NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are DeAndre Prim from Kennedy of Richmond (left) and Ardwon Morris of Orange High. Photos: MaxPreps / Kennedy football &

Although we had one Southern California award winner come close, we didn’t have any totals this week that will eventually go into the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book, which is one of the purposes of this feature. We did fulfill the other intention of this feature and that is to uncover talent that sometimes only gets local recognition, and we have several of those examples. This week’s stops are at Fresno, Oakland and Richmond in Northern California, and Orange, West Hills and La Canada in Southern California.

We hope you enjoy this free story on Cal-Hi For our state rankings packages in football plus State Stat Stars of the Week, state record updates and special features, please check out our Gold Club membership today. If you’re not a member, CLICK HERE.

Notes: We will continue to have flexibility to one of the honorees by calling it 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
Multi-Purpose/Special Teams Player of the Week

Deondre Prim (Kennedy, Richmond) Sr.

West Contra Costa County is our destination in search of the Northern California Multi-Purpose/Special Teams Player of the Week and it’s at Kennedy where we find our honoree, who originally was ticketed as a potential defensive award winner, but after further review it was discovered that Prim, a 5-foot-10 senior, was all over the place in his most recent performance.

Last week, in a 30-29 upset victory over host St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) that got the Eagles to 6-2 and 1-1 in the Tri-County Athletic League – Stone Division, Prim was primed.

Deondre scored all four of the Eagles’ TDs and two of their three 2-point conversions. With Kennedy trailing 29-16 entering the fourth quarter, Prim who was playing quarterback, scored both Eagles’ touchdowns in the period on keepers, then added the 2-point conversion that put the Eagles up by the final margin with just over seven minutes left in the game.

After all was said and done, Prim rushed for two touchdowns, passed for another TD, and recovered a fumble for a touchdown. He also had nine tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble on defense.

“I’ve been here for nine seasons,” Kennedy coach Greg Marshall told the Bay Area News Group. “That was probably the best performance I’ve witnessed.”

David Marquez has come on as the starting QB at Central of Fresno in the last few weeks. Photo: Gabe Camarillo.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Offensive Player of the Week

David Marquez (Central, Fresno) Sr.

We head to Fresno and the very heart of “The Valley” as the locals like to call the CIF Central Section, and whenever we visit the Central Section we remind readers it is considered part of Northern California for all player of the week features in all sports boys and girls.

We land at Central to honor a dual-threat quarterback who had a big hand in one of the biggest upsets in the section so far this season, and the performance is being rewarded with Marquez being named the Northern California Offensive Player of the Week.

Last week, in a wild finish to a back-and-forth 58-55 victory at home over previous Cal-Hi Sports No. 38 Clovis East of Clovis that knocked the visitors out of the rankings, Marquez, a 6-foot, 175-pound senior, was 22-of-31 passing for 359 yards and three TDs, plus he carried the ball 16 times for 143 yards and three more scores.

With lead changes galore throughout the game, Central found itself down 41-37 in the early fourth quarter, but it’s at that point Marquez came up with some big plays. Central came right back and a 37-yard TD pass from Marquez to Noel Felix gave the Grizzlies a 44-41 lead it would never relinquish, but the game was far from over.

Central scored again with four minutes to go on a rushing TD to make it 51-41 with around four minutes to go, but Clovis East scored at around the two minute mark and it was 51-48.

Marquez then got the Grizzlies final tally on a 16-yard TD run with a little over a minute to go, and it looked like that would seal the win, but Clovis East scored on a long pass play and Central had to recover an onside kick before running the final seconds off the clock.

To make his effort more hard to believe, Marquez was not the starting QB at Central to begin the season. He first started in a win against Buchanan and the game against Clovis East was just his second.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Troy Hill (McClymonds, Oakland) Sr.

The Oakland Athletic League/CIF Oakland Section is our destination in the search for the Northern California Defensive Player of the Week, and we land at McClymonds, a West Oakland high school steeped in athletic tradition.

Among its many famous athletic alumni boasts the basketball legend and late great Bill Russell, baseball marvel and the late Frank Robinson, and more recently current Las Vegas Raiders star cornerback Marcus Peters, the son of current McClymonds head coach Michael Peters, plus many others.

Unlike defensive back Peters, Hill plays linebacker and last week he was like a one-man wrecking crew in a 56-0 blanking of cross-town Castlemont.

All the 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior did was register eight tackles with five for losses including four sacks, an interception he returned 66 yards to the house for a score, and a forced fumble he scooped up and took 47 yards to pay dirt for a second touchdown.

Besides the pick six and the scoop and score, Hill has now registered 8.5 sacks this season and that’s the top reported mark in the OAL/Oakland Section. He’s a key returnee from last year’s team at Mack that went to the CIF D2-AA state final and lost to Mater Dei Catholic of Chula Vista. This year’s team will undoubtedly at least be in a NorCal regional title gam

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Offensive Player of the Week

Ardwon Morris (Orange) Jr.

The heart of Orange County in the city of Orange, and the high school that bears the name of both the city and county is where we find this week’s Southern California Offensive Player of the Week. And with this award, Morris adds a statewide honor to being named the Orange County Register Boys Athlete of the Week.

He didn’t quite make the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book last Saturday in a 59-20 victory over Costa Mesa Estancia, but his performance was instrumental in keeping Orange playoff eligible with a 4-4 record overall and 3-1 in the Orange Coast League.

The 409 yards Ardwon gained on 33 carries falls just short of the 415 yards needed to make the Most Yards (Game) in the rushing section of the record book and his seven TDs rushing is one short of the eight needed to make the making Most Touchdowns (Game) list in the rushing section. Both totals are high enough for all-time Orange County listings.

While the Sacramento State-committed Morris might not have made the record book, and his totals are not close to Orange County records, the rushing yardage and TDs are both school records.

Morris opened the season with 293 yards rushing and five TDs in a 45-15 win over host Pacifica of Garden Grove, and so far this season he’s rushed for 1,499 yards and 20 TDs so far this season. The yardage is good enough to be the No. 7 reported mark in the state and No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section.

Junior QB John Sanders has stepped up to become a leading dual-threat player for St. Francis of La Canada. Photo:

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

John Sanders (St. Francis, La Canada) Jr.

To find the Southern California Multi-Purpose/Special Teams Player of the Week, we head to the hills above Pasadena west of Mt. Wilson and not far from where the I-210 and the Angeles Crest Highway intersect.

It’s at St. Francis that we find our award winner who definitely had some heads turning in his most recent performance for which he’s being honored.

Sanders, a 5-foot-11, 165-pound junior who can play quarterback as a dual threat, and also wide receiver, got into the scoring act all three ways in a 41-25 victory over Cathedral from down the hill in Los Angeles.

Sanders was 11-of-16 passing for 214 yards and two TDs, plus he rushed for 109 yards and two TDs on 10 carries.

This story has another twist as well. Sanders’ younger brother, freshman Shawn Sanders, could very well have won the award himself. He’s the backup QB for John, the Golden Knights’ placekicker and punter, and the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder also plays defensive back, and you guessed it, just like his big brother, little brother got into the scoring act three different ways to truly make this a family affair.

Shawn was 5-of-6 on PATs, he had one punt for 57 yards, he forced a fumble and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown, and he came in at quarterback and threw one pass, a 12-yard TD to his big brother that allowed John to score three different ways.

So far this season for a 7-1 St. Francis team that is on the bubble and knocking on the door of the Cal-Hi Sports Medium Schools Top 15 rankings, John has passed for 1,452 yards and 18 TDs with seven interceptions, he’s rushed for a team-leading 570 yards a six TDs, and he has the one TD receiving.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Defensive Player of the Week

Ishmael Gibbs (Chaminade, West Hills) Jr.

The San Fernando Valley is where we head in search of the Southern California Defensive Player of the Week and it’s at Chaminade in West Hills a little less than 5-miles north of Highway 101 and about a mile west on Highway 27 that we find our honoree.

Last week, in a 35-28 victory over host Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks that gets Chaminade to 5-3 and 2-1 in the ultra-tough Mission League, Gibbs got busy in a hurry and came up big to help the Eagles take control of the game.

With the score tied 7-7 around midway through the second quarter, Gibbs claimed Dibbs on a Notre Dame pass and returned it 80 yards for a pick six that gave Chaminade a 14-7 lead it never relinquished. Then, on the very next Notre Dame possession and less the two minutes after his first trip to pay dirt, Gibbs duplicated things with another pick six, this time taking it 75 yards to the house to make it 21-7, and that gave the Eagles all the momentum they needed to hold on for the victory.

Besides the two interception returns for touchdowns, Gibbs also defended four passes, he had two tackles, both for losses, including a half sack.

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

Enjoy this article?

Find out how you can get access to more exclusive content, one-of-a-kind California high school sports content!

Learn More

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


    Latest News

    Insider Blog