It’s hard to beat California quarterbacks in NFL history so doing updates on the most prolific high schoolers for the Cal-Hi Sports state records is always a lot of fun. We’re done heading into the 2023 season. The most yards for a game was 540 from last season, the state passing leader had 4,190 and the most for a newcomer added to the career list was 9,087. Only one threw for 8 TDs in a game, but there was more than one addition for season TD passes and career TD passes.
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Two of the nation’s most heavily hyped quarterbacks entering the 2023 season are Elijah Brown from Mater Dei of Santa Ana and Julian Sayin of Carlsbad.
By saying they are hyped doesn’t mean anything negative. Brown (committed to Stanford) has been a starter at Mater Dei since his freshman season, which was the short spring COVID season of 2020, and the QB before him for the Monarchs was NFL No. 1 draft pick Bryce Young. Sayin (committed to Alabama) recently earned top honors at the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback finals, a annual event that brought together almost all of the top-ranked recruits in the nation.
Neither Brown or Sayin have yet to have their names entered into the state’s all-time high school records, which are the exclusive domain of Cal-Hi Sports. This includes single game categories and single season (although we haven’t yet been able to add completion percentage records and we’re sure they’d both be in there for that).
The big-time duo, however, are already on the verge of having career totals that are close to going in. It takes 7,500 yards and 79 touchdowns as career totals that go into the book. Brown begins 2023 with 6,339 yards and 76 career TD passes. For Sayin, it’s 5,601 yards and 62 touchdowns.
The player for a career that ended last season that went in the highest on all-time state lists was Richie Munoz from Charter Oak of Covina. Munoz had started playing and putting up good totals as a freshman in the 2019 season at La Salle of Pasadena. He continued to play for the Lancers in 2020 and then in 2021 before transferring to Charter Oak for his senior season. In Munoz’s four combined seasons, he passed for 9,087 yards and 111 touchdowns.
The only other two players who finished their careers last season with more than 100 touchdown passes were Malachi Nelson of Los Alamitos and Trevor Lagarde of North Torrance. Nelson, the 2021 State QB of the Year, wrapped up his career at Los Al with 2,898 yards and 35 TDs from his senior season and finished with 105 career TDs. Lagarde also was a four-year regular for the Saxons and had 101 career TD passes.
Many others in the career categories had lower numbers of games than their predecessors who were three-year starters due to the 2020 pandemic.
Regardless, QBs that were still added into career categories after the 2022 season were Cavin Ross of Lompoc (TDs & yards), Anders Lundsberg from Canyon of Anaheim (career TDs), Joseph McCray of Sacramento Grant (career TDs) and Myles Jackson of Long Beach Millikan (career TDs). Jackson had 79 TD passes in 22 games at Millikan listed as a sophomore and junior, but reclassified after last season and is now a freshman at Stanford.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF STATE CAREER PASSING LEADERS, CLICK HERE.
500-YARD PASSING GAMES NOT NECESSARILY A GOOD THING
There were seven reported single game passing totals from the 2022 season in the state that have been added into the records that were at 500 yards or more. And of those seven, four were by quarterbacks on teams that lost in those games.
Playing from behind in a high-scoring contest has always tended to bump up passing statistics and that was true many times last season.
The most yards passing for one game was turned in by Jasiah Bateman of Antelope, a graduated senior who had 540 yards in a 53-51 win over Sonora.
Second on the list would be Marcus Castaneda of Santa Paula, who was on the winning team in a shootout, 62-55, over El Monte in a CIF Southern Section playoff game. Castanda went 34 of 38 for 531 yards and seven TDs in that outing.
There were three juniors who passed for 500 yards or more in a game last season and two of those did it losses. The one in a win was Marino Fragata from Johnson of Sacramento, who hit on 27 of 45 passes for 516 yards and seven TDs in a 54-27 win against Galt. Luke Baker, probably the top returning QB in the Bay Area this season from San Ramon Valley of Danville, connected on 40 of 57 passes for 511 yards and five TDs in a shootout game vs McClymonds of Oakland that the Wolves lost, 45-42. Shane Timmons of Saratoga also went over 500 yards in a loss when he passed for 509 yards (29 of 45 and five TDs) against Fremont of Sunnyvale (Fremont won, 42-36). Timmons is playing his senior season this fall at nearby Los Gatos.
The only sophomore to throw for more than 500 yards in a game last season was Bear Bachmeier from Murrieta Valley of Murrieta. Bear had 505 yards on 37 of 48 passes (4 TDs) but it wasn’t enough in a 70-49 CIFSS D2 playoff loss to Bishop Amat of La Puente.
The only other 500-yard outing last season was 513 by Josue Elens of Santa Maria. He did it for the Saints in a 40-34 loss to Madera South in the CIF Central Section playoffs. He also completed an amazing 40 passes in 51 attempts in that game to gain an another state record book listing.
It still takes eight touchdown passes for one game to gain a state record entry and for that there were only two from last season. It was done by Aleks Wojcik, a senior at Mar Vista of Imperial Beach. He had eight TD passes and threw for 348 yards in a 69-40 triumph over Hoover of San Diego. It also was done by Ya’j Vance from Edison of Fresno, who had eight TD passes and had 499 yards passing in a 58-40 win against Garza of Fresno.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF STATE SINGLE GAME PASSING LEADERS, CLICK HERE.
MAGIC NUMBER FOR SEASON PASSING YARDS REMAINS 4,000
It takes less than 4,000 yards passing for one season to get onto the all-time state list, but that’s still a total that has an almost magical ring when it’s mentioned.
There were three in the state from last season that reached 4,000 yards or more and one of those will be back. That would be reported state leader (MaxPreps) Tanner Wilson from Sunnyside of Fresno, who as a sophomore was initially reported with 4,574 yards in 14 games.
Wilson’s higher total elicited some questions from other schools and as a response co-head coach Gordon Wood went to the film and charted every game. A revised total of 4,190 yards in 14 games was put into MaxPreps and that total also has been accepted by CIF Central Section historian Bob Barnett. We have used that total as well for the state record lists. The 4,190-yard total also remains higher than any one else in the state from last season.
Wilson, a junior who also started as a freshman at Sunnyside where Thomas Wilson (his father) also is listed as a co-head coach, also has gained a state season record listing for throwing 51 touchdown passes last season.
There were two other QBs in the state from last season that also passed for more than 4,000 yards. Both have graduated. One of them, Joseph McCray, played 14 of the 16 games that Grant of Sacramento needed to win the CIF D3-AA state championship. McCray passed for 4,009 yards. The other, Anders Lundsberg from Canyon of Anaheim, had more yards than McCray with 4,066 and he played in two less games (just 12 overall).
The top returning QB in Southern California for passing yards is Husan Longstreet, but he’s not returning to the same school. Longstreet passed for 3,941 yards in 14 games at Inglewood. He has since transferred to Centennial of Corona and will be a junior for the Huskies.
The other top returning QB for passing yards in Northern California is Luke Baker from San Ramon Valley of Danville. Baker helped the Wolves reach the CIF D2-A state title game (lost in OT to Granite Hills of El Cajon). He goes into the state record book with 3,733 yards and 46 touchdown passes in 15 games.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF STATE SINGLE SEASON PASSING YARDS LEADERS, CLICK HERE.
FOR THE UPDATED GOLD CLUB LIST OF STATE SINGLE SEASON TOUCHDOWN PASS LEADERS, CLICK HERE.