report TV show, you can find out more now. He was born with a heart defect and at age 10 he had to undergo a dangerous open heart surgery to correct it. Phillips not only has been able to come back and play after that, but has been doing it at a very high level.

For a link to see that story and get you fired up, CLICK HERE.

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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