CIF Division I & Seniors: Steve Smith (Taft, Woodland Hills) Football, Basketball, Track
He also is the 2002-03 overall State Athlete of the Year. Special mention: Tyler Clutts (Clovis) Football, Wrestling; Greg Dalby (Poway) Soccer; Dennis Dixon (San Leandro) Football, Baseball; Jason Donald (Buchanan, Clovis) Football, Baseball; Maurice Drew (De La Salle, Concord) Football, Track; Larsen Jensen (Mission Viejo) Swimming.
CIF Division II: Evan Moore (Brea-Olinda, Brea) Football, Basketball
This graduated standout will play both football and basketball even more at Stanford. In football, Evan is a 6-7, 235-pound tight end prospect who snared 37 catches last fall for 867 yards and 12 TDs. In basketball, he was named all-state for Div. II after pumping in 24 points and hauling in 11 rebounds per game. Special Mention: Joe Cowan (St. John Bosco, Bellflower) Football, Track; Kyle Devan (Vacaville) Football, Wrestling; Derrell Hutsona (Helix, La Mesa) Football, Track; Clifton Smith (Edison, Fresno) Football, Baseball.
CIF Division III: Greg Reynolds (Terra Nova, Pacifica) Football, Baseball
There were several football-baseball athletes we looked at for various categories, and Reynolds may have been the best. The 6-5, 205-pounder quarterbacked Terra Nova to a 10-0 regular season record and was one of the top five QBs in the S.F. Bay Area. It looked like he might be a first-round draft pick in baseball, but then he signed with Stanford and that was that. Reynolds struck out 136 batters in 85 2/3 innings en route to a 1.03 ERA. He also swung the bat well and ended the year with a .396 average. Special Mention: Jared Bray (Mission Bay, San Diego) Football, Track; Zach Clark (Acalanes, Lafayette) Football, Basketball, Baseball; Matt Engle (El Segundo) Football, Baseball; Alex Rollin (Los Gatos) Football, Baseball.
CIF Division IV: Whitney Lewis (St. Bonaventure, Ventura) Football, Basketball
Although Lewis did dabble in basketball and had several 20-point games, let's not kid ourselves. He's the tops in this group for one activity and one activity only: playing football. Picked as the 2002 Mr. Football State Player of the Year by CalHiSports, Lewis led the Seraphs to a 13-1 record with 1,059 yards rushing and 1,235 yards in receiving. Lewis also scored 42 touchdowns and caught 65 passes. Special Mention: Rudy Burgess (Desert, Edwards AFB) Football, Track; Leyton Matthews (Twentynine Palms) Football, Baseball.
CIF Division V: Jacob Wild (Immanuel, Reedley) Football, Basketball, Baseball
There was nothing wild about Jacob during his senior year. He was rock solid and routinely outstanding in all three sports. As a tight end/wide receiver in football, Wild caught 22 TD passes. He was all-state in Div. V in basketball with an 18 ppg average and in baseball he swung away for a .493 average and was good enough as a pitcher to post a perfect game in the playoffs. The Fresno Bee named Wild to its all-city team in all three sports, the first time its done that in 21 years. Special Mention: Curtis Allen (Rolling Hills Prep, R.H. Estates) Basketball; T.J. Fakehinde (Eastside Christian, Fullerton) Football, Basketball, Baseball; Tim Nelson (Liberty Christian, Redding) Cross Country, Track.
Juniors: Derrick Jones (Poly, Long Beach) Football, Track
It's one thing to average 37.8 yards per catch as a receiver when you have less than 20 catches. But to do it in 13 games and on 39 catches is something else. That's what Jones did in football and that average plus his 16 TD catches earned him all-state honors. On the track, who will ever forget Derrick's 45.7 anchor leg in the 4x400 relay at the Penn Relays in April? That helped the Jackrabbits win a sizzling race in 3:11.22. Jones had a best of 10.44 in the 100, but he wasn't able to qualify for the state meet due to an ankle injury. Special Mention: Brody Angley (Enterprise, Redding) Football, Basketball; Parker Hanks (De La Salle, Concord) Football, Baseball; DeMarcus Nelson (Vallejo) Basketball; Rico Tucker (University, San Diego) Football, Basketball.
Sophomores: Kevin Craddock (James Logan, Union City) Track
As a 14-year-old, Craddock became a name to watch by setting a pair of national age group hurdling records. He continued to develop strongly as a sophomore, winning at the state meet in the 110 hurdles in 14.09 seconds and taking first at the Golden West Invitational in 13.92. Craddock also set a national prep record in the 400-meter hurdles using the international height. Special Mention:Jamaal Boykin (Fairfax, Los Angeles) Basketball; Jeremy Childs (Los Alamitos) Football; John Drennen (Rancho Bernardo, San Diego) Baseball.
Freshmen: Ryan Shuler (Granite Bay) Track
Choosing among freshmen is always tough, but Shuler definitely turned in the best achievement by a freshman athlete this year by winning the pole vault competition at the CIF state meet. His winning clearance of 16-1 made him only the second freshman boy to win an event in state meet history. Special Mention: Jervaughn Johnson (Centennial, Compton) Basketball.
CIF Division I: Monica Abbott (North Salinas, Salinas) Basketball, Softball
This 6-3 senior dominated inside the circle with a 0.00 ERA and a state-leading 411 strikeouts. She led North Salinas to two straight CIF Central Coast Section Div. I titles. In basketball, Abbott was one of the best players in her league the past three seasons. Special Mention: Cynthia Buggs (Poly, Long Beach) Volleyball, Basketball; Courtney Cashion (Irvine) Swimming; Shalonda Solomon (Poly, Long Beach) Track; Meredith McColl (Capistrano Valley, Mission Viejo) Water Polo, Volleyball, Swimming; Emily Turner (Bonita Vista, Chula Vista) Basketball, Softball.
CIF Division II: Jessica Gysin (St. Francis, Mountain View) Volleyball
One of the most talked about players in the world of volleyball, Gysin led St. Francis to the mythical national title last fall and to the CIF Division I state title. The 6-2 outside hitter had 22 kills and 19 digs against Long Beach Wilson in the state final. She was the state player of the year, the national junior of the year by Student Sports Magazine and the national player of the year by Volleyball Magazine. Special Mention: Dominique Carter (Merrill West, Tracy) Basketball, Track; Garland Cooper (Santa Margarita, Rancho SM) Basketball, Softball.
CIF Division III: Noelle Quinn (Bishop Montgomery, Torrance) Volleyball, Basketball
After Allyson Felix, if we were to rank the next best candidates we considered for the overall girls honor, you could easily make a case that No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 were from this division. Costa Mesa's Sharon Day was probably the state's best three-sport girls athlete and University City's Lisa Dodd might have been nearly as record-breaking in soccer as she was in softball had soccer been her first choice. But for rare two-sport dominance it's hard to top Quinn. She led the Knights to four straight CIF Div. III state titles in basketball and her teams won two in volleyball, including both in her senior year. The UCLA-bound Quinn averaged 22.9 points per game in basketball en route to earning numerous All-America honors. She also was fourth team all-state in volleyball and is one of just five girls nationally who've been chosen as 2002-03 Super Acheivers of the Year by Student Sports Magazine. Special Mention: Kira Costa (S.J. Memorial, Fresno) Track; Sharon Day (Costa Mesa) Volleyball, Soccer, Track; Lisa Dodd (University City, San Diego) Soccer, Softball; Hayley Piersol (Newport Harbor, Newport Beach) Swimming; Shana Stewart (Palm Desert) Basketball, Softball; Jamie Waldecker (Pacifica, Garden Grove) Basketball, Softball.
CIF Division IV & Seniors: Allyson Felix (L.A. Baptist, North Hills) Track
Also named the 2002-03 overall State Athlete of the Year. Special Mention: Serena Benavente (Notre Dame, Salinas) Basketball, Softball; Megan Pura (Notre Dame, Salinas) Volleyball, Softball; Candice Wiggins (La Jolla Country Day) Volleyball, Basketball.
CIF Division V: Beatrisa Liang (Faith Baptist, Canoga Park) Figure Skating
We had to scratch and claw a little for this division and finally felt comfortable with this 15-year-old. She may be on her way to becoming the next great women's skater from California. Liang is a straight A student at Faith Baptist and is rare in that many top young figure skaters and gymnasts are now being home schooled. This year, she was seventh at the U.S. championships and was sixth at the World Junior Championships. Liang also just became the first U.S. woman to land a triple-Lutz, triple-loop jump combination during a competition. Special Mention: Caitlin Bradford (Cloverdale) Basketball, Softball; Carey Myslewski (University, San Francisco) Volleyball, Basketball; Katherine Suderman (Mission Prep, San Luis Obispo) Basketball
Juniors: Candice Wiggins (La Jolla Country Day) Volleyball, Basketball
Candice has come up just short the last two years in several of our major honors deliberations, but here's one in which she wins out. In basketball, Wiggins averaged 30 points and 15 rebounds per game and enhanced her reputation as one of the top guards in the nation. In volleyball, Wiggins was one of 17 juniors who gained all-state recognition and probably would be the top recruit in the San Diego Section for the upcoming season if basketball was not such a top priority for her. Special Mention: Courtney Cashion (Irvine) Swimming; Jessica Gysin (St. Francis, Mountain View) Volleyball; Anjelica Selden (Vanden, Travis AFB) Basketball, Softball; Shalonda Solomon (Poly, Long Beach) Track.
Sophomores: Cynthia Barboza (Wilson, Long Beach) Volleyball
The 6-1 outside hitter was the prime force behind Wilson's drive to the CIF Division I state championship match. Barboza was picked as the National Sophomore Player of the Year by Student Sports. Special Mention: Tamar Gruwell (Vacaville) Cross Country, Basketball, Track, Softball; Courtney Paris (Piedmont) Basketball; Kim Reeder (Notre Dame, Salinas) Softball.
Freshmen: Shana Woods (Poly, Long Beach) Track
Woods was the most versatile of all the members of Poly's state championship girls track team. At the state meet, Woods was fifth in the 100 (11.82) and third in the long jump (19-5 1/4). She ran a 55.1 leg at the Penn Relays during Poly's national record breaking performance of 3:35.72 and also was fast enough in the 300 hurdles to clock 43.60 at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet. Special Mention: Ashley Engle (Esperanza, Anaheim) Volleyball; Desirae Gonder (Stockdale, Bakersfield) Track; Elizabeth Olear (Louisville, Woodland Hills) Track; Amanda Williams (Freedom, Oakley) Softball.