NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal player of the week honorees are QB Tyus Miller of Clovis East (left) and RB Conner Rath of Poway. Photos: &

This week is one in which two criteria for this feature have been met. First, we are looking for diamonds in the rough type players that don’t always get a lot of props outside their local communities, and the second thing we do is track additions to the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book, and this week we have a doozy. We start off in Northern California in Clovis and then head to Redwood City before hitting Rohnert Park in the Redwood Empire. In Southern California, the stops are in Poway and Oxnard before ending up in the San Fernando Valley and North Hollywood.

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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 Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Tyus Miller (Clovis East, Clovis) Soph.

To find our Northern California offensive honoree, we head to “The Valley” as some locals still like to call the CIF Central Section, and with it we remind readers that for all Player of the Week features in all sports, boys and girls, the Central Section is considered part of Northern California.

We land in Clovis to kick off this week’s feature, and at Clovis East we find a sophomore quarterback who has played a huge role in getting the Timberwolves to 6-0 for the first time since 2006 when current Clayton Valley (Concord) head coach Tim Murphy was at the helm and Clovis East finished 12-1 and was on the board under the old system for a CIF Bowl Game state berth

Last week, in a 39-35 back and forth affair that saw five lead changes and one tie, it was a Hail Mary pass from Miller to senior wide receiver Xavior Garcia with 10.3 seconds left that produced the final lead change and gave visiting Clovis East the Tri-River Athletic Conference victory.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Miller finished a pinpoint 22 of 28 for a whopping 432 yards and six touchdowns.

So far this season, Miller has passed for 1,653 yards and 20 TDs with only four interceptions, and that translates into a very impressive 132.9 quarterback rating. Tyus has also rushed for 215 yards and two more scores.

The passing yardage is good enough for a top 20 reported mark in the state and No. 4 in the Central Section.

Sailasa Vadrawale of Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) is one of the most versatile players in Northern California. Photo:

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

Sailasa “Sai” Vadrawale (Rancho Cotate, Rohnert Park) Sr.

We head to the North Bay portion of the Redwood Empire in search of our Northern California Multi-Purpose/Special Teams Player of the Week.

At Rancho Cotate, we find “Sai” as he’s known, and everyone in the Redwood Empire knows the 6-foot, 175-pound Vadrawale because not only is he the best player in the area, he’s one of the top players in the entire CIF North Coast Section.

His overall prowess as a wide receiver and defensive back was on full display last week on the road in Chico where Vadrawale was part of a defense that shut down the host Pleasant Valley offense in the fourth quarter to help the Cougars post a 32-21 victory and spoil the Vikings’ homecoming after trailing 21-20 in the early fourth quarter.

On defense, Sai was the guy after registering a season-high 15 tackles. On offense he was one of three receivers to catch a TD pass and led Rancho Cotate with seven receptions for 73 yards.

So far this season for the 4-1 Cougars, Vadrawale has 28 receptions for 486 yards and nine TDs, plus he has one TD rushing. His biggest game came in a 42-14 romp over Larkspur Redwood when Sai had six catches for 232 yards and three touchdowns.

On defense Sai has 45 tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery he took 59 yards to the house.

Rancho Cotate head coach Gehrig Hotaling has even used his star on kickoff and punt returns.

“Sai is one of the greatest players in school history,” Hotaling remarked. “When he goes nuclear he completely takes over the game on both sides of the ball and on special teams.”

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Luke Holmes (Sequoia, Redwood City) Sr.

The heart of the Peninsula is our destination for this honor sand we land in Redwood City around half way between San Francisco and San Jose on the El Camino Real at Sequoia.

There we uncover one of those diamonds in the rough who gets some local attention, like Holmes got from the San Jose Mercury News and the San Mateo Daily Journal, but now we get to showcase his recent feats with a statewide honor as the Northern California Defensive Player of the Week.

The performance that won Luke the award happened last week when with time running out Holmes took it to the house for a walk-off 75-yard pick six that had the Ravens’ fans raving with their team now 5-0 and 1-0 in the Peninsula Athletic League – El Camino Division.

Holmes didn’t just have the TD interception return, the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder also had seven tackles, including one for a loss.

It was the second interception of the season for Holmes who also has 32 tackles including two games with double digits.

On a side note we’re sure Holmes would like to thank his defensive unit teammates who recovered a fumble on a goal line stand on the previous Los Altos drive.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Connor Rath (Poway) Sr.

Just northeast of the San Diego city limits is our destination for this selection, and it’s in Poway that we land to honor our Southern California Offensive Player of the Week.

At 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, a lot of defenders might not want to get in the path of Rath, or draw his wrath when he’s carrying the pigskin, and his most recent performance for the Titans is a perfect example.

In a 51-20 trouncing of visiting Del Norte of San Diego, Rath rumbled for 306 yards on 26 carries with four touchdowns, including 123 yards in the first quarter alone.

The 6-0 Titans, including a forfeit win, have now gotten 1,076 yards and 14 TDs rushing in five games from Rath.

Dayton Aiupiu of Pacifica (Oxnard) is making it an art at returning interceptions out of the end zone all the way the other direction for a score. Photo: Pacifica Football.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Dayton Aupiu (Pacifica, Oxnard) Jr.

Ventura County is where we land in search of the Southern California Defensive Player of the Week, and at Pacifica of Oxnard is where Aupiu plays, and now besides getting a statewide award, the 6-foot-2, 163-pound junior defensive back and wide receiver has now snagged an even bigger special honor.

Earlier this season we saw Dayday, as he’s called at Pacifica, when he had nine tackles, two batted passes on defense, and seven catches on offense for 54 yards receiving in the one loss for 6-1 Pacifica, a heartbreaking 46-41 setback on the road at neighboring St. Bonaventure of Ventura.

Last week was a horse of a different color for Aupiu and the Tritons in a 72-0 total rout of crosstown Channel Islands.

So what is the special honor Aupiu is receiving? In the game Dayday had a payday when he picked off a pass in the end zone and rumbled 107 yards to paydirt. The 107-yard pick six ties for the No. 2 spot all time in the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book on the Longest Pass interception Returns (Yards) list.

Aupiu also had eight tackles with one for a loss, a forced fumble, and on special teams he returned two punts and a kickoff for 86 combined yards.

It doesn’t make the Record Book since the cut-off is 105 yards, but in a season-opening 41-21 victory over Westlake of Westlake Village, Aupiu had a 102-yard pick six. Dayday has a third interception he took 27 yards to the house for a score in a 28-20 win against Santa Barbara.

So far this season, Aupiu, who has six D1 offers including Arizona, Colorado and Washington in the Pac-12, has four interceptions, 41 tackles with three for losses, five deflected passes, and two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery on defense.

On offense, Aupiu has 139 yards receiving and two touchdowns, and on special teams he has 287 yards combined on punt and kickoff returns.

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

Kamar Mothudi (Campbell Hall, North Hollywood) Sr.

The San Fernando Valley is where we land and find our fourth honoree this week from a team without a blemish. It’s at Campbell Hall in North Hollywood where we pick Mothudi as the Southern California Multi-Purpose/Special Teams Player of the Week.

Last week, in a hard fought 7-0 victory on the road at St. Anthony of Long Beach that gets the Huskies to 7-0 and a No. 10 spot in the most recent Small Schools state rankings, Mothudi was a one-man wrecking crew.

On offense the 6-foot-3, 217-pound junior running back scored the game’s only touchdown when he found paydirt on a 15-yard TD run with less than four minutes left in the game. Mothudi also caught two passes for 50 yards receiving.

On defense from his linebacker position, Kamar cashed in to the tune of a whopping 18 tackles with 12 solo and three for losses.

So far this season on offense Mothudi has rushed for 709 yards and 10 TDs, two 2-point conversions, and he has 190 yards receiving. On defense, Kamar has 74 tackles with nine for losses including a sack, plus he has two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

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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One Comment

  1. Kenneth
    Posted October 4, 2022 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Saint Mary’s (Stockton) Omari Gayles had a game Friday night.
    17(14 solo) tackles, 1FF, 1TFL and 1sack

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